The NY tech startup scene is a strong, vibrant community that’s a sterling example of networking done right. It’s members not only help each other out, but get together as often as possible to push the boundaries of tech forward. However, it can be difficult to join the club especially when those all-important contacts are rather scarce.
Vinicius Vacanti from Yipit fame made a laundry list that serves as both a personal reflection on how to gather your own connections as well as a set of key pointers for prospective newbies.
The first and most crucial step is to be serious about creating a network. Once you’ve got the right mindset, use social media to tap into that pool of old friends that you know are in the tech scene like yourself. They are the ones who will get you through the door.
Having established a fair number of contacts with your inner circle, reach out as far as you can to get to those other valuable members of the community. This is where cold calls (or in this case, cold emails) have a better chance at succeeding. This is where you’ll likely meet your greatest benefactors.
To further strengthen the relationships you’ve established, head over to tech events and build that special face-to-face bond. If you want to be even more proactive, get the right people together and launch your own meets no matter how small. The point is to engage like minded souls in intelligent discussion about your collective goals.
For best results, don’t make meets and conversations all about business; insert a bit of fun into your activities as well. Get your like minded contacts together for some non-work activities, be it extreme kiting or robot wrestling.
Lastly, pay it forward. It’s the golden rule after all, and if you’ve come this far, it would be the right thing to lend a hand to other struggling young tech geniuses as well. Going out of your way to help others will bring rewards beyond your expectations. Vacanti noted in closing that some of the biggest contributions to his own startup came from people “kind of enough to help us out.”