Shapr
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Entrepreneurs Say This App Has Shaped the Way They Network

Find out how you can make the connections that can take your business to the next level.
Entrepreneurs Say This App Has Shaped the Way They Network
Image credit: Courtesy of Shapr
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Almost every successful entrepreneur has one thing in common: they had help. Whether that came in the form of a dedicated co-founder, a dynamite sales director, or a dynamic mentor, there is virtually no entrepreneur that has built a company alone.

So how do you meet these essential connections that help you to build your business? One app is trying to solve that need.

Meet Shapr, a completely free tool for professionals to connect. Shapr does the work for you of finding nearby, relevant people who are also open to networking. The app is not just for entrepreneurs–it is also for professionals at every stage of their career.

Whether exploring a career change, searching for your next hire, or hunting for the right investor to help you grow your ideas, Shapr relies on your self-selected interests (such as #Startups #NonProfit #Filmmaking) and location to make up to 15 suggestions a day of people who you may find interesting. This limit makes connecting with quality people a priority and gives you time to actually meet your matches. When both people accept the connection by swiping right or clicking meet, a match is made and you can easily message your new contact to take the conversation offline. 

Shapr has already made 1.5 million matches in 2017. Some of the resulting conversations have led to deep exchanges that have helped to pivot and grow companies. We caught up with Sysamone Phaphon, the CEO of film distribution platform FilmHero, and an avid Shapr app user.

Based in San Francisco, Phaphon left a career in healthcare to start her dream app, which was meant to introduce moviegoers to others who share their interests. This career shift required Phaphon to build an entirely new network in both the film and tech industries to support her business—something incredibly difficult to do while balancing being a single mother. While complaining to a friend about meeting people and how exhausting and unproductive most networking events were turning out to be, a friend suggested Shapr.

“I started off chatting with a few matches while still in my pajamas on my couch,” Phaphon says. “In that moment, I knew this product was going to make networking so much more convenient and efficient for me. I was hooked from the start.”

Sysamone Phaphon, founder and CEO of film distribution platform FilmHero
Image credit: Darryl Paul Hofer

Her first game-changing connection came during a trip to L.A., during which one of her Shapr contacts introduced her to a strategic partner. Over coffee, the conversation helped Phaphon identify a bigger need in the film industry: support for independent filmmakers to get licensing, distribution and screening tour support options for their specific film niche.

Phaphon realized that in an evolving digital economy, filmmakers could not find the right distribution support, nor did they know where to begin with self-distribution. This conversation encouraged her to take steps to validate the need. Phaphon has since pivoted her company to FilmHero, a platform that helps filmmakers monetize their films by screening in targeted venues where a specific paid audience exists for their film niche. FilmHero also provides licensing, digital distribution and marketing support in an evolving digital economy.

Shapr helps me get connected to the right people,” Phaphon says. “I was at the intersection of two new industries and didn’t know where to start and who to talk to. Now I have strong networks in both industries and I’ve met tons of collaborators. Shapr is the new way to connect.”

Phaphon’s latest news is that she has entered the contract review phase with a new connection she made through the app. This collaboration will help filmmakers in her network get their films acquired by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

So what are you waiting for? Download Shapr to find that professional connection that just may change your life. Shapr is completely free and available for iOS and Android.

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