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Amyli McDaniel is a visionary entrepreneur at the intersection of law and technology. With a unique background in IP law and a successful history as a software executive, Amyli has navigated the complexities of the tech startup landscape, guiding ventures to successful exits. Currently serving as the founder and CEO of MINTangible, she brings her expertise to the forefront of the Web3 arena, reshaping the landscape of digital rights, intellectual property, and blockchain innovation.
Amyli’s journey is a testament to the dynamic fusion of legal acumen, open-source expertise, and a relentless drive for innovation. Having played pivotal roles in the success stories of ventures like Lexcycle and SpringSource, she now channels her passion into MINTangible, a groundbreaking solution empowering creators, brands, and platforms in the global tokenized asset economy.
Today, we explore Amyli’s personal and professional growth, the milestones, challenges, and transformative moments that have changed her into the formidable leader she is today. Join us in uncovering the insights and wisdom that Amyli McDaniel has gained through her journey at the forefront of technology, law, and the evolving landscape of Web3.
Amyli, can you reflect on your early education experiences and share a memorable moment or event that you believe had a lasting impact on shaping who you are today as a business leader?
My passion for business started in my childhood. After church, I’d buy a cake at Safeway for $5 and then cut it into 8 pieces and sell them for $1.50 to kids in my neighborhood. My family also had a canoe and I remember selling canoe rides on the lake in my backyard – both early ventures that sparked my entrepreneurial spirit and taught me the excitement of business ideas and the value of offering something that made people happy.
However, a crucial turning point came when my dad sat me down to explain the concepts of risk and liability. He asked me what would happen if a child fell off the canoe and could not swim? I bought life jackets. This conversation was a revelation. It made me realize that being a successful entrepreneur was also about ensuring that it was delivered in a safe, secure, and transparent manner. This early lesson has been a guiding principle in my career. It instilled in me the importance of balancing innovation with a keen sense of responsibility and foresight. As a business leader, this translates into a focus on creating value responsibly, ensuring that every decision not only drives growth but also safeguards our customers and the integrity of the business.
The intersection of technology and law is a unique career path. Were there any early signs or experiences that hinted at your future interest in these fields?
My path to the intersection of technology and law really started in my younger years. In the eighties as a kid, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Atari computer camp and be around forward thinking minds. Inspiring me to spending entire weekends in my youth exploring early computer technologies. And my career started during the Internet boom. Studying law introduced me to the world of intellectual property. The idea that a simple sketch of a character, like Mickey Mouse, could not only become a financial powerhouse but also capture the hearts of millions, was astounding to me. It was a perfect example of how a single creative idea could have such a massive impact.
That is only possible because of the legal rights of ownership and use afforded by IP laws. Working at the nexus of technology and law, I’ve spent my career on the inside of early stage innovative startups that turn technology and IP into something substantial and impactful.
I guided venture-funded startups like ebook company Lexcycle (acquired by Amazon) and open source company SpringSource (acquired by VMWare) from initial product launches bringing new ways to distribute and grow the value of IP works such as literature and software to the market. With MINTangible, I am now channeling my expertise into radically empowering the creator economy, setting new paradigms for brands, creators and blockchain companies to unlock the full potential of intellectual property and digital rights in Web3.
Your mission is to empower creators, brands, and platforms. Can you share a personal story or example where you witnessed the empowerment of a creator through MINTangible’s solution, and how this experience contributed to your personal growth?
One impactful experience was when we helped an individual artist navigating the complexities of IP rights with her NFTs.
The problem being addressed is that NFTs are token IDs without any real rights attached. This leaves brands and creators vulnerable and causes confusion from NFTs with missing, unclear and unreliable ownership and use rights. This leads to confusion, trust issues, lawsuits, and market instability.
She was distressed to find her NFT artworks being used commercially in ways that didn’t align with her brand or artistic vision. Without clear rights attached to her NFTs, she felt powerless to defend herself. This was a turning point for both her and us. By educating her on basic IP principles and the importance of including explicit rights and restrictions when minting her art as NFTs, we empowered her to take control of her work and attract the right collectors. She used our MINTangible solution to encode clear use rights and restrictions to her art NFTs while establishing her IP ownership and rights to royalties.
Many other creators face the same issues highlighting the crucial role of clear IP rights in the digital world and reinforced my dedication to our mission. Witnessing her transition from vulnerability to empowerment has been a powerful reminder of the impact MINTangible can have especially for individual creators exploring this new frontier.
Personally– this made me realize that part of my mission is just not the solution we are providing but also providing empowerment to creators in a new economy model This really excites me knowing that artists can potentially break the starving artist paradigm if they are empowered with the knowledge of how their art (IP) can be leveraged in this new hopeful playing field of web3.
As a woman in the tech and legal sectors, can you share your insights on overcoming gender-related challenges and biases in entrepreneurship? What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs on their personal growth journey?
