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Tech Articles

Thanks to Mixer App, There’s a Better Way to Network

Tech
Jun 6, 2017

Thanks to Mixer App, There’s a Better Way to Network

BY: ARIELA KOZIN

There’s a saying that we always find true in business: It’s all about who you know. Still, it takes a certain type of professional to be fantastic at networking. Working a room in hopes of landing a new job, or even getting a new contact, can be intimidating and exhausting. It’s especially tasking to meet new people when you look around the room to find everyone distracted by whatever is on their smartphone screens.

Instead of begrudging the internet age, Anis Bennaceur, Alex Carapetis, Ron Winston, and Cody Simons are embracing our addiction to new technology with Mixer. It all started in 2014 when Anis met Alex Carapetis. Anis remembered,  “Alex [Carapetis] and I met in Paris while he was touring with Julian Casablancas & the Voidz. We had a steak-frites lunch at Joe Allen and hit it off there. I was working in marketing for another start-up at the time, and we were discussing then about the absence of any good network for creatives all over the world. Two months later, Cody [Simons] and I met in NYC. He was working with our current investor, Ronald Winston, on a different project in the social space, and we decided to change gears, bring along Alex, and start working on Mixer.”

What they came up with is a  sort of cross between Raya and LinkedIn, operating as a private social network for creatives. You need to be located in NY, LA, Paris, or London and you must apply to join. It may sound elitist at first read, but the screening process is meant to ensure that you won’t be connected with some 50-year-old guy in Minnesota named Bobby who still lives in his Mom’s basement. Instead you’ll be (virtually) mingling with people like Andre Saraiva, Anja Rubik, Major Lazer, and St. Lucia, who are currently apart of the community of professionals across art, music, fashion and film. You’ll be able to browse people based on location, industry, and profession as well as browse job listings and post your own job listings. At the risk of sounding a bit too enthusiastic, the interface is really as easy it sounds, so it does have the potential to change the way we network forever.

Before you apply to see what all the hype is about, read the rest of our chat with Anis below:

How did you and your co-founders come up with the idea for Mixer?

At the time [December 2014], Alex was touring all over Europe and there was no real network for creatives to connect on. The initial idea came from there. When I told Cody about the idea, he loved it and came up with a prototype incredibly fast. Full circle now, a lot of US-based musicians use Mixer to connect with other great people when they’re on tour.

What is the advantage of doing networking on an app versus in real life?

On Mixer, you get to see other members’ past and current projects, photoshoots, films, music albums, etc. So that gives you a pretty full picture of who you’re going to reach out to before even doing so. Also, I guess that a lot of people tend to be shy in real life, and not walk up to other people at social events, so being contacting them on an app helps.

Can you describe what you’d like a use to get out of using the app?

We get a lot of feedback from people telling me that they found videographers for their music videos, hired models for shoots, or foreign music producers booking studio sessions in NYC before arriving in the US. All those uses make me pretty happy, when it comes to help members make money and advance their careers.

What is the reasoning behind using a screening process before being able to use the app?

We want to ensure that there’s a split between fans and hobbyists versus creative professionals. Also, when it comes to networks, you always want to be in something qualitative. Hence the screening process.

Do you have a story where the app personally helped you network?

Yes! We’re having a pretty major partnership with Spring Studios, and I met one of their partners through our platform. Actually, Mixer members can have access to their studio facilities and to some of their events, like Tribeca Film Festival or the Independent Art Fair. We’re also working on another partnership with a big company, and I connected with their CEO through Mixer.

What are your goals with the app in the next few years?

We want Mixer to be the biggest reference as a platform where every single creative professional is or has to be on, with a global presence.