You’d think after living in Sydney for seventeen years I would know how to get off a bus in the city near Town Hall and find the Sydney Convention but…well…there are pancakes that have a better sense of direction than me. T
hat, coupled with not being a morning person meant I missed what seemed a nice wee jam on the couch as the kick off to SydStart 2012.
It was honestly quite nice to peel back a door, not know who the heck anyone was and hear what they had to say as though they were chatting amongst themselves waiting for the real proceedings to start.
Here is what I learnt via the SydStart 2012 couch.
- Clever startups always listen to their staff, they give their people time to be creative and don’t script the whole day with lists of tasks. Wiggle room gets you much further than micromanagement.
- If you have belief in your business model, people will key into it. Be passionate about what you do and that passion will become infectious.
- Mentoring is a two way street. Mentors are looking to learn as they teach so you really need to be clear on what a mentor can get out of working with you.
- Give respect to startup investors. The whole “show me the money” and treating Angels and mentors like cash piñatas just waiting to be whacked open for your startup capital is really unpleasant.
- Know your startup story. More than anything, mentors and Angels want to know about your passion for your idea and the story behind it.
- Get your pitch down to 60 seconds. It’s a fine art, but one that reaps a lot of reward.
- Get to know your potential Angel and/or mentor and tailor your approach. Spamming heaps of Angels in cookie cutter form won’t get you as far as doing a bit of homework and approaching the right person for your idea.
- Be where mentors are. Great places to go to find mentors include Pushstart, Pollenizer, StartMate, StartPad, Fishburners, River City Labs and Blue Chilli.
Think the best way to really summarise this is:
a) Be clear on what you need and what you offer
b) Do your homework re: your idea
c) Do your homework re: the people you want to involve
d) Mentors and Angels are humans too
If anyone has anything to add on what they gained from the SydStart 2012 couch introduction, I’m all ears. Feel a bit cheated only hitting half the session.