Innovation That Matters

Daily networking events benefit professionals and local businesses

Advertising & Marketing

We’ve been watching the mass-mingling trend for several months now, and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight to the new innovations. Combining an element of mass-mingling with a twist of free, location-based promotional love, Waag is a site that aims to connect professionals and businesses in a way that can benefit everyone. Short for “work as a group,” New York-based Waag bills itself as “the opportunity engine.” Each morning users of the free site receive an email in their inbox with information about the networking event of the day, including the location and time along with who else is attending. Most are hosted by local bars, restaurants and clubs. If they choose to attend it, users simply RSVP and show up at the event. Once there, they check in with their phone or computer and submit a short post about what they’re currently working on. Just checking in earns rewards such as free drinks or gift cards, and users can browse the posts of the others in attendance as well, along with their profiles on LinkedIn and beyond. Then, armed with a little advance knowledge, users can seek out the startups, entrepreneurs, investors and businesspeople they’d particularly like to meet; with any luck, the resulting conversations can bolster their local networks and maybe even lead to profitable business deals. The hosting businesses, meanwhile, gain exposure that would be difficult to achieve otherwise, along with a healthy dose of goodwill. With networking benefits for business professionals and promotional benefits for local small businesses — opportunities for brands are coming soon as well — the combination may just be a winning one. One to get involved in? (Related: Speed ‘dating’ events match MBA students with real-world projectsFive online services for getting together offline.) Spotted by: David Gise



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