Why we invested in Upstream again — the future of professional networking

Upstream redefines professional networking with products designed for organic interactions and life-changing connections.
My last in-person investor dinner with leading money winner among women in WSOP history Vanessa Selbst

Digital Networking Events

I know we all miss in person networking but setting up events is a pain in the ass sometimes… Finding a venue, creating graphics, sending out invites, managing RSVPs, a lot of people don't show up/stuck in traffic, something always goes wrong, cleaning up after. So like this new remote work/hybrid transition we’re going through, the same will happen to the events/community industy

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  • Infinite scale — I had to find conference rooms, set up, travel and could only have X amount of people. My in person dinners usually ranged from 10–20 people but with Upstream I easily had 40–60 on a regular basis
  • Cheaper (mostly) —I mostly got the conference rooms for free but then I had to feed (usually healthier food) everyone, set up and travel to the location.
  • Introverts — I consider myself an extroverted introvert, so in person, proactively saying hi, making small talk etc is pretty easy for me. But for a lot of people, it’s very nerve racking and you would either not attend events or just stand around.
  • Asking questions — This is even tough for me sometimes, raising my hand, feeling my heart thump in anticipation of being chosen to ask a question and not sound dumb. Now you can just type it in.
  • Networking — Upstream has a match making system that randomly pairs you with 2–5 other people over vid chat for 5min (admin/host determines this). I used to do this in person, which is very hard to do and then on the flip side if you’re talking to someone and want to leave because you’re not interested / they’re pitching you, this will cut you off and move on, no feelings hurt. You can share your contact info and follow up if there is mutual interest
  • Digital — No commute, no travel, no getting ready and you can leave whenever you want. The commitment is minimal but the upside is limitless

So why join a community on Upstream?

First during the lockdowns, mentally Upstresm was a lifesaver. Hosting events, attending events and just talking to other people really gave me a lot of hope.



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Trace Cohen

Trace Cohen

New York Venture Partners (NYVP.com) — pre-seed/seed in 40+ startups.