5G Frontiers: tagSpace on Location-Based AR and Mountain-Running Brainstorms

In May, seven startups enrolled on our 5G consumer programme. The aim? To use 5G to make entertainment faster, wilder and more vivid than ever before. But who are the startups enrolled on the programme? We recently spoke to Paul Martin, the CEO and founder of tagSpace, a software company which helps you create mobile, location-based experiences using Augmented Reality.

1. How did you get the idea for your product?

Running down a mountain on a steep, technical trail in Vancouver (Canada) with a friend one foggy, (possibly slightly hungover!) Sunday morning. We agreed it was fun and dangerous, but what would be even more fun and dangerous would be if we were able to jump up to collect Sonic-the-Hedgehog rings whilst leaping off rocks and weaving through the trees.

2. What problem is your product trying to solve?

Fast, simple and affordable access to digital, “location first” information and experiences.

3. What’s the biggest challenge your team faced?

A lack of well-identified target markets – we could ultimately sell our product into literally any sector, so refining the best market fit for right now took a lot of time and energy.

4. What was the moment you realised your product would be a success?

It was the second (or third or fourth!) time I installed an augmented reality app to watch a 3D object “jump out” of a QR code as part of a thin marketing experience :). That reaffirmed my belief that location-based AR is the future – we give end users a LOT of value, by giving them information, navigation or fun at any location…and then we bring marketing into the experience.

5. What skill of yours has been most important for your career? 

Computer programming

6. How do you fuel innovation in your company?

I encourage regular team collaboration in order to solve real problems.

7. What book/album/film has inspired you creatively recently?

Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

8. Which other entrepreneur/startup are you most inspired by?

Elon Musk for his vision and drive to solve real problems, Jack Dorsey for staying true to his vision and doing “the right thing” in times of questionable morality

9. What’s the one tip you would give young entrepreneurs?

Get really comfortable with hearing the words, “no thanks” and learn to ask “why?”

10. What’s the best thing about Germany’s startup community?

Too early to tell (we are based in Australia until travel restrictions are lighter), but from what we have seen so far there are lots of smart, technical people who are willing to have a conversation and help where possible.

11. If you were to have a billboard in Byron Bay, Australia what would it say?  

“Stop wasting your money on this billboard, use tagSpace!”

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