Project by:

Richard Sheng

High Concept Statement: 

Meetup + Tinder. An app that allows people to connect with others going to the same event through a Tinder-like interface.

Platform:

iPhone

Category:

Business

Need or Demand:

At most events / conferences, there are always opportunities to network.   However, the actual networking process (and whom you speak with) is left up to chance and proximity. Furthermore, for shy people like myself, there is always tremendous social anxiety in approaching strangers to talk.   Therefore, there is a need that can help connect people going to the same event / conference based on matching common interests, so that they can determine if they wish to meet before/after the event to speak further. The app would also help ease the social anxiety of approaching strangers, as you can first chat through the app.

Product / Service / Solution:

The app will allow you to see the list of Meetup events that you are attending. After select an event, the app will suggest other attendees based on common interests and profile info through a Tinder-like interface. If both attendees “swipe right”, they can then start chatting to explore if they would want to connect at the event in person. Users can manage all their chats through the app, and become more effective and efficient at networking. The app would initially target Meetup events, but will ultimately be scaled out to allow conference organizers to utilize for the attendees of their conferences. As inspired by the #HackHarassment initiative, the chat component of the app will also prevent harassment by screening specific racist language and use Natural Language Processing to warn users of potentially harassment language.

Value Proposition:

My app will help people be more efficient and effective at networking. It would streamline the networking process by suggesting other attendees the user may want to connect with. The algorithm will become smarter as the data expands beyond Meetup.com profile data, to include other social media information and user-entered data. The app will help those with social anxiety when networking to connect with others digitally first. Also no chat apps today automatically screen for potential harassment language, which my app will offer.

Competition:

Today, people can message other attendees of Meetups, but they have to individually click through each users Meetup.com profile data to see if there’s common interests. This is an onerous process and limited to Meetup.com data. Furthermore, conference organizers will sometimes offer apps for specific conferences, but again the data is limited to what the user has entered, and none offer to help connect attendees based on profiles.

Revenue Model:

The Meetinder app will be free to use but supported by advertisements.   Ultimately a white-label version of the app will be provided to conference organizers, so that they provided it as value-add for their attendees. It would also help them connect sponsors with attendees much more effectively