Graduate entrepreneur unveils the business card of the future
Have you ever exchanged business cards with someone you believe could transform your fortunes, only to subsequently lose the vital piece of paper containing all their details? If so, a graduate entrepreneur has developed the perfect solution with a technical innovation she believes could transforming face-to-face networking in the 21st century.
Jessi Dimmock, who founded Siignia Ltd after graduating from Plymouth University, has developed the iiD, which embeds NFC (near field communications) technology into a piece of jewellery and is tailored to contain the vital details a potential contact might require.
This can then be transferred simply by tapping the NFC chip onto a smartphone device, meaning information can be instantly exchanged and stored for future use. A prototype of the iiD has now been developed, with a campaign now being launched through the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter in a bid to find further financial backing for the project.
Jessi, who graduated from the Digital Arts and Technology course in September 2013, said: "I have been to so many networking events where dozens of young professionals exchange business cards, and it all seems a bit dated in the digital age. Our digital jewellery stores information such as contact details, your company website or social media profiles. It can be easily updated through a mobile app and fits perfectly with an era where people expect things to happen at the click of a button.”
As well as being used for networking or corporate purposes, the iiD can also store your personal information and social networks, and makes it easy to display the right links at the right time. It’s simple to switch from sharing an office number and email during business hours, to a link to a Facebook profile in the evening.
Jessi initially developed her idea while studying in Plymouth, and it earned her recognition in the University’s annual Tectona Business Challenge. That, in turn, led to her receiving help to develop her business from the University’s Formation Zone, recently praised by HRH The Duke of York as having the perfect support mechanisms required by all young businesses.
Eleanor Butland, Formation Zone Programme Manager, said: "The Formation Zone was the ideal environment for Jessi to receive lots of expert advice and feedback. Starting up in the business incubator alongside other new businesses got Siignia off to a great start, and this is exactly the sort of result that the enterprise culture at Plymouth University encourages.”
To find out more about the iiD, visit www.siignia.co.uk, and for more information about Plymouth University’s Formation Zone, visit www.formationzone.co.uk.