The Novas behind Novas

How to create connections to grow personally and professionally

November 23, 2022

Gravity is defined as the force that attracts a body towards the centre of the earth, or towards any other physical body having mass. At Nova, we have used this concept to name the tool that is key to putting in contact one talent with another one. But how do we help people create connections to grow personally and professionally?

Let's start from the beginning when Gravity was created…

Humility is the gateway to curiosity and growth

Humility is the engine that drives the eagerness to improve and learn from others. It is one of the principles of our company (discover which are the principles that drive Nova) and something we value in our members during the selection process. It is no coincidence that more than 92% of the members we welcome has as their main motivation to connect with others, expand their network, and learn from professionals in the same or different industries. To grow by exposing themselves to other lives, other stories, and other ways of thinking and living - by gravitating toward others.

Without others, there is no growth

We are not self-sufficient, we need others to grow, learn and improve, to get outside of ourselves. In a world where we are increasingly invited to look out for our own good, where individualism is spreading through our cultures, we cannot help but row towards encountering others. "Man is a social being by nature”, said Aristotle. A statement that never gets old.

Nova members are not just top professionals or students in their environment, they’re people open to constantly learning, growing, reaching their full potential, and creating a positive impact. They are open to other people and to the world, willing to put into practice their virtues and skills to collaborate with the ultimate goal to grow and create something bigger.

Not surprisingly, one of the key pillars within Nova's value proposition is CONNECT. We aspire to select the leaders of the future and connect them with each other. As our CEO and Co-Founder, Andrea Marino, once said:

One top talent can create very positive things, and two together, incredible things.

So, now imagine all the top talented people and leaders of the future, connected with each other, how many opportunities and incredible things can come out of that? Well, at Nova we want to put the means to make this happen and act as a lever for these leaders to transform the world for the better by connecting with each other and growing.

Today I am going to talk about the networking tool par excellence, the favourite feature of the Novas (and mine!), and the one that allows us to offer connections and enriching conversations to our members: Gravity.

Gravity: Connecting people to foster growth

Gravity started in 2020 at the hand of Google Sheets. In a very manual way, we managed to send around 500 connections per week. We collected their data and preferences in order to propose connections. To make these matches more relevant, we took into account these points:

  • Their age
  • The market they belonged to
  • Their score in our selection process
  • The type of connections they wanted to make, among which they chose: Peers / Friends, Potential partners / Co-founders, Potential employees, Potential employers
  • The type of industry they belonged to
  • Their areas of interest

Each of these points was weighted in a different way and, through an algorithm, taking into account the past connections of each one to avoid repetition, we sent an introductory email on Mondays along with an invitation to the calendar for a half-hour video call via Hangouts two days later. As we predicted, wonderful things have come out of these encounters: lasting friendships, job opportunities, co-founders... and many other things we will never know.

Seeing the success of this tool and the strength it was gaining among our members, we decided to put the Product and Technology team to work on a more advanced and user-friendly version. Last October we launched the new version with great enthusiasm and courage. What did we improve? We no longer communicate through emails, but the program is now part of the Nova Connect platform, where each member has their profile and can edit their preferences to be connected. We no longer rely on Google Meets (not very compatible with non-Google email accounts) but use our own video call platform. In order to avoid the repeated and uncontrollable no-shows of the beta version, you can rate your match after each call and thus have a score assigned to each user.

Let’s grow together, with Gravity!

We are still ironing out small details, learning from the experience and feedback of members these last weeks. About 800 more members have joined Gravity since we launched the new version and we know it is a tool we will never stop working on to improve and make those connections more relevant and meaningful.

Connecting will always be part of our mission as a company and we know that what can come out of it is far more powerful than we can imagine. We can't wait to see the outcomes that will come out of Gravity connections: great companies, life-changing conversations, and innovative ideas that started with a nomination from one friend to another without knowing what would come out of it. The truth is they didn't know that they were not only growing personally and professionally, they were going to the stars and beyond!

Ready to connect with other Novas? Go to Gravity.

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