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Conversation
Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Joonas Ahola, CEO & Founder of MeetingPackage, a venue management platform that has raised over $8 Million in funding. 

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Early Entrepreneurship: Joonas started his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 14, founding his second company in the event industry by 16. His early start showcases the blend of passion and ambition driving his career.
  • The Pivot to Venue Management: Initially launched as a marketplace in 2016, MeetingPackage pivoted in 2018 to focus on solving the fundamental problem of venue booking and management, emphasizing the importance of aligning product offerings with market needs.
  • Overcoming Industry Legacy Challenges: Joonas highlighted the challenge of integrating with legacy systems in the hospitality industry, underscoring the persistence needed to innovate in a space with entrenched practices.
  • Navigating Through COVID-19: The pandemic posed significant challenges to the hospitality industry. MeetingPackage’s strategic decision to focus on engineering and R&D during this time positioned them for growth post-pandemic, demonstrating resilience and long-term vision.
  • Partnership-Driven GTM Strategy: The go-to-market strategy for MeetingPackage heavily relies on partnerships, leveraging relationships to drive sales and product adoption, illustrating the power of collaboration in scaling a B2B tech company.
  • The Future Vision: With a goal to own the largest inventory of instantly bookable venues globally by 2027, MeetingPackage aims to become a key player in the business travel and events sector, signaling ambitious growth plans and a clear vision for the future.

 

Actionable
Takeaways

Embrace the Power of Pivoting:

Joonas’ transition from a marketplace model to a focus on venue management software underscores the importance of being willing to pivot in response to market feedback and internal analyses. For tech founders, recognizing when a pivot is necessary and acting decisively can be critical to aligning with market needs and achieving scalability.

Integrate with Legacy Systems Strategically:

Overcoming the challenges of integrating with existing legacy systems in the hospitality industry was a significant hurdle for MeetingPackage. For founders in tech, particularly in sectors with entrenched legacy systems, developing a strategy that includes building flexible, adaptable solutions and navigating industry politics is essential for success.

Leverage Partnerships for Growth:

The partnership-driven GTM strategy employed by MeetingPackage highlights how strategic collaborations can amplify product reach and effectiveness. Founders should consider identifying potential partners that align with their business goals to enhance their go-to-market strategy and drive adoption.

Invest in R&D During Industry Downturns:

The strategic focus on R&D during the COVID-19 pandemic allowed MeetingPackage to prepare for future growth despite immediate challenges. Tech founders can take away the importance of leveraging slower periods for product development and innovation, positioning the company for accelerated growth when market conditions improve.

Understand Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP):

Joonas' approach to refining MeetingPackage’s ICP, including recognizing which customers were not a fit, emphasizes the value of a clear understanding of your target market. For founders, continually refining the ICP based on product evolution and market feedback is crucial for focusing resources effectively and maximizing impact.

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