Displr was created in 2013 with the ambition to change the role of digital screens as a communication medium for semi-public spaces. The company was born as a spinout of PD-NET (pd-net.org), an outstanding international research project funded by the Future Emerging Technologies (FET-OPEN) program of the European Commission. The goal of PD-NET was to achieve foundational breakthroughs that could open radically new directions for the use of public displays as a new communications medium.
Two Displr founders were members of the research team at University of Minho, where they conducted many experiments and prototype designs on alterative communication paradigms for public displays. This has allowed them to develop a thorough understanding of the approaches that worked better for each of the many challenges involved.
By 2013, these two founders had been working together for over 6 years in multiple international research projects in the field of public displays and they saw that the innovations they were developing could offer strong competitive advantages in exploring emerging market trends and solving fundamental challenges of the Digital Signage industry. Given the disruptive nature of innovations involved, a start-up strategy was assessed as being the most effective way to potentiate the broad range of expertise developed in the project and apply it to the creation of a commercial product. They teamed up with an additional founder with business experience, and after an initial period of market research, they decided to create Displr to explore that business opportunity and explore new value propositions for digital public displays.
Our vision is to empower people to communicate at the places they care about by harnessing public screens as focal points for place-based communication. As screen technology becomes increasingly affordable, Displr will be the most effective solution for making those screens an integral part of the growing eco-system of mobile devices and social media services. This will lead to a whole new communication medium where venues can create engaging digital experiences for their customers, where people can channel their desire for creativity and self-expression and where brands may be able to reach their own customers much more effectively with a meaningful presence at places that are relevant touch-points for them.
To move towards this vision, we are creating the reference global service for display-based media. We aim to become the leading service for this type of communication and set the standards on what are the expectations for sharing and acting on display media. We do not aim to provide the entire value of display-based communication, but we expect to become the hub through which the value generated by many types of partners can be distributed and re-combined.
This will enable venues of all types to leverage upon the potential of those displays to create engaging digital experiences for their customers, but it will also in fact create the ground for a new communication medium that people will explore in new and unexpected ways. We expect that people will be channelling their creativity and self-expression to the venues they care about, venues will be exploring this potential to engage their visitors in increasingly more sophisticated ways, local businesses will use this new proximity-based medium to market their products much more effectively, and major brands will focus here a considerable part of their ever growing effort to have an active presence at their key touch-points.
Displr was one of the four teams selected for the 2014 edition of InRes, an early stage acceleration program for entrepreneurial teams working in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), offered by the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program. This program is focused on training and networking and includes a 6 weeks immersion period in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. You can read more about our InRes experience in our blog.
Displr was selected as one of the semi-finalists of the 2014 edition of the BGI program. This program is run in collaboration with MIT, and is focused on an intensive and structured process for the development of a go to market plan. You can read more about our BGI experience in our blog.
QREN - Quadro de Referência Estratégica Nacional
Displr has been awarded a QREN grant from the Portuguese Government to fund the development of its key technologies. These are highly competitive calls, but Displr was awarded a QREN IDT incentive (SI I&DT ref. 38519) for a programmed investment of over 140K€.