Currently LinkedIn is the most widely used social network for business networking. When you want to meet people in related fields or specific positions you can search, request connections and dialog with them through messages or groups. However, if you are going to a city or a conference and want to know which of your colleagues, clients, potential collaborators, or prospects are available to meet in a specific city, there is no simple way to do that on LinkedIn.
That’s why Alex Lubinsky a former investment banker and frequent global traveler developed the idea for CityHour. CityHour is an iOS app that allows its users to find others in a city and plan to meet up with them. Users put in their availability and can accept meeting requests for specific dates and time. Imagine being able to let
Recently I interviewed Alex to learn more about him, the motivation behind creating the app and find out the extent of uses that the CityHour app has. Here are the questions I asked and a summary of Alex’s answers.
Who is your main audience and how do they gets the most benefit from CityHour?
Business professionals who travel and want to meet other professionals nearby or at a future concrete date. Since most people do not use LinkedIn on a daily basis, it is difficult to figure out who is where and available and interested in meeting to network. For example, when speaking at a conference, make yourself available for a meeting and let your contacts know where you’ll be speaking. With CityHour you also know exactly people who are available and ready to meet.
As you can imagine, there are a variety of ways business professionals can use CityHour. Here are more: http://cityhour.com/blog/5-groups-who-love-cityhour/
Where are most of the people who are downloading the app coming from?
Asia to Europe. Marketing of the CityHour app in the United States has been focused on New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Utah.
We have begun social media marketing on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. We have communicated with media outlets and email marketing to Apple product users. We have been featured on TechCrunch and a variety of other blogs.
How have you marketed the CityHour app?
CityHour has participated in tech conferences. At this years MacWorld conference CityHour was recognized as a top 20 “most innovative” product. http://cityhour.com/blog/stop-the-presses-cityhour-earns-coveted-spot-in-the-macworld-innovations-showcase/
As of April 2014 we have 10,00. users.
How will you monetize your app?
When CityHour reaches a critical massed they will begin charging users for successful meetings. For example, you might pay $0.50/meeting when you buy meetings in a bulk allotment of 10 meetings.
When will you consider hitting your critical mass?
At 500,000 active users.
What is your (Alex Lubinsky, Co-Founder, CityHour) background and history?
Alex graduated from UC Berkley in 2004 with degrees in Economics, Business Development and Slovenia literature. He worked for Johnson & Johnson, Cicsco and investment banking. He moved to Europe where he word for D&T, and then as a Director for BAC securities. His latest jobs were in business development and investment banking. Work included driving clients to business and buying and selling companies.
How did the idea for CityHour come about?
The more Alex traveled for business, the more he felt there was a need for an organized way to meet new professionals in the cities he was visiting like London, Moscow, Kiev, Paris and Vienna.
In January of 2013 the founders pitched the idea of CityHour to angel investors and received the initial capital to star development of the company and app. He was then able to quit his job and work full time on CityHour. He put together a team of developers in the Ukraine and San Jose. On January 29, 2014 CityHour was launched.
The interface is fairly simple and somewhat intuitive after you download and sign into the app with your LinkedIn profile. Here are the simple steps to follow to start using CityHour
- Download the app. Set up your meeting availability.
- Start a search for people in a city you are in or will be visiting.
- Request connection.
- Schedule meetings.
To learn more about CityHour: click here
Download from iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cityhour/id796972154?ls=1&mt=8