At the beginning of every new year, the German startup website Für-Gründer.de takes a close look at all of the startup competitions being organized in Germany. When they first embarked on their annual endeavor, there were 124 such contests. Now that number has risen to over 163. A good 20,000 applications came flooding into the competition mailboxes in 2016. Of those, 756 startups received an award from an expert panel of judges. So it looks like startup competitions are groovy-groovy at the moment. Small wonder really: startups are fully aware of the benefits of taking part in a competition – above and beyond the obvious prize money.
Is it all just about the money?
A strong and dynamic network is the secret of many successful companies. Whether it is an enterprise, a mid-sized company or a startup, an extensive network assists with recruiting, client acquisition and – in the best case – funding.
One is not born as a networker; instead it is more some sort of an inner attitude, which enables a person to forge numerous new contacts. If you lack the attitude, you don’t have to be worried, like most other business-skills, you just need the right strategy and insides. Take the following tips by heart and harvest the advantages of an efficient business network:
1. Don’t let extraverts intimidate you
Extraverts go to an event and comeback with a stack of business cards and 3 coffee chats scheduled for next week. Don’t let them intimidate you. It is okay you only made one contact.
2. Showing your face matters
When you go to events and could not speak with anyone, you may feel like going to events are time consuming, torturous, and useless. But remember, showing your face matters. Just give yourself these simple goals and feel good about it.
3. Choose your game
There are gazillions of startup related events happening everyday all over Europe. You can’t attend them all – impossible. Only choose the ones you are really interested in. If you are a business person, don’t auto-mute technical events. For example, if you are interested in the Analytics space, you might want to attend Data Science meetup. Yes, the majority of attendees will be developers. Yes, you will be likely to see a slide with lines of code that you can’t understand; but there is much more you can gain. Even simply knowing those technology exist gives you a better understanding of the market. If someone asks you “why are you here?” just tell them “I am interested in this subject and simply want to educate myself”. As easy as pie! More…