Networking is a pillar of entrepreneurship and there is no simpler and more convenient way to do it than online. With new connections, new ideas, projects and collaborations may just materialise. Shapr, a tool that helps entrepeneurs network by matching them with each other might just be the easiest way to expand your social and business circle.
Shapr is an app with an interface similar to a matchmaking app, in which it brings people together based on their interests, location and professional experience. Users will only be connected with each other if both have indicated interest in interacting, leaving no room for unsolicited mesages. Much like Tinder, Shapr also uses the swiping motion to indicate interest, with a location-based method to find other like-minded individuals nearby.
The networking platform caps the number of users on one’s network to just 50. With a small number of users on a network, each connection is more meaningful. It also limits the number of swipes and checking in on the people nearby to a few minutes a day, so users focus more on developing thir current networks. Shapr also added a news feed for users to post events so users can meet face-to-face, job openings, freelance opportunities and recommendations for making more connections.
Research indicates that networking contributes to happiness
Shapr’s French-born founder Ludovic Huraux cites research by Robert Waldinger, who is the Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies of happiness in history. Waldinger’s research proves that a person’s life is shaped by the social connections you foster, and 75 years of research showed that having quality relationships in your life, both personal and professional, dramatically improves your memory and your health.
On that note, Shapr believes that the most successful and happy people have two characteristics in common: They live at the center of large networks and they also focus on contributing to the success of others.
Shapr user and undergrad Nipuna Ambanpola is the founder of youth-operated non-profit Ivolunteer International, and uses the app daily to network with other professionals. According to Nipuna, Shapr is “a global platform for education and inspiration.” He uses Shapr to connect with others in his field. One of his connections is Breauna, a non-profit leader in Atlanta.
Breauna is nonprofit leader in Atlanta who is helping Nipuna find new projects to add to his organisation. He has also helped Nipuna find mentors. Nipuna told Shapr that he skyped with a more senior woman working in policy in New York, who was willing to share her advice with him about the careers available after graduation.
While Nipuna is newer to the nonprofit sector, he has already made a major impact with his organization, said Shapr. IVolunteer International connects youth volunteers with international projects that improve the quality of human life, promote economic stability and increase cultural sensitivity. Ivolunteer International has connected 1,200 volunteers with 20 projects globally. Its newest project the #BirthdayDeed initiative, hopes to inspire people around the world to give back to the community on their birthdays.