Our next team has travelled far to take part at Elevate – Sandesh and Vishakha from Team IconicBot fly in from India for our monthly meetups! Vishakha is a well-known actor and film producer and Sandesh is a former IBM’ler who is responsible for the tech at IconicBot.
Please give us a short description of your chatbot:
We bring fans and their icons together. We use Artificial Intelligence technology to help influencers reach their true fans effectively & in no time!
Why should someone use your chatbot / What is the problem that you are solving?
Celebrities have many fans and it is impossible for them to talk to every single one in person. This is where IconicBot steps in – it bridges the gap between fans and icons. The celebrity chatbot allows daily engagement with each individual fan and the icons benefit from higher fan engagement and a way to monetize their inbox through potential brand partnerships.
How did you guys meet?
We met 3 years ago and founded two start-ups together, which are currently hibernated. Vishakha has almost 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry and I have more than 8 years of technical experience. We, as a team, perfectly complement each other and therefore decided to build a bot for the entertainment industry.
Why did you choose Elevate?
Elevate chose us. (laughs)
We are from India, which is already a huge market, but we also thought of extending IconicBot to the European market. Therefore, it is a great experience to work with different teams who have a completely different culture. Elevate is the first program that accelerates bots and is situated in Europe – so that was a perfect fit!
What are your expectations for the program?
In the first step, we want to deploy the bot for two major celebrities and want to target big product houses in the music industry.
When and how was your first experience with a chatbot?
It was not really a chatbot – my first experience was with the AI assistant Siri. In India we have a completely different fluency when we talk, and I did not really like the experience of talking to Siri.
Fans who would use our bot speak more than 18 other languages. We are therefore using NLP but sort of a bot-hybrid to create a unique user experience. With that we can assure that the user likes to chat with the bot and does not perceive it as being dumb.
What would you recommend to applicants interested in ELEVATE batch #2?
You should definitely come here! The people at TheVentury are really nice and they have amazing technological knowledge. There are so many coaches to guide you and tech applications they can provide you with to which is a great help to build your startup. And, Europe is just great!
Do you have any advice for peers interested in building a chatbot?
Every customer only has 15 apps and the app-installation numbers have decreased. People do not engage that much with apps anymore, so penetrating the user base with an app will be quite tough. Messengers are the next big thing! People use messenger more than social media. You have to build something where you meet the consumer – a bot is ideal for that!