Sometimes, business ideas come from unlikely places. For Blake Sohn, entrepreneurship started with a lost dog.
In the midst of the family's move to a new house, Sohn's dog, Emma, got free. Emma's ID tags had a previous address, as well as an older phone number, so Sohn considers himself lucky that he and Emma were quickly reunited. The seemingly minor event sparked an idea, however.
"I'd been interested in QR codes for some time, and I thought there had to be a way to use this platform for dynamic data in a new way," he says.
After developing prototype, Sohn founded FinderCodes
, a company that creates durable ID tags for animals as well as stickers for possessions like electronics, backpacks, tools, and anything else that needs protection. The tags can be affixed to nearly anything, from a well-loved leather jacket to a kid's hockey stick.
If the item is lost, someone with a smartphone can scan the QR code to find the owner.
The company recently scored a big win: FinderCodes Lost and Found Kits were awarded a top innovation prize at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a major event for the electronics industry.
"I'm still stunned that we won it; it put us on a rocketship ride," Sohn says. The company is likely to keep zooming forward on that momentum with a new software upgrade, and future hiring. Right now, the company has 12 employees, and Sohn is looking toward worldwide opportunities and partnerships in Asia, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
Already, the company has relationships with FedEx and AT&T. Sohn says, "The goal is just to help people manage their favorite things."
Source: Blake Sohn, FinderCodes
Writer: Elizabeth Millard