MingleBird wants to make event networking less awkward

If you’re not reaching, engaging, and monetizing customers on mobile, you’re likely losing them to someone else. Register now for the 8th annual MobileBeat, July 13-14, where the best and brightest will be exploring the latest strategies and tactics in the mobile space.

minglebirdIf you’ve ever attended a tech event in the hopes of networking but ended up spending most of your time in the corner, startup MingleBird is launching an iPhone application to make the process a little easier.

MingleBird is looking to partner with large events like conferences initially. Event organizers create a code for the event. Then when users download the app and enter the code, they enter into a game where they earn points by introducing themselves to recommended contacts and taking a photo together.

“You’re checking in with people, not places,” MingleBird’s spokesman Christopher Bazin said.

Other features include MingleWords, which show the different topics of conversation at the event and connect you around the words that you’re interested in. And if the introduction goes well, you can push a button to add a contact to your address book.

MingleBird launched this morning at the Launch conference in San Francisco. Some of the judges seemed skeptical about whether they’d use this. Digg’s Kevin Rose said he’d feel “a little dorky” using this, and Mint’s Aaron Patzer complained that this “has been done a dozen time before.” I am a little skeptical too, but I do like the emphasis on facilitating face-to-face meetings rather than chatting in the app.

VB's research team is studying mobile user acquisition... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.