Shed Simove, inventor, author and LondonlovesBusiness.com columnist, and his partner Jonathan Fren, the tech “genius” behind the project, have created a platform for businesspeople to meet and make new business contacts, face-to-face, over video chat.
Each video ‘meet’ is random and lasts strictly two minutes. The fixed time limit is imposed so that both parties cannot ‘click off’ and is designed to give time for a meaningful interaction.
Simove, CEO of 85by85, describes the networking site as “the lovechild of ChatRoulette and LinkedIn.”
“Our feature-rich platform offers any businessperson the engaging unpredictability of not knowing who they’ll meet next, with the predictability of knowing that the person they meet will be a professional who could enhance their business,” he says.
After each ‘meet’, users can easily connect on their personal social networks, simply by clicking their mouse.
To ensure the site attracts professionals only, users can only join with a validated pay-for email address or if they have a LinkedIn account.
“We’ve tried to make it inclusive but selective,” explains Simove. “And there is of course a report user facility in place.”
Users can opt for a totally random experience, whereby they have no control over who they meet, or for the filter option, which allows them to specify keywords and a location.