Tinder, InstaMessage, Happn or Badoo are 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.
The professional market for this type of app is still largely untapped, Marc van Ballegooijen (pictured right), inventor of HandShake, thought. Still, the need for a meeting app 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?
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 and 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.”
The idea for HandShake came in a hotel lobby, waiting for a business partner. Van Ballegooijen was curious to know who the people 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.
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.
“There is not yet an app which brings people together on a business level without being limited to an event. With HandShake you can boost your network anywhere, anytime. Where several apps such as Happn and Tinder bring people together on a relationship level, HandShake does this on a business level. In the future everyone can make their networking moments more effective by selecting people in advance and by sending a HandShake to people who are relevant for their network.”