MeetingWave.com – Real Networking. Real Easy.

What is the name of the site(s) and URL?

MeetingWave.com

http://www.meetingwave.com

A brief synopis of the website / application.

MeetingWave dramatically improves a user’s ability to arrange networking meetings with new real-world contacts.

MeetingWave can help members meet new people for business or social purposes, while providing:

  • Targeting – Describe the type of people you’d like to meet (e.g., potential new clients, customers, fellow alumni, or business contacts).
  • Control – Decide when, where, & whether to meet. And who can attend the meeting.
  • Verification - Verify where you work or went college using our technology and ask others to do the same before meeting. Search for verified profiles to target employees with certain backgrounds.
  • Privacy – Do not need to disclose your identity or contact information and use double-blind messaging provided to facilitate meeting planning.
  • Flexibility - Anytime, anyplace. Coffee, lunch, dinner, golf or other networking meeting. And, no commitment to meet until everyone agrees and you can also cancel if there’s a change of plans.
  • Geolocation – Enable to let your Invites and Meeting Alerts follow you without disclosing your specific location.

Think of MeetingWave as creating immediate opportunities for members to be contacted by a potential employer or client to have lunch – without ever having to disclose their contact information or identity. The member can ignore or decline, without ever revealing who they are. MeetingWave is all about bringing immediate opportunities to members to meet new people, while providing control, privacy and flexibility in deciding who the member ultimately meets.

Why did you start this company?

I understood the importance of meeting new people when trying to develop new business contacts and wanted to build something that was more flexible and versatile compared to networking events.

MeetingWave eliminates the “needle in the haystack” problem when trying to meet the right people at conferences or wherever they do business. Members can propose networking meetings describing the type of people they’d like to meet, yet control who attends and whether the meeting occurs.

MeetingWave worked with UCONN’s Innovation Accelerator program to conduct several surveys relating to networking. 62% surveyed would like to meet fellow alumni for potential business contact, 77% are not satisfied with current resources for alumni networking. 97% interested in meeting new people at conferences for business networking and 82% would value double-blind messaging.

Who is your competition, and what do you do better?

Indirect competitors include the bar car on the Long Island Railroad, golf courses/clubs and other places where business networking generally occurs.

We indirectly compete with event sites such as eventbrite, eventvue, meetup and other sites focused on “events” or “meetups”. MeetingWave is more flexible compared to event sites in that there is no commitment to meet after posting an invite for a proposed meeting unless another member accepts and you agree to meet.

We also compete indirectly with LinkedIn, except our focus is on offline networking and we provide users with privacy since they need not disclose their identity or contact information before agreeing to meet when using MeetingWave.

There are similar location-based networking iphone and android applications, but most are focused on dating or on connecting users with known contacts.

Why would a small business, entrepreneur, freelancer, etc use your product?

Individuals should use MeetingWave if interested in meeting new people, including new clients, customers, investors, partners or business contacts.

It’s free to join or post invites for proposed networking meetings, but we just introduced a small fee ($0.99) for confirmed meeting acceptances (i.e., when a member accepts an invite and the other member approves confirming the meeting). The fee helps support the development of the platform and also provides some quality control relating to acceptances.

Moreover, with MeetingWave, members can have their work or alumni email addresses “verified” by MeetingWave and display an indication of that verification on their profile. When someone sees verified email domains (e.g., @ibm.com or @brown.edu) on a profile, they will know the user must be associated with the university or company identified in the email domain helping people feel more comfortable meeting the user (and vice versa). Only the verified domain is displayed – the user’s personal email address will not be disclosed for everyone to see.

Moreover, members can search for invites created by members with specific verified email domains (e.g., @ibm.com or @alumni.harvard.edu) at http://www.meetingwave.com/ssearch and save such searches as Meeting Alerts to be notified of new invites meeting their search criteria in the future.

Members can use their verified profile urls (meetingwave.com/p/username) on LinkedIn, with blog comments, and when using Craigslist. And – request to see someone else’s before meeting them or before bringing them into their network or agreeing to buy or sell an item on Craigslist. See, http://www.meetingwave.com/verifyme

How could you effectively use these tools?

I usually post a variety of invites with some focused on meeting potential new clients, while others may be more social (e.g., meet with nearby alumni). I typically post invites near home, work or while traveling.

We recently added a Geolocation feature which allows you to create proposed Meeting Invites and Meeting Alerts that will be tied to your real-time location without ever disclosing your specific location. Your “real-time” location is updated whenever you access the web using your smart phone. So I now typically post one or more geolocation invites as well. (See, http://www.meetingwave.com/mobile).

A short bio of your company.

