Happy Hour at the Beer Garage
Last week we launched Happy Hour @ the Beer Garage, a thought leadership series with the innovation team at AB InBev. We gathered an elite group of investors, corporate innovators and startups to discuss Digital Connectedness, how technology can facilitate in person connection. Here are some key take-aways from the discussion as well as the 3 featured startups tackling this challenge.
Communities flourish when we spend actual time together in person. “For millennia, beer has brought us together and been something we shared with friends,” pointed out Andrew Green, Global Director of Innovation at AB InBev. He pointed out that technology can enable more connections, not just digitally, but in real life, “Take eSports as a phenomenon that began digitally but has become a new occasion to get together.”
Benjamin Lord, Executive Director of NARS cosmetics commented “Technology enables artists to reach more people and enable more fulfilling in real life connections at the counter.” It also enables inclusion, artistry and beauty to forge together to create a more beautiful world.
Michael Nathan, Founding Venture Partner at the 5G Open Innovation Lab, stated that “5G has the potential to accelerate sharing experiences. Where 3G allowed us to text, and 4G enabled us to watch videos, 5G will allow us to watch movies together, stream experiences and share VR/AR in the same room, even if we are far apart.”
Social Media has led to isolationism and pervasive loneliness, yet technology has the potential to be a connector. Here are 3 breakthrough startups that presented to the crowd:
- Twenty – Twenty’s mission is to end the loneliness epidemic by helping their users hang out with friends in real life. Their app notifies users when friends are nearby and allows them to message and make plans to meet up. With investors like Arianna Huffington and DJ Khaled, Twenty is bringing serious swagger along with it’s explosive user growth.
- Bounce – Bounce founders shared some staggering stats about how many hours singles spend swiping on dating apps compared to actually going on dates (7:1)! Bounce seeks to change that dynamic by setting up dates on the same day as couples match. Users simply choose a neighborhood, swipe, match and meet up at a designated location for a real, IRL experience.
- Plain Sight – With the growth in the freelance economy and remote office culture, Plain Sight seeks to help businesspeople connect with each other in all kinds of spaces including events, airplane lounges, coffee shops and hotel lobbies. Anonymous profiles allow users to pick who they want to meet in person based on background and skills, as opposed to what they look like, evening the playing field of the freelance marketplace.
Technology can facilitate connections as long as we don’t enable it to isolate us. By getting out and spending time together we enrich our lives. To apply to attend future events in the Happy Hour @ the Beer Garage series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.