Sure, the latest initiatives from the Teslas, Apples and Googles of the industry tend to dominate the tech news space — and with good reason. Still, the tech titans aren’t the only ones bringing innovation to the sector.
In an effort to highlight up-and-coming startups, Built In has launched The Future 5 across 11 major U.S. tech hubs. Each quarter, we will feature five tech startups, nonprofits or entrepreneurs in each of these hubs who just might be working on the next big thing. Read our round-up of Dallas’s rising startups from last quarter here.
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The workplace is changing. It has been since even before the Covid-19 pandemic rapidly introduced companies to the world of remote work. One company has been working on the future of company culture since 2017, bringing enterprises into the metaverse with its intuitive remote meeting and events platform.
While Preciate first started as an employee recognition platform, the pandemic was the beginning of many innovative changes for the startup. Suddenly forced to meet via video call, Preciate founder and CEO Ed Stevens said his Dallas-based team wasn’t satisfied with the remote working experience.
“It was hard to have large team meetings, only one person could talk at a time and there was little to no reaction from the attendees. ... As we were a tech company, we knew that we weren’t the only ones who were unhappy with this technology and saw an opportunity to fix it,” Stevens told Built In in an email.
For Preciate, “fixing it” meant developing what is now the Preciate Social Presence platform, an intuitive way to host meetings and events online that more closely replicates the benefits and vibes of in-person gatherings.
“[With virtual meetings] it was hard to have large team meetings, only one person could talk at a time and there was little to no reaction from the attendees. ... As we were a tech company, we knew that we weren’t the only ones who were unhappy with this technology and saw an opportunity to fix it.”
The platform allows users to create and move freely between digital “rooms,” which are customizable with features like backgrounds, music playlists and virtual objects like furniture, branded items and more. As employees move through rooms, the noise volume changes, growing louder or softer based on virtual proximity. This is meant to replicate how it feels to move through an office space, where coworkers might gather in particular rooms based on activity or visit each other’s desks to catch up. According to Preciate, this allows users to be more authentically present with their colleagues.
“The free agency and audio proximity of our platform make it unique when compared to other virtual meeting platforms. We still offer all the standard virtual meeting functionality, like presentations and screen sharing, but our users love that they have the ability to move wherever they want without being controlled by the host,” Stevens said. “Having music in the background also makes a big difference compared to other platforms, especially if the event is for networking or socializing. It makes every gathering more memorable which builds trust, culture and relationships.”
Today, over 3,300 organizations use Preciate to bring their teams together in the age of hybrid work. According to Preciate, its overall user feedback has been positive with 95 percent of users reporting using the platform led to stronger human connections.
“Companies like Johnson & Johnson have held large recruiting events as a meet and greet using Preciate, and they say it’s just like being in-person,” Stevens said. “Overall, the feedback we get from our customers is that Preciate helps them build better connections, which also helps them accelerate business.”