Atlanta-based entrepreneur Keith Wilson is the founder and CEO of automotive manufacturer Helix. A first-of-its-kind in the metaverse, the company is designed for consumers to build, earn and sell motorized NFTs across digital platforms.
Helix describes itself as the world’s first American digital automaker. “We are a metaverse agnostic digital automotive manufacturer dedicated to producing both original and branded automotive NFT’s powered by blockchain technology.”
Wilson’s work at Helix earned him a place as a top-five finalist at Startup Showdown, a national pitch competition held in Atlanta for early-stage startup companies, Wilson was up for the grand prize of a $120,000 investment. Held annually across the nation in select cities, the hybrid-hosted event is streamed globally to a live audience.
In a chat exclusively with UrbanGeekz, the entrepreneur explained the purpose of Helix and the company’s platform is viable in the tech ecosystem.
On Helix automotive and its benefits in the progressive tech world:
Helix is a metaverse automotive manufacturer. That simply means that we develop automotive non-fungible tokens that our community will be able to use on multiple digital platforms. Our value proposition lies in providing optimal utility and earning opportunities for our community. That’s where the benefit comes in. With a Helix vehicle, you can customize it to your liking and compete with others in races and demolition matches. All of this can be done while earning tokens and sponsorships.
On how Helix’s relationship with the metaverse works for the curious consumer:
The metaverse has been here longer than we realize. Popular games such as Grand Theft Auto Online, NBA 2K, Fortnite & The Division are some of the most popular metaverses out there. Our mission is to accelerate the shift towards immersive and interoperable digital experiences. That means we want Helix to be a bridge for those looking to enter the web 3/metaverse space. There’s no better way to do that than with dope vehicles, gaming, and passive earning opportunities. We’re going even further by having discussions with popular video game companies to allow future Helix owners to use their NFTs in their games. This allows us to meet people where they are and start building that bridge.
On how the digital automotive platform integrates societal interests:
Cars have always played an active role in society. Everyone loves a dope car! However, our role will be much different than the traditional automotive manufacturers’ role in society. Our role will involve introducing, educating, and integrating society into this new Web 3 Blockchain Metaverse space. We have to do this in a way that doesn’t create a sense of fear, disinterest, or alienation due to its highly technical aspects of it.
On Helix’s marketing strategy to create interest from investors of color:
There is a lot of attention and funding going to Web 3.0 projects right now. Sadly, there is not much funding going to diverse founders of Web 3.0 projects. When assessing funding opportunities, we look for investors that understand the space and its potential. This helps us tremendously when it comes to communicating what we’re building and why we’re building it. Having an investor that gets it will help open up doors to the small but growing community of influencers in Web 3.0. We’d love to see more funds that are dedicated to people of color building Metaverse companies. Like the physical world, our culture will ultimately define what’s cool and what’s not cool in the Metaverse. We should have a huge part to play in how it’s being built.
On self-funding versus investors having shares in the company:
We’re open to either opportunity. At the moment we are assessing if we would like to establish a Helix DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) or not. Time and the community will tell.
On how the company has studied other automotive digital entrants:
The play to earn space is ripe with companies that have ventured into racing. From digital horse racing to digital chicken racing, there is so much out there. How we stand out is simple. We are an automotive company first and foremost. The racing element is just one part of the business. At our core, we design and sell automobiles that customers will be able to use, build and earn with on multiple platforms, not just our own. That’s key. Secondly, when it comes to racing, we will not only offer traditional racing like the others, but we will also offer demolition matches. Our community will be able to spec out their rides with weapons and go at it.
On how Helix can stand out from its competition:
The opportunities for interoperability are exciting. Imagine the day you’re able to use your Helix vehicle and win a couple of races on our platform, then take that exact vehicle into the Grand Theft Auto online world and let other users pay you to use it in missions of their own, and then take it to the Sandbox for another race. The possibilities are endless.
On setbacks in the digital automotive world and ways to combat mishaps:
The biggest drawback I’ve seen is that the digital automotive space is being defined by the gaming community and not the automotive community. This is why every company you see is primarily a racing company. We’re taking a different approach with Helix. As seasoned automotive executives, we realize there are many more layers to the automotive industry than racing. Layers that will allow us to build in even more utility for our community. This could come in the form of car shows, car auctions, aftermarket parts/equipment/accessories, mobility services such as ride-hailing/car sharing and car rental services as well as the dealership network and many more.
Wilson says that as of now, his focus is simply spreading the word about Helix and raising capital through pitch competitions, presale whitelists, accelerator program entries, and designing new vehicles for prospects as the company heads into the latter half of the year.
For more information, investors and buyers can go to @helix_auto on both Twitter and IG. Check out their website where buyers can get on the NFT presale whitelist, learn more about the company’s roadmap, join the discord to help build the community, get updates on NFT drops and play a role in growing the first metaverse, automotive manufacturer.