This is a short story illustrating how networking is so far the most powerful tool to progress I have encountered.
Recently we had a guest speaker in our entrepreneurship class (ME2603) and she mentioned the SUP46 Startup Café as a good place to connect with people. Since I was looking for startup events to attend and also for feedback for my venture idea I decided to follow my own advice and just “be present” there. (Check out the article here)
Putting yourself out there
When I entered the café it was rather empty and i took a quick look around before chatting up someone standing at a table. It turned out, that this person was Lana Kaupuza, the receptionist of SUP46. I explained to her the reason for my presence: to collect feedback and find people who might help me with the development of a prototype for my venture idea, the Sound Hub. (See the website here)
After explaining the idea to her she started coming up with very useful feedback and ideas for improving the business model. She also gave me several tips on how to proceed, which events and institutions to go to and even gave me a tour of the SUP46 office.
While talking to other people and collecting feedback on my venture idea I ended up helping some people from a start-up called “Nosto” in the presentation room to set up their Background screen for an event they would host that evening.
When I articulated to Lana how happy i was to get to meet all these interesting people and getting all this positive feedback she said something that stuck with me:
“There is really just two things that we have control over: Attendance and Attitude”
Shortly after leaving the building I started getting invitations to several Facebook chats…
Turns out Lana had asked on her Facebook if anyone was interested in helping with a project including electronics and Bluetooth and then connected anyone interested with me.
From one of these chats emerged a meeting with a guy named Shehryar Khan, a software developer at Ericsson. We met today in the Startup Café and had a quick chat about where I was going with the project and how it could be realized before he agreed to help me with the development of a prototype using an Arduino Development Kit.
This result was beyond by wildest expectations and I’m very excited to see the further development.
What can you take from this post?
- It’s proof that simply showing up at the right place and talking to many people can yield great results.
- It shows the power of networking and creating the kind of connections with people that make them happy to help you.
- If you feel like getting ahead with your project, but there is no start-up event happening at the moment; just got to the Startup Café at SUP46, you wont regret it!
PS: The Startup Café also offers very tasty food.