Bango announces it is contributing technology and sponsorship to Project Celena,” an initiative to accelerate the creation, marketing, discovery, and monetization of innovative new forms of content and not exclude people of color.

Project Celena was established in 2021 by Ups N Downs Entertainment (UNDEi) founder Mario Shirley, an information technology professional and music industry entrepreneur. Project Celena provides an open technology platform that drives engagement between the world’s best new creators, producers, and directors of color and the fans who love them.

The Celena team has designed a new licensing model that ensures the money paid by fans is channeled directly to the creators they love (and not those they don’t!) via blockchain. By enabling critical technologies including “pay-per-play,” blockchain ledgers, and targeted launches with leading Brand partners, the project is building an initial roster of creative talent to launch the platform.

Project Celena aims to enable the most exciting and talented emergent creators of entertainment to flourish. Its #FIRST150 initiative demonstrates Ups N Downs’ commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. With the #FIRST150, creators of color can showcase authentic storytelling with curated fan engagement driven by brand sponsorships.

Bango is an open platform that powers innovative technologies and ubiquitous payment methods that promote inclusivity. Bango technology ensures artists follow the money generated by the content they create. Together with merchandise sales, publishing, sync, and live performance, Project Celena allows creators to issue limited edition NFTs to their most avid fans and participate in downstream trading using blockchain smart contracts.

How Bango is contributing to Project Celena

  • Access to the Bango Platform by UNDEi to allow Project Celena to offer Pay-per-play business models using patented blockchain technology
  • Access by Mobile Operators, Telcos, and other Bango partners to Project Celena to use AI/ML-driven discovery of innovative new content and creativity that will delight their consumers
  • Early access to new Bango Platform capabilities that will accelerate the growth of NFT ownership by reducing barriers to the use of crypto-currencies and smart-contracts
  • Expertise and resources to expedite the growth and scale of Project Celena
  • Funding and expertise to support the Ups N Downs Entertainment Internship Program and Student positions at Atlanta Technical College, Georgia USA
  • Data Science expertise from the Bango Audiences team to identify opportunities in Urban Music

Quote from Mario Shirley – CEO Ups N Downs Entertainment and founder of Project Celena:

“We are delighted to welcome Bango as a founding partner in Project Celena and to be able to gain access to the power of the Bango Platform and its ecosystem to benefit those who would otherwise be unable to share their innovation and creativity. Bango’s commitment to broadening access to all forms of content through innovative payment methods that reach everybody is a perfect fit for our creators. We are also excited by the opportunity to work with leading brands that use the Bango Platform to offer content and services to their users and who support our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.”

Christy R. Robinson, Foundation Board Member, Atlanta Technical College:

“Ups N Downs Entertainment and Bango are funding a Program at the renowned Arlane Robinson Student Success Center of Atlanta Technical College. In addition to supporting conventional education, this program will expose students to the day-to-day workings of an innovative technology and media business, and also provide an on-ramp to future careers with creators, within Project Celena or potentially with Bango.”

Quote from Ray Anderson, Executive Chair of Bango plc

“Bango established a powerful position in commerce by offering innovative and inclusive payment methods that enable partners to thrive. With the Bango Platform, Project Celena will be able to move beyond the legacy monetization and publisher-driven models that have driven growth in online music content over the last decade to embrace emerging payment methods: wallet-based micro-payments, pay-per-play, blockchain ledgers, NFTs, and crypto-currencies. This will set the scene for a new wave of growth in content, and Bango is ready to play its part in enabling it.

Urban culture has always been an epicenter of talent and creativity. With its base in Atlanta and expanding network of creators of color, Project Celena is a movement with enormous potential. It will open up opportunities for minorities that would otherwise never be able to engage with the fans who love them fully.

Bango looks forward to working with Mario and his passionate team to develop his vision.”