Huddlewoo to give extraordinary access to inspirational peopleBusiness Profiles — By Melanie McIntyre on October 3, 2012 at 8:00 am
A new startup aims to give everyday people access to those who inspire them to dream bigger.
Founded this year by entrepreneurs Mathew Brian, Zach Ferres and Will Zell, Huddlewoo is a live video conversation platform designed to give, say, an aspiring author the opportunity to speak with an acclaimed writer they look up to.
“Our easy-to-use interface allows extraordinary people to set a per hour rate for one-on-one live video conversations,” says Brian, Huddlewoo’s chief creative officer, adding that they can control their availability and fans can divide their time into 15-minute increments.
“They monetize, the world gets inspired, and they still have the rest of their day to work, work, work,” he says.
Explaining Huddlewoo’s unusual moniker is a bit more complicated.
“Conversations are much more intimate than interviews and incredibly more dyamic than chats,” he says. “We felt the idea of a huddle not only indicated providing direction, but the intangible ‘rah rah’ effect, the inspiration.”
As for the rest of the name…
“There is a fun aspect, too,” he says. “An in-awe-of aspect. We are capturing that in what we call ‘wooface.’ Comparable to Oprah’s ‘ugly cry.’ It’s the contorted face created when a human is shocked, surprised, overwhelmed, at the same time.”
Huddlewoo’s founders saw that many people spend significant resources −sometimes thousands of dollars− to gain access to people at conferences and workshops, and wanted to provide a lower barrier to entry.
“Live video does not require VIP passes, hotel rooms, or airfare,” Brian says.
Though there are existing platforms that help people sharpen their skills and platforms that provide tutorials that support a niche community, he says there’s nothing on the market quite like Huddlewoo. Brian likes to use this analogy:
“Other sites give people the fish− easy tutorials,” he says. “Some sites instruct on how to fish− lectures on skills for life/work. Huddlewoo asks you to consider why you are fishing and then to dream bigger.”
At the moment, Huddlewoo is based in two states: Ohio and Arizona.
“We are an agile company with development capability in Scottsdale and traditional corporate functions housed here in Columbus, ” he explains. “The plain reason for basing it in two states stems from our commitment to finding people that are really good at what they do without regard to location, and they happened to reside in those particular geographies.”
Huddlewoo’s alpha launch is slated for November and a beta launch is expected in January 2013.
The company’s founders are quietly selecting people they think will benefit from using it, and invite Metropreneur readers who think they fit the bill to apply. Interested parties should contact Will Zell via email at Will@Huddlewoo.com with their qualifications and reasons for using the platform.
To learn more about Huddlewoo, visit Huddlewoo.com.
Melanie McIntyre has served as editorial director of The Metropreneur since its launch in 2010. She previously worked as a staff writer for a business and legal newspaper, where she wrote more than 500 stories about finance and real estate and development in Central Ohio. Since 2008, Melanie has worked on a freelance basis for several local entities, including Columbus Underground, where she is a featured writer. She also blogs about fashion, style, and pop culture at Thoroughly Modern Melly. Melanie is a graduate of The Ohio State University, lives in the Short North, and enjoys reading and running.
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