Badges, we need stinkin’ badges

Founders Badge - Founders & FundersFunders Badge - Founders & FundersThe Founders & Funders event is a social event . Our goal is to help connect the people who fund web and emerging technology companies with those that start them. The first part of these efforts is to host an event. Well the first Founders & Funders – Toronto event is happening January 21, 2008. The next part is to help the attendees connect to each other at the event.

Here is the first attempt to design a name tag to improve the connections between attendees at the event. These badges are based on the badge design concepts by Mike Davidson. The goals of the initial design are:

  1. Name – As Dan Saffer says “First Name. BIG! I don’t want to have to stare at people’s badges any longer than I need to. A rapid glance should boldly display the wearer’s first name, often to just refresh my memory or as a cue if I’m looking for someone I haven’t met but want to.”
  2. Company – I want to know who you work for, but this is secondary to who you are.
  3. Founder or Funder - As designated by both the icon and the color. The color (for those of us that aren’t colour blind) should allow you to identify the basic composition from a distance. The icon is a secondary method for identifying the role.

We want to make it easier for attendees to connect with each other. Other things I’m thinking about for the badges:

  • Including a list of attendees, email addresses, company description, URL and stage. This would be a foldout in the back of the badge.
  • Holder for business cards. This is not the most important thing, but at conferences I always put my cards and cards I receive in the badge holder, if they fit.

One thing I host that all Founders provide us is a 2 page summary sheet. The team at StumbleUpon provides a Fact Sheet which summarizes the business. We could then distribute this information to each of the Funders attending so they’d have a great way to follow up with the attendees they meet and more relevant details than provided by a business card.

  1. Problem solved – “help people discover interesting or informative web content that they wouldn’t have thought to search for.”
  2. Company history – “Originally launched in Calgary in 2002″
  3. Why it works - “Stumbling is so easy that through word-of-mouth alone, nearly one million people have installed the StumbleUpon toolbar extension, stumbling an average of 20 times per day”
  4. Revenue model – “Free membership is supported by a unique, targeted advertising model which guarantees relevant audiences and elicits community feedback. Members who opt to pay an annual fee never have to see an ad.”
  5. Founders - “StumbleUpon was founded by three Canadians: Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith, and Justin LaFrance. The three recently relocated to San Francisco.”
  6. Funding - “Until March 2006, StumbleUpon was completely self-funded and fully bootstrapped. Growth was achieved solely via word of mouth. To accelerate growth, the Company has attracted private investment from leading technology investors and entrepreneurs”
  7. Board of Advisors
  8. Contact Information

If you can’t summarize your business using a format like this, you’d better be Microsoft or General Electric.

3 thoughts on “Badges, we need stinkin’ badges

  1. Ian Bell

    An icon like this one:

    … would be better for identifying the Founders. “F” really has no intrinsic visual meaning and so therefore is empty space on the badge. The “Men At Work” icon is also a bit of a tip of the hat to us hard-working startup guys.

  2. Leila Boujnane

    @Ian Bell: “Men at work” are you kidding? Hard working startup guys heh!

    David: great nametag design. I would have to agree with Dan Safer: the first name of the person should be big, big, big then who they work for. I can never remember the first name of half of the people I meet but I know exactly how they look like (that’s why I am in the visual search space!) so if I can glance at their name tag and get their first name I can avoid making an idiot out of myself again! Looking good.

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