Meeting new people is easier than ever in the era of social media. Privately we date, app, chat quite a bit. Professionally this is not quite as common. The new app HandShake allows you to network anywhere professionally. Nice and efficient.

Dating from your couch

Who’s still going out in the streets to meet people? We consult Tinder, InstaMessage, Happn or Badoo from our couch. They’re all apps that help you select people who are possibly interesting to meet. Based on hobbies, interests, looks, maybe even geographical distance. These apps usually are fairly simple to use. Chosen someone? Picture to the right. Match? Plan a date.

Badges are useless

The professional market for this type of app is still largely lying waste, Marc van Ballegooijen, inventor of HandShake, realized. Still, the need for a meetingapp in business must be as large as at home. Business meeting places like airport terminals, but also congresses and other (networking) events provide a number of ways to meet each other. Very often to facilitate this badges are worn – but how many people really look at these badges? The only requirements for HandShake are a smartphone and a LinkedIn profile.

Apps disappear again

What a waste of app designs, Marc van Ballegooijen thought, and he started to develop a solution on his own. “I am curious by nature en often take part in business meetings. Apps that are offered at these meetings usually are the first to disappear from your phone after the meeting. Simply because they become completely useless after such an event. Moreover, I have never found a simple app that allowed me to select interesting business people nearby in advance.”

Who’s in the lobby?

The idea for HandShake came in a hotel lobby, waiting for a business partner. Van Ballegooijen was curious to know who these people who were sitting in the lobby were and what they could mean to one another businesswise. He himself is outgoing and easily contacts people. Still he doesn’t walk up to just anybody to start a conversation. In the lobby he asked himself a question:

How can I arrange for people who are somewhere through the right business information, to select one another and have an appointment that same day?

The answer is: HandShake. A meeting app that allows professionals to come in contact with one another anywhere through their LinkedIn profile and using localization. And it is simple. ‘Keep it simple’ was foremost throughout the whole development process. Many organisations have already used HandShake for their event as a service to their visitors. 25 percent of all visitors at the MVO Nederland 2017 event last year, were connected through the app.

Add value with volume

It is exciting to see whether the app will be a success. HandShake could just as well become a standard app on any businessman’s or businesswoman’s phone, but only if they realise the added value the app provides. And that added value depends on the number of people using the app. The fact that Tinder is among the best dating apps can be credited to its user friendliness, but also to its installed base of 40 million active users worldwide. The eventual aim of Van Ballegooijen’s app is to get as many active users as possible to meet one another in a professional way.

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