Small Business Q&A: John Cosgrave from BlueTape

 

Small Business Q&A: John Cosgrave from BlueTape

So John, what is BlueTape?

Well, BlueTape is a bluetooth-connected measuring tape. Brian, one of our team members, pitched the idea on the Friday afternoon and it came from an idea to ‘fight the bulge’, so to speak. The tape measure, which looks like a normal tape measuring device, is connected to your phone and you can keep an eye on how your waistline is decreasing by simply tracking it on your phone.

How did this come about over the weekend?

Over the weekend we pivoted left and right, looked at enterprise and the health industry. Ideas are great but you need to validate them and we had to work hard over the weekend to prove that this is a business that could work. In the end, we pitched an e-commerce solution. We will be focusing on a business-to-business product aimed at brands which are looking to get the most out of high-value customers. By that, I mean that it will be able to customise the fit of the individual to the product. So, they can send them clothes that actually fit. It will be able to upload your exact measurements, through our app, to whatever fashion outlet you’re shopping from and receive clothes that you know will fit.

What is the technology behind this?

Brian bought a normal measuring tape on Ebay and we just built around that. We used an Intel Edison board and a bluetooth receiver and it connects to our phones using a bluetooth low energy to transmit the data. So, then we have an app which automatically pops up on your phone when you use the tape, something similar to Jawbone, FitBit or your HealthKit.

How does the team work together in a high-stress environment like this?

From my own experience in previous hackathons, it is clear people look at how you interact with your colleagues in the group. It’s about looking at the journey of the weekend and how you end up at your final destination and your final pitch. Obviously no one is expecting you to be pitch- perfect after just three days but it’s just the way in which we got to the end product which makes for interesting viewing. The point is you can’t do it on your own, you need a team to help drive ideas and, more importantly, to pivot the business when it becomes necessary to do so.

So what’s next then for BlueTape?

It started off as a nice idea but we have something that we can build on over the next while. We have €3,000 from winning the Hackathon and that will go back into developing the product. We are going to be meeting up again once the dust settles and see how we take this one to the next level. DCU has offered us an incubation space as well for winning. We’re going to take that and begin working towards getting into a real viable product that can add value to the businesses that use it.

For more information go to http://hackathon. pchintl.com/hackathons/dublin

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