July 17, 2013
July’s Tech Cocktail Sessions Speaker Series, part of Tech Cocktail Week and hosted in conjunction with The Downtown Project, featured five top-notch entrepreneurs who spoke about partnerships and how they have affected their journeys in the entrepreneurial world.
Julia Roy, an entrepreneur-futurist dedicated to exploring the intersection of productivity, science, and technology, was up first. Speaking about how to use communications to effectively maintain partnerships, Roy maintains a firm belief that trust is central to it all. But building that trust is difficult, and requires effective channels of communication.
Posing the question, “How do you communicate clearly?” Roy offers a few solutions: Make decisions as a team, know what you want and need, but also remember what those around you need, and take time creating your messages, even down to the smallest email.
Global public speaker and founder and CEO of Spindows.com Clay Herbert took the stage after Roy. Keeping with the theme of partnerships, Herbert focused on unlikely partnerships that start through unforeseen collisions and how those can lead to magic. The 3M Post-It Note history is a perfect example of collisions that spark magic, but Herbert did not stop there.
Putting yourself in a location that facilitates unlikely collisions is crucial to making good partnerships. Downtown Las Vegas is a prime environment that offers serendipity, and opening yourself up to unfamiliar possibilities is always a good move when it comes to meeting new people.
Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, who has made it her life’s mission to broaden the world’s assumptions about the purposes of education, took the microphone alongside Stefan Weitz.
Ippel has taken her experience from traveling through 80 different countries to create international alliances that help the Academy for Global Citizenship she started. Weitz is a 15-year Microsoft veteran who is working on a book with the nation’s youngest VC to promote entrepreneurial enthusiasm in high school students.
The duo spoke jointly about nine reasons they will not marry each other, and why it always pays to remain pragmatic about a partnership you get yourself into. Sometimes partnerships can only take you so far, and sometimes they do not work out. It is better to preserve the good parts than force it into a territory where it becomes uncooperative.
To round out the program, Frank Gruber from Tech Cocktail sat down for a fireside chat with Matt Van Horn, the VP of Business for Path. He is a man who wears many hats on a day-to-day basis, and that versatility is reflected in his past professional experience working with Digg, Lyft, and Apple. It was an entertaining discussion and Van Horn’s first-ever fireside chat.
Relationships are not just important to Van Horn, they are necessary for success. Most of his personal successes as an entrepreneur came from building positive relationships. And going out of your way to build a relationship even when it does not appear necessary is just as important as chasing the obviously important ones. Never forget that some of the best deals are born out of cold outreach.
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