Paying it forward …
Networking and relationships are key to business success, even more so for enterprise sales-based business models. In Australia, networking tends to be casual and informal. In the US, networking is more focussed. You need to plan ahead, know who you want to meet, what your ask will be, and what you can give in return. You need to be able to explain your business in 30 seconds because networking in the States is business oriented. People will want to know who you are, what you are doing and what you need. They will also most certainly ask “how can I help you?” – be ready to answer it.
Today is our final day in San Francisco, and elevate61 is joining the regular Australian Founders Network lunch. Here, the companies will have the chance to meet with and connect with Australian founders in the Valley. People such as Jack Gonzalez from MapJam, who have been riding the entrepreneur roller coaster in the States. Jack presented to the companies on Thursday on his journey and business progress to date. The lunch today is a great opportunity to reconnect with Jack and a whole host of Australian founders in the Valley. For the elevate61 participants, this is a fantastic opportunity to network withfounders, investors and mentors in the Valley that can add tremendous value to any early stage company.
As an enterprise SaaS business wanting to grow in the States you actually need to meet Americans, which is why these networking events are so beneficial. You need American customers to validate your business with American investors, and need American staff with industry knowledge and expertise to help accelerate your sales growth. You’ll also want American investors and funding, and the key to getting connected to the right American networks will be the warm introduction people like members of the AFN can provide to you.
You need to earn the right for people to share their networks with you, however. They will have built these over time and they won’t want to expose their networks to anyone or anything that might reflect poorly on them. This means you need to be prepared to give before you can get. This may be as simple as asking “how can I help you?” because this will show a willingness to pay it forward.
9.00am - 9.30am: Australian Landing Pad - Rocket Space Tour & Presentation. Led by Duncan Logan, Founder & CEO Rocket Space.
9.30am - 10.30am: Presentation | Q&A: Landing Your First retail Client. Led by Steven Pack, Founder & CEO, Koalasafe
11.00am - 12.00pm: Interactive Discussion | Salesforce Ventures. Led by Meredith Finn, Director Salesforce Ventures
12.30pm onwards: Aussie Founder's Networking Lunch