This Company Really Loves Lunch
This Company Really Loves Lunch
Lunchpool. We are an innovative tech company feeding the hunger for human connection. Because in the lunchroom of life, everyone has a seat at the table.
Lunchpool uses cutting-edge technology to help people gather face-to-face. Whether you want to meet in person or at one of our awesome virtual experiences, we help you connect with people you would never meet otherwise. Our technology lets you build a profile of your professional and personal interests, skills, and endeavors. You’ll find like-minded people and amazing shared experiences. We create a healthier, happier, and fun world that fosters diversity, inclusion, and innovation. We believe that every idea deserves a seat at the table and every person has a right to share their voice.
Our story begins in 2018 when Lunchpool founder, Alex Abell, was sitting at his corporate desk eating the lunch his wife had packed for him. He was eating alone while his normal lunchmates, or his Lunchpool as he jokingly called it, were out at their go-to spot. A naturally social and outgoing guy, he looked around and thought, “I really know my lunch buddies but what about the rest of these people? I wish there were a way to get to know them. I would enjoy my lunch, even more, have some fresh conversation and start to build connections.”
The next day he was invited to a local startup event, Startup Weekend Tampa Bay. At the 52-hour event, his team pitched the idea of using technology to connect people instead of getting everyone glued to their screens. In his one-minute pitch, he described a platform that would serve as a digital icebreaker to get you over that weird hump of introducing yourself to a stranger. His thought was that anyone could be in your Lunchpool with the right data and methods of connection.
And they won first place! Just like that, his thought became a challenge. Alex did the smart thing and created a team of diverse talents. They quickly pulled together a prototype and we’re lucky to test it out with the 800 employees at KnowBe4 in Clearwater. Then COVID-19 happened. The new challenge was to offer virtual experiences that matched the face-to-face experiences at the lunch table.
Powered by the latest and greatest empathy-enabling technology from around the globe, including Chinese startup, Remo.co, Lunchpool lets people mix and mingle on a 2D map around tables in the comfort of their web browser. Now the team is exploring other global technology partners like Toasty. ai, spatial. video, Rally.ai, SYKE Insights, Run the World, and icebreakers. video to provide more ways for you to gather and connect meaningfully.
Innovation is at our core. A few months after we started, we hired a St. Pete-based creative consultant to help us with a brand identity exercise. We wanted to understand where we were and what we wanted to become. It was one of those things that big companies do, but we figured as a small startup we might as well be aspirational.
We discovered the four directions that would guide our company like a compass. To the east and west, work and play. We wanted to help people be more productive through the connections they form, but also remind them of the importance of downtime and play. To the south was inclusion, an important foundation on which to build the entire company. Our north star would be innovation. Innovation is a well-used word in the technology community but we decided to be true innovators and find technology that does things nobody else is even considering. We set the lofty goal of using tech to promote empathy, understanding, and a good dose of humanity. This focus on innovation and inclusion, mixed with work and play, drives absolutely every decision we make and everything we build.
Our network is what makes this all possible. Starting in Tampa Bay, we had immediate access to resources like incubators, accelerators, and mentors. It became easy to know the tools and people that would help us get to the next level. The Southeast has really embraced Lunchpool offerings. We’re convinced our success would not be possible anywhere else. In Silicon Valley, we would have quickly been discouraged or lost hope. Starting at home and building in our own backyard was the answer to our intense desire to make something awesome.
Having grown the team quickly, Lunchpool will continue to hire talented individuals with empathetic people skills and a passion for connective tech. We are excited about continuing our hunt for technology startups that bring people together. We have formed relationships with founders at an early stage who share our vision. We are building a platform to connect them all together.
We really do believe the world can be your Lunchpool. We strive to build the world’s first truly experiential social network. Our initiatives to help nonprofits and other organizations stay afloat amidst the pandemic have given us resources we would not have had otherwise (namely revenue). With money in hand, we are building some things that will truly amaze you. You can take that to lunch.