Startup events – a boon or a bane?

Startups are always looking for that little bit of support, feedback, advise, guidance, customer reference or investor connect all the time. And this is never easy to come by. Very elusive. And probably not always very effective!

In recent months and years, there is a deluge of events. In varying forms and hues. Broadly, always having sessions that share founder experiences, mete out advise from investors, few engaging panel discussions and the mandatory networking sessions. Every startup attending these events hope to gain some insights, some knowledge, some skills maybe, and surely some networking. Some introductions. Some connections. To investors, customers and prospective employees. All well intended. But how does a startup ensure the time spent at an event is helpful to the startup?

Bang for the buck is the most important. And immediately relevant bang. Not some very generic recognition nor value in the long term. Should further the startup’s business. Should enable the need the startup has at that time. In pre-seed stage it could be to get a validation of the idea or assess opportunity. In post seed stage it could be to get references for pilot customers. If looking for funding, it could be to get access to investors. Could be to get mentors. May be get access to partners. Or help reach go-global accelerators or incubators.

Startups time is very precious. Every minute should help. And help the right way at the right time. So a fullday spent at an event should really help. Very tangibly. Before going to an event should pause for a momentto see what help is most needed at that point. And ensure the event enables that before investing time there.