Virtual worlds – the ones we can explore through smart glasses or VR headsets – are a network that will revolutionize the way we live. Big companies are already trying to profit from what could be the next multi-billion dollar technology. Facebook is creating 3D spaces where we can socialize. Walmart plans to sell virtual goods. Disney is creating a virtual theme park.

The best way for us to invest in these opportunities is to use cryptocurrencies to purchase irreplaceable tokens (NFTs). NFT is a type of digital content that can be sold or traded on the blockchain. Everyone from Hollywood celebrities to fine art enthusiasts have made a lot of money.

But women make up only 5% of all cryptocurrency and NFT owners in Canada. A new startup in Waterloo – one of the fastest growing tech industries in the world – is hoping to close that gap.

Venusverse is Canada's first female-focused education program created by women to teach women everything they need to know about NFT so they can create, collect and invest with confidence – so they don't get left behind.

The program focuses on promoting NFT, cryptocurrency and Web3 to women by providing insight into digital assets, creating digital collections, building digital brands, developing partnerships and increasing digital financial literacy. The pair plans to launch the first Venusverse NFT, the Venusverse Genesis Collection, in mid-February.

"Women make up only 5% of all cryptocurrency and NFT owners in Canada," said Janelle Chalouhi, co-founder and CEO of Venusverse. "As we move into the rapidly evolving world of Web3, we are putting women at the forefront of change and growth."

"We've combined over six months of discovery and distilled it into a one-hour workshop for women to learn, connect and build within the NFT and Web3 spaces to close the gender gap in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology," said co-founder Natalie Dumond. – Founder and facilitator of Venusverse.

In a press release, Venusverse is partnering with Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Channel startups Profound Impact Corporation and CivicAction to build a community that will give women the knowledge they need to succeed in the next generation of the wealth economy. The goal of the partnership is to have a greater impact on gender equality.

"Our partnership with Venusverse fits perfectly with our long-term stakeholder engagement strategy," said Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, Founder and CEO of Profound Impact Corporation. "Venusverse will use Profound Impact's business intelligence and engagement tools to measure the increased engagement of women in the NFT, Web3 and cryptocurrency space. Our shared goal is to measure the global impact of connecting great talent to do outstanding work in these evolving fields."

CivicAction is a network of leaders and organizations working together to build better, more inclusive cities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and beyond by empowering community members to play an active role in shaping their future. With the support of CivicAction, Venusverse is working to break down the systemic barriers that prevent women from fully participating in and benefiting from the new economy.

"It's critical that our economic recovery be inclusive," said Leslie Woo, CEO of CivicAction. "That's why it's important to provide an entry point for women across all intersections. Through education, Venusverse is supporting women's comfort and confidence to be the greater beneficiaries of this growth economy."

Following the mid-February launch of 2,022 of NFT's Venusverse Genesis Collection, 10 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the CivicAction Leadership Foundation to support women in the organization's leadership programs, including DiverseCity Fellows and the Emerging Leaders Network.