My career experience is diverse, with a great deal of expertise in Internet marketing, commerce and product development. Branded browsers were a natural fit to my skill set. Nothing like joining a start up for the sudden exposure to the breadth of what is unknown or needs to be relearned.
Fortunately, the local community is flush with people who can help and there are organizations active in getting those people together. Through these connections the knowledge gaps have closed and the company’s reach has expanded. Columbus OH is a medium-sized city, so I’d be surprised if similar organizations don’t exist elsewhere. Here are the ones that have been most beneficial to me and to the company.
An early supporter of Brand Thunder, TechColumbus has provided funding, leads, direction, guidance, media support, marketing support, lunch & learns, networking events, counsel and the list goes on. Find your local organization focused on launching and growing early-stage companies and join. There are a lot of benefits here.
Ohio TechAngels and TechColumbus. The two organizations remind me of a saying I heard while traveling overseas – “same, same but different.” The benefits are similar, but each organization is involved at different stages of the company’s evolution. Central Ohio is fortunate to have this asset.
Columbus State Community College – Small Business Development Centers
This CSCC program is a partnership between the college, the state’s development arm and the SBA. Not only did it offer free programs to solidify the business plan and our company foundation, it was the first to connect us to TechColumbus and which became our first source of funding. Find those free sources in your town.
Hard to say if groups like TechLife exist everywhere. It started with a group of people that wanted to engage their community and connect the deep but dispersed tech community of central