A Lost Dog Breeds a Simple, Marketable Idea


Small Business Spotlight: FinderCodes

Who: Blake Sohn

What: A high-tech lost and found system that uses QR codes

When: 2009

Where: Minneapolis, MN

How: Founder Blake Sohn had moved to a new house, when his dog ran away. He realized that he hadn’t updated the information on his dog’s tags, and was worried that he wouldn’t be able to find her. Though he was reunited with his pet, the idea for a high-tech tag was born.

FinderCodes are adhesive smart tags that use QR technology, says Sohn. You can stick a tag on an item, and if it’s lost, the person who finds it can scan the information using a smartphone, to enable an easy return.

Sohn says the company has raised half a million dollars in funding.

Biggest challenge: Sohn says getting into the retail environment has been a “monumental task” for FinderCodes. Today, FinderCodes is sold for $24.99 in retailers like Office Depot and Target.

One moment in time: “I’m proudest of the inception of the idea: coming up with something that is both simple and marketable. The economy right now is such that we want to keep track of things, because they’re so expensive. FinderCodes helps with that,” says Sohn.

Best business advice: “Follow your dream!”

Most influential book: Sohn says he’s been inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point.” “It shows how little things can make a difference, and makes you see the world in a different light.”

Quote from the owner: “We’re scheduled to make $30 million in sales this year.”