This week, I was thrilled to attend TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2011, the annual conference attracting over 150 startups. Seeing all of the new companies and products launching was both interesting and exciting. But I was especially excited to be on hand as tech startup Kohort revealed its community and group management platform–and announced OPEN Forum as a launch sponsor.
First off, if you are launching a new product, service or business, it may be worth reading the Mashable article on “How To: Sign Up Users Before You Even Launch Your Startup.” Kohort did an incredible job stirring intrigue long before their public launch; look for tips from their CEO, Mark Peter Davis, on OPEN Forum soon.
So now that the secret is out, what does Kohort do and why is OPEN Forum working with them? Kohort enables organizations to activate their communities with tools for communication and collaboration, for both online and offline groups and activities. All business owners know how important their peer, customer, and supplier networks are; Kohort offers a unique way to manage these groups.
Kohort has a channel structure for curating topics of interest, and they are already working with groups such as TechStars and StartupWeekend. OPEN Forum is teaming up with Kohort on one of the Beta channels, the Tech Entrepreneurship Channel. Given our experience with the small business community and content on OPEN Forum, we look forward to helping build out this channel.
Working with Kohort is a natural extension of our work on OPEN Forum. Since our launch in 2007, we have been focused on providing entrepreneurs and business owners with an opportunity to meet and connect online. We knew then that business owners found the networking at our live events to be invaluable, so we wanted to provide a platform that would enable that networking without travel and time constraints. We’ve continued to add new features and capabilities on OPEN Forum to address this. In fact, just last week we launched what we call OPEN Forum 3.0, which provides a whole new experience and greater social integration on the site.
We hope to bring the expertise we’ve learned by serving millions of business owners on OPEN Forum to Kohort, as well as to leverage some of Kohort's capabilities to facilitate greater collaboration among our members.
So, visit Kohort and “stake your claim.” And when the site becomes publicly available in the coming weeks, try it out and let me know what you think by adding your comments below.