Meeting Assistant is the first app from Finnish startup Punos Mobile, which aims to improve the porductivity and outcomes from business meetings.
I’ve been asking Founder and CEO Hannu Alakangas about the compant, the product, and its plans for the future…
In one sentence, what is Meeting Assistant?
Meeting Assistant for iPad is an app that enhances the business meetings of e.g. sales professionals.
What problem/s does Meeting Assistant solve?
Meetings are crucial for any business. They are also a pain. Preparing for business meetings typically involves gathering information on the participants. For the meeting itself, it is a good idea to deliver an agenda beforehand and to track action items.
And after the meeting, sending the memo right away in a concise format keeps the ball rolling. Unfortunately doing this the traditional way, using a laptop, disrupts the flow of the meeting, bad. Armed with a tablet, the true meeting professional can concentrate on the people, not the gadgets, while still keeping the agenda and making notes.
With Meeting Assistant, an iPad-wielding road warrior can e.g. get to know the other meeting participants via their social media profiles, check their companies’ business information via Dun&Bradstreet, and send the meeting notes back to the office right after.
When and why did you launch it?
Meeting Assistant is brand new, out since February 2013! We have worked on the application for about a year, taking plenty of real-life input from pilot users. The idea came during a meeting with 10+ new contacts, there was no way to put names to faces and engage efficiently.
Who is your target audience?
People in client-facing jobs like sales, consultants, or other professionals for whom meetings are important.
What are your immediate goals?
We are busy honing the user experience and listening to our users closely! At the same time, we are working with the pilot customers for the first organization-wide integrations.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building Meeting Assistant?
Keep focus on most important features and getting right partners (D&B) on board.
How will the company make money?
Subscriptions and integration projects for organization-wide Meeting Assistant are our bread and butter. Further, we have implemented and continue to add useful features as in-app purchases.
Who is in your team?
Hannu Alakangas founder and CEO, Ville Mettälä, founder, Sales Director, and a tech team of three dedicated mobile app developers and a number of senior consultants.
Where would you like to be in one, three and five year’s time?
Coming from the world of consulting, we want to eventually improve our customers’ overall business process efficiency.
In a couple of years’ time the Meeting Assistant will be the best possible product. A couple of flavors, one for e.g. sales management needs and another for large organizations’ internal meetings are likely in the cards.
By 2020, Meeting Assistant will be the way business meetings are conducted.
Other than Meeting Assistant, what are your favorite websites / apps / tools?
We use lots of different services, but the best two are Flowdock for our internal communications and Phonegap for our mobile framework.