November 23rd marked the kick-off of our 2nd Batch of ELEVATE – Europe’s first Bot Accelerator. We really are bursting with excitement about our 5 new teams from 4 different countries and feel thrilled to introduce them to you too. So that’s what we’re going to be doing over the next couple of weeks.

This week, get to know Polaama, an automated end-to-end customer engagement solution for the tours & activities industry. Madhu Parthasarathy, co-founder of Polaama and Leberkäse-lover told us about his bot’s superpowers, his favorite chatbot and gave his insights in building a chatbot. But read for yourself:

When and how was your first experience with a bot?

The first time I heard an automated voice ask me questions over the phone (when talking to a customer service agent) would be my first experience.

Do you have a favorite chatbot?

I enjoy talking to the Mitsuku chatbot. I think she has personality and is able to hold her own on most conversations.

Why should someone use your solution?

Imagine that you are a leisure traveler making a trip to San Francisco. You have heard a lot about the Alcatraz island and would like to go. You have identified from Trip Advisor that “SFO Alcatraz tours” is the top tour operator that offers this service.

If this business used Polaama to interact with its customers, you can simply open Facebook Messenger (or any of your favorite chat applications), ask any questions and receive answers immediately and purchase tickets with one click right from the chat window. You will then receive reminders about your activity, details about what you need to bring and get directions to the place. Better still, you can start a conversation on the business’ web page and then continue the conversation from your Facebook Messenger.

Do you have any advice for peers interested in building a bot?

First understand what problem you are going to solve and if your target customers really think it’s a problem. Then determine if a bot is the right technology to solve the problem. Once you have determined this, go full steam ahead!

Why did you choose Elevate?

Elevate is the first bot accelerator that also offers a team who will work with you in a hands-on role. This has already proved to be very helpful for Polaama at such an early stage.

What are your expectations for the program?

Go to market with a product that truly benefits my target customers.

Since you are based in the US and came to Vienna specifically for ELEVATE, tell us how you imagined Austria to be and what it turned out to be.

I have heard about Austria as a beautiful country (especially Vienna) and that proved to be true. It was cloudy most days but that did not take anything away from the city’s beauty. Another thing that stood out was the warmth and helpful nature of Austrians. Can’t wait to go back there.

What are your last words to the community (for now)?

I am excited to be part of the community and looking forward to more productive months.


We are excited to have you in Vienna, Team Polaama!