MEET OUR CODE_N CONTEST FINALISTS 2018: MeetingRoom from Ireland
Solving the challenge of internal knowledge transfer in business is CODE_n CONTEST Finalist MeetingRoom. The platform solves issues encountered with conference calls in global businesses, enabling remote teams to collaborate in the cloud using avatars. Through their special feature, spatial audio, meetingRoom makes it feel like the whole team is physically in the same room. CEO and co-founder Jonny Cosgrove expounds on how the platform is designed from the ground up for reliability, sustainability, and diversity to match execution to strategy.
Jessica: What is meetingRoom all about?
Jonny: meetingRoom is an app that puts your office in your pocket to move with you to provide more engaging meetings in the cloud for remote teams. It works on any device you already own. One of its key features is our use of spatial audio. We make it sound like you are in the same room rather than on your phone.
It’s a really simple tool, which may seem a little quirky at first, but our customers find it hard to return to traditional conference calls thanks to our audio that sounds better. It’s a focused but mighty app that packs a lot under the hood, designed from the ground up for reliability, sustainability, and diversity.
We enable teams and organizations to set up shared virtual office space in the cloud for secure regular meetings. We’re the first in the world to offer digital meeting rooms via the app on smartphones, tablets, desktops, or VR headsets. We set out to make a great solution rather than relying on any particular device and as a result, we give you access 24/7. You can even work on whiteboards and share documents.
Jessica: How did you come up with the idea?
Jonny: Pretty simple – we’re a remote team who got sick of the frustration and limitations of conference calls. Group online call are part of the cost of doing global business. Our team background is varied, from leading academic research in immersive technologies for the past 15 years to working in some of the fastest-growing companies on the planet, so we had tried pretty much everything out there on the market and spent many hours on flights or on the road when those solutions failed.
There were some amazing technological solutions out there, capable of delivering such high definition you could see my whiskers, but we couldn’t find anything that simply worked reliably, or didn’t punish somebody on the team just because of where they were or the device they were calling in from. Our solution was originally built as a tool to help us work together and get the business going, but then it became the business!
Jessica: What problem are you trying to solve?
Jonny: The world is changing at a rapid pace. More companies are “born global” from day one than any other time in history. The number one issue we have encountered with high-growth companies is internal knowledge transfer, i.e. keeping everybody on the same page and matching execution to strategy. Companies around the world spend over one trillion dollars a year getting people in a room together.
Traditional conference calls are the number one vehicle for dealing with this issue. We are focused on providing the next generation of this everyday business tool. We want to improve internal communication with digital meeting spaces that let teams come face to face from anywhere. People have been trying to deliver telepresence for a long time now, and we’ve developed a system which provides universal accessibility exceeding industrial audio standards.
Jessica: Do you have a target date for when your solution will enter the market, and how do you plan to sustain growth?
Jonny: We have been ruthless in ensuring this is the most intuitive and reliable product on the market. Our guiding principle is to do one thing, but do it really well – to let you see, listen to and interact with your team. Our focus since we set up the company has been to deliver a service that is easy to use and works for senior executives just as well as it works for remote teams. By the time we come to Stuttgart, we will have just released our open beta version to the app stores and early customers ahead of the full release in 2019. You can sign up at meetingRoom.io now to get started.
In terms of sustaining growth, we are working with service-based organizations – from telecom companies to financial services, the energy industry, and law firms – we are working direct right now and ensuring healthy growth with world-class partners to share the ‘office of tomorrow’. The foundation of the business has been getting great people to work on this and I’m looking forward to building a growing team (We’ve already doubled our headcount over the last year), and remaining focused on a product which is simple to use. It’s intuitive, it’s reliable – everything simply works. We’re on track to host a million meeting rooms in the cloud and we look forward to sharing some exciting news very soon.
Jessica: Thank you for the interview, Jonny!