Regularly Engaging with Business Leaders Outside the Startup Community

By way of the Atlanta Tech Village, I have the opportunity to engage with a number of business leaders on a regular basis. Common questions like “what’s the hottest startup in the Village?” are oft repeated and I enjoy sharing stories of Yik Yak and SalesLoft. Only, we don’t have a great strategy for proactively reaching out and helping keep the startup community more top-of-mind.

Here are a few ideas for regularly engaging business leaders outside the startup community:

  • Holiday Showcase – Once a year get together in December where we invite a few hundred people to meet with a couple dozen startups
  • Tech Village Talks – Speaking at local Rotary and business groups about the Village helps spread the story to new people and repeat the message to those that have already heard it
  • Coffees / Lunches / Meetings – One-on-one time is the most impactful but difficult to scale
  • Private In-the-Know-Only Monthly Newsletter – We have a great weekly newsletter for our community but we don’t have one geared towards business leaders that want to stay apprised of what’s happening the startup community (e.g. startups that are doing well, recent deals, opportunities to invest, etc)
  • Quarterly Startup Lunch – Potentially an intimate group of business leaders that get to hear presentations from four heavily-screened startups in the community as a way to engage and provide introductions

One of the key ideas is that we need more proactive efforts to get business leaders involved with a corresponding rhythm. While this takes time and effort, I’m confident it’ll pay dividends over time by making the startup community more accessible and sharing ways that business leaders can help.

What else? What are some more ideas on how to engage business leaders on a regular basis with the startup community?

One thought on “Regularly Engaging with Business Leaders Outside the Startup Community

  1. If they don’t know what is going on how can we call them business leaders? If they want to know what is going on, then get involved. Invest time, money and be a mentor to the next generation. This is the future of Atlanta and if they don’t know what is going on and aren’t invested then the ecosystem is broken. David can’t solve everything but time, commitment and sacrifice will. So, Atlanta “leaders” give it a shot or be easily replaceable, irrelevant, as Atlanta’s future needs true leaders that aren’t observing from the sidelines!

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