September 3, 2014
As a Senior Vice President and wealth manager at one of the world’s largest diversified financial services companies, one of my goals is to continually develop new referral relationships in order to build a steady pipeline of qualified clients. Of course, this is most often accomplished by “netWORKing.” And the three choices professionals like me have for networking to meet qualified client prospects are networking events, introductions from friends and colleagues, and online professional networks.
The best results I’ve had in building my network of leads has always been through personal introductions by other professionals I know, like and trust. I needed an organized way of getting those introductions to happen often enough to keep my network thriving.
But for over a decade, I’ve been working to expand that pipeline. I’ve used tools like LinkedIn which have yielded little more than a collection of irrelevant contacts, constant solicitations, and job requests. I’ve attended countless in-person networking events, but found them to be excuses to socialize, drink, and eat – wasting time while my wife and kids had dinner without me.
My frustration with traditional networking methods led to a concept: why not create an online tool that automatically matches complementary professionals to one another with a higher probability that qualified referrals are generated? What if we could use an algorithmic approach to identify business professionals who have a similar client-type, AND share ice-breaker commonalities?
There is hardly a better day in business than the day you receive an UNSOLICITED QUALIFIED REFERRAL.
That was the genesis of Connequity, which is an online platform that creates an ecosystem of new business referral-sources. Using proprietary intelligent matching-technology, Connequity delivers relevant business introductions that have a high likelihood of generating qualified client referrals.
With proof-of-concept via a successful beta test in San Diego, we were fortunate to identify and recruit a rock-star CEO, Scott Weinbrandt, who has an incredible background with Dell, Gateway, and Helix Wind. Scott hired a team of dedicated professionals, technologists and scientists to build out an intelligent, affordable, and effective platform that matches business professionals to quality referral sources. Thanks to great member feedback, an inspired team, and forward momentum, Connequity is buzzing!
With a broad launch in select major metro areas planned for the fall, networking will never be the same.
August 27, 2014
Digital professional networking startup announces new brand and functionality; opens Series A fundraising round under new name
SAN DIEGO – August 27, 2014 – San Diego startup, GROWconnections, announces the completion of its rebranding and launches a Private Preview of its online platform for professional networking under the new name: Connequity.
The company also opened a Series A round of funding as of August 25 following a successful beta test in San Diego and the closing of a $550,000 Angel round in June.
Using a proprietary intelligent matching algorithm called The Intelligent Lead Generator™, Connequity delivers relevant business referrals that match a user’s criteria for ideal clients. This saves professionals the time and frustration typical of both online and offline networking methods.
Interested users can sign-up at www.connequity.com for a private preview and a free trial of the new site in advance of the platform’s full nationwide launch this fall.
“Connequity is more than just a new name. We are introducing new functionality and a more robust learning engine to support our members’ referral and lead generation needs. Connequity takes digital networking for business professionals to a new level: actively matching you to the people you need to know to grow your business,” said Scott Weinbrandt, Connequity CEO. “We looked for a name that communicated what our platform truly delivers to our members, equity in the connections you need to grow your business – that’s Connequity.”
Connequity (formerly GROWconnections) has reimagined professional networking with an online platform that creates an ecosystem of new business opportunities to grow your business. Using a proprietary intelligent matching technology called The Intelligent Lead Generator™, Connequity delivers trusted and relevant business referrals that match your criteria for ideal clients. This saves busy professionals in dozens of industries including real estate, financial planning, insurance, professional consulting, law, marketing and many others the time, resources and frustration typical of traditional networking methods. www.connequity.com.
August 18, 2014
The San Diego Union Tribune published two articles announcing the successful completion of our beta test in San Diego, and the closing of our $550,000 angel investment round. Connequity CEO Scott Weinbrandt and Founder Russ Hall are quoted in the articles which ran online on July 30 – GROWconnections aims to be a better LinkedIn*, and in the print edition on August 1 – S.D. digital networking startup has raised $550K. See the full story below!
*GROWconnections recently changed its name to Connequity
GROWconnections, a San Diego startup seeking to create a digital business networking platform, said it has raised $550,000 from angel investors as it prepares for a national launch of its technology this fall.
The company is in the process of raising an additional $1 million to support the rollout. The Web-based technology uses mathematical formulas to best match relevant business contacts and generate referrals.
“I describe it as eHarmony meets LinkedIn,” said Scott Weinbrandt, a former Dell and Gateway executive who heads GROWconnections. “We’ve developed a smart learning engine that — based on a specific member’s profile — will generate relevant leads and referral matching.”
The company ran a beta test on its Web software platform this spring and is now tweaking the technology in preparation for the national launch in major cities.
GROWconnections takes personal information that members provide and sifts it through an algorithm that pinpoints specific traits. It then suggests connections that the technology deems to be the most likely to generate business relationships or referrals. The company has created incentives inside its platform to encourage members to agree to make referrals.
Weinbrandt declined to name all the sources that would populate GROWconnections’ member base, but he did say that members could give permission to have their LinkedIn contacts included. “It’s an opportunity to apply matching technology to business relationships in order to monetize an individual’s networking potential,” he said Monday.
The company plans to offer a limited version of its technology for free. It will make money by selling a premium version. Weinbrandt expects the service will appeal to real estate and other service professionals who want a more-precise, efficient networking experience than they get with today’s online offerings or at traditional in-person networking events.
Connequity Founder Russ Hall and CEO Scott Weinbrandt joined Connequity Advisory Board Chair Diana Shapiro (pictured above) at an event in support of local non-profit: Sustainable Surplus Exchange. Diana serves as the Interim Chair of the Board for the Sustainable Surplus Exchange which works to limit the growth of landfills by repurposing surplus supplies back into the community.
Sustainable Surplus Exchange (SSE) is a 501(c)3 dedicated to repurposing unused materials such as office supplies, desks, chairs and bookshelves, keeping them out of landfills. SSE provides the community with services and education in regards to sustaining our environment. For more information about the important work Sustainable Surplus does in the region, visit the website: www.sustainablesurplus.org