A hardware startup on medium; But why?
Most of us have memories of getting together with our closest friends for a late evening gaming session. So often, these are inspired by collective nostalgia for some long gone television show that later reinvented itself as an iconic game, bringing back a little piece of our childhood.
Little details often have an astounding ability to evoke the comfort and warmth of happier, more innocent times.
In the late nineties, Pokemon was fast becoming a cultural phenomenon, even becoming a significant source of the GDP of a great power like Japan.
Japanese companies, especially Nintendo with its “Gameboy” became the yardstick for the ultimate Pokemon gaming experience. As the games grew in sophistication, so did the satisfaction of outthinking and outmaneuvering your opponent’s Pikachu or Squirtle. Most of us became such experts that we knew the special moves and the corresponding buttons like the back of our hands
The essence of this satisfaction though was one that has had to be compromised with the gaming experience of the smartphone era. The constant struggle to align and rearrange our fingers to suit touch- screen gaming has never quite managed to match the joy derived from those mushy, plucky little buttons.
This simple frustration of everyday gaming led to deeper conversations among a group of Greek childhood friends and eventually, to the birth of ‘Turnand’, with the aim of creating a mobile case that would solve this problem and bring back the good old days for modern gaming.
However, we soon realized that the process of establishing our little striking idea into an up and running startup with a finished product was a little more complex and complicated than our first estimations.
It also did not help that our country was going through a prolonged crisis and the infrastructure, capital and related support required for a startup to take its roots was almost non-existent or ‘in ruins’ to use an overused cliché.
Giving up was not an option though, especially since it would have meant that we were betraying our dreamy eyed younger selves and would worsen our collective OCD symptoms.
So, we divided the duties and started simultaneously working on developing a credible prototype and trying to get the word out to a fragmented gaming community.
The necessary support for the initial phases was soon obtained as we found ourselves an incubator, an office in a nice part of Thessaloniki and an experienced supporting team to give us valuable advice.
A painstaking process followed as we strived to develop an alpha prototype and improved it into a beta, using 3D printing and developing the necessary custom molding.
In the meantime, we were also busy improving the case design. And after another 3–4 variations in materials, attributes and design, we got what we were looking for on both fronts.
Our confidence and capability received increasing support and significant boosts with prizes and acclaim from the prestigious American College of Thessaloniki entrepreneurship competition, Thessaloniki International trade fair and Startup Weekend Volos. This soon led to us being featured on the Google Droidcon and was preceded by a much awaited trip to China and especially the Hong Kong International Trade Fair.
This gave us an opportunity to network, get international quality legal support and understand firsthand the methods and procedures of some of the leading and most prominent production lines in the world.
So here we are: heading towards Kickstarter with a combination of uncertainty and cautious optimism. It has been an eventful journey, albeit one we hope is only in the beginning stages.
If you would like to track how we are progressing, or just get in touch to say hi or have any feedback which will be much appreciated, you can get in touch with us here:
In the meanwhile, we will continue doing all we can to create smart peripherals for smart devices.