A Salt Lake City startup called EventBoard is launching a web-based application today that brings smart data analytics to the normally boring task of tracking meetings in companies’ conference rooms.
EventBoard is also announcing a seed round to the tune of $1.5 million.
That figure sounds small when you consider the startup has racked up more than 500 customers, including Airbnb, Box, Disney, New York University, Pinterest, and Yale University. But EventBoard is still young, having started just a year and a half ago.
“It’s just taken off like crazy,” EventBoard co-founder and chief executive Shaun Ritchie told VentureBeat in an interview. “I’m just getting call after call. It’s this interesting word of mouth.”
By that he means that people visiting offices see iPads displaying sleek cards of current and upcoming meeting information through EventBoard and then want to bring the technology into their own companies.
It’s notable when a startup’s product takes off virally like that, especially when a popular technology company like Google has competing technology, as is the case here. Earlier this year Google came out with ChromeBox for Meetings. Crestron sells technology for managing meeting rooms as well. And on top of that, some companies have devised their own hardware or software for that purpose.
It helps that Ritchie has a good story to tell about the startup. As an executive and co-founder of 60-person Internet marketing company Neutron Interactive, he realized it wasn’t easy to share a single 10-person conference room.
“We needed a way to figure out how to move around people throughout the office better, and without this awkward collision of people saying, ‘Oh, I booked it on the calendar and you didn’t,’ and, ‘Oh, I have this room reserved,'” Ritchie said. “And so there’s this awkward dance that kind of goes on. Turns out this happens in millions of rooms every day around the world.”
The iPad app he and his co-founders built became popular when they put it in Apple’s App Store. Users at different companies started asking for analytics on how many people were participating in meetings and which rooms were most popular. The current version of the app gives them that capability.
And in addition to supplying the app, EventBoard can also help companies obtain iPads and mounting equipment.
But now EventBoard is going further when it comes to analyzing data.
“What I think we can move into is helping companies understand how people are using their spaces, how their employees and how people are utilizing the buildings and expensive real estate that oftentimes companies have,” Ritchie said. “I see a big opportunity to start helping companies track productivity and effectiveness of actual meetings.”
That could mean integrating with companies’ existing cloud-based data sources, like Workday, he said.
Google Ventures, Zetta Venture Partners, Salesforce.com chief executive Marc Benioff, Dave Elkington, and Domo chief executive Josh James participated in the seed round in EventBoard, which employs 14 people.