Time is of the essence for start-ups, yet way too many entrepreneurs waste it as they navigate a near-bottomless pool of useless contacts. It pays to know who your connections should be.
And entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones who fall prey to the networking churn. Venture capitalists, connectors at large corporations, even government representatives find themselves in much the same ineffective spot. For all of them, the solution is the same: When the clock is ticking, information can keep things moving smoothly. Who are the right potential partners? What might drive them to engage? Being able to narrow the field to those most closely aligned to the mission is like finding a hidden short cut to a pot of gold. That’s why curators of social capital, platforms like Relationship Science, LinkedIn and others that separate wheat from chaff, are so important. There’s a bonus to such narrowing too: All that not-wasted time can be much better spent nurturing useful connections, who likely have even more to give.
Granted, I may be biased, given that I work for a start-up accelerator program. But I have seen hundreds of entrepreneurs benefit from forming meaningful relationships with the right partners more quickly. By shrinking down the time it takes to reach potential partners we speed up the formation of relationships. You’d have a hard time convincing us, or our alumni, that it’s not the best way to cultivate the startup renaissance.
The Takeaway: Keep your eye on the prize. If you’re a young start-up, before any next networking event, research attendees to find those whose interests most closely align with yours. Spend your precious time pursuing those connections.
RelSci is a technology solutions company that helps create competitive advantage for legal, nonprofit, corporate and financial organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers.