Hey everyone, Annabelle from MCM here, it’s been a while since I’ve written an article, and in all honesty I didn’t know whether I wanted to continue doing so. Hence why I’ve been quiet. But not only that I was caught up with some other elements of life too.
Over the course of last year and this year I studied Multimedia Journalism for my Masters degree, and everyone knows how demanding an undergrad can be, yet alone post-grad. Without realising writing quickly became second nature and took a backseat in my life. So as I hadn’t contributed to the MCM website in such a long time I was quite shocked yet honoured to be invited to write a review for the BYP Network App Launch. In all honesty I was extremely apprehensive at first as I wasn’t sure what to expect. However I plucked up the courage and decided to go along, and honestly I’m so glad I did! It was extremely worth it.
What is the BYP Network?
Black Young Professionals Network (BYP Network) is an all-inclusive community for young professionals to network, socialise or date. Created by Kike Oniwinde who had the idea whilst studying abroad to create a platform where young professionals could connect with future leaders between the ages of 18 – 35, by giving them an online platform to meet like-minded people. As part of BYP Network the team host regular events which consist of networking, professional development, dating and fun social gatherings.
BYP Network App is a platform available on iOS, Android and web for users to network, socialise or date. New users can sign up using their Facebook profile or they can create a new account. Once they upload a picture and a profile about who they are and their interests they are able to choose who they can connect with or vice versa. A match is created when two users like each others profiles. Premium membership allows users to see who has liked them and who has viewed their profile. It has all the right features! Quite impressive I must say.
I’m going to be 100% transparent with you – I really do not enjoy going to networking events because they are usually a bit of a write off. They are either really awkward and you hardly speak to anyone, or those who really enjoy and/or are ‘great networkers’ will talk to everyone and you will just be there observing how well they are working the crowd. But regardless of this, I tried to go with a more optimistic frame of mind and be open to learning more about the network and app.
Fortunately, this event was a welcomed change from the norm due to mix of guest speakers, delicious food upon arrival, live music and networking. From the minute we walked in the vibe was really chill and we received the warmest welcome ever which was a great surprise. The venue itself was really nice, the launch was held at ‘SMITHS’ of Smithfield in Cannon Street which was a great backdrop for the evening.
I think Kike’s concept for young professionals to socialise, network or date is a great concept which could lead many to future job opportunities, friendships and relationships within a community. Kike, like many of us, has been through the struggle of finding people to relate to within the workplace, let alone fitting in (how many of us have been the only black person at their job?) so this network is a great way around that. You’re able to feel comfortable and confident amongst many others who are doing great things.
Although the main highlight of the night was the unveiling of the app, it was nice to have a mixture of topics apart from networking for example, Tonte Bo Douglas, who spoke on relationships, dating and ‘valuing your time’. Which I very much agree with.
Ayo Awe spoke on professional development, bettering yourself and building within a community which flowed nicely with Michael Taibirade, who spoke on effective networking, creating your own network, and sticking to a specific community.
Friendships, cutting out negativity and having a supportive and positive network was the topic of Mary Lasile’s talk who was a very close friend of Kike, which was very nice to see as it was genuine. This was followed by Olympic bronze medallist, Joshua Butasi, who spoke passionately about being successful in the face of adversity, hard work, and the favour of God and how these things made it possible for him to reach unexpected heights.
Being a music geek Dee Ajayi caught my attention with a beautiful acoustic set during the interval. Dee is an amazing singer with one of the sweetest, soulful voices I have heard whilst slaying a cover of Jill’s Scott’s “A Long Walk’.
All in all it was a great night and I’m really looking forward to seeing the progression of the network and the app. I can only describe it as a cross between Linkedin and Tinder and I can see it being incredibly successful as it is very easy to navigate and connect with a range of different people, from journalists to engineers to solicitors. What ever sector your in your bound to find a collective of others who do what you do and are ready to interact.
If you haven’t downloaded the app, its available in all app stores and is completely free. So whether you are looking for a friendship, mentor, jobs or love, I’d say give the the BYP Network app a try and see what may come out of it.
Please see the full video of the launch below: