Get out there and meet some people...
Hope all of you had a good Memorial Day weekend. Last Thursday was a little crazy. There was work of course , but I was also leaving for a four day trip early Friday morning which necessitated me driving for 7 straight hours so I knew that a good night’s sleep was essential. However, I also I wanted to attend the TIECON event the night before. TIE just does a fantastic job putting together entrepreneur events through the year, many hosted at the EEC, and it all culminates in the excellent TIECON East event. The catch was I knew that attending TIECON would mean a late night and a rough next day (that is how good the event usually is!). As I was mulling over the problem, I got an email notifying me of the Yaddapalooza event hosted by Boston Innovation and Pinyadda conveniently happening right across from our Boston offices in the Seaport District. Hmmm….
A few minutes later – my blackberry dings – it’s an email from a “sharp as nails” entrepreneur, he just flew into town and is attending the "Lean into Spring" event hosted by Mass Challenge and wanted to discuss his company and future plans. Could I meet up? – You bet! I get there and the place is packed – you would think there was a party happening. The excitement level is high and people are talking about their start-ups and ideas for future ventures and all I have to say is….Now here is a sign of a healthy start-up ecosystem. (click here for an article about the event posted at MHT )
Just think about it – for a fledgling start-up the most important asset really is its people (some would argue its technology, but making a business work and attracting investors goes well beyond that). Its people that make up your core team, people who help develop your product and business, people who serve as advisors and mentors and people who finance your plans. Bringing these people together, you need not only venues, but also events and supportive sponsors, along with interested participants.
Consider this, last Thursday in the Boston area, there were at least three different events, at three different locations (and my guess is all of them were as jam-packed as the “Lean into Spring” event) all trying to bring together entrepreneurs, advisors, investors (aka: people!). I would venture further and say that the audience at the three events were probably very different in terms of demographics and perhaps the business lifecycle of their ventures, but the key common component is that they were all either involved in or supporting an entrepreneurial enterprise. If nothing else, this points to not only a thriving start-eco system, but a diverse one to boot. We are lucky enough to live and work in one of the few diverse and thriving start-up ecosystem that has the resources to be able to sponsor and foster groups and events aimed at entrepreneurs.
It’s at events like these that you meet the person who has been struggling to find the application for the technology that your start-up needs, it's where you meet the CEO that can take your company to the next step, it’s where you meet the advisors and partners who have the same vision for your company as you do. It’s where you meet other players who have had the same idea you had and are trying to make it into a reality and sometimes two heads work better than one. So as the moniker says…get out there and meet some people. After all, VCs and angels invest in people not companies.