The Dutch startup GAIKU doesn’t lack ambition. By 2020, GAIKU wants to make one million meetings more effective and engaged. The ambition of this meeting guide is backed by a total of 1 million (from Jasper de Rooij, founder of Simpel.nl), raised in two funding rounds in the last six months. Half of that sum was announced during The Next Web Conference.
Serial entrepreneur Jasper Meerding, the founder of GAIKU, shares his thoughts with us during The Next Web.
How did you come up with the idea for GAIKU?
“Before I started GAIKU, I founded ContactCare, a multi-client service provider that supports in 5 languages 500 companies with their customer services. I ended up being in meetings all day long and when I came home, I wasn’t able to recite what I had done. I had the feeling most of the time and energy was wasted during meetings, what seemed to be the case. American research shows that about sixty to seventy percent of the meeting time isn’t used efficiently. That is a huge waste and that problem needs to be solved. Nobody is trained to be in a meeting and there aren’t sufficient tools that make meetings more efficient; they basically all focus either on organizing video conferences or getting your to-do-list in the cloud.”
So, what makes GAIKU stand out?
“We aim to give support during meetings and coach the users in a positive way. We’re basically a mix between a conversation, meeting and collaboration tool. We’re keeping track of the progress in the meeting through our user-friendly tool that can be used on local of remote meetings. A voting tool, for instance, was developed to make the decision-making process more efficient. Therefore we not only focus on SME’s and enterprises, that are more and more employing a holocratic way of working, but also target scrum-teams. We give the team lead of product manager more time and energy during scrum sessions, by structuring the meeting. This, of course, improves the scrum sessions.”
Where will you find the desired 1 million users?
“We’re developing the application in English, so we can scale easily. The USA will be our main target market. There are about 30 million SMEs in US, so that’s an interesting target group. We’re assisted and supported by accomplished enterprises and former startup founders in our leap over the big ocean and we got a plugin for JIRA from Atlassian, that will get us in touch with 60.000 companies that use scrum. So that’s a start. Funny thing is, the Dutch favor startups more than Americans do and Americans tend to favor bootstrapped companies. You come to wonder, are startups the Dutch equivalent of the American Dream?”