#buttermilkorbust Triad Startup Lab 2014: Week Five - Buttermilk Creative

#buttermilkorbust Triad Startup Lab 2014: Week Five

#buttermilkorbust Triad Startup Lab 2014: Week Five

#buttermilkorbust is a weekly recap of our experiences going through the Triad Startup Lab 2014 Session B. For less formal updates you can follow #buttermilkorbust on Twitter. Missed a week? Click below to get caught up:

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

Well here we are- half way through the Startup Lab program. Hard to believe…

We spent week 5 actually out of the Startup Lab believe it or not- we had a couple of networking events lined up so we focused our energy on getting prepped and attending those.

Our first networking event was one hosted by a local BNI chapter. For those that aren’t familiar with BNI these are called “leads groups” – which means each member of the group is expected to bring to the rest of the group a certain number of leads from their own personal network. And in turn that very person gets leads which “lead” to more work for them. Our group was hosted by the President of the chapter Jim Halsch of Gate City Advisors. The minute we walked into his office Jim and the other members of the chapter made us feel right at home. The group meets first thing in the morning so there were bagels and coffee ready to go. The format of the meeting is really neat- each person stands and gives a 60 second pitch that includes info about their company as well as what type of leads they are looking for that week. There’s also an education portion and an opportunity for each member to do a short presentation about their business. This past week was Jim’s turn and believe it or not we really enjoyed learning about the nuances of retirement planning! 

The BNI group was great- we’re visiting another one in the next couple of weeks to determine whether or not we’ll join up.

Our other event we had on the calendar was a less formal, more social one hosted by synerG, a local group of young Greensboro professionals. The event was called synerG “On Tap” and was hosted at GIA, a local small plate restaurant and bar. We had a great time at the synerG event as well, the vibe was very social and fun. But we still made some really great connections and can see us attending another one soon. These kinds of events are great to connect with folks without the pressure of delivering anything but some good conversation. Some highlights included chatting with an entrepreneur working on a unique service that will help you pick a car based on your style.

We consider both the networking events we attended last week a success. Networking, like a lot of other things around starting a business, doesn’t happen over night. You have to invest some time (and occasionally some money) to make valuable connections that will pay off in the end. But don’t go into networking with transactions as the end goal. Go into it wanting to meet amazing people, try and learn as much as you can from those people, and share what you know freely, and you’ll find that the networking part and the business part, will come along naturally and organically.