Friday 31 October 2014

Clutter-busting networking app is a professional crowd pleaser

Published 28/08/2014 | 02:30

Kevin Doolin

Company: Fuseami

What it does: Cuts out networking clutter to provide more relevant professional 'connections'

Founder: Kevin Doolin, pictured

Professional online networks are a mess. How many Linkedin 'connections' do you actually know? How many have 'endorsed' you for activities you didn't even know you engaged in?

Into this morass of confusion comes Waterford-based Fuseami, a startup borne out of years of research into zeroing in on relevance rather than universality when it comes to professional connections.

"It came from an EU project we ran with a lot of funding," said Kevin Doolin, principal investigator on the project. "The point was to identify commonalities between people and internet resources and social networks to create communities of users on the fly."

In other words, if you walk into a conference and want to speed up the networking process with people already there, how do you discover people you want to talk to?

This is exactly the scenario that Doolin's Fuseami is set up to tackle. The start-up's app - to be launched in late October - will cut through all the noise to let people find each other quickly.

"It's like Tinder but for professionals," said Doolin. "It will look for relevant information such as keywords, location and social networking profiles. It will look at your job title and any other information you're happy to share with it. Then you're presented with their business cards and you can swipe to connect or chat, within the Fuseami app.

"The difference between it and other apps that try to streamline the networking process is that you can add keywords and even tweak the relevance algorithms yourself. So you can zero in on exact people or keep it general."

The technology underpinning Fuseami comes from an appreciation of "context awareness".

"Proper context awareness can come from any kind of sensor. It can come from biometric data, such as blood sugar levels.

"This informed part of our original research. But the part people liked the best was the networking element of it. Six conferences have already asked us to use it."

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