We should all really be thankful for Tinder. It’s not only bringing lonely singles together with a single swipe, it’s spawning a generation of modern-day matchmaking businesses.
The desire to forge connections between startups, job seekers and employers and network-hungry finance professionals has inspired these three entrepreneurs to put a digital twist on an old fashioned custom and make sweet, sweet, beautiful matches.
Helping small business find love-ly collaborations
In order for small businesses to be successful, they need help -- often from other small businesses. And to do that they need to connect, get a feel for each other and then partner up.
Jessica Ruhfus recognised this and, after becoming frustrated with how difficult that process actually was, created Collabosaurus -- a platform to fix it.
“Collabosaurus is like a dating website for businesses to source valuable, relevant strategic partnerships with other brands,” she told The Huffington Post Australia.
“We wanted to make it easier and less time consuming to find really great opportunities with brands that help complimentary audiences and target markets, so with Tinder being on the rise it was bit of an inspiration for the business platform.
“We’re helping them find things from event partnership, social media cross promotion, product collaboration and competitions and referral partnerships.”
Collabosaurus is an online network of small and large businesses which operates like a dating site -- each business writes a profile of what it has to offer to a new relationship whether it’s finance, personal skills or powerful social media accounts -- and others can check them out and consider if they like what they see.
Collaborations can involve anything from co-creating a new line of footwear, having your cupcakes at another firm’s public event or sharing Instagram love through a social media competition.
Ruhfus decided to keep business anonymous until a collaboration is formed. She said this is to allow bigger players such as Top Shop to peruse their options without being hounded by unsuitable suitors, and to also limit the fear of rejection.
“There can be some fear around reaching out and being rejected when it comes to partnerships for small business,” she said. “We’ve seen in the past with traditional partnerships that small business owners tend to get taken advantage of, perhaps they aren’t 100 percent confident in their assets and negotiation.
“So anonymity adds to the confidence booster because people are either accepting a match request or contacting you because you have the assets to give so by the time you connect you know that you’re both interested -- there’s no rejection. We don’t want anyone to judge a book by its cover.”
There are more than 1400 active users on the site, which launched in April, and Ruhfus says there have been “hundreds” of collaborations so far. There have even been international connections with users based in New Zealand, the U.S., UK and Canada.
Companies can join Collabosaurus at www.Collabosaurus.com, memberships start at $30 and go to $90.
Find your perfect job match
Frustration as an employer with the recruitment process for hospitality staff led entrepreneur Chris Hansen to start the web-based LikeAJob employment platform.
LikeAJob is like the love child of EHarmony and Seek, with job seekers and employers using the mobile-responsive website to find and instantly “like” each other once they are matched and given a percentage rating for their compatibility.
A small business can post an ad for free on the site, and within 24 hours anyone who has been matched with a 70 percent rating or higher will be sent an email alert. The job seeker can then choose to “like” the employer and if the employer likes them back, they can then pay a $9.90 fee to unlock the candidate’s details and make contact.
“The key thing that sets us apart is the commercial transaction only happens when an employer likes a jobseeker and that jobseeker likes an employer, so they know that it’s mutual -- that’s the real dating site technology,” Hansen said.
Hansen says the system’s algorithm, designed in Canberra, match-makes based on filters.
“The system will automatically match you with whatever you’re looking for -- a barista, a carpenter or a childcare teacher -- and then you’ll put minimum qualification levels you require and we’ll only show you those people, as well as location and experience,” he said.
“We wanted a quick 24-hour, 7-day a week instant gratification process. So for a young person it doesn’t cost them anything. Once they hit like their profile gets sent to the employer so they can apply for five jobs in five seconds.”
Small business can also use the website as an entry-level headhunting tool, searching for candidates based on skills, location and experience and liking those that fit the bill.
Since its launch three months ago, LikeAJob has attracted 9000 job seekers and 900 employers in mainly trades, hospitality, childcare and office admin fields in Canberra and Sydney, although candidates can register all over Australia.'
Tinder for finance professionals
Another Tinder-inspired app has just been launched to help young brokers, accountants and financial planners network in an innovative way.
Networking 3 (N3) gives time-poor professionals a “digital introduction” to other attendees at an N3 event by allowing them to scan their profiles and decide who they’d like to introduce themselves to.
The platform is the brainchild of finance broker Edwena Dixon, who was inspired to create it after becoming frustrated with traditional ways of making essential career-progressing contacts in her industry.
“Established networking initiatives have become old boys’ clubs with little focus on real collaboration and few opportunities for younger professionals to develop relationships,” she said.
“There is a very real risk that highly talented professionals will leave the industry due to a lack of opportunities to develop the networks they need.”
N3 participants are added to an online platform when they register so other attendees can search using certain criteria.
“They can search for their ideal networking partner by industry, area, years of experience, company size and more,” Dixon said.
“The best matches to their criteria are then displayed in search results and they can click through to their LinkedIn or Facebook profiles to learn more about them before deciding whether or not they’d like to introduce themselves.”
N3’s launch event, Collaborate or Die, will be held in Melbourne on November 17 and a Sydney event is planned for next year.