What we want to do is provide tools that help you network better.

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” and for the most part, I believe that to be true. Unless you’re the most incompetent person on earth, you have some semblance of a skillset, traits that you can display proudly to potential employers/customers that scream of your value. Accumulating those skills isn’t the hardest part, finding the right people to recognize what you bring to the table is. That’s where networking comes in.

I know, I know, most of you think networking is just an excuse to eat free food, find willing listeners who won’t stop your diatribes on past glories, and hit on the opposite sex under the guise of professionalism. While it is these things, networking events also create an environment where the ultimate goal — finding a person who recognizes your worth, getting hired to work for that person’s company, riding that job to fame and fortune and everlasting happiness — is always one person away.

There’s only one problem: many people fail miserably at networking, lacking the social skills or blind luck that fuels encounters of this kind. So where do you turn when all of your networking efforts have failed, leaving you desolate and angry, screaming at all the misery Mother Earth holds? To the platform dedicated to providing an advanced, personalized experience that centers on fulfilling all your networking needs.

“One of the reasons you choose a top-tier MBA program is the network you get with it,” Stephen Anderson said. “Everybody would agree with that, the network is just as important as the actual education. There was a lot of emphasis put on networking while I was in school, I had networking classes and things like that. But what I didn’t realize is that most people don’t network well.”

Anderson is the founder of Netqwerk, a platform that realizes how important networking is and uses the necessary tools (data and analytics) to enhance your ability to garner, retain, and network with useful contacts.

Now, I’m sure you’re already familiar with LinkedIn, the social media platform that helps users store and communicate with business contacts. Netqwerk is the next step in the evolutionary process for business/networking technology, taking the concept of LinkedIn and expanding on its capabilities.

“There are all sorts of reasons to network, but it all comes down to one general theme,” Anderson said. “At some point, you’re going to want a favor from that person. Our algorithm takes into account all sorts of different things, but it basically tells you how likely this person is to help you.”

The first step is uploading your contacts, whether from your phone or a social media account. Netqwerk then analyzes those contacts and scores them in two different categories (rated on a scale of 1–100). The first is a relationship score, which measures the closeness of the relationship between you and the contact. The higher the relationship score, the more likely and willing that contact would be to help you progress. The lower the relationship score, the more likely that contact would be to pull strings ensuring you crash and burn in the business world.

The second category is an economic value score, which measures how valuable the contact could potentially be. A higher score basically equals dollar signs and possible professional advancement, a lower score means you’d be better off sharing your resume and skills with almost anybody else.

“What we want to do is provide tools that help you network better,” Anderson said. “We want to simplify things, tell you who your best contacts are, what’s going on in their lives, when you should reach out to them, give you tips and ideas on what to say, those types of things.”

Netqwerk is still in the early stages of development, with a private beta release planned for later this year. Anderson is currently in the middle of garnering funds to continue building and enhancing the platform, with hopes of having both a website and mobile app ready to test in the coming future.

“So if you have a group of people, or specific individuals, or just everybody with an economic score of 85 and above, you can go on the app and say you want to be notified for certain situations,” Anderson said. “You can outline what you want to be notified for. It could be they’re posting a lot on social media, or they’re getting a lot of likes on something, or they’re having bad weather, or their favorite sports team just won.”

You don’t always have to be a failure at networking. Netqwerk aims to automate the process of smart networking, helping you climb out of the professional doldrums and ascend to much loftier heights. You might not get the free food that comes with standard network events, but furthering your career and expanding your contact book isn’t a bad alternative.

Published 6/18/2015