(Photo courtesy of Mary Gardella Photography)
Carolyn Walton Lynch missed the opera, but ended up starting a business.
Lynch wanted to see Wagner’s rarely performed Ring Cycle at the Kennedy Center in D.C. When she couldn’t find anyone to attend with her, she ended up sitting out.
But she came to regret it, especially after a chance encounter with a singer revealed that the people who attended all four performances alone were now getting together and self-identifying as “Ringheads.”
She’s typically comfortable going to things alone, but it provided a reminder: “If you go, you’re going to find your tribe.”
That spawned the idea for Mixolo. It’s a social network designed to help people connect through what they have in common.
“Mixolo is really about connecting with a community that shares your interests,” Walton Lynch said, adding that it’s not designed to be a dating app, and seeks to welcome people regardless of relationship status.
The business combines her experience as a cofounder of an IT services firm and as an event planner. Users answer a survey to set up an online profile, but only after people meet each other in real life can they opt to take the profile public. The connecting point is through in-person events, which are centered around common interests.
Since launching earlier this year, Walton Lynch held several events in the beta phase. With Mixolo directly curating each event, she is working to establish norms for the events. For venues and existing events, she believes it’s a chance to not only attract attendees but also provide connecting points for attendees.
“Many establishments basically sell their tickets and seats and there’s no real connection. What I’m asking them to do is take an extra step,” she said.
A couple of upcoming events include this weekend’s Tour dem Parks Hon and a beer tasting and tour at Brew House No. 16 in Mt. Vernon.
She is aiming to release the app publicly in early October.