Network Hippo is one of 65 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2010 event taking place this week. These companies do pay a fee to present, but our coverage of them remains objective.
Network Hippo, provider of software that helps you organize contacts in your various social spheres to advance your career or business goals, is launching today at DEMO.
The software draws contact information from all of your email accounts and social networking sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and more. It organizes them neatly into groups, and continually updates them so you never have to worry about having the wrong email, phone number or address. Your groups can range from “Facebook” and “family” to “people I met at DEMO” or “friends from high school.” This categorization makes individual contacts simple to find, says CEO Scott Anan.
“Social networks give us the ability to connect to hundreds of thousands of people every day, but are we really building stronger relationships?” he asks. In most cases, the answer is no. People may keep in touch with their closest friends, but they don’t capitalize on connections to drive their personal and professional goals forward.
Every contact is assigned their own page in the Network Hippo system. These pages let you contact people you know directly from the startup’s web site. The software also provides contacts’ status updates across various networks, as well as your recent communications with them.
When you identify a contact that you want to keep in touch with, Network Hippo will send you reminders at intervals urging you to reach out, even just to say hi. This could come in handy when it’s time to ask former employers for a reference, or if you’re tracking leads for new jobs.
But Network Hippo takes leveraging contacts to the next level with “missions.” You can create a variety of missions for themselves on the site — whether it be to raise a certain amount for a charity, to send out resumes to a number of people, or to simply grow a personal network. Your other contacts can help you with these missions by leaving encouraging comments, introducing you to others, or even donating money.
The site gives you updates on how your missions are progressing. At the end, if you achieve your goals, you’re granted badges you can put on your profile.
Based in Ottawa, Canada, the company is self-funded so far. It doesn’t seem to have any direct competitors — rather, it appears to be extending the capabilities provided by Plaxo, Xobni, Highrise and Batchbook.
Here’s the company’s demo from the show: