This NYC Startup Just Gave the Business Card a Space Lift



Card reader, not a mind reader.

Here’s the thing: you go to a networking event. You meet people. You exchange business cards. You scan them later, or you add them to that growing pile on your desk. But the question is: can a paper business card give you the information that you really need? Like, information besides name, company, contact information? Paper? Really? In the information age? Even a card reader isn’t a mind reader.

Enter elloBEE, a simple, seamless, efficient way to connect with people – and know just who they are, and what their skills are. At the right time, anywhere, in real time.

And face it: what is networking all about, at the end of the day? It’s about meeting people, connecting, and finding the right fit. Or that needle in a haystack who just happened to cross your path.

Not only does elloBEE give you the information you need. No more ordering business cards, or forgetting them back at the office. Founder Tirthal Patel tells us more about this service that’s putting efficient networking into the cards.

Tell us about the product.

elloBEE is designed with ‘Lean Thinking’ and is an efficient, seamless, and a simple tool for seeking out talented individuals with the right skill sets, at the right time, anywhere, on-the-go, while also serving as a business card replacement. elloBEE provides the means to leverage your network, a capability not achievable by using business cards. Furthermore, elloBEE provides an ‘active networking approach’,- a capability not viable in other networking tools.

How is it different?

Although there are many tools for networking, none offers an ‘active networking approach’ as simple as handing a business card to exchange valuable information. In the modern age, however, with fast paced lifestyle and the need for efficiency, business cards, also do not provide the level of efficiency and capability of leveraging one’s own network to grow globally. Unlike business cards or other passive networking tools, elloBEE is designed with ‘Lean Thinking’ to eliminate waste in networking by providing a natural evolutionary next step to the ‘active networking approach’ by incorporating instant electronic exchange of information/skill-sets in real-time while providing capabilities to leverage and expand network on a global scale.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

elloBEE aims to lead the way in how individuals go about networking and share unique skills, seamlessly and efficiently. Currently, 10 billion business cards are printed in USA alone every year, while 90% of business cards are thrown within a week.1 Furthermore, other popular networking tools are ‘passive’, fairly time consuming, inefficient, and provide little value in finding the right skilled individuals, at the right time, anywhere, anytime, on-the-go, in real-time. elloBEE aims to address the ‘passive networking approach’ of other networking tools and the inefficiencies of using business cards by providing a platform that creates value and supports an ‘active networking approach’, seamlessly and efficiently. 

What is the business model?

elloBEE is currently free to download with a plan for various future growth strategies such as, in-app purchases and advertisement platform for monetization. Ultimately, we believe in providing value to the end user/customer.

According to your data, how much time will this save us at a typical networking event?

elloBEE will save time, cost of buying business cards, and ultimately trees. The actual savings will vary per individual, depending on the usage frequency of business cards and time spent on other networking tool(s) used to seek out skilled individuals. However, the exchange of information via elloBEE app is instantaneous taking no more than a second. Additionally, elloBEE can be used to leverage your network and ‘actively’ seek out skilled individuals anywhere, anytime, on-the-go. With elloBEE there is no need to carry, collect, manage, worry about losing, or forgetting business cards at a networking event or any other event/place.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

Within six months, we aim to start monetizing through implementation of various strategies. Additionally, we aim to incorporate other value-added features to an already efficient base version of elloBEE. We will also be looking to develop an Android version in the future.

If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?

We are currently 100% bootstrapped; however, we would prefer to be in touch with Union Square Ventures, given that they have a wide variety of funded companies in the portfolio, which would provide great value for potentially leveraging their network and wide array of expertise.

Why did you launch in New York?

We are based in the New York area primarily, since it provides limitless possibilities of meeting different people with unique skills and with unique backgrounds. We believe this combinatorial complexity of networking in New York City is great for testing the robustness and value of elloBEE. Thus far, it has been a positive experience showing elloBEE to others and the value it provides to everyone’s busy lifestyle. 

Where’s your favorite place to network/drink south of 42nd Street?

Favorite place to network thus far is Gansevoort Park Rooftop.


About the author: AlleyWatch

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