MeetingWave helps you meet new people, while giving you a lot of control over who attends and whether the meeting occurs using the following process:

  • Post a “Public Invite” describing who you’d like to meet or the purpose of the meeting, whether it’s coffee, lunch, drinks, golf or some other activity.
  • You’ll be notified by email when someone accepts your Public Invite.
  • You can approve or decline anyone’s acceptance for any reason – it’s entirely up to you. The other people will be notified of your decision. Approve at least one acceptance, and your meeting is on!

Real Networking. Real Easy.

You can choose to have the meeting location disclosed only to people you approve to attend. Moreover, the site’s messaging system allows you to communicate – directly and privately – with those who have indicated an interest in attending your meeting.

Members can also search through invites for proposed meetings posted by others and accept those of interest. If the meeting organizer approves their acceptance, the meeting is confirmed and the member will be sent a confirmation to attend the networking meeting.

Click “Meeting Alert” to be notified by email of any new invites meeting the search criteria in the future.

Do you offer free online or offline tools?

Yes, members can proposed virtual meetings (e.g., webinars, Skype calls, teleconferences) or face-to-face meetings (e.g., coffee, lunch, dinner, golf, etc.).

Are there different pricing levels?

It’s free to join and post an invite for a proposed networking meeting. However, currently, on MeetingWave.com, if you accept another member’s invite AND the other member approves your request, you will be charged $0.99. After your request is approved, you can communicate with the other member using double-blind messaging.

If the meeting does not occur for any reason, you will still be charged $0.99 for this meeting as no refunds are available. We recommend using our messaging system to facilitate meeting planning and avoid mix-ups.

So, 99 cents to meet a potential new clients, customer or business contact. 97% of you go to conferences to meet new contacts and pay a lot more. Our goal is to help you reach your goals, and make some money along the way.

We are currently developing pricing models for our private label MeetingWaves and also evaluating subscription models.

Do you have a blog that keeps users updated?

MeetingWave Blog: http://blog.meetingwave.com/

Facebook, twitter, or ?

http://twitter.com/MeetingWave

http://apps.facebook.com/meetingwave/?ref=bookmarks&count=0

http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=1783264261347#!/group.php?gid=18627318024

How long have you been in business?

Alpha version of MeetingWave launched in July 2007 and renamed site in June 2008. We launched the private label versions in Summer 2010, integrated geolocation in Fall 2010 and will launch our iphone app in Dec. 2010.

Number of current users? 73,000+

How do you see your company in the next 2-5 years (more products or services?)

Thus far, we’ve developed the open platform http://www.meetingwave.com

We’ve now launched private label versions to license to colleges/universities (alumni networking), conferences/trade shows (attendee networking), hotels/resorts (guest networking) and associations (member networking):

http://www.meetingwave.com/alumninetworking

http://www.meetingwave.com/corporationsnetworking

We recently submitted MeetingWave’s iphone application and working to complete some fixes. It can be downloaded here:

http://itunes.apple.com/app/id401143055

MeetingWave’s iPhone app will allow you can set up business networking meetings on the fly! Meet new clients, new customers, fellow alumni or new business contacts where ever you are.

We plan to develop a android application as well and improve MeetingWave’s mobile version.

How many employees do you currently have working with you and/or freelance contractors?

We recently recruited new team members http://www.meetingwave.com/aboutus

We’ve partnered with Intelegencia (http://www.intelegencia.com/) to provide full production level development, support and maintenance.

Are you looking to hire more people or contractors? If so, what positions and skills are you looking for?

After generating sufficient revenues or a seed round, we plan to hire a full-time business development person (preferably with SaaS experience) and possibly a CTO (with ruby on rails experience).

What other web based products would you recommend to entrepreneurs, business owners, or freelancers?

Techsmith’s Jing- Great for sharing screenshots

Skype – call and video chats and screen sharing

Pandora.com- to relax

MeetingWave.com- to meet new clients or customers

Guestvessel.com – swap/share apartments.

Neighborrow.com – swap/share stuff.

Google Docs – for lots of stuff

Highrise by 37signals – for tracking sales leads

Bugzilla – for tracking bugs

Any Patents Pending?

MeetingWave’s technology is covered by U.S. Patent Nos. 6,963,900; 7,483,946; 7,716,285; and 7,860,929 (each with February 2000 filing dates). These patents were sold to a third party in Nov. 2010 and MeetingWave retained a worldwide royalty-free license with the right to sublicense to “Affiliates” and transfer to others under certain circumstances.

Patent applications have also filed for improvements in 2006 (US Application 12/376,730), 2008 (US Application 12/396,456), and 2010 (US Provisional Application 61/328,813) and are currently exclusively by the company.

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