Get All Access for $5/mo

Tell Us: Would You Swipe Right for a Networking Opportunity? Meshly joins the ranks of startups that aim to be the Tinder of professional connections.

By Laura Entis

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Meshly

We're safely in the Age of Tinder 2.0. The popular app, which allows users to make split second decisions about potential dates by swiping right or left, has ushered in not only a fleet of similar dating apps, but a second-wave crop of apps that are taking the concept beyond dating and into professional networking.

The Finnish startup Meshly, which launched an updated version of its iOS and Android app today, is just one of many startups positioning itself as the "Tinder of networking.' Using location information, the service connects users to a range of nearby business opportunities posted by other Meshly members.

"It doesn't matter if you're looking for a co-founder for your next techventure, or just want to discuss some marketing ideas over drinks," the company said in a press release.

Related: Hinge, the Less Random Tinder, Raises $12 Million

Like Tinder, users are matched if both parties swipe right. Unlike Tinder, evaluations center on the professional opportunity on the table, not on romantic interest (so, looks).

Meshly is far from the first company to try and crack the proximity professional networking market. There are a host of older apps out there all hawking the same basic concept, including Let's Lunch, Networkr and Weave.

The idea is intriguing. As mobile dating becomes more commonplace and unconventional work schedules mean networking continues to bleed into personal life, apps that take Tinder's approach and apply it to professional contacts make a kind of warped sense. "We have seen the need for meshly many times when looking to find great people or trying to start businesses abroad without an existing network," CEO Niko Porkka said in a press release.

While details on the app are scarce, it seems to be positioning itself as a casual vehicle to meet other like-minded business professionals, an event finder and a place to search for freelancers and other experts who can provide tangible services, presumably for a fee.

Related: Lyft Is Playing in Tinder's Sandbox

Meshly's ability to position itself as a service for more than just casual professional meetups may be key to its success, however. Finding a business connection is, for better or worse, likely less of a snap-judgment decision than finding a date. Tinder's beauty (and some would argue, it's problem) is its simplicity of use: it's a glorified game of hot or not. Deciding whether or not to talk shop over drinks, though? That's a harder decision to make with a single swipe.

Which perhaps helps explain why so far, we've yet to see a "Tinder for networking' app take root and thrive. (Although I can see the rise of a network that curates its userbase, a la dating sites like The League, which screens all of its members.)

Tell Us: If a proximity-based professional networking app was able to develop a quality userbase, would you consider taking a swipe-right approach to networking?

Related: Delta and LinkedIn Team Up For In-Flight Networking Project

Laura Entis

Staff Writer. Frequently covers tech, business psychology, social media, startups and digital advertising.

Laura Entis is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.

Living

Taylor Swift Has a Lucky Number. And She's Not the Only High Performer Who Leans Into Superstitions to Boost Confidence.

Even megastars like Swift need a little extra something to get them in the right mindset when it is game time.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Marketing

SEO Trends You Need to Be Aware of Right Now, According to a Seasoned Pro

Navigate the future of search engine optimization to elevate your online presence and drive meaningful engagement.