Meeow is a new online networking platform, bringing four people together, at random, to talk about their business in a mutually supportive, virtual business community full of opportunity. Our mission is to become the new business and business support staple for SMEs around the globe. With a unique, highly interactive proprietary video platform ready for launch and a crowdfunding raise on Crowdcube pending, we’re well on our way to achieving that goal.
Because Meeow is online, there are no boundaries to meeting new people from across the globe and, ultimately, doing business. With Meeow bringing people together at random, the possibilities are endless.
We’ve built Meeow around the end user, taking into account time, cost, sustainability and accessibility. This means that we built the platform to be convenient, cost-effective, remove the need to travel, allow people to reduce their carbon footprint and congestion and we provide live subtitles so that those hard of hearing are able to reap the rewards too. Plus, because you can network from anywhere with Meeow, it’s available to literally everyone.
The true potential of Meeow comes from the scale we can achieve. Once on the platform, Meeowists can book meetings at any time, regardless of demand, meaning that there could be 1000 people in 250 Meeows at the same time.
What’s more, Meeowists are able to join just seconds before a Meeow starts, meaning it is truly flexible. Once the community grows to a critical mass, it is our ambition to facilitate “on-demand” networking where a user can “Meeow Now”, beginning a meeting just 30 seconds after logging in, anytime.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Simon Glenn: As a prolific networker, I really struggled during lockdown not being able to get out and speak to other like-minded individuals, so I set up ‘A Zoom a Day’. Each day, 3 different people would jump on a zoom call with me to chat for an hour. The thing is it had its limitations. It was prebooked, it felt a bit set in stone and gave little room for random opportunities to occur. Chris, who I had come across in business before actually attended one of the Zoom’s and we hit it off. He pretty much told me I was on to a winner with something here, so we caught up after and put our heads together. That’s when Meeow was born.
Chris Rabbitt: When I realised the potential of what Simon had started, I knew we had to act. Businesses need a way to continue to create those meaningful relationships and opportunities, and COVID-19 put a halt to the usual methods of achieving that. We’ve had such a huge demand for Meeow sessions, growing from 4 to 40 per week in only 5 months, that we’ve now launched a crowdfund to develop our offering even further.
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What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Chris Rabbitt: First and foremost, don’t give up. Entrepreneurism isn’t a straight path to success, so you have to be prepared to try things and keep trying things, all the time. Sure, there will be people along the way who don’t necessarily ‘get’ your mission, or understand your choices, but don’t allow unfounded criticism and ignorance to dent your confidence.
Simon Glenn: Agreed. It’s healthy to put your ideas into areas where they’ll be attacked or undermined to test their veracity and robustness, but there’s a difference between founded and unfounded criticism. It’s a case of knowing that just because you think it’ll work and has a market; it doesn’t mean everyone will agree.
Chris: I fully advise any entrepreneur to take the opportunity to be involved in every area of your business while it’s small as once it gets bigger, you won’t have the chance. If, like Simon and I, you’re in a business partnership, it’s vital you share everything with your business partner. Trust is a major part of success and ensuring there are no surprises will be key to building that trust.
Simon: If you can’t pull your idea off on your own, don’t be afraid of teaming up with someone who fills your skills gap. A shared journey is so much more rewarding, and your chances of success are greater.
Chris: Remember, there’s no return without risk. So, learn to enjoy the journey and create a support network to help manage risk.
What can we hope to see from Meeow in the future?
Chris: For us, the future of Meeow is all about the end user. We plan to keep an eye on the needs and wants of the business community and develop the Meeow platform to match those and make the user experience better.
Simon: As Chris said, our target audience’s needs will change over time, so we plan to introduce more products based on the Meeow technology which will help those doing business online. That’s all we will say for now.
Chris: From a corporate social responsibility perspective, we’re making a commitment to our community by working on initiatives to help the charities which have been chosen by the Meeowniverse.
Simon: We care about the economy, so we want to be able to create jobs in the near future. However, having both experienced the worst in the workplace, we want to create a brilliant culture for people to thrive in. My focus is on the education of the next generation of workers and business owners so that they may fulfil their potential. I want to make the playing field as level as possible for all across the world
Interview with Chris Rabbitt and Simon Glenn, Co-Founders at Meeow