Women of the Metaverse: Sandra Helou of Metapolis

There is no shortage of unique ecosystems within the metaverse. The vastly growing space provides new opportunities for companies and individuals to create communities of like-minded and talented people. For brands, this virtual space offers a new place to grow a following. One of the individuals building these communities and connecting brands to the metaverse is Sandra Helou, the co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Metapolis, a world-leading metaverse platform built on a blockchain by Zilliqa. With this state-of-the-art blockchain platform combined with an ecosystem of NFTs and games, Metapolis stands out in the metaverse industry.

In building Metapolis, Helou fueled her deep passion for technology. “I’ve always been involved in the tech space, especially when it came to the traditional conversion of technology to this new digital boom, which saw a lot of brands moving their communication and engagement toward a new medium for connectivity with users,” explained Helou. “That was when we started seeing the rise of social media platforms and the introduction of influencers and how brands collaborated with them.” Seeing this transition from Web2 to Web3, Helou couldn’t help but feel excited. “As a futurist and knowing that the technology is available and what it’s possibly capable of, it’s hard not to envision a world where AR/VR would play a role in connecting users and communities,” she stated. “I was always providing clients AR/ VR activations back before Web3, however, we didn’t really use the ‘hype’ terms that have kicked off now within the space.”

Like many who have entered the industry, the path for Helou was far from linear. According to Helou: “I took chances with my career while I was at university, and always did what I felt was right to gain the experience needed to grow. I entered the industry during the time when digital had just started to take off, and I was involved with some great companies and brands in their strategic shift toward the digital world. I am extremely proud to once again be involved in another major shift towards Web3.” Thanks to her efforts, Helou has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Women Leaders of the Future.

This momentous work includes co-founding Metapolis. “Metapolis is the first ‘Metaverse as a Service’ (Maas) platform built on a world-renowned technology stock and powered by a leading L1 blockchain, Zilliqa,” Helou stated. “This gives you a data-centric and fully customizable XR experience accessible through web or AR and VR. With the vision of bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds through seamless integration and an ‘always-on’ layer of engagement, Metapolis has its sights set on becoming ‘The Next Internet’ and building a future of interoperability with security and safety at heart.” As the CCO of the company, Helou helps to inspire others within Metapolis to dream big and achieve the goals of the company. “My general focus is on achieving our mission and vision and growing the company both externally and internally,” she added. “I am involved in all aspects of the business, from technology down to growth and expansion.”

As one of the top women leaders in this space, and a leader within her company, Helou tries to inspire a more inclusive industry by focusing on company culture as a whole. “For diversity to be

improved, we need to revisit the hiring process and pay a lot of attention to the company culture and incentivization of employees,” Helou said. “The world has shifted, and it’s important that adoption not only happens in technology but also in the outdated approach of what a job means and how a person lands their choice of career position. It can be extremely difficult or intimidating for a lot of people to trust the process and that is shown by data and statistics.” To improve the company culture to be more inclusive, Helou suggests looking at company changes and product offerings. As Helou explained: “Company culture or even just the approach to diversity can start with how leadership teams impact change internally within the company, but also in the products they put out to market, For example, at Metapolis we have developed three versions of avatars to include nonbinary individuals, with a who strategy in place for inclusion and diversity.”

Helou also believes that company culture is merely one part of the conversation to make the metaverse more inclusive. “We need to understand that culturally not everyone is the same, and if we are asking them to fit within what we want to be the norm in the industry, we need to provide platforms where individuals can be themselves through expression, culture, aesthetics, etc,” she stated. “Change always starts with the intention, as long as intentions are focused on improvement, it’s bound to happen, but this is not the responsibility of one person, it’s a collective requirement.”

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