Networking Strategy #8: Network Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

One of the most challenging yet rewarding networking strategies you can employ is to network outside of your traditional groups, niche, or tried and true organizations. One such challenge I took on recently was to attend the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneur meetings aka SVASE.

In my first and only SVASE meeting I met two priciples for the Venture Capital firm ONSET, a Phd working on stem cell research for Stanford, a real life journalist, and enough start up idealist to fill the entire Valley. If this were a card game, you would have to have an MBA just to sit at the table–I was woefully undermanned but game.

What is SVASE?

SVASE is the largest and fastest growing nonprofit association in Northern California dedicated exclusively to helping early stage entrepreneurs across all technology sectors build successful companies.

Network Outside Your Comfort Zone
The next SVASE meeting Digital Media: Building a Business with Social Networking. The speaker’s panel includes Patrick Chanezon, API Evangelist Google Inc; Jyri Engestrom Co-Founder, Jaiku; Konstantin Guericke, CEO of Jaxter (phone call widget for blogs) and Co-Founder of Linkedin; and Ramu Yalamanchi, CEO of hi5.
The substance factor for this panel is high in tech knowledge, start-up expertise, successful niche business development, and Valley connectivity.
SVASE Application #1
You could position yourself as the Real Estate specialist to the region (Silicon Valley) or to a particular job sector like high tech. Many Realtors in Silicon Valley have attempted to position themselves as “Your Google” Realtor. What special interest group or noteworthy organization resides in your area? Consider branding yourself to a particular group, business, niche, or company
Final Thought
At my first SVASE meeting I met two entrepreneurs who asked me to take on their marketing duties (a job offer), I met a principle of a VC firm, I connected my new entrepreneurial friends with my new VC contact, and I was introduced to the American Assoc. of Training and Development–a new networking experience. Whatever you choose make it an adventure!
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2 thoughts on “Networking Strategy #8: Network Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

  1. Doug,

    I am flattered! I hope you find value in my writing and continue to check in. Marketing ideas to follow with my latest adventure to Silicon Valley last night for SVASE. More to follow.

    dean

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