THE AWL - Aug 20 - Asking for a business card typically signals an intention to keep the relationship strictly professional—but that's not the case at meetings arranged by IvyConnect, the members-only social and professional club founded by Harvard Business School fellows, Beri Meric and Philipp Triebel. In just a year and a half, IvyConnect has grown from fairly elitist dating startup—then called IvyDate—to elitist lifestyle service with ~3K members and another 1K on the waiting list. IvyConnect hand-picks members. Applicants are approved by IvyConnect’s five-person membership committee and then pay $45 each month or $500 each year. IvyConnect says they haven't spent a dollar on paid advertising. Meric and Triebel hope to turn it into something larger than just an excuse to get drunk and mingle. One in-development feature is IvyCareers, a way for members to help one another advance professionally.
by John McDermott
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Mark Brooks: People will pay more to get more. In the IvyConnect case, they'll pay to save time sifting through profiles. Dating sites help users sift more quickly and effectively. This service is small, but will do well over the longer haul, but staying focused.