Interviews Israel

Meekan: A Platform to Connect the World’s Calendars (Updated)

7 August 2014 Update: Meekan has opened up a sandbox environment for 3rd party app and web app developers to incorporate their technology. It is 100% free: playground.meekan.com

There is no question that scheduling meetings is one of the most frustrating things to do. Beyond nailing down a time and place – which is a huge pain as well – you have to deal with everyone’s calendar software. The whole experience is just awful. However, we just came across an Israeli startup that is making this a much easier process: Meekan. Meekan’s vision, to “connect the world’s calendars and change the way people schedule meetings by leveraging our scheduling and optimization engines,” is a godsend. We had the chance to ask the team a few questions about their calendar platform:

Meekan

What is Meekan?

Meekan is a cross-vendor calendar scheduling platform which enables you to share free/busy times and availability options with everyone, on any calendar (Google, Exchange, iCloud, etc). Our vision is to connect the world’s calendars and change the way people schedule meetings by leveraging our scheduling and optimization engines (patent-pending). Our predictive, AI-like technologies will enable you to optimize your calendar automatically, save valuable time and remind you to stay in touch with colleagues and business partners from the past.

Who is your target user?

We have identified several markets as potential clients and have synced product & marketing towards providing a suite of products to include both consumer and enterprise-focused solutions. * Business professionals using mobile productivity/calendar apps and desktop calendar software to manage their personal and business accounts * SOHO businesses as real-estate agents, private clinics, etc providing service to consumers * Online reservation platform, as Alibaba.com, Booking.com, JetBlue.com, etc. * 3rd party app developers, mainly productivity & business category * Enterprises with local Exchange implementations * SMB/Enterprises running Google Apps

Why did you build your product? What problem does Meekan solve?

According to a Harvard University study from 2013, everyone of us spends about 5 hours a week just to schedule meetings. Not attending them, scheduling them. There are over 750 million calendar accounts in the world, yet you cannot share free-busy times outside your organization, which leads to spending hours on email ping-pong and phone tennis to schedule a single meeting.

In addition, our calendar can sometimes be a complete mess, as meetings aren’t optimized for minimal commute or time efficiency – which leaves us less productive.

Meekan is solving these problem by providing professionals, businesses and application developers access to our industry-first scheduling and optimization engines (patent-pending), both enable you regain control over your calendar and become more productive throughout the day.

What makes your calendar product different from what is already available?

Meekan Scheduling and Optimization Engines analyze data points from your calendar and learn your preferences – favourite venues for coffee with investors, best restaurant for lunch, ideal coffee shops for morning meetings. The process is done in seconds, completely transparent to the user, regardless of the calendar system they’re using. The data is then used to make scheduling easier and faster, suggesting times to optimize your day.

Tell us your founding story. Was there an “ah ha” moment?

Co-Founders Lior Yavor, Eyal Yavor and Matty Marianksy joined forces in 2013, after Lior wasted precious hours trying to schedule meetings at El-Al Airlines, where he served as VP Operations & Chief Pilot for 7 years. Over Friday dinner, Lior brought up the topic of lost productivity over scheduling a meeting to his family, at a time when his son, Eyal, was at the end of his service at the elite intelligence unit 8200 of Israeli Defence Forces. Once Eyal completed his army duties, the father-son duo founded Meekan and brought Matty along to lead the product and creative efforts.

Tell us about the founders and their backgrounds.

We’re a team of six people, passionate about solving big problems. These are the founders: Lior Yavor, Co-Founder & CEO. ex-VP Operations at El-Al Israeli Airlines & Chief Pilot, ex-CEO Taavura Projects (largest logistical group in Israel), Lt. Col (Ret.) in the Israeli Air Force. Lior brings extensive managerial experience packed with an act for numbers, plus strong ties in the travel and leisure markets.

Eyal Yavor, Co-Founder & CTO. Full-Stack developer, Previously backend developer at 8200 (Elite Intelligence Unit, IDF) and Sr. System Engineer at IdMlogic. Eyal is a highly talented 8200 alumni that built and taken apart databases, and integrated between APIs and Enterprise Servers in ways they didn’t see coming.

Matty Marianksy, Co-Founder & VP Product. Owner of 5070.co.il (digital art gallery), Creative Director at Calcalist.co.il. Matty brings our ideas to life, responsible for the entire product lifecycle, UI and UX.

Dvir Reznik, CMO. ex­-Head of Marketing at Onavo, worked as freelance CMO for Bizzabo, Zooz Payments, WonderVoice, Serendip Media and others. Dvir also worked at IBM in marketing and software sales for 8 years, where he graduated with distinction from IBM Global Sales School.

What’s next? What do your short-term goals look like?

We believe in a better together approach and see ourselves ‘powering’ all scheduling activities, worldwide. To achieve that, we intend to expand our presence in Asia and the US, forge strong collaborations with online booking services and continue to develop our Scheduling Engine to support every type of calendar in the world.

We will also introduce the Meekan Optimization Engine, a predictive, AI-like service to optimize your calendar, save valuable time and help you stay in touch with colleagues and business partners.