10 Ways Entrepreneurs Use Automated Meeting Note-taker To Build Their Companies

. 9 min read

Starting a business is exhausting. Coming up with a viable business model is difficult enough, but having to chase down clients, make sales, and keep an eye on operations around the clock can take a major toll. It’s no wonder entrepreneurs do whatever it takes to make their businesses succeed. Working anywhere from 20 to 70 hours a week, they often make serious sacrifices to keep their businesses alive.

Otter wants to help entrepreneurs reclaim as much free time as possible. Through its AI-powered assistant, Otter automatically generates transcripts of meetings, lectures, and other important voice conversations. For entrepreneurs, who are often bogged down with meetings, phone calls, and other essential discussions, Otter makes it possible to create transcriptions out of thin air, leaving a detailed record of the conversations for future reference.

In fact, many entrepreneurs have incorporated Otter into their business workflows to generate new revenue, streamline operations, and build long-term client relationships.

Here are 10 ways entrepreneurs are using Otter to build their companies:

1. Journalism transcriptions

2. Note taking

3. Client meeting transcriptions

4. Microsoft Teams transcriptions

5. Venture capital pitches

6. Content generation

7. Podcast transcriptions

8. Live event transcriptions

9.  Performance management

10. Education transcriptions


1. Journalism transcriptions

Journalists are entrepreneurs at heart, always working their sources and tracking down the best possible story. In communities throughout the world, freelance journalists have the immense responsibility of recording and sharing stories that are crucial to our collective understanding of the world.

Whether they’re staff members at a major metro publication, or freelancers sending out pitches to an army of editors, one key task for journalists is conducting quality interviews. In the pursuit of truth, accuracy is essential. So having a complete, accurate record of what a source recounted or what was stated at a news conference is necessary to telling a proper story.

Otter makes it possible to spend less time transcribing interviews, a common chore for many journalists. Don Nicastro, a staff reporter at Boston’s CMSWire, incorporated Otter into his workflow as a replacement for listening to calls and transcribing them himself. Searchable audio, which becomes possible once Otter creates an AI-driven transcript, allows journalists to search for key words or phrases in order to quickly identify information necessary for their reporting.

2. Note taking

No matter the line of work, at some point, somebody is going to have to take notes – writing down what other people said. It’s not necessarily a fun job, but in many meetings, it’s essential.​

But even for people who can write or type quickly, notes aren’t always perfect. The notetaker may choose to highlight pieces of the conversation that aren’t necessarily relevant, or allow small amounts of bias to creep into the document. Even though they may be trying their best, human note taking leaves plenty of room for error.

UX designer Mike Blacker cited Otter as his new tool to record and transcribe user interviews. Rather than relying on an in-room note taker, users like him use Otter to produce robust transcriptions for future reference. Because its transcriptions are automatic and processed by AI, Otter reduces the risk of introducing human bias into the note-taking process, leaving a fair, accurate account of the conversation that transpired.

Automated meeting notes

3. Client meeting transcriptions

Entrepreneurs know the importance of a quality client meeting. Whether it’s a new prospect or an established relationship, meetings often provide important support for projects currently underway and lay the groundwork for future business.

Even in our highly-digital age, where relationships are just a Skype call or Slack chat away, face-to-face meetings remain critically important. Being able to read the body language and tone of others in the room makes it easier to leave a meeting with clarity, and with purpose that hasn’t been obfuscated by a poor cellular signal.

Social Brighton, a UK-based social media marketing agency, cited Otter as one of its favorite new apps for keeping client meetings on track. Otter allows entrepreneurs to stay focused on the conversation during a client meeting without having to take copious notes.

When an entrepreneur stays connected to the client in the room, meetings can become more personal, efficient, and effective, breaking down artificial barriers and allowing all parties to communicate with clarity. After the meeting, Otter’s transcription provides a searchable version of the conversation, creating an accurate record of what was discussed.

4. Microsoft Teams transcriptions

Audio conferencing has become a staple of modern business. From nearly any computer or mobile device, users can organize and connect to discussions without being bound to a specific location. Thanks to audio conferencing, entrepreneurs can work remotely and still be available to speak and collaborate with clients, employees, and stakeholders.

Microsoft Teams, a communications hub that’s part of the Office 365 suite, keeps users connected through text-based chat, audio conferencing, and video conferencing. Its audio conferencing capabilities allow users to dial in by app or phone no matter their location, allowing entrepreneurs to carry out business across as many time zones as necessary.

Kevin Kieller, a business communications strategies professional, cited Otter as a solution to transcribing Microsoft Teams sessions. For Microsoft Teams discussions with several participants, keeping track of what’s being said by multiple voices can be difficult. Using Otter to bring to life a Microsoft Teams session makes the discussion easier to access for future reference, and easy to share with users who weren’t able to attend the meeting in the first place.

5. Venture capital pitches

One of the most crucial, high-pressure tasks for an entrepreneur is raising capital. Building or expanding a business can often require significant investment, and it’s not easy to ask a stranger to hand over some cash to bring an idea to life.

But venture capital firms exist to do just that, offering funding to entrepreneurs and startups that need a boost to get their business off the ground. In pitch sessions, like a real-life version of Shark Tank, entrepreneurs tell their story and share crucial facts about their line of work in order to convey the potential and viability of their company or idea.

