For several professionals, a busy career means many nights spent rushing to networking events or searching LinkedIn for meaningful people to contact. That’s several hours spent commuting, handing out business cards, or following up on unanswered emails rather than meeting the right contacts face to face. One company hopes to stir up the networking game and make meeting the right professional contacts as simple as ordering dinner.
Enter Shapr – an algorithm-based app that is changing the game for professionals. Instead of long and often awkward networking events, Shapr is using smart data to introduce professionals with common interests.
Creating a Shapr profile is free and easy. Professionals just need to download the app and add a few pieces of data: five to ten professional interests (i.e. #marketing, #socialmedia), a short bio and a photo. Users who sign up using a LinkedIn profile will see much of their profile autocomplete, though they can add edit their answers afterwards.
Shapr’s AI will sort all profiles using location, common interests and industry to curate a daily batch of 10 to 15 nearby professionals that match your networking goals. Users can then swipe through new profiles each day, swiping right on the people they hope to meet. It’s the perfect hybrid of LinkedIn and Tinder – a power tool for networking with a fun and simple UI/UX experience.
We caught up with a few Shapr users to get their take. Patrice Archer, a London based CEO, is the Co-Founder of Appy Ventures, a tech partner for startups and businesses that need help creating mobile apps. Four years into his business, Patrice wants to spend more time with his family and less time going to networking events to find new clients. Patrice says Shapr has been the key: “Shapr is a time-effective way for me to meet new people while running a business and raising two kids.”
We also spoke with Emily Lirag, an account executive in NYC. Emily says apps like Shapr are helping to downplay the awkwardness that comes with networking. “It is incredibly hard to grab someone’s attention in a room full of people,” admits Emily. “I prefer meeting people one on one, when I already know a bit about the individual and way a conversation makes sense. Shapr helps me expand my network in a way I’m comfortable doing.”
The app also uses smart data, making improved daily suggestions based on whom you swipe left and right. So why is this changing the game?
Shapr is helping networking requests land in the right inbox. First, every user on the app is also looking for networking opportunities. That means that every profile you scan is someone actively looking to make new connections. More importantly, the app does not allow you to message users until you have both swiped yes. Similar to the AI matchmaking used on dating apps like Tinder, Shapr helps to cut out the noise and only connect you with the people you want to meet. The result is a high probability of matching, and an even higher probability of your message getting returned.
Shapr is not intended to replace real-life interactions and strongly recommends that all users who match take the conversation offline over coffee. The goal is to use AI for making initial connections, but to get people building meaningful, long-term professional relationships offline. So far that goal is working, with hundreds of users meeting for coffee each week in the US, UK and France.
Download the Shapr app today and start making meaningful professional connections.