The founders of FLARE Code are flying from Athens to Texas Friday, with a small team of employees, to test their product at arguably the biggest interactive tech show in the country, South by Southwest (SXSW).
“We’re looking at it as a big national debut,” said Niklos Salontay, co-founder of FLARE Code. “We really want to get people talking about FLARE Code, get people using FLARE Code, not just at SXSW, but hopefully will create some chatter there that will have a ripple effect throughout the nation.”
SXSW is a popular conference in Austin, Texas that has served as a launch event for bands, films and interactive technologists across the nation. Twitter was the success story of 2007. FourSquare was the big story in 2009. The interactive part of the fest takes place March 9-13.
“It’s definitely the festival that people look to for tech trends throughout the year,” said Salontay. “I think the biggest challenge for us will be to try and break through all that chatter, because we have a ton of stuff planned, but so does everyone else.”
The Athens-based startup must stand out in the wake of trends such as Social Discovery. Social Discovery applications like Highlight and Sonar are getting a lot of press attention from popular news providers and tech blogs.
FLARE Code, on the other hand, is software that with a simple QR code scanning app consolidates an organization’s, individual’s, or object’s entire online presence into one mobile space.
Owners Ian Bowman-Henderson and Niklos Salontay have a strategy. Their goal is to connect with influential tech bloggers to create buzz, and plaster the city with FLARE Codes.
“We have 5000 maps of downtown Austin with selected companies and hotspots around town, each one paired with a FLARE Code of their own,” said Salontay.
The FLARE Code team took the time to create codes for many SXSW participants, linking each company’s social platforms and websites to one FLARE Code. For a more casual effect, 500 beach balls with printed FLARE Codes will bounce around the city at various events and parties.
“The idea is to gain a lot of free traffic to teach people the very basics of how it can be used,” said Bowman-Henderson. “And then we want to engage them so that we keep their attention as we introduce new products in the coming months.”