Episode 1: Jeff Glasse of Kogeto – Seeing in 360 Degrees

Welcome to 12 to Watch in 2012, a new web series profiling some of New York’s top minds doing innovative things with technology and design.

There aren’t many startup CEOs who can claim to have side careers as standup comedians. But Jeff Glasse has a particularly hyperactive mind. After spending years in film production and software development, Mr. Glasse decided that he wanted to reinvent the way people recorded video. His startup, Kogeto, has created the world’s first handheld panoramic camera available at a price anyone can afford.

The seeds of Kogeto came while Mr. Glasse was working at at the educational company Teachscape. He was assigned to win a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation that would capture detailed footage of teachers in action. He designed a small, unobtrusive camera called Lucy that would capture a 360 degree view of the classroom, allowing instructors to go back and see what methods were working with the class and when they started goofing off.

Mr. Glasse was so inspired by his work with Lucy, he left Teachscape to go try his luck with a startup. The new company, Kogeto, created a small, handheld panoramic camera that attached to a users iPhone. The project found a huge audience online, selling 100,000 units instead of the 20,000 Mr. Glasse was hoping for. And the big boys have noticed. When Kogeto debuts this month, it will go on sale at Apple’s flagship stores, a testament to Mr. Glasse’s innovative fusion of software and industrial design.