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NETWORKING / AUG. 14, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Canada’s TenThousandCoffees.com: Networking for the Millennial Generation

Launched in early 2014, TenThousandCoffees.com is a Canadian, career-oriented networking site started by entrepreneur Dave Wilkin and aimed at the Millennial generation.  It offers an innovative way to establish industry contacts and gain valuable insight into a potential career path.

"We know that today’s youth have the solutions to our most important challenges, but lack the opportunity because they don’t have access to the right networks. All they need is a chance to connect with the leaders of today," Wilkin says. "We created the world’s first youth movement that unlocks opportunities and benefits both Novices and Experts." 

Modeled on the concept of the informational interview, it’s designed to give aspiring careerists insight into their fields of choice through connections with professionals. But where the informational interview left off, the site picks up. No longer do you have to live in the same city to have a chat. The site still lets you meet experts in person, but also on the phone, via Skype, by email, or in a Google Hangout, whatever both the novice and the expert feel comfortable with.

The site, which is currently only servicing Canadians, boasts an impressive roster of Experts. There are people from CBC, major Canadian universities and colleges, Bell Canada, HootSuite, SickKids Foundation, Canadian Red Cross, and many Fortune 500 companies.

Currently, the site offers 5 sections: Career advice, Networking, Portfolio review, Interview practice, and About the industry. The industries catered to are mainly Entrepreneurship, Finance, Government, Marketing and AD, and Non-profit.

How does it work? You set up a profile as either an Expert or a Novice. As a novice, you can then browse expert profiles and send ‘coffee’ invitations to your preferred experts, asking for a chat. But it’s not as simple as pushing a few buttons and then having access to a bevy of professionals at your fingertips. Since you’re likely to be competing to get your invitations noticed over those from other novices, the site also offers suggestions for creating noticeable profiles and crafting excellent invitations.

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