Wellesley Women in Business recently invited Max Meyer, the co-founder of a new app called Getmii, to speak about his startup. The app seeks to redefine how everyday people search for things using technology.
Meyer said that in a situation where one wanted to search for a Japanese tutor, the person who is searching may not be able to fulfill their need. However, Getmii targets a demographic with a specific need, and those who can fulfill that need, narrowing the search.
Meyer, who graduated Harvard in 2012, said the idea for the app started when he was living in China while working for the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
During his time in China, he realized that there was potential for a tool that would directly match a need with a corresponding service. After working at McKinsey for 2 years, Meyer left with his two co-founders, Darryl Lau and Matthias Juergens, to begin working on the new app.The app looks to increase the efficiency of searches by pairing a “need” with an asset. Getmii is the first startup to partner with Tsinghua University, one of the leading academics in China.
Currently, the app is still in a developmental stage. However, to ensure trust among users, Getmii plans to leverage social capital by having users sign up for the app using Facebook and comparing mutual friends.
The app was launched three weeks ago on over 20 campuses and is hoping to expand into Wellesley College. When tested in Korea and Japan, the most common post was “get people after school tutoring for my kids” and in Thailand it was “get me buddies to hang out with.” In Nepal, Getmii helped double the amount of blood donors after the earthquake with posts that voiced the need for blood. It is also arming German citizens and Syrian refugees with the app to aid the exchange of basic necessities.
When Getmii first launched, the startup flew 17 people to Bangkok and rented out a space. Max Meyer said he chose Bangkok as the location for the startup because of the “fun environment”, as he wanted his employees to enjoy themselves while they worked hard on the app.
The corporate culture was described as “profoundly creative with very high moral and ethical standards.”
As far as improvements made to the app, a scoring point system was added to provide incentive to users to be more active with the app and a few bugs were fixed in the code.
Meyer stated job positions in his startup are built around the strengths of the team. Meyer’s brother, Mark, said he “sees how people respond to the app positively or negatively”, while Fredrik Vateman who joined after his recent graduation from Cambridge University said he does recruitment for the company.
“It is not necessary to be from a tech background to become involved in tech”, Meyer said, pointing to the fact that he did not have a technological background.
Ye Rin Chu’18 said that she thought the Getmii app would be useful and popular in the future. “It’s meeting people’s needs and recognizing them as a crucial asset. I would recommend it to underprivileged children in Korea,” Chu said.
Because of the uses of this technology for humanitarian causes, TechCrunch in San Francisco has considered awarding it a social impact award, an award given each year to the most interesting startups and technological innovations.