Throughout my career, being not the only woman but also a woman of color in the room has been a recurring theme. This reality taught me early on that to be heard and earn a seat at the table, I had to work not just harder, but smarter. It’s a challenge that still exists today. In the blockchain crypto sector, this male dominance is quite pronounced, but in Web3 where more creative industries are entering, I am running into more women and more diverse creators and entrepreneurs.
Again with web3, this ecosystem opens up a new play ground for diversity, inclusivity and more revolutionary solutions to help our broken systems.
For aspiring female entrepreneurs, my advice is twofold. First, embrace your unique perspective. Your ideas and insights have the power to introduce new ways of thinking and can be a catalyst for change. Second, build a supportive network. Surround yourself with mentors, allies, and peers who not only understand your journey but also champion your success. This network can be a source of strength, advice, and opportunities.
MINTangible is a visionary venture. How do you personally stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving tech and legal landscapes in Web3, and what advice do you have for entrepreneurs seeking to do the same?
Staying abreast of the rapidly changing Web3 landscape feels like a 24/7 endeavor. It’s crucial to identify trustworthy news outlets and thought leaders who can offer not just updates, but also a deeper comprehension of the ongoing changes and their broader implications. I regularly turn to resources like The Fashion Law blog for the latest in Web3 IP news, and Marc Baumann’s insights are invaluable for brands venturing into the Web3 space. Equally important is developing a network of fellow founders and CEOs in the space; we share insights and support each other, which is invaluable. For entrepreneurs diving into Web3, my advice is simple: stay informed through reliable sources and build a strong network for shared learning and support.
As the founder and CEO of MINTangible, what leadership lessons have you learned along the way, and how have they impacted your personal and professional growth?
Leading MINTangible has been quite an adventure, and I am learning so much. Biggest lesson? The absolute need to be agile and adaptable. In the whirlwind world of blockchain, you’ve got to be resilient. As an early innovator in this space, I’ve had my fair share of challenges. It’s been a tough ride at times, but sticking to my guns and believing in our vision has made all the difference. It’s really shown me what my team and I are made of.
I can’t stress enough how much building a diverse team and collaborating with diverse partners has changed the game for us. It’s this mix of voices and experiences that have helped shape MINTangible into what it is today. And personally? It’s been a huge growth experience, teaching me that great leadership is as much about listening and learning as it is about decision-making.
MINTangible has seen remarkable growth. Can you share the key milestones that have defined this journey and contributed to the company’s success?
Some key milestones to highlight. Our initial MVP launch, aiding digital artists in retaining clear IP ownership for digital collectibles resonated deeply, highlighting the need to prioritize creator protection in this space. This fueled our mission and set our path. The launch of our IP Guardians education community was another leap forward. It’s a place for creators to learn, share and collaborate over how IP can be a superpower in Web3. Our biggest milestone to date was the launch of our comprehensive IP rights and legal terms encoding solution which offers an enterprise grade solution with user friendly processes and seamless integration into other NFT technical solutions and platforms broadening our reach to help more IP owners. Thus far, we have helped IP owners in various industries including art, music, film, publishing and multimedia initiatives.
Can you elaborate on the specific challenges and opportunities you’ve encountered while expanding MINTangible’s presence in the Web3 ecosystem, and how these experiences have impacted business growth?
One unique challenge has been around the complexity of intellectual property (IP) for entrepreneurs and creators new to licensing and digital IP and this new Web3 landscape. This has led us to focus on making our solutions user-friendly while ensuring it delivers on the need for robust digital encoding of IP rights and terms while remaining flexible to adjust to the evolving landscape.
We also launched our ‘IP Guardians’ education community to help educate and demystify IP rights, providing a valuable resource for understanding digital licensing and staying abreast of Web3 developments. This dual approach of simplifying our technology and empowering users through education has significantly contributed to our growth, helping us build a more informed and engaged user base in the dynamic Web3 ecosystem.
Funding and investment are critical aspects of scaling a technology-focused venture. Can you share your experiences with fundraising, and how have these investments contributed to your business growth?
We raised pre-seed funds which were instrumental to getting us to where we are today. It propelled us from concept to the robust, market-ready solution we have today. We’ve successfully developed a comprehensive system for encoding IP license and royalty terms into NFTs, coupled with a blockchain-verified rights registry to confirm these terms.
We also were afforded the valuable opportunity to engage deeply with IP owners across various domains. Through these interactions, we’ve ensured that our solution is not just technologically advanced but also grounded in the real problems and needs of the market. This direct engagement has been crucial in fine-tuning our platform and services to address the specific challenges and opportunities in the IP landscape, ensuring that MINTangible is a company and a solution that truly empowers creators and IP owners.
Partnerships and collaborations can be essential for business growth. Are there any notable partnerships or collaborations that have played a significant role in MINTangible’s expansion?
