The BizSpark startup of the day is LessMeeting, based in the US. Below you will find an interview with Brett Cooper, COO of LessMeeting. All the best to them and congratulations for being the startup of the day!
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
Brett Cooper, COO, and one of four founders of LessMeeting. I am responsible for managing the day to day client support, marketing, and sales side of LessMeeting. I am very passionate about solving problems and making things better.
What did you do before creating your company?
Prior to LessMeeting, my three co-founders and I were all consultants focused on Business Process and Technical Architecture. Between the four of us, we have done consulting work for over 60 companies and realized that everyone has room for improving their meetings.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
We are very excited to be recognized from BizSpark as the “Startup of the day”. Having our success recognized by the program that helped us get our start is a pretty big honor for us.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
LessMeeting is an online tool focused on making your meetings more productive through improved planning, execution, follow-up, and analytics.
How did you get the idea for your company?
There are over billion meetings a year in the US, which equates to over a trillion dollars that the US, alone, is spending in meetings. In companies that our founders have worked with, we observed that the majority of meetings needed improvement. The concept of LessMeeting is that better planning, execution, and follow-up will result in more productive meetings and fewer bad meetings.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We are self funded by the four founders with a large initial cash investment and lots of 12+ hour days. We are not currently looking for outside funding.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We currently have 7 people actively working on LessMeeting, with 2 people solely focused on development.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
We are not currently hiring, but we are looking to grow our development and QA teams by the July Timeframe.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
LessMeeting is built on the Windows Azure platform. We use ASP MVC, nHibernate, SQL Azure, and Azure Background Workers for generating our analytics on the web side. We support an integrated Outlook Plugin built on WPF that leverages Microsoft Click-Once installation. We are currently rolling out iPhone and iPad meeting apps that synchronize meeting data via rest services on our Azure web servers. The low cost and the scalable option of Azure definitely gives us the ability to be flexible and agile with our infrastructure as we continue to grow.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
We are focused on the opportunities in workforce improvement and personal productivity space. More and more data is thrown at us every day, we need tools and services that can help us manage that data and improve our effectiveness in an environment of ever increasing demands on our attention.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
The BizSpark program is great; A few weeks after coming up with our LessMeeting idea, we built our first Alpha release in 5 days at a Microsoft BizSpark Incubation week. Since then we have continued to leverage the tools and services provided by BizSpark to help us grow LessMeeting to the company it is today.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Focus on solving a problem that you are passionate about. If you build a product or service for a pain point that is close to your heart, you will be able to ride-out the rough patches that are involved with starting up a company.
Who’s your role model?
That is a tough question. I am going to have to name three people: David Alan (author of Getting Things Done), Merlin Mann (creator of 43 Folders), and Patrick Lencioni (author of Death by Meeting); They are three very different people who all focus on helping knowledge workers simplify and improve how they approach their work.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
The time you spend in meetings can cost you a lot; whether you use LessMeeting or not, you should always be focused on improving how you run your meetings.