Curisma Beckons Consumers to Find Cool Tech, Go Gadget Shopping

Gadget girl walks in carrying a red umbrella. It’s not just any red umbrella, though. This one is a “blunt” umbrella. It has round tips, instead of pointy ones, so you don’t poke people in the eye as you walk down a crowded street. It also has what looks like a special tensioning system along the underside of its edges, to withstand high winds and keep the thing from blowing inside-out.

Gadget girl also has touchscreen gloves with her. These are fashionable-looking items with special conductive fingertips—it’s all in the threading—so you can use your iPhone, iPad, or other capacitive touchscreen device in cold weather. (Plus, with the gloves, you can save on your home heating bill so you can afford more gadgets.)

Gadget girl is Fatma Yalcin, a recent MIT Sloan School grad and startup CEO. She found both of the above items on Curisma, the gadget-discovery site she started with Eugene Gorelik earlier this year.

The idea is to provide a social platform for finding and sharing new technologies and products. Users can sign in and post gadgets they like—everything from inkless pens to a “magic cube” that projects a keyboard onto any surface—and others can follow them, recommend products, see the most popular items, and sign up for a personalized feed. The site sends users to other retailers if they want to buy a gadget, but Curisma plans to make money by working with brands and eventually enabling people to make purchases through the site itself.

“It’s the power of community meets personalization, and it’s all determined by you,” Yalcin says. “Within a year, we’d like to reach half a million users.”

Curisma, which operates out of Dogpatch Labs in Cambridge, MA, has some features in common with personalized product sites like Pinterest, Daily Grommet, Krush, and Stylefeeder (acquired by Time), as well as private sales … Next Page »

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