Conversation Starter
building AI capabilities

Conversation Starter is a tech start-up on a mission to build and host networking events with the very best experience and impact. The leading platform hosts both online and offline events that connect the right people in breakout meetings and 1-on-1 sessions. As the user base is growing exponentially, intelligent automation of matchmaking, scheduling and participant profiling is mission-critical to further scale the business.
Faktion is proud to be the AI Development and Productization partner of Conversation Starter. In our collaboration, we aim for scalable AI applications that are seamlessly integrated in their proprietary software, with the AI-specific software features that enable the team to run it autonomously.
Why an AI component is important for the Conversation Starter platform?

Conversation Starter makes personalised recommendations to its users on who to meet at networking events. The platform’s user base is growing exponentially with ever more users in different domains and industries.

The recommendations should carefully be matched to the profile of the participants to allow for an optimal user experience. The time in which people can meet is very valuable, so it’s important to make the most of your time by meeting the right people. An event usually lasts two hours, so the meeting schedule should be as optimal as possible.

People can schedule meetings a few days before the events, but they don’t want to spend too much time on it. That’s why we want to help our users with personalised recommendations and efficient planning using AI.

What are the main tasks that the AI is solving for you?

Firstly, it recommends people to meet that are relevant to you. So it takes into account who they are, what they work on, what they offer, etc. The AI also considers whether these people are available to meet. Someone who has a full schedule, will no longer be recommended.

So, it considers relevancy as well as availability to make personalised recommendations. If you invite someone to a meeting, the AI will suggest an optimal time to meet, which the person can either accept or decline. So a time that is most optimal when you have the least unnecessary breaks between your meetings, for example.

What do you value in a collaboration?

I think a mistake that people often make is that they start a collaboration, but don’t think about how this collaboration is going to end.

And I mean, obviously everything ends, you know, and so you think from the beginning: “how are we going to internalise the knowledge?”, “How are we going to maintain what we build together in the long term?”,… This mutual knowledge transfer is very valuable, and so I’m glad we’ve already started that thinking about documentation, APIs and so on which makes it possible for us to run it autonomously. We did well to think with foresight.

How do you envision the future of your platform?

So when you scale, I think the way your business works changes in drastically. Currently, it doesn’t make sense for us to hire a whole army of engineers because we are still mainly active in Belgium, the Netherlands and a few customers in the US. But as we continue to grow, I think we will move from a completely external team to a more internal one.

Faktion helps other companies in building AI capabilities, by taking the lead in the initial development, training the internal team, providing documentation and guidance going forward. I’m enthusiastic to continue the work in the same way.

"It gives me confidence that Faktion understands what it's like to build a product company."

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