Toronto professionals swear by this networking app

Toronto professionals swear by this networking app

You know you need to network to get ahead in your career, but it’s likely a daunting task. From schlepping to events night after night to cyber-stalking every job lead, meeting the right people can be an exhausting, time-intensive process. Luckily, one app is reinventing the way Toronto professionals network and making it possible for you to make meaningful connections while in your pyjamas.

Shapr is a free networking app that’s picked up buzz for the last few months and become a must-have tool for getting ahead in your career. Pronounced “shaper,” it blends the swipe technology of Tinder with the professional focus of LinkedIn, making it quick and easy to meet others in the city open to grabbing a coffee and talking shop. That’s includes entrepreneurs hiring full teams, and other dynamic 20- and 30-somethings just seeking some happy hour friends from their industries.

Here’s how it works. Every day, the app’s algorithm—which uses your tagged interests, location and career experience—suggests 15 to 20 profiles of people it suspects you may be interested in meeting, either for an informational interview, mentorship or potential collaboration opportunity. All swipes are anonymous until both people indicate interest in meeting. When a professional match is made, you can immediately message your match, and pick a time to Skype or grab caffeine before work. Since the app is designed to get you actually talking with your matches, Shapr fills a gap for people who value meaningful, real-life professional relationships over racking up hundreds of virtual connections.

Shapr has already amassed over a million users in the U.S., U.K., France and Canada thanks to an easy-to-use interface and relevant connection suggestions. We tested the app out and found the algorithm pretty spot-on. Shapr uses your specific interests, job title and location to suggest curated profiles of people you probably have more in common with than a random co-worker or that guy you went to elementary school with who adds you on every outlet. We also love that users can only message once they match, which means no unsolicited messages from people you don’t know—something that’s annoying at best, creepy and inappropriate at worst.

Networking can often seem like a tedious task that’s simply a means to an end, like securing a new job or getting a promotion. But Shapr wants users to think of networking as a lifestyle—and an enjoyable one at that, where users value providing guidance just as much as they value getting it.

“Networking should be a joyful experience,” says CEO Ludovic Huraux. “Connecting regularly with inspiring individuals is the key to a more meaningful, fulfilling, healthy existence.” When you think of it that way, consistently adding interesting individuals to your network can become a natural part of your daily routine, rather than a dreaded task.

So who will you match with? Download the app here to start meeting other interesting Toronto professionals.