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Show Stopper

One company grabbed the spotlight at the biggest tech trade show of all.

You never know what cool gadgets you'll come across at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. One of my favorites this year was from New York City startup Buglabs: a series of Lego-like hardware components--like a digital camera, GPS or touchscreen--that snap together to create customized electronic devices.

I wasn't the only one who was impressed. Before CES, the 2-year-old company was blowing up in the blogosphere. But founder Peter Semmelhack, 42, wanted to reach beyond the web, so he and his team ventured to CES in January. Says Semmelhack, "We went to CES not planning to generate sales or compete with the big brands, but to increase awareness and meet potential partners, retailers and distributors."

Semmelhack got all that and more, including CNET's Best of CES Award for Emerging Technologies, an appearance on MSNBC, 4,000 percent more daily hits on Buglab's website and an interview with me! Says Semmelhack, "Little things become possible when you start sharing information."

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This article was originally published in the May 2008 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Show Stopper.

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