Tech Pitch: Tagstr
Young tech entrepreneur Michael Venn tells us about his social app which revolves around moments, not people...
Company name: Tagstr
Founder: Michael Venn (22)
Background: Entrepreneur, web and mobile user interface designer
Based in: Cheltenham, UK
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
- Tagstr is the new way to keep track of what’s happening, not who. It provides a fresh solution for people who want a quick and easy way to share and discover experiences and content that are relevant to them
- Tagstr uses hashtags to organise images, audio and video into different shared moments and areas of interests.
- Tagstr takes part in ‘no strings attached’ sharing – allowing users to share content with a wider network than simply old school pals or people they have worked with, once upon a time.
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
The traditional social network model is all about your connections and friends. We focus on the media users upload and your shared connections through the use of hashtags and moments. This means you don’t have to follow or ‘friend’ other users in order to use the network to its full potential.
Focusing around the moments or hashtags allows everyone to see what’s really going on rather than having a constant feed of content. Usually this comes from the small number of connections or friends you have made, which you won’t be interested in during most cases. Tagstr gives you the big picture and lets you absorb what interests you.
Are you funded?
Yes. We have completed our initial seed round of funding with a combination of international and UK based angel investors. We have successfully raised over £800,000 in this round.
What were you doing before starting?
I experienced my first taste as an entrepreneur when I was just 12 years old when I started a “chicken farm”. This consisted of buying day old chicks, rearing them and then selling their eggs to local shops and restaurants. This grew from just 100 laying hens in a backyard shed to 2,500 hens in three specially built houses. In addition when I was 16 I started a mobile DJ business which consisted of a club spec sound system including turntables and a full light/laser show. With this I quickly became the local DJ for evening events such as birthdays, school dances and after parties. I also built and installed car speaker systems and imported and supplied smartphones into the African country where I was living.
After leaving school, I moved to London and started a number of technology related businesses. My first venture was developing and selling simple iOS games which planted the foundations for later creating two iOS app review sites and a number of popular iOS games including; “Piggy Bounce” & “Santa Bounce”. These experiences gave me incredible exposure to the latest ideas in intuitive user interfaces. In the immediate past before Tagstr, I was working as a freelance web and mobile user interface designer on a number of interesting projects.
What is the best thing about where you’re based?
Cheltenham has a very creative scene which makes it a great place to find talent in terms of designers and developers. The local university also has a computer programming degree which keeps new talent coming in. Being next door to GCHQ (intelligence and security organisation) also gives us access to high speed internet which is crucial for our business and day to day tasks.