A Houston-based startup is launching this month in order to up the ante for networking at events — whether they are in-person or virtual.
NCrowd allows its users to avoid the hassle and awkwardness in-person networking and takes connecting into the virtual space. The app, available through the App Store and Google Play, is the only networking platform that uses an interactive RSVP list for users to market themselves and network before an event.
"Professional networking has been done the same way for over 60 years," says CEO and co-founder Roland Martinez. "Young professionals do not approach networking as someone did decades ago."
NCrowd users can create their own profile and their very own digital business card that allows for users to enter virtual networking lounges to view attendees that have RSVP'ed to events. The events are easy to find in the app, allowing users to pick and choose what event they would be interested in, exchange digital business cards, view other attendees' profiles, including their social media handles.
"The app is user friendly and helps professionals see who is attending the event before the event happens," says Martinez. "This is pretty valuable for those aiming to make a great first impression."
The platform is especially useful during the COVID pandemic where in-person events are being taken into virtual spaces.
The networking platform makes it easy to stay connected online and all in one app. The digital business cards are archived on the platform providing a digital footprint and allowing users to call, chat, and email other professionals and create connections.
"COVID-19 has changed the way people interact forever," says Martinez. "Networking will be forever changed because now we know it isn't essential to meet face-to-face. NCrowd optimizes virtual events with our platform that allows professionals to connect in an online environment."
NCrowd allows users to connect while keeping social distancing measures that reduce the risk of infection by reducing the need to meet in large gatherings. That's not the only positive side effect, Martinez says that reducing paper waste was a huge motivator during NCrowd's development phase.
"About 10 billion paper cards are printed each year and the vast majority end up getting lost or thrown away a few days later," says Martinez. "It makes a lot more sense to go digital and reduce paper waste to help the planet."
Now that NCrowd has completed its year of beta testing, according to Martinez, he is excited to launch and grow their business. They will test out their platform later this month with a company that will be using telecommunication software and their app to make networking virtually easier.
Ncrowd's co-founders are Craig Sico, Roland Martinez, Larry Olivarez, and Priscilla Olivarez. Photo courtesy of Ncrowd