We meet the startup promoting the power of dialogue

Tell us about your start up
Engaging customers, employees, and partners in a continuous conversation is critical for companies to learn and improve. Therefore, respeak offers the easiest software to build digital conversations that scale communication. Our use cases include user research, employee engagement, and customer feedback in which companies are experiencing high costs and large effort of getting to the real ‘why’ something is good, ‘why’ something is bad, and ‘why’ something needs improvement. Current tools such as questionnaires don’t adapt to the participants and fail to uncover deep insights. Interviews on the other hand provide detail but don’t scale. respeak combines the strength of both approaches by creating automated digital dialogs that can ask follow-up questions for every domain.

What is your USP, how do you stand out from your competition?
Questionnaires are unengaging and static – meaning they only ask, but don’t understand. Interviews are engaging and foster experimentation, but they don’t scale. Respeak combines the scale of questionnaires with the depth of interviews and therefore delivers the level of detail of a human conversation at scale. In this space, respeak is the only provider that can ask intelligent follow-up questions that can be adjusted to every domain with minimal setup costs and without the need to involve an IT department.

What is your relationship with the telecom sector?
The telecom sector is at the core of communication technology: Telco companies enable large-scale communication, interact with millions of customers daily, and continuously need to talk to their customers to refine their products. Also, the telco business is changing fast, with new technologies like 5G starting to pick up pace, and frequent changes to regulations, e.g., regarding customer contracts. Thus, it’s more important than ever to stay at the forefront of innovation and quickly iterate products and services with customer feedback, which is where respeak can help break down barriers and reduce communication costs.

How have you got to your current stage of development: role of incubators, accelerators, key investors
With the help of the EXIST start-up grant, we were able to transfer our years of research at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) into usable prototypes fast. Since we started in October 2021, we are also glad to be supported by the XPRENEURS, STARTPLATZ, Gruendermotor, and CyberLab accelerators. These programs are a great source of feedback, insights, and contacts into the start-up and business worlds. Such connections are helping us a great deal to complement our strong university and research network.

Why did you establish the business? 
Our technologies are based on several years of research by the two founders at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Our leading know-how has been proven in more than 20+ scientific publications. Now, we are transferring state-of-the-art research knowledge to practice by developing tangible products for a better world. We are convinced that the pressing problems of our time can only be solved by better means of scalable communication – in particular, asking and understanding people with means that are both insightful and engaging. This is what we focused our research on when we started in 2018, and this is at the core of respeak’s vision and mission today.

Who inspired you?
Alexander Maedche, who supervised both our PhD’s has been a huge support and inspiration over the years, and we are very happy that he’s still supporting respeak as a mentor. As far as inspiration goes, Tim is a huge fan of Tim Urban ( Waitbutwhy is a master when it comes to breaking highly complex topics into easy-to-understand stories, which is something that we are constantly dealing with in the start-up world. Currently, we are also spending time with Rob Fitzpatrick’s “The mom test”, which is the go-to material for conducting better interviews. Something that’s not only relevant for us in terms of our own interview procedure but also for our tool on a technical level.

What does the future hold for your business?
Communication is everywhere and dialogs are the only way forward to reach a real understanding – and develop great solutions. We are working closely with our early customers to understand their use cases and sharpen our platform. If you are also ready to understand your customers, employees, and partners at scale, and shape the future of scalable communication together, drop us an email! We are looking forward to talking to you soon.

HEADQUARTERS: Karlsruhe, Germany
Dr. Tim Rietz 
Dr. Jasper Feine 

Respeak will be featured in the startup zone at Connected Germany in Mainz on the 5-6 April 2022. Book your place here