Have you ever been to a networking event, but found you were unable to make a meaningful connection? Securing meetings and creating valuable partnerships are key reasons why many visit conferences, but until now, making the right connections at an event was largely based on luck.
That is no longer the case.
While over 5 million networking events are held each year, a new startup up, Brella, is changing the way these events are run.
Launched just 12 months ago in Finland, Brella is already profitable business and has secured some of the biggest companies in the world as clients, including Facebook Inc FB 0.56%, Microsoft Corporation MSFT 0.1%, International Business Machines Corp. IBM 1.17% and Nokia Corp (ADR) NOK 1.62%.
Networking at events has never been easier. When an event organizer employs Brella, attendees can submit their LinkedIn Corp LNKD 0.1% profile to the Brella website, highlight some background information on themselves, what they are looking for and what they have to offer.
“The key is the algorithm behind the matchmaking, it connects people with the most similarities and best matches with they are looking for. Brella then pairs up event attendees with their best possible matches,” said co-founder and chief operating officer Jyrki Paananen. Users are also able to search all the event attendees and become familiar and network with those attending before the event takes place.
How Does It Work?
Attendees are able to send requests to meet at the event in 15-minute increments and see if they hit it off. Every meeting is requested, meaning meetings need to be accepted, so there is a mutual interest.
“People go to these events, they spent a ton of money, and everything is left on random, we want to make random disappear, we want to make their day more efficient, help the event organizers, and help the people that pay them,” said Ville Vanhala, co-founder and director of business development.
It is a win-win situation: The attendees are able to utilize an event more efficiently, and businesses stand to benefit through more meaningful partnerships and connections being made.
“The goal is to connect as many people as possible around the world with the same interests, and make events run as efficient as possible,” added Vanhala.
Brella currently is a web-based platform but expects to launch an app within the next two months. Currently self-funded, the company will be starting a Silicon Valley seed round in the fall to scale the business.
Not only is the platform useful for event organizers and attendees, the data Brella collects is also a key aspect of the business.
“There are so many different layers to events, the future is in the data we are collecting, we can see what people are offering but also what they are looking for, it is ridiculous the data we are gathering, the data is also valuable for the event organizers,” said Paananen.