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Monday, July 4, 2022

Saw it at Slush? Electronic Badge Tagsu Now On Indiegogo

We’ve probably written enough about getting noticed at startup events in the leadup and takeaway from Slush, but did you see that electronic namebadge that a handful of people were wearing? If you did see it, you probably stopped the person wearing it to ask about it, and you’ll be happy to know that Tagsu is now on Indiegogo due to popular demand.

For those of you who missed it, it’s a simple little electronic scrolling display that isn’t afraid to show it’s circuit board and battery behind its clear housing. The device is programmable through a simple audio jack to generate up to 42 screens to say whatever names or logos you want. It’s a conversation starter and statement about hacking hardware.

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Cofounder Juha Huttunen tells us, “It was a nice little hit at Slush, we delivered about 50 devices there and it was hard to walk the expo floors as many people were stopping us all the time asking what this little gadget is… At Slush I named it the ‘lead generator’ or ‘geek magnet’.”

Huttunen is one of the grey beards in the Helsinki startup scene, attached to companies like VibeCatch, Viral Parrot, Party Coins, Grafetee, Tutor Tigers, Tripsay and Matchem. Also behind Tagsu is Jari Tulilahti, a Software engineer at Nokia and producer at Sonera.

The story behind the device was that it was a simple little hack by Tulilahti to see how long a bright electronic display would last on a single battery. With the parent company’s name Rakettitiede (which means rocket science in Finnish) the device obviously morphed into something bigger and badder in the next iteration.

So far over 400 Tagsus have been sold through word of mouth marketing alone, and the Indiegogo campaign will be used to scale up production so they no longer have to be made by hand. On that end, they’re seeking $20,000 in a flexible funding campaign. There a single device can be preordered for $49. It’s is pricy for a circuit board and LED display, but also a cheap way to have people stop you at events instead of the other way around.

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