Project by: Christine Sikule, Laurel Stokes, Miguel Amador, Lisa Jenkins,

High Concept Statement: 

An in-person Linkedin: A career networking app that taps into NYU student & alumni contacts in order to arrange coffee and lunch dates with those nearby!

Platform:

iPhone

Category:

Social Networking

Need or Demand:

Studies have shown that networking opportunities are increasingly important for advancing your career and increasing career satisfaction. But it can be hard to find connections near you; or be aware that they exist. Having a local network will create easy opportunities to meet with colleagues who share similar interests and aspirations.

Product / Service / Solution:

This app would help facilitate meet-up opportunities among professionals. In addition to suggesting local users you may be interested in meeting the app will feature: – Suggest contacts with similar professional backgrounds and/or career goals – An in-app messenger for you to chat with each other and make plans – Suggest nearby coffee shops and restaurants where you can meet-up – A notes section for you to jot down what you discussed when you met – A push reminder for you to set for when you want to reach out to them again – A push notification setting that sends alerts when members you might like to connect with are in your area (5,10,or 15 miles away)

Value Proposition:

This scaleable app can be used for a variety of closed communities/networks. We would start with NYU current students and alumni. There are approx. 470,000 NYU Alumni and 50,000 students. We would then expand to other Universities and corporate groups to increase the number of potential users and expand the network. We could also potentially integrate and utilize LinkedIn profile information to find more connections. The Global WebIndex report from January 2016 puts the number of internet users at 3.4 billion and the number of social users at 2.3 billion, which leaves a large number of internet users and future social network users untapped. They also anticipate the annual growth in both categories to be 10% or greater. Furthermore the number of internet users equals less than 50% of the global population and as internet usage grows worldwide there will be more opportunities for social networks to expand their user base. Nielsen ranks LinkedIn the 5th most popular social media platform with roughly 60.1M unique visitors per month—Facebook is the 1st with 178.8M unique visitors illustrating that a professional social network is in demand, and that there’s still a large number of users that are not taking advantage of the most popular one available.

Competition:

The main large competitors are below. None of them offer an in-person career networking goal, and haven’t targeted the academic market specifically. 1. Linkedin: Online professional networking service. As of September 2016, they had 106 million active users, $3 billion revenue in 2015. Global reach with sites available in 24 languages. Acquired by Microsoft December 2016 for $26.4 billion. Offers premium membership for job seekers, and paid services for corporations/recruiters. 2. Viadeo: online professional networking service with large European base of approx. 50 million users as of 2013, and an estimated $40 million revenue in Ferris Research. 3. XING: Online professional networking service with largely German base. They have approx. 11 million users and in 2010 they had $54.3 million in revenue. Offers premium membership, and ‘closed communities’ for networking among employees/members. 4. MyOpportunity: Online professional networking platform targeting job seekers, employers, hiring managers and sales leads. Boasts a network of 50 million professionals in 190 countries.

Revenue Model:

Monetization strategy: 1. Membership for premium services for individuals; unlimited messaging to other users, and notification of who is looking at your profile. 2. Premium membership services for groups, other universities or corporate networks. For example, NYU could purchase a full subscription for their user base. 3. Acquisition by larger company such as LinkedIn.