I’m happy to proudly cheerlead for my friend Richard Loat – a pal of my other programs, so to speak – who is currently on a StartUp Bus through Europe, the sort of ‘incubating’ roadshows that combines Entrepreneuers (like Vancouver’s Loat) with Hackers, pitting them both against and alongside each other, tasking them to build a business in 72 hours.
The bus ends in that beautiful, relaxingly cosmopolitan and elegant capital city of Vienna, Austria – after a 100,000 kilometre journey – and Loat and his team will pitch their new company ‘PeopleRank’ at the 2014 Pioneers Festival
But what is PeopleRank?
“We network with the intention of strengthening our offline relationships, online,” says Loat, who has previously founded both Five Hole For Food and Footy For Food, massively popular charity events organized around donations and sport, with annual tours through Canada and the United Kingdom.
“The platforms we spend all our time on are not designed to help us strengthen relationships, but to help content producers broadcast as far as possible.”
Basically, there’s a disconnect between the real and the virtual, and PeopleRank is here to solve it.
And personally, I’ll take a chance with anyone who’s willing to try to bridge that gap. How many of us are perfectly confident with a handshake or a phone call, and the idea of banging on doors? And how many of us shrink when we go online and realize, I have to start with 0 followers on Twitter and somehow find an audience in a world crowded with voices just like mine?
“Driven by bottom lines and paying advertisers, users don’t have the ability to realize the potential of their offline relationships through the power of their activities on online social networks,” PeopleRank’s statement reads. “Focusing on sales teams looking to truly extract the potential our networks hold, this new look at cross platform people analytics is going to change how we build relationships moving forward.”
Sounds exciting… let’s wait for more.
*An annual trip, Startup Bus pits Europe’s best hackers and entrepreneurs against each other to build a company in 72 hours. With teams competing from six countries busses travelling Europe meet in Vienna to pitch in a final at the annual Pioneers Festival in front of a panel of judges.