Symbl for Startups founder profile: Feeting aims to make walking meetings an integral part of the remote and hybrid workplace
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Symbl for Startups inductees continue to transform today’s remote and hybrid workplaces for the better. This latest startup founder feature introduces Feeting, which launched June 8, 2022, with the dual solutions of eliminating distracting physical cues during video calls and allowing users to take meetings while getting much-needed fresh air and exercise.
Feeting was created by the masterminds behind AI-driven talent management company Talent Maps and relies on Symbl.ai’s API platform to give users everything they need to have a successful audio-only, hands-free virtual meeting experience.
Learn more about where the company plans to take its product’s capabilities next (hands-free walking emails, anyone?) in the following Q&A with Feeting Co-Founder and Lead Market Lucia Burtscher.
Tell me how the idea for Feeting came about. What market need does it fulfill?
Lucia Burtscher: At Talent Maps, we’ve seen many people complain about sitting in front of their computer all day — literally, trapped in front of a screen. Studies have shown how unhealthy that is.
The saying “sitting is the new smoking” is not far-fetched at all. Because we’re on a mission to create happier, healthier workplaces, we thought about how to make online meetings better, and that’s how Feeting was born.
When did you discover Symbl.ai’s API platform, and how did you know it was the right fit for Feeting/Talent Maps?
LB: We learned about Symbl.ai through Agora.io and, after checking other vendors, we think Symbl.ai is the best fit for Feeting feature-wise.
With Feeting, we want to give an audio-only and hands-free experience to our users. Symbl.ai could provide us with a good hands-free solution regarding note-taking.
Symbl.ai’s conversation intelligence APIs are beyond any competition and give our users the most important outcomes (hot topics, action items, etc.) of their Feeting afterwards.
Can you explain some of the benefits of human-to-human speech analysis as it pertains to happier and healthier work environments?
LB: People are happy when they are able to do things in a pleasant way.
A walk outdoors makes a person happy. It lowers cortisol levels and gives one access to more areas of the brain. After a walk, a person feels energized. Because one is constantly moving, different perspectives arise naturally–even on the topic being discussed.
But how can a person get actual work done efficiently in Feetings? This can only happen if the results, to-dos, action items, etc., are not forgotten. That’s where speech analytics comes in.
From there, Feeting, with help from Symbl.ai, goes even further by displaying the overall mood of a Feeting as well as the speaking time of each participant.
In this way it becomes difficult to hijack a Feeting by speaking 90% of the time.
How does Feeting compare to other kinds of walking meeting solutions?
LB: I know it sounds boastful, but I believe it to be true: Feeting is the easiest and best walking meeting solution available on the market.
Of course, there are substitutes such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams that have already caught on. Some people will point out that they could also have a Zoom call going on, turn off the camera and take a walk during their meeting instead of using Feeting.
While this is all possible, if you invite someone to a Feeting instead of a video call it immediately frames the meeting properly. You don’t have to explain that you’re walking instead of sitting, that the camera is off, etc., because that’s immediately clear to everyone when you invite them to a Feeting.
Additionally, a Feeting is much more productive than leading competitors thanks to Feeting Gems™️— the transcription of the most important Feeting outcomes as well as the sentiment and hot topics of each Feeting.
Which Feeting features have your audience been most excited about thus far?
LB: The Feeting Gems™️ are the absolute highlight of this beta version. They make your meeting healthier, more creative, and, most importantly, more productive.
Transcriptions of action items, questions, and follow-ups help users take the right actions after each Feeting. Together with the sentiment and speaking time analyses, a team will only get the KPIs of a meeting that truly matter — which will also improve the meeting culture within organizations that adopt Feeting.
How do you anticipate Feeting evolving as it gains users?
LB: We have many ideas for the future.
One good option is to create predefined templates for meeting formats such as weekly meetings or brainstorming sessions. This way, users are guided through a meeting, everyone has equal time to talk, and it ensures that the goal of the meeting is achieved.
But these ideas go much further. Just imagine for a second that work doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with a desk or an office — at least not every day. Hybrid work would then take on a whole new meaning. Imagine, for example, that you could work on everything, including your emails, while walking!
Do you think that in the future every online meeting could be replaced by Feetings?
LB: To be honest, there will always be online meetings that function better with video and screen sharing.
However, about 40% of all online meetings could be easily replaced and bettered by turning them into walking meetings with audio only. Meeting culture has worsened since the pandemic began across many organizations, and Feetings would help combat that.
In terms of the types of virtual meetings best suited for Feetings, we reccomend users start out by transitioning their catch-ups, recurring 1:1s, and brainstorming sessions to walking meetings.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.