What inspired us is the understanding, that while many others might be focusing on the other sides of the coronavirus challenge, we are uniquely positioned to help companies in a certain particular way to support their people. Remote work transition (and especially 100% work from home) can be tough for employees. It disrupts collaboration, makes people lonely, requires new processes and remote leadership style. We hope to support thousands of people whose performance suffers.

Traditional coaching is a powerful tool that supports change. Panda’s free chatbot micro-coaching solution brings it a step further by (a) making coaching scalable and affordable, and (b) allowing everyone to be aware of what’s going on in the company through knowledge sharing and data collection. All this made possible by utilizing both human expert-led coaching via text/Teams/Slack and AI chatbot tech.

The main challenge we have run into was clarifying our value proposition. The problem is very diverse and people have different takes on it. We ended up with the conclusion that the management seems to care the most about the performance of the employees and the data about how their people are doing, while people are mostly struggling with anxiety, building new habits and leading their teams remotely. On the tech side, chatbot integration with Teams has been challenging (especially authorization) but we solved it with Botkit.

Tech-wise, the solution is ready. What we need is to develop the content for the free chatbot trial package and nail the go-to-market strategy. That's why we worked hard on signing up organizations to test our solution: we will interview their people and then let them use the solution before releasing it out to the world.

Our go-to-market strategy:

  1. Develop the free chatbot, test it with a number of organizations with 100 users. Optimize, then spread the word with the press backing. Use it as the foot in the door and upsell later tailor-made chatbot content, human-led coaching or monetize data collection.
  2. Use existing networks and clients we know already.
  3. Content on social media. I.e. the podcast we launched.

In the previous hacks we have been signing up test users and organizations who want to spread the word. It's been a huge unexpected success with people signing up from Google, United Nations, Cisco, Innova (Swedish innovation agency), City of Detroit, Solvay, Bluehealth Innovation Center (part of Microsoft), ITMO University, Tampere University, Sofigate, Rigilog, NurseBuddy, Redbridge, Dutch chamber of commerce and 30 more organizations!

In this hack, we need to develop the first content prototypes of the chatbot and test its engagement. In the case of a rule-based chatbot, the weak point is not even the tech, but whether the content will be engaging enough. We are also starting the cooperation with HeadAI, a Finnish AI company to bring the chatbot to a new level. We aim to (a) add the feature of analyzing companies skill gaps with HeadAI's AI tools, (b) making mindmap data visualizations based on the data collected by the chatbot to analyze the current state of the company and (c) use AI to give users learning content recommendations (external links to something they could learn or get inspired by). We aim to test all these features.

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