Vancouver's Urban Mixer, History of a Social Empireby
I put the call out on Twitter a while back for some interesting stories or people involved with entertainment and red carpets in Vancouver. Lorraine, that I profiled yesterday, suggested I speak with Raj from Urban Mixer – a social community empire for young professionals in Western Canada.
Raj Taneja worked his way up from being “that computer guy” in the office to running his own company across the globe in cities like Kiev and Bogota, to Hong Kong and Tokyo. After career moves and changes brought him back to Vancouver and from 2001 onward made all the right moves to acquire a unique party company. Think of “a house party with house party rules… only in a new restaurant. Invite people you would only trust coming to your home,” said Raj about the exclusive nature of his first local venture to be involved with called Social Empire.
After building up an empire of his own, Raj now operates Urban Mixer, “a social events aggregator in Vancouver, Calgary and Seattle.”
Urban Mixer is a social organization. Its mission is threefold: 1) Plan engaging, interactive events that people enjoy. 2) Provide a fun, friendly environment for young urban professionals to meet. 3) Disseminate information about events occurring in the city. [Urban Mixer – FAQ]
It was originally formed in 2003 and since then Raj has been able to change things up and drive enormous amounts of traffic to his site. “UM is open for anyone wanting to be social in the city. Itâ€™s roots are in being a singles club but that changed in 2006,” Raj noted. “Now the membership is â€˜Social Singlesâ€™ and â€˜Dynamic Duosâ€™.”
He was able to take the exclusivity of the Social Empire and transform UM into a user-friendly website and a powerful resource for those wanting to get out and be social throughout the Pacific Northwest.
“The main idea is to meet fun people and make new friends. If you’re bright, interesting, friendly and like to have fun, you’ll fit right in!” [Urban Mixer].
You can browse all upcoming events in the Urban Mixer Newsletter, or click here for the week of August 18th.
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I met Raj a few years back (Sep 05, if this photo’s correct: http://flickr.com/photos/urbanmixer/79119240/), and have since rubbed shoulders with him several times at events (some of them his).
He strikes me as being very genuine, and his email newsletters always have a very humorous and friendly approach.
Love that top picture; it’s so Raj I think some people don’t even recognize him without a camera!
I’ve met Raj several times and the guy has presence. I’d be surprised if there’s a single person under 35 in Vancouver who hasn’t met the guy. He’s truly one of the most outgoing and likable fellows I’ve met in this city.
@Will – I am a single person under 35 who hasn’t met Raj. Just FYI 🙂
@Rebecca – Thanks for profiling Raj! He recently joined Vancouver Bloggers Meetup so we’ll see him there too! 🙂
Rebecca, I think that what makes you a popular blogger is your friendliness towards other blogs and the exposure they get on your site. It’s admirable that you don’t view them as competition, but as complementary (btw, I have no blog, never had, so I can be considered an objective 3rd party).
Dear GOD Raul, you haven’t met Raj? Bring some duty-free and I can arrange a rendez-vous…