Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs: Venture Capital Nirvana For The Entrepreneur

What do Raman Khanna General Partner at Onset Ventures, Arun and Sachin Founders of vBrahma, Li-Ping Wang M.D., Ph.d stem cell researcher at Stanford University, and Josh Jaffe General Manager of news agency The Deal and Tech Confidential.Com have in common? They were all attendees and people I met at the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entreprenueur event: Where The Hot Money Will Be Going In 2008.

In what is easily one of the most impressive, talent laden, and cooperative networking groups I have attended, the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs is the major leagues. The sheer brainpower was so impressive as I met two venture capital partners, one doctor-Ph.d stem cell researcher, one of the men responsible for launching Fed Ex, and a number of other prominent capitalist ready to listen. If this were a poker game the opening ante would have been a Ivy League MBA with the following rounds of bets including Ph.d’s, VC power, fame, and fortune.

As Sean Connery announced in the Untouchables: “Just like a dago to show up to a gun fight with a knife.” Being of Italian heritage, I could both laugh at myself and feel exactly what Sean meant. My piddly little S.F. State BA was a bit on the lite side for this group but it was an exceedingly pleasant group of down to earth people. The intimidation factor was very low as everyone seemed to be friendly and more than willing to talk to me about themselves and my new venture innerarchitect.

 3 encounters at SVASE provided vital networking tips:

1. Networking is about leaving your preconceived notions at the door:

Allow the events to unfold. Don’t be biased be open. I thought I would be over matched; instead I was both welcomed and in step with the group.

2. You never know who you are meeting so always be pleasant:

I was approached by Raman Khanna who was a very cordial and interesting man.  Raman was especially interested in my company name, inner architect, and focus. He provided some quantum physics stories and examples of the power that is part of my mission statement.

When it was his turn to describe himself, I realized that I was speaking with one of the featured panelist. Raman is a partner in Onset Ventures one of the big players in Silicon Valley. He was the former owner of Diamondhead Ventures and Raman is one of the most respected men in the valley according to those in attendance.

3. Giving first means you will be given to later.

Prior to the event, I received a request from two tech entrepreneurs regarding their marketing efforts. Arun and Sachin of vBrahma are searching for funding. When they arrived at the event we chatted and then I immediately introduced them to my “new” friend Raman Khanna of ONSET Ventures.

Later both Arun and Sachin thanked me profusely for the introduction. If you learn anything from anything I have written this is the most powerful point of all. Give to people and the giving will come back to you.