This month, we are beyond excited to celebrate Cuseum’s 5th birthday! We’re kicking off the festivities with 5 Fun Facts about our company’s 5-year-long journey. So, let’s take a ride down memory lane!
1. ONE Percent
Cuseum is dedicated to making the world a better place, and we’ve taken steps to show we mean it – that’s why we were one of the first companies in Boston to Pledge 1%. Pledge 1% is a global movement of startups who have pledged one percent of their equity, product, or profits towards supporting nonprofits and positive change in their communities. This commitment is close to the core values of our company, and aligned with our passion for bringing new ideas to increase engagement, inclusion, and accessibility in museums, cultural institutions, and nonprofits. Doing good is part of our DNA at Cuseum!
Fun Fact: Our CEO joined fellow Pledge 1% companies to ring the Nasdaq opening bell in New York City’s Times Square! 🔔
2. TWO Incubators & Accelerators
Cuseum was founded in 2014, and we were fortunate to get a major kick-start from two world-class startup incubators and accelerators: PayPal’s StartTank & Techstars. Cuseum’s earliest days were spent at the StartTank, when we were just a few people with nothing more than passion and an idea. StartTank supported Cuseum’s early foundation by providing an amazing, collaborative workspace in Downtown Boston, as well as access to angel investors, and the expertise of successful entrepreneurs and executives.
Not long after, in 2015, Cuseum joined Techstars, where the team got to know an incredible community of founders, leaders, and innovators. With the support of Techstars’ mentors and resources, Cuseum was driven to “do more, faster” and we’ve been doing so ever since!
We’re more grateful than ever for our earliest of supporters who pushed us, challenged us, and have been championed our vision and mission since the very beginning.
Fun Fact: While at Techstars, Cuseum had frequent meetings with one of the founding members of the MIT Blackjack team famously depicted in the Hollywood movie 21! 🃏
3. THREE Products
If you’re reading this post, you probably know that Cuseum helps museums, cultural attractions, and nonprofits elevate and deepen engagement with their visitors, members, and donors. To do that, we offer three digital products including mobile apps, digital membership cards, and augmented reality experiences.
Our inaugural product has helped hundreds of organizations offer their visitors engaging and educational guided tours. We’ve been honored to work with some of the most visited and vibrant places in the country such as SFMOMA and The White House, just to name just a few! Yes, there is an app for that!
In 2017, Cuseum launched its second product: digital membership cards. Digital membership cards are the ultimate convenience for organizations and their members alike. So far, we’ve helped a growing number of organizations send out over a million digital membership cards!
Last, but not least, we’ve made huge strides in the area of Augmented Reality (AR). With this technology we’re delivering the most engaging, interactive, and accessible experiences and have conducted research which shows that AR is truly making waves!
We’re obsessed with building tools that solve problems and create value for our customers… on that note: be on the lookout for a special announcement in the upcoming weeks!
Fun Fact: Hundreds of attendees of AAM’s annual conference snacked on edible membership cards to celebrate the launch of our digital membership solution. Let digital eat your membership cards! 🍴
4. FOUR Patents
From the start, Cuseum has continuously invested heavily in R&D. These four patents are a testament to Cuseum’s commitment to creating technology that serves the evolving needs of our partners. Our four patents reflect our enthusiasm about pioneering new approaches to content delivery, ongoing experimentation, and always looking towards the future. We have even more cutting-edge ideas in the works, so stay tuned!
Fun Fact: Cuseum celebrates the granting of each patent by enjoying a special cake deliciously decked out with the patent number. Innovation never tasted so sweet! 🎂
5. FIVE Buzzworthy AR Experiences
Augmented Reality is a powerful tool for audience engagement, artistic creation, and more. Cuseum has played a key role in a wide array of AR projects – but there are 5 initiatives that really stand out for us. We believe in this technology for its revolutionary capacity to transform the museum-going experience and we get giddy just thinking about it.
In 2017, Cuseum collaborated with Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) to create the world’s first AR-powered art exhibition. It has since been celebrated in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, VentureBeat, and dozens of other publications.
Later, we rolled out a new way of experiencing the museum and shared our perspective with the world – proudly proclaiming that “museums are the best place to find innovation in AR!”
Heading across the pond to Europe, we worked with Vienna's Museum of Applied Art to breathe new life to the work of the famous artist Gustav Klimt. For the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Klimt’s death, we unveiled an immersive rendition of Klimt’s iconic masterpiece “The Tree of Life,” giving it a new dimension and scale!
Looking to tackle the age-old challenges around navigating the our favorite cultural labyrinths (a.k.a. museums), we developed an innovative approach to wayfinding that leverages AR married with machine vision. To our pleasant surprise, the CIO of one of the world's largest companies tweeted about it!
Finally, members of our team spearheaded a passion-driven project which used AR to put stolen art back in the frames of stolen paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum – home to the world’s largest art heist. This project, named “Hacking the Heist”, took the media by storm and became the most written about museum AR project of 2018!
Fun Fact: Cuseum’s AR projects have been written about internationally in over 200 publications, studied by universities, and presented at dozens of conferences world-wide! 📰
A lot has evolved here at Cuseum over the past five years, but some things stay the same; we’re still a bunch of passionate, culture-loving geeks looking to help the arts and cultural sector succeed in any way we can.
None of this would be possible without our dedicated team and you, our amazing partners. This August, we want to celebrate everyone who’s supported and believed in us along this amazing five year journey. Thank you! 🎉