ContactSpan Corporate Profile

We are adding this profile of ContactSpan to our Social Networking Site Guide

Web site:


ContactSpan is a secure and private professional networking service that helps individuals facilitate new business relationships from their existing business networks. The online business network facilitates introductions by and for people interested in new partnerships, recruiting teams, finding jobs, raising capital and seeking advice.




August 2003 / launched April 2004


MIT PhD candidate Abhi Shelat founded the company with veterans from Microsoft, McKinsey, Trilogy, and Credit Suisse First Boston. Abhi was a member of the founding engineering team at e.piphany.


ContactSpan is based in New York, NY. The company has decided not to accept venture financing, and is funded through its seed investors and from (they claim) people and businesses currently utilizing the service.


ContactSpan is currently free. It will focus on specific industry verticals as a subscription-based service.


ContactSpan is focused on the business community. The goal of its founders is to make the product simple, secure, and providing delivery of tangible value.

Key Features of the Web Service include:


Members can enter past job history and experience, associations, education, etc. in a complete profile


Members can be alerted to when specific types of people join the network whom they can reach through their existing relationships

Request Management

Ease in management of handling pending and outstanding requests


View to identify links to other ContactSpan members. Network links created only when 2 individuals mutually identify one another as connections. This is a key difference from services such as Spoke. On ContactSpan, as on LinkedIn, linking is an opt-in decision.

Address Book

View to identify direct links to non-ContactSpan members

Downloadable application to automatically import contacts (Outlook, Notes, etc.) in Address Book view


Basic and advanced search capabilities show only ‘high value’ connections of 1 or 2 degrees away

Search presents only company and title results from Address Book

Inviting Others

Easy to invite other qualified people to join

Security and Privacy

Names are never revealed, allowing member privacy and security in knowing they will not be circumvented in any potential connection


ContactSpan is currently a much smaller network than Spoke, ZeroDegrees, and LinkedIn, its most comparable competitors. Its model is currently not particularly differentiated from the competition. It will be intriguing to see how they grow and differentiate.