you are starting your innovation company and you are looking for stakeholders such as potential team members, technology partners and investors.
- you are a young company with a small network
- you are not experienced in building strategic partnerships
- you do not yet know who you are and what you want
Define who you are as a company and as a person. This definition includes your values, your goals and available resources such as skills and materials. A value is for example “being honest and truthful”. Your list of values, goals and resources helps you to find those entities that share the same or similar values for example. Values are crucial for a good partnership and now you can begin to scout offline and online communities for people who share these values.
Within a well working network people give and receive and there is often one or more mutual goals that the network strives for. Even though you might just start you also have things to give. Look around forthose who could use your help and assist. At some point you build a reputation for the one who helps, is polite, truthful and supportive.
There are many networks in a person’s life. Some are about hobbies, some related to work, some related to the family for example. The beautiful thing about networks is they evolve and de-evolve and people move in and out of networks. Your reputation spreads very quick throughout networks, often via gossip but more and more we can see ourselves how people behave within networks through online social media. Be yourself throughout the various networks and others get a good picture of who you are as a person and possibly innovator.
But you want to find others to complement your team or help build your company. You need to do some work when you have identitifed a prospect node (person or entitiy) in your network. Look at their online behaviour, are they consistent, friendly, share knowledge, discuss with others based on available data or pure emotions or dogma? These characteristics will guide you in finding out who these people are.Within your network you very unlikely find someone like yourself, eveybody is different. What you are looking for is enough overlap in values and complementation when it comes to skills and resources. Make a list and begin to add names but don’t forget your gut feeling either. When you got for example 3 to 5 people for each task that you need to fill, approach them. Accept when people have no time or interest, that happens.
At Exovatio we help you in a more formal way to expand you network. Below are the main areas we can help you in:
- Business Model Stress Test for start-ups
- Connecting skills from different start-ups to other start-ups
- Connecting start-ups to Exovatio approved venture capitalists
- Connecting venture capitalists to start-ups who passed the Exovatio Business Model Stress Test
- Innovation support and coaching