We all know the phrase, "Let's get together." We say it with the best intentions, but it's tough to coordinate everyone's busy schedules to make it actually happen.
That's why Maddie and Mike Bell created Get Together AI, and they're now on a mission to streamline scheduling and change the way we make plans with friends. Launched in March 2021, Get Together AI is one of the first automated scheduling tools designed specifically for use directly within group messaging platforms - like those group text message chain that you're always in, saying "we should get together!"
"Rather than having everyone manually coordinate their calendars, or having individuals send out calendar available or group polls, our product acts as a personal assistant and finds the best time for everyone on a group messaging chat to meet," Mike explains.
The inspiration for Get Together AI came from its founders’ own issues in managing schedules and finding a time to get together with friends, family, and colleagues. “Because our calendars were so busy, we found ourselves in constant, endless back-and-forth text message chains trying to find time to join up with friends only to realize a million text messages later that no one was free for weeks,” Maddie says. “Over time, we realized scheduling doesn’t start with a calendar- it starts with a message, and we became certain that scheduling over messaging apps should be easier.”
That’s when the team developed the technology that identifies the best time for everyone on a group text message chat to meet in just seconds. “We looked and looked, and couldn’t find anything, so we decided to build it ourselves,” she adds.
Here’s how it works:
A user signs up, adds “Get Together” to a group chat, tells Get Together AI exactly what they want to schedule, like coffee, and then the app triangulates the group’s scheduling preferences and calendar availability to identify the best time.
Then, once the activity is confirmed, Get Together AI places the event on everyone’s calendar and sends reminders the day of the event. The automation also helps those who don’t have a digital calendars because they can simply set their preferences, and it sends the best time for all registered users even if everyone on the chat isn’t signed up.
In the year since Get Together AI launched, Mike says that his team has been pleasantly surprised at how quickly it’s caught on. “While we started with just an idea, we have advanced to a fully-functioning product that can be used directly within iMessage, Android Messages, Slack, and Discord,” he says. “Since launch, we’ve released the product, filed for a patent, grown our user base 50% week-over-week on average, won the 2022 Slack Hackathon, signed our first large enterprise client, and closed a pre-seed round with some great investors.”
The team at Get Together AI was using Slack, a business productivity software, to collaborate for work and realized that the core, message-based scheduling technology built for text messages could also work to solve scheduling problems for businesses by enabling employees to schedule meetings across organizations, time zones ,and project teams without leaving their group chat. “We found out about the Slack Hackathon, competed against over 500 participants from around the world, and then won the overall grand prize of $15,000, meeting with Slack leadership, and go-to-market support,” Mike recalls.
As far as the future of Get Together AI, Mike says that the team’s vision is to allow anyone to schedule anything, whether it be business or personal, with just a message. “We have launched in text message to enable users to begin scheduling with their friends, and soon we plan to ensure that they can also schedule directly with their favorite businesses,” he says. “For example, just text your local salon and Get Together will find the best time for you and your stylist.”
Additionally, while Get Together started with a Slack integration, for businesses they plan to scale their efforts to other business productivity tools like Microsoft teams in the near future.
All of the growth and building that Get Together has accomplished thus far, however, wouldn’t be possible without the help of Main Street Ventures (MSV), a community-funded initiative that makes entrepreneurship possible for everyone in Greater Cincinnati, by supporting entrepreneurs with what they need, when they need it.
“MSV saw the value of this idea when that is all it was - an idea,” Mike says. “We used the $10,000 launch grant to build and test our initial beta app on iOS and Android with consumers, which gave us the insights needed for our current versions and can be found on the Apple App Store and Android Google Play Store as ‘Get Together AI.’”
MSV’s primary objective is to support all entrepreneurs that show potential to create jobs and positively impact the community. MSV also supports organizations that strengthen the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. There is a specific focus on empowering female and minority founders.