Founders Everywhere: Pierina Merino Alaimo
Pierina Merino Alaimo is the founder & CEO of Flickplay, the destination to buy digital characters and discover games and social experiences that keep your identity consistent across the metaverse.
Welcome to Founders Everywhere, where we highlight the incredible people behind the companies we’ve backed at Everywhere Ventures, a global pre-seed fund supported by a community of 500 founders and operators.
Flickplay is shaping the future of play, offering a platform that seamlessly integrates culture and commerce for an immersive digital character experience in the real world. Ahead of the game, Flickplay has a dedicated team that has been building, crafting and optimizing their product for nearly four years. They empower people to play with their digital characters in their everyday activities and connect with communities of like-minded fans. In the ever-changing world of digital experiences, Flickplay is making its mark by redefining interactions and carving out a unique space in the market.
Founder and CEO Pierina Merino Alaimo has spent over a decade at the intersection of design and technology. She started her career designing significant architectural ventures for renowned architect Frank Gehry before transitioning to spearhead creative strategy for premium VR experiences in the luxury fashion sector. Prior to building Flickplay, Pierina founded PIEMER, the first 3D-printed product brand to be sold at Nordstrom nationally. She shares more about how Flickplay is reshaping reality by integrating digital characters into our real-world daily lives.
What inspired the idea for Flickplay?
I have always been passionate about creating better human experiences and my background in architecture was a medium for exploring that. I have also always had a very deep interest in new technology, so I shifted from architecture to leading premium VR experiences for high-end retail brands. The idea for Flickplay stemmed from exploring how digital products and experiences could be integrated into the real world, allowing people to build a more synchronized digital identity and social status.
How does Flickplay differentiate itself in the NFT space?
Flickplay aims to go beyond the speculative aspect of digital assets and focuses on the experience layer. Leveraging blockchain technology, we seek to enable the next generation of interoperable experiences, seamlessly connecting digital characters across different ecosystems. The goal is to explore the future of play by integrating digital and real-world experiences.
What’s on the horizon for Flickplay?
Currently, Flickplay is dedicated to shaping the future of play by commercializing top digital toys through partnerships with leading entertainment studios who want to start building a digital toy vertical. The platform offers game-ready digital characters, facilitating the discoverability of connected experiences. Flickplay serves as both a commerce platform and an experience discovery ecosystem, providing a space to engage with and explore digital toys and characters.
Tell us about a recent milestone that Flickplay crushed.
Flickplay has established significant partnerships, including one with the creators of Baby Shark and a multi-year collaboration with MGA, the creators of Bratz and other major IPs (Intellectual Property) focusing on collectability and identity. Additionally, we received an investment from Bandai Namco, a major game developer and toy company and our strategic approach with them is yet to be disclosed. Flickplay is also going to be available with Apple Vision Pro and we also have a few other announcements coming soon.
How has your background influenced you as a founder?
In reflecting on my entrepreneurial journey, building my first company equipped me with valuable lessons in the zero-to-one process, transitioning from designing a product in my living room to nationwide commercialization. This experience shaped me into a versatile entrepreneur and taught me many skills. When starting FlickPlay as a non-technical founder, those lessons allowed me to push boundaries. Despite the shift to a tech-focused vertical, my diverse background has proven instrumental in navigating challenges across various facets of the business.
What do you enjoy in your free time?
Every time I get that question I laugh because whenever I’m not working, or at industry events, I just unplug from the world. I find a lot of pleasure in reading. It has become a bridge for me as I find perspective, it feeds my curiosity, and enhances my confidence as a leader when tackling different challenges or opportunities that are ahead of us.
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