The future of the business card

At the recent launch of Collective Campus, Melbourne’s newest innovation hub, our Managing Director connected with Luke Feldman, the founder of Pongolabs. I was fortunate enough to be passed on his details and had the chance to catch up with him, discussing his latest project Touchpoint.

The Story Behind Touchpoint

Luke started his career with a background in UX and web design. In a stint working in the US, he gained valuable experience working for Microsoft’s social media start-up Wallop before coming back to Melbourne. On his return he founded Pongolabs with business partner Shourov Bhattacharya whom he met through mutual friends.

The story of Pongolabs probably sounds quite familiar, two creative and inspired professionals coming together with a dream of solving problems. Their first product, Qlickboard aimed to take the pain out of paperwork through the use of tablet and mobile technology. By making it fun, interactive and engaging, employees could receive instant gratification from work that could of once seemed quite mundane. Applications include auditing, customer interaction, visual problem solving, company mapping, and surveys – basically you can throw away that clipboard. is Born

With Qlickboard ticking over, Luke and his partner set their sights on a new challenge, born directly from his love of meeting new people. Now before I tell you what it is, I want you to imagine something. You’re sitting around a boardroom table with a prospective client; in front of you is four of their team, beside you, a colleague. The meeting finishes and you all go to exchange business cards. Your colleague, bless him, forgot his cards and so did two of your potential clients. Annoying isn’t it?

Here lies the fundamental problem, business cards aren’t reliable. Furthermore, they’re not interactive, rarely fun and details on them such as phone numbers or job titles can change regularly. Enter Pongolabs with Touchpoint ( A revolutionary, innovative, user-friendly, reliable and virtual way of connecting through your phone without a pre-existing app, oh and did I mention it's a free service? Not only that, at meetings like I described, everyone can share media instantly to the group, including business contact information, an image, a PDF, weblink, youtube video or even a Dropbox file.

Sound pretty good huh? All you need to do is jump on from your mobile device, tell your participants to do the same and you’re away. It’s incredibly simple and beautifully designed, even the url – was designed to be short, quick to type in, memorable and encourage good old fashioned face-to-face social networking.

Helping You Connect

Here is the beauty for marketers; can be used by brands. It helps achieve the holy grail of word-of-mouth marketing. Its use at events is undeniably powerful. Firstly, imagine sponsoring a competition at a meet up of professionals, how great would it be if everyone were walking around talking about your promotion? Better still, using it as an excuse to break the ice and network with groups of people they hadn’t met? Simply create a prize or reward based on the number of people you connect and share the promotion – think free cocktail at the bar, prize draw – you name it.

Their business model adopts the ‘freemium’ approach, with single users being free and premium and corporate customers chipping in to receive extra features. Clearly the technology has huge potential and has already attracted a substantial amount of attention from investors eager to get on board, Luke, however, holds firm, refusing outside investment believing the company will grow without it. When asked where he thought the company would go he very simply said ‘bigger than Facebook’. While only time can tell, with one established product and the latest cab off the rank, things are certainly looking good.

Checkout and Pongolabs for more details.