September 5, 2007

Networking - First step to starting up

In many events that happen , there is a common question which comes up from few people in the audience : "What brings you to this event XYZ" ? Few of them have the answer : "I just came by because my friend was coming here" some say "I did not have anything better to do so,I came here" and some say "This is a place where I can meet people with a similar set of mindset and also I can learn something from the people out here" !!!!

When this question comes to me , I always have the answer # 3 ; since, there is always something to learn from people around you and we should not loose out on this knowledge exchange game !!! Also, having a network with like minded people will not only help you( as a professional) but as a person as well since, it makes you more confident(when you speak in an open forum).

For some, it turns out to be a place where they get recruited by a Startup and for some it is a place where they find a prospective partner for his/her startup. An article in LiveMint on Venture Funding states that "VCs like to work through networking".
VCs like to work through networking. Cold calls rarely work. Revive that college alumni network, someone will know a VC. Get a reference and you’ve won half the battle. Serial entrepreneurs, who have been funded by VCs before, are often quite open to doing the first introduction. Attend start-up workshops, mentoring programmes and so on. Social networking, the offline kind, works wonders. Find out where VCs socialize and who socializes with them and get yourself invited to those places—sometimes you might need help from daddy or uncle, but all is fair in entrepreneurship.
So, being in the network is very much important and that is the first step to Entrepreneurship.Taking this further, Suresh Bhagavatula , states three key advantages to having access to good networks is : Access, Timings and Referrals.
To begin with, entrepreneurs with good networks have greater access to information. More important than access is to have the information before others have it, since such information would have a higher opportunity value. For instance, knowing that a customer is on the lookout for a particular kind of service is much more important than later finding out that the customer had been on the lookout for that service. Finally, good networks enable the individual to use referrals effectively for a job opening or a particular service at important places.
When you take the case of online networking, LinkedIn can be considered as a messiah for startups since, many (wanna be) Entrepreneurs use it as the first step to startup as well as for potential recruitment. biggrin

Most of us don't find the right set of people with whom you can discuss your idea and it is your network that would help you in starting up as well as scaling up, so get started and get networked !!!

Article Credits :
LiveMint - Zeroing in on the right venture capitalist
Suresh Bhagavatula - How to be in the right network

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At Sep 6, 2007, 8:21:00 PM , Blogger Ramjee said...

whom you know matters a lot. A very essential parameter for the success of a business.

At Sep 7, 2007, 1:03:00 AM , Anonymous Himanshu Sheth said...

@Ram: It was an article touching a very fundamental part of Business and definitely it matters :)

-Himanshu Sheth


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