Whether a VC or Startup – You Need a Network!

August 4, 2010

3:52 pm

As I recently attended a conference I listened to experts explore the topic of networked business strategies, I learned that you can find many answers within your network (even using the Facebook question function), there are no geographic boundaries — just closed networks, and that these networks are benefiting both sides of startups tremendously. Read the recap below.

The Supernova conference isn’t just about broadband technology and tech policy, but also about the fields that they enable, like innovation and entrepreneurship. In a panel dedicated to exploring the new, networked business operation, the following experts weighed in on the latest in corporate strategy, collaborative platforms, and who is winning in today’s start-up world.

Hsu was first to present and attributed the importance of networks for innovation to the following three areas:

  1. Knowledge specialization (low hanging fruit already covered)
  2. No single organization or individual has a monopoly on the inputs to innovation
  3. Increased competitive pressure

Kopelman believes that today’s networks are key platforms, going beyond summits and meet-ups, to sharing ratings and reviews. As these networks become more robust, there is increased access to information from hires, to PR, to pitches. Kopelman cited a situation when Mint.com first launched at the Techcrunch 50 conference and the response was so abundant that the system crashed. It was tapping into the network of fellow venture capitalists (VC’s) that helped him to rapidly identify an expert and get the problem resolved within an hour.

Betaworks’ Weissman agrees that there is a radical shift in the way people interact with media and social media. Weissman, co-founder of the New York based incubator, is thinking about API’s, apps, and the ways that users experience the Internet to create organizations that reflect the way businesses interact today.

Department of Commerce’s Berejka applauded the US for leadership in the Internet entrepreneurship space. He believes the role of policymakers has to be light touch, do no harm, but protect the free flow of information.

A member of the audience asked if the trend of transparency in funding and VCs is leading to an increase in deals. The panel was unanimous that the networks are definitely helping as the technology has lowered the costs of entry, for both sides and has eliminated middlemen. However, the flip side of that is now your network is part of your value, so you will also be judged by the worth of your community.

Editor’s Note: This was article was written by Shana Glickfield and syndicated from NextGenWeb. Shana a leading communications and advocacy strategist, is a partner at Beekeeper Group. You can follow her on Twitter at: @dcconcierge.

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