Carolyn Walton Lynch believes that sometimes we’re better together. The CPA and serial entrepreneur has launched an IRL (in real life) social network that aims to disrupt the stigma of stepping out solo.
Mixolo, which launched its beta phase in March, will be rolling out its multi-platform app in October.
The company is leveraging technology to help unaccompanied adults get out and join with others in a range of social events and activities – from theater outings to whiskey tastings to bike trips, and more.
On Valentine’s Day 2017, Lynch launched the MIxolo concept with a splash page and on social media to gauge interest among her peers. The response was enthusiastic, so she moved ahead with the idea. “Who hasn’t wanted to go to a concert or try a new restaurant, but just didn’t want to go alone?” she asks.
The app is designed for anyone – regardless of relationship status – looking for new experiences with other like-minded solo adults. Lynch is careful to point out that this is not a dating app. “Instead of the idea of a plus-one,” says Lynch. “We’re here to help you find your plus-some.”
Mixolo used its test phase to introduce the site to “early adopter” members and event hosts. Test events in the Greater Baltimore area included performances at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, tastings at Brewhouse No.16 and participation in the cycling event, Tour dem Parks. Mixolo will also launch in the Washington, D.C. region in the fall.
Mixolo offers two types of memberships: the Solo membership is free, and is for those who wish to attend events; the second, Host membership, is for businesses or venues that wish to offer experiences. There will be no sign-up or subscription fees for hosts. Event Hosts will populate the Mixolo events marketplace with solo-friendly activities tailored to members.
Solos want to go out and Hosts, of course, are delighted to welcome them, says Lynch. “This is about more than filling seats,” she points out. “Each Mixolo event is tailored specifically to our guests, who may be meeting for the first time.”
Mixolo experiences will provide opportunities for members to make connections and actively engage with other solo guests and their hosts when they arrive. This might mean a backstage tour at a theater, a unique wine pairing dinner or a happy hour following a sporting event. Lynch believes hosts can increase their loyal customer base by accommodating this oft-sidelined market.
Members who attend Mixolo events can build their own network with fellow members they have met along the way. Once Mixolo members have met in person, they can communicate through the app’s messaging platform about future get-togethers– at MIxolo events or outside the Mixolo community. “It’s a casual, no-pressure way to meet new people who share your interests,” says Lynch.
Mixolo responds to a common dilemma in today’s world, where 27 percent of all households in the U.S. are solo occupant, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is a dramatic rise from the 1920s, when only 5 percent of Americans lived alone. Moreover, most single dwellers live in large urban areas.
Being on your own is no reason to miss out, says Lynch. At the same time, she points out, “plenty of people have divergent interests from their partners.” Those in relationships are also invited to be part of the mix, she says.
Mixolo has been well received by the 200-plus Early Adopter members, who subscribed on the Mixolo site, took the pre-app survey or attended the test events, says Lynch. “They have been sharing feedback about what they love to help us target future events.”
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