Denver Startup Week is right around the corner. I find it to be such a powerful way to meet new people and for me, it’s the best week of the year in Denver to meet new entrepreneurs and friends. With that in mind, I want to share some tips and hints.
First, I want to share how I like to network. With 15,000+ attendees, turning small interactions into lasting relationships isn’t exactly easy, so here’s what I like to do:
I like to bring and use business cards as a tool to continue the conversation, as with most things they are a powerful tool if you are thoughtful in using them. Bring some cards and give them out to people YOU want to contact. I find there are so many handed out that you can’t expect someone to reach out to you or remember what you talked about. Additionally, handing someone your card makes your name familiar when you email them. Likewise, if someone wants to collaborate with you, the reverse is valuable. I like to take the cards I receive and scan them into my phone using my FullContact App; otherwise, I lose them and who knows where or when they will reappear. While I’m scanning them into my phone I’ll add notes about the person so I can remember what we talked about later, because I am very forgetful. The notes are scattered, small pieces of information that will remind me of the conversation. They usually look something like this: “tall, blonde, GitHub shirt, w/ Kevin; discussed working together on a new project, also asked for feedback on his pitch deck.”
In no particular order, here are some thoughts:
- There is NEVER an excuse to miss the opening or closing bash. They are the best networking opportunities by far. I have met some awesome friends at these!
- Buddy system, it’s always easier to meet someone new when you are already in a social state of mind.
- If you are going to attend multiple events in one day, make sure to travel by bike. There is no other way to get around and park as quickly and efficiently. Denver B-cycle (Bike sharing) is a great option if you don’t have a bike, make sure to get a membership though makes it way cheaper.
- If you didn’t get tickets to the kick off breakfast, no worries, there is plenty to do during the week, take it as a much-needed break.
- The Nightcaps at Pon Pon are a great way to connect intimately with some fellow community members. I like to meet people I had an ongoing conversation with there!
- The Startup Crawl is always a good way to connect with new people.
- Make a plan of attack for the day. I find that attending more than 3 sessions in a day has diminishing returns.
- Basecamp is a great place to get work done (while you eat some free food), and this year BaseCamp is the very cool Commons on Champa.
I hope to see/meet you during startup week please say hi! I hope it’s as valuable for you as it has been for me.
I’ll be carrying stickers and random swag throughout the week so make sure to bug me for some!