Inspiration

We wanted to build a client facing customer service app much like Olark but with a bot. We interviewed an owner of two napa auto parts stores who couldn't use our idea because they do not have control of their website. So we thought to ourselves how can we help a company that's main point of customer service is through a phone call. We felt this could be applicable to restaurants as well as car dealerships and other local businesses.

What it does

We built a bot development platform in which a business could create a simple bot by inserting a question they feel a customer would want to know about their business and associating a simple answer. All without having to build the logic and intent behind. Using the Twilio API every bot will have a generated phone number for the business to distribute as they see fit.

How I built it

We built the platform by leveraging the Twilio API, Watson Conversation API with a Node.js backend and angular on the front end.

Challenges I ran into

IBM Watson Conversation doesn't have all of their APIs exposed, so our developer came up with a way to get around those limitations by implementing a hack that lets us access the API by using a cookie and an XSRF token.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We created a bot that works with sms and we distributed our number here at the TechCrunch Hackathon and received 175 messages

What I learned

How hard it is to build something in 17 hours

What's next for Botswana

We would like to help TechCrunch power their next event.

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