Venture capitalists such as Tim Draper sometimes interview up to eight different entrepreneurs a day. With all those high-stakes meetings, it can be difficult to keep track of the sheer amount of information passing through the meeting room doors. With Otter’s AI-based transcriptions, venture capitalists can record each session and have an accurate record of what was said.

6. Content generation

Turning an idea into a piece of content isn’t always as simple as putting a pen to paper – or, more realistically, fingers to a keyboard. No matter the form the content takes, a certain amount of brainstorming and preparation is often necessary to determine how an idea will be developed and structured. This is often one of the trickiest parts of the ideation stage – where to begin? – and can lead to writer's block, fear of failure, and an inability to move forward.

Generating content doesn’t always have to feel like squeezing blood from a stone; in fact, many good ideas and concepts can flow quickly when it doesn't feel like “work.” In meetings and brainstorming sessions, there’s often no end to good ideas and threads to pull to generate paths towards creation.​

Dale Beaumont, a business educator and entrepreneur, realized the potential for Otter to help bring new ideas for content to life without participants having to write anything down. While speaking with Otter running in the background, users can freely explore and flesh out ideas for content, and once ready to create, use the transcription as a jumping-off point.

Rather than starting from scratch, entrepreneurs can use Otter’s transcriptions to read the full scope of ideas that were explored and use them as an outline or beginning. Even if it’s just a couple of ideas, Otter’s simple capture of ideas and thoughts that were voiced can help creators save serious time and generate more content than they might have thought possible.

7. Podcast transcriptions

Podcasts have emerged as one of the fastest-growing media for news and entertainment. With more than 700,000 active podcasts to choose from, and more launching every day, audiences are drawn to on-demand experiences from trusted brands like NPR, beloved personalities like Ron Burgundy, or do-it-yourselfers blazing trails with little more than a microphone and a WiFi connection.

At first glance, podcasts – a portmanteau of “iPod” and “broadcast,” stemming from their origins as downloadable content in the early days of the iTunes Store – may not seem like a medium that would require text transcription. But for many entrepreneurs and content creators, podcasts don’t just live as one-and-done pieces of audio. The underlying text has just as much value.

Phil Gerbyshak, a business podcaster, uses Otter to create show notes with accurate time stamps. Chris Penn, a marketing consultant and motivational speaker, relies on Otter to create transcripts of his video podcasts. Both Gerbyshak and Penn are drawing more value out of their existing content by making it available in new formats, while eliminating significant amounts of work they would otherwise have to do by hand.

8. Live event transcriptions

Professional events give attendees the chance to network, share ideas, and gain valuable knowledge. Across every imaginable industry, live shows and conferences keep thought leaders, teachers, and professionals who are seeking to further their expertise connected, through keynote speeches and learning sessions.

Drew Ianni, the founder and chair of Chief Digital Officer (CDX) forums, understands the value of such events. After Otter was chosen as an official technology partner of the 2018 Digital Work Experience (DWX) conference, Ianni saw new monetization opportunities arise from Otter’s transcription capabilities.

For organizations producing live events, Otter can quickly turn presentations into products. Transcriptions of an event can be prepared and delivered to attendees upon the event's conclusion. Transcriptions can also present an opportunity to sell content to a wide audience once an event has finished. In addition, Otter can help events run smoothly by making it possible for presenters to transcribe speeches as they prepare.

See Otter in action for live events.

9. Performance measurement

Another key task for entrepreneurs is to make sure their businesses are running as efficiently as possible. Whether it’s a startup or an entrenched business, the push for efficiency is often driven by a lack of resources, or by a desire to run the leanest operation possible in order to stay nimble.

One way to keep an operation tight is to measure employee performance. By understanding how employees are carrying out their work, entrepreneurs can identify areas of success and opportunities for improvement, making it possible to develop and execute sets of best practices for the business.​

Sam Lessin, an investor with Slow Ventures, sees the value in using Otter to provide managers with transcripts that can help them measure employee performance. Rather than waiting for an annual review, managers can look over common interactions and offer coaching or guidance over the course of an employee’s career.

10. Education transcripts

There’s another word that describes the entrepreneurs of tomorrow: students. From incoming freshmen to outgoing MBA grads, today’s university students will soon be creating the companies, products, and ideas that propel business and society into the 22nd century.

For most students, the bulk of their education experience is spent in the classroom. Lecture halls are filled with rows of students glued to MacBooks, iPads, and notebooks, noting key concepts from lecturers in hopes of retaining the right information. Many students also choose to record lectures for future reference, allowing them to circle back on concepts they seek to better understand.​

Otter’s live transcription capabilities allow future entrepreneurs to record and transcribe lectures and study sessions in real time. Rather than listening to hours-long blocks of audio from that professor who couldn’t possibly speak any more slowly, students can refer to Otter's clean, searchable transcript of the information presented.​

For students who might not be able to attend a particular class, Otter makes it possible to read exactly what transpired. Users can also share their notes, allowing those who weren’t using the app to follow along.


As you can see, a transcription solution can have a surprising variety of uses for just about any kind of company or project. The above are just some of the ways entrepreneurs are using Otter to streamline their workflows and build their businesses, whether they're just starting out or well on the road to success.