At MINTangible, our growth has been significantly fueled by strategic partnerships and collaborations, particularly with minting platforms that support NFT creators and projects. We’re working with platforms like Mintpad and Chainstarter. These collaborations offer peace of mind to NFT creators, ensuring that their digital assets are not only properly created on the blockchain but also backed by a solid IP and legal framework.
In addition to these platform collaborations, we love directly collaborating with individual creators, such as artists Mieke Marple and Rainbow Moshu. Our work with them focuses on protecting their intellectual property while providing their collectors with certified rights of value. Furthermore, we’re co-innovating with metaverse projects like Minted Teddy, which is at the forefront of creating AI-powered NFTs representing a range of IP, from characters and toys to games and stories. These collaborations not only enhance our service offerings but also place us at the cutting edge of IP protection in the digital realm, ensuring creators and brands can safely and confidently navigate the world of NFTs.
Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and NFTs have been transformative in the Web3 space. How do you see MINTangible integrating with or influencing these trends in the future?
Both NFTs and DeFi work only if they are trusted and represent true value easily understood by the market. NFTs are a core vehicle for digital IP assets and MINTangible encodes them with clear and sound IP rights and terms. In the DeFi space, we see immense potential in the tokenization of IP assets, opening new avenues for financialization within this innovative framework.
MINTangible is providing the essential IP rights and legal terms layer that not only protects creators and owners but also contributes to the overall health and legitimacy of the Web3 ecosystem. As these sectors continue to evolve, MINTangible is committed to being at the forefront, shaping how IP rights are integrated and respected in this new digital age.
The concept of digital ownership and intellectual property is continuously evolving. What innovations or trends do you foresee in the world of IP rights, and how does MINTangible plan to stay ahead of the curve?
At MINTangible, we see a transformative shift in the IP economy, marked by an era of co-creation, shared ownership and value. This new paradigm extends IP rights beyond traditional frameworks, embracing the fluidity of the digital world. It’s about recognizing and monetizing co-created content and leveraging shared ownership models, fostering an ecosystem where financial and social incentives drive innovation. Our vision is to navigate this shift by embracing advanced technologies essential for managing these evolving forms of IP rights.
To ensure we stay at the forefront of this evolution, MINTangible is deeply invested in building a flexible platform and forging strategic partnerships across various sectors. This dual approach of technological agility and collaborative influence positions us not just as participants but as architects of this new digital IP economy. We’re committed to shaping a future where IP management is more inclusive, dynamic, and beneficial for all stakeholders involved.
What is your vision for the future of MINTangible, and how do you plan to sustain and accelerate business growth in an ever-changing digital landscape?
At MINTangible, our vision is a dynamic ecosystem for creators, brands and companies to monetize and grow the value of their IP in an environment no longer hindered by IP complexity and costs. We’re dedicated to transforming the landscape of digital assets and licensing, making it a springboard for innovation rather than a barrier.
To drive MINTangible’s growth, our strategy hinges on three pillars: staying ahead of the evolving business and legal landscape, forging strategic collaborations and a strong partnership program with other developers and visionaries who share our ethos, and prioritizing education to demystify IP matters and management. By blending proactive adaptation, powerful partnerships, and empowering knowledge, we’re poised to lead in the dynamic digital domain.
Finally, on a more personal note, what legacy do you hope to leave in the Web3 and IP rights sectors, and what advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs who aim to make a significant impact on the future of technology and innovation?
My hope is that our work at MINTangible pioneers a Web3 where innovation, integrity, and inclusion are inseparable. We’re crafting a digital ecosystem that’s not only technologically advanced but is accessible to all, ensuring every voice, dreamer and doer has the power to shape and participate in this new frontier.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, here’s advice I remind myself of every day: Embrace grand visions but ground it with a plan that focuses on the first step to helping real people today. And get started understanding that this journey of innovation is a marathon. Ideas alone don’t create transformation. It’s the persistent, dedicated action over time, through highs and lows, that brings these ideas to life. True innovation isn’t just a moment of inspiration; it’s a continuous process of making a meaningful difference in people’s lives.
How can people find out more about MINTangible and connect with you?
MINTangible helps brands, companies, and creators craft a proper IP strategy for their NFT initiatives, ensure their IP license agreement and terms work for Web3, and set up their NFTs with proper IP and royalty rights and terms transforming them into trusted and transparent digital collectibles and assets. We navigate IP complexity for you!
Visit the MINTangible website. Follow us on Twitter (@mintangible_io); Join our IP education community; and the best place to connect with me is on LinkedIn.
Also, MINTangible provides a FREE IP NFT CHEAT SHEET a guide to MONETIZE & LICENSE your NFTs like a PRO. Here: https://go.mintangible.io/nftip2. Also a FREE ONLINE BASIC IP INTRO COURSE for Artists by our Education arm- The IP Guardians, can be accessed here: https://go.mintangible.io/ipg56