So you've been on Tinder or Bumble and all you've experienced or heard are horror stories. Or maybe you've met some wonderful people that you have become close friends with and perhaps by some stroke of luck even the love of your life. According to the Telegraph though, millennials are not just using dating apps for romantic reasons but to further their business ventures too.
According to the Telegraph, Bumble's executives, which has over 36 million registered users, saw that instead of flirting, people were using their profiles to network with potential matches. Yes, imagine swiping right only to be met with a business proposal.
The trend is more popular among the millennials who are freelancers and business starters. "With the rise of millennials, the rise of entrepreneurs and opportunity, has meant that lots of people are starting their own businesses," states the Telegraph. So, this generation needed a platform that was easily accessible to network and build connections.
This is how Kevin* says he met his investor for his startup. He first registered with Tinder when he was studying in Europe. He realised that Tinder was a different kind of platform that allowed him to meet new people and make connections. "Tinder in Europe is like Facebook,"he says. However, when he came back to South Africa after his studies, he realised Tinder was used mainly for hooking up rather than networking. Since he had always known Tinder as a networking opportunity he continued to use it that way.
One day he swiped right on a young women who commented on the pictures on his profile. One conversation led to another and he introduced himself as an entrepreneur and she told him that she was in the business of funding startups. "We met for coffee and I presented my idea and she was impressed. She introduced me to her business partner and I was invited to attend a workshop and met other entrepreneurs."
Shortly after, he began working on the project with his new investors, developing the idea as they helped with funding.
He adds that he got his current job through a Tinder match as well. He had met the woman for coffee and by the end of the conversation he'd sent her his CV and a few weeks later he was hired.
There are many ways you can use dating apps to network. One way would be blatantly stating it on profile that you are on the platform to find specific people with a specific skill set. "I met another potential investor while I was in Cape Town and her profile was detailed. She had worked for Merrill Lynch in New York," he explains. She did not invest in his startup but she did introduce him to other people who could help him.
But if you are not too keen on using dating apps to network, don't worry because Bumble and Tinder have decided to help people keep their personal and work life separate and created networking apps. Bumble has created Bumble Bizz, which already has 17 million users worldwide and Tinder has an app called Ripple.
*Name has been changed.
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