Calbot is an enterprise meeting scheduling software for professional services companies. It helps people from different companies find a mutually available time for a meeting. Instead of emailing back-and-forth about the best time to meet, Calbot privately scans calendars from different services to find overlapping gaps that work for everyone.
This way, people working on investments, transactions, litigations, consulting projects, M&As and other work with people from different companies can quickly find time when everyone is available. On average, Calbot saves busy professionals 9-10% of their time which would otherwise be wasted on scheduling meetings.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
When I was at university I always struggled to find time to work on group projects we had. My group mates always had different timetables to mine and were involved in different co-curricular activities to me. I thought that the solution to that problem was to scan everyone’s timetables to find gaps that would work for everyone. After spending sometime building the prototype and testing it with a few students I quickly learnt that students were not willing to pay for this solution.
To see where this solution would be useful, I went to the city and joined a number of tech/startup/business meet-ups where I quickly learnt that this problem of finding mutually available gaps for groups of people was also prevalent in professional services firms. People in those firms would normally work on external projects with external people and firms and so would always struggle to find times when all external parties are available because their calendars wouldn’t talk to each other. As a result, I went back to redevelop Calbot into what it is today.
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What advise would you give to aspiring young entrepreneurs?
I think one of the best ways of starting a business is speaking to people to find genuine problems that need solving. It is highly unlikely that an entrepreneur knows the problem inside out (unless they have worked in an organisation for many years) and is able to address is adequately. A much better approach, in my view, is to let end users design the solution for you and essentially tell you exactly what to build.
This way you can be certain that you are building something useful and that would be used by people. Additionally, this also gives you a good source of beta users to trial your software once it is ready.
What can we hope to see from Calbot in the future?
At the moment, we are very busy with arranging and running pilots with financial services firms. However, in the future we want to raise another round of funding and grow Calbot into other branches of professional services firms. We are particularly interested in law, consulting and accounting.
From the product side, there are a few exiting developments in the pipeline. We are making Calbot smarter with smart filters which would help people get more “deep”, undistracted, work done whilst also helping them schedule meetings quicker with smart filters which would know whether certain meetings, phone calls or video conferences can be booked back-to-back or whether there needs to be a buffer between them to help you prepare.