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?