John Boyd is the CEO of TTB Technologies, LLC, the creator of MeetingWave.com. MeetingWave.com helps you arrange targeted networking meetings with the exact type of people you want to meet. Meet potential new clients, customers, business contacts or fellow alumni – while traveling or near home or work.
The process is simple: Create a profile with background information and invites describing the type of people you want to meet over coffee, lunch or other networking meeting. You will be notified by email when someone accepts. You can then approve, decline or ignore. Meetings are only confirmed if everyone agrees to meet and your name and contact information are private until you are ready to exchange business cards.Or search for invites for proposed networking meetings near you. If you don’t see any invites of interest, registered users can click “Meeting Alert” to be notified of new invites meeting your search criteria in the future. They can also “hide” any invites they are not interested in.
MeetingWave eliminates the “needle in the haystack” problem when trying to meet the right people while traveling, attending conferences or wherever you’re doing business.
What was the inspiration behind MeetingWave.com?
The origin of the idea came while traveling on business while an attorney at a NYC law firm. I often found my options for dinner to be dining alone in my hotel room or dining alone in the hotel restaurant watching other business travelers dining alone. I thought of how great it would be to be able to arrange targeted networking meetings with the right people – anytime, anywhere – to meet potential new clients or business contacts. That’s when I came up with the idea and filed the first patent application.
MeetingWave.com has some awesome features, like the app you recently made! Tell us about the user experience for the app?
MeetingWave recently launched location-based iPhone and Android applications to allow networking on the fly based on your real-time location. We continue to improve the apps based on user feedback and suggestions.
Simply: (1) download; (2) create profile with some background information and meeting interests; and (3) click “Available”. We do not disclose specific location, name or contact info. Others may send “meeting requests” if interested in meeting. You can ignore, decline or say approve (and use double-blind messaging thereafter to arrange the meeting).
Or, click “Who’s Nearby?” If you see someone nearby you’d like to meet, you can send the other user a meeting request. If the other user agrees to meet, you’ll be charged only 99 cents. This fee helps monetize the platform and reduce “spam” meeting requests.
And we’ve added “Geolocation” to the website using Google Latitude for those without an iPhone or Android. Google Latitude is a feature of Google Maps for mobile on these phones:
• Android-powered devices, such as the T-Mobile G1
• iPhone and iPod touch devices
• most color BlackBerry devices
• most Windows Mobile 5.0+ devices
• most Symbian S60 devices (Nokia smartphones)
Your proposed meeting invites will be associated with your updated current location rather than a specific location. For example, when visiting a city, your geolocation-enabled invites will be updated when you click “Refresh Geolocation” and show up in other member’s searches in that city. They can accept your invite, but you can still decide whether to approve, decline or ignore. A meeting is only confirmed if you approve and you can then facilitate meeting planning after approving the other member’s acceptance using double-blind messaging.
And for any Meeting Alerts, you’ll be notified of invites that might interest you based on your updated current location.
MeetingWave never discloses your specific location and you can turn your geolocation On or Off (Enable or Disable).
I love the fact that you have the option to verify your profile, letting others know that you truly work at the company you say, or really attended the university you claim. Tell our readers more about this feature and how it is a part of MeetingWave.com.
Since our focus is face-to-face meetings with new people, the background information in a user’s profile is important. The apps and website include a patent pending verification feature to make the information more reliable. Members can have their work or alumni email addresses “verified” by MeetingWave and display an indication of that verification (e.g., @ibm.com or @brown.edu) on their profile. This allows members to verify to other members where they work and went to school. Verified email domains are an important addition to a user’s profile since can help other users decide who to meet.
On MeetingWave.com, users can search for invites posted by users having specific “Verified Email Domains” (e.g., @ibm.com or @alumni.harvard.edu). Registered users can click “meeting alert” to receive notifications in the future of new invites based on the search criteria.
We’ve partnered with Neighborrow.com and Guestvessel.com to launch http://vrfy.me to allow users to generate simple verified profile urls (vrfy.me/username) to use on Craigslist, social networks, dating sites, etc. Our focus is to make online transactions a little safer and more reliable.
Congrats on selling four US patents to Apple in 2010. You sold them with a royalty free grantback license to MeetingWave.com. Can you explain to our readers what the negotiation for this was like and why you made the decision to sell the patents in this manner?
MeetingWave’s technology is covered by U.S. Patent Nos. 6,963,900; 7,483,946; 7,716,285; 7,860,929, and US Application 12/883,301 (each with February 2000 effective filing dates). These patents were assigned to Apple, Inc. in Nov. 2010 through an intellectual property auction contacted by ICAP Ocean Tomo. MeetingWave retained a worldwide royalty-free license with the right to sublicense to “Affiliates” and transfer to third parties under certain conditions.
Patent applications have also filed for improvements in 2006 (US Application 12/376,730), 2008 (US Application 12/396,456), and 2010 (US Application 13/096,544) and are currently exclusive to MeetingWave and owned by TTB Technologies, LLC.
You are currently in beta testing. When can our readers expect to be able to download MeetingWave.com?
Users can currently sign up to MeetingWave.com, create a profile with background information including verified work or alumni emails and create invites for networking meetings.
They can also search for nearby invites and click “Meeting Alert” to be notified of invites posted in the future. Registered users can also “hide” any invites that do not interest them. Users can also download our iPhone and Android mobile apps or enable geolocation on MeetingWave.com. We’ve also launched a SaaS platform for “closed versions” of MeetingWave including:
http://www.meetingwave.com/alumninetworking – for alumni networking
http://www.meetingwave.com/corporationsnetworking – employee, association member or conference attendee networking.
For the “closed versions”, users need to verify affiliation before using by verifying either an approved email address (e.g., @company.com or @alumni. University.edu) or clicking through a verification link.
Finally, they can also create a verified profile on http://vrfy.me and use their vrfyme profile url on Craigslist, social networks, dating sites, blog comments, etc. and ask others to do the same.
Who should use MeetingWave.com? Can you give us some concrete examples of great connections that you believe will come from MeetingWave.com?
Anyone interested in meeting new people for business or social purposes should be using MeetingWave. It’s simple, easy and provide privacy, targeting, controls and flexibility.
I recommend creating a mix of invites including daily, weekly or month invites. Remember there’s no commitment to meet unless someone you’d like to meet accepts your invite and you agree to meet. I’ve met folks using MeetingWave when traveling to NYC, Florida and elsewhere. We’ve had users import their contacts from LinkedIn and try to meet those contacts face-to-face over time.
It really depends on the person’s goals. Namely, if looking for new clients, offer to buy coffee or lunch for the right people.
If looking for a new job, try to arrange meetings with people who work in the industry you’d like to work in. Most jobs are found through contacts so meeting people in your area who work for the companies you’d like to work for could increase the odds of landing a job.
No matter who you are, most would benefit from meeting the right new people. We’re trying to make that easier and welcome any feedback.
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