Featured Startup Pitch: Smartphone as real-world accessory: TaskLab’s iPhone cases are designed for users with active lifestyles

By Editor March 31, 2014

Addison Shelton, TaskLabBy Addison Shelton, TaskLab co-founder

Elevator Pitch: TaskLab builds smartphone accessories that empower users with useful, physical tools that are seamlessly integrated into a smartphone case. Our products provide on-the-go individuals access to the items they need when they need it.

Product Description

TaskLab designs, manufactures and markets unique mobile accessories that add ‘smart’ utility to a smartphone case. We understand consumers’ shifting mobile needs, desires, and behavior, and have developed smartphone accessory products that deliver higher engagement, customization, and value.

TaskLab focuses its products on accessories that bridge our digital and physical worlds. We connect online with offline experiences in a way never before experienced. We provide users with a set of customizable tools that are seamlessly integrated into a smartphone case, empowering our on-the-go users and enabling access to these necessary items easily and at a moment’s notice. Our products are tailored to different user types and adaptable to the style of every individual. TaskLab currently offers two product lines: TaskOne and myTask. Each product line has a unique character and targets individual styles.

TaskLab urban_toolsout

TaskOne is our rough, tough, serious multi-tool enabled iPhone case. It can handle the hard bumps, drops, and scrapes of the construction site or the great outdoors, and maintain shell integrity while protecting your smartphone. The case has 22 stainless steel tools built-in, including a 2.3-inch knife with serrations, saw blade, screwdrivers, pliers, and more for the active outdoorswoman or handyman.

myTask is a lighter-weight case that employs a unique slide-out tray that is completely interchangeable. There are currently three versions of the myTask case: Bike, Urban, and Stash, each with its own activity-specific toolsets and character. All of the toolsets are customizable, creating a product that adapts to the lifestyle and in-the-moment need of the customer, so users can own multiple sets and pick-and-choose which tray they would like to use.

TaskLab bike_tools_out

Founder’s Story

I attended Stanford University and participated heavily in the Solar Car Team. After receiving my mechanical engineering degree at Stanford, I worked at Nanosolar, focused on the engineering of their solar-cell production line. After five years there, I moved to Apple, where I led the development of the lamination of the cover glass to the iMac display. In 2011, I made the difficult decision to leave Apple in favor of another startup run by some good friends (also Stanford alumni) in the Lithium-ion battery technology space. While managing the process engineering and development at Sila, I built my first iPhone case, TaskOne, and crowdfunded it on the side. Once that first product took off, I started my own company, TaskLab, and decided to commit my efforts to building smartphone cases that would revolutionize the way people interact with their mobile devices and physical environment.

Marketing Strategy

The very physical, interactive nature of our product means that we target and develop strong brand ambassadors and utilize word-of-mouth marketing. Social media channels and building our target audience are important for growing our customer base and brand advocates. From a B2B perspective, we focus on niche retailers (e.g.—bike shops for the myTask: Bike).

TaskLab complete

Market Opportunity

Smartphone accessories is a lucrative business. The average smartphone user spends $65 on add-ons per device. iPhone specifically accounts for $6 billion in the $20.8 billion global smartphone accessories market, and iPhone owners are predictably big on pampering their devices. By 2017, smartphone accessories will grow to $38 billion in revenue. 

For new market entrants like TaskLab, developing brand recognition is paramount in capturing market share from the incumbents. This is best accomplished by the development of engaging, innovative accessories that extend the value proposition of today’s mass market accessories.

Competitors include Incase, OtterBox, Speck, In1Case; however none of these competitors offer a variety of choices that is focused on truly extending the value of the smartphone accessory.

How We Differentiate From the Competition

TaskLab builds ‘smart’ smartphone accessories that are designed for higher levels of consumer interaction, brand recognition and product value. More and more people are turning to smartphones to engage in everyday activities—shopping, research/reading, media viewing, banking, socializing, etc. People are on-the-go and, increasingly, only carry their mobile device with them. Our mission is to empower users in those moments…‘when all you have on you is a phone.’

Business Model

TaskLab targets consumers interested in enhancing their lifestyles with products that bring added value to their smartphone experience beyond the digital realm. For marginally more cost than most other feature-less smartphone cases, we offer fully-featured products to the consumer that transform the way the user interacts with their mobile device and physical environment.

Current Needs

We have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the launch of our newest product, myTask. We are off to a great start and looking forward to a strong finish.

TaskLab is also looking for Angel investment to help us bring the company to the next level and enable the launch of our exciting upcoming products. We have some great experience under our belt with the launch of our first product, and have received very good traction in the accessories market.

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TaskLab logoHeadquarters: Atlanta

Website: www.thetasklab.com

Founder: Addison Shelton

Investors: Bootstrapped

Year Founded: 2012

Kickstarter: kickstarter.com/projects/409664173/mytask-the-revolution-in-mobile-utility-and-protec-0

Twitter: @TaskLab

Facebook: facebook.com/TaskLab

Crunchbase: crunchbase.com/company/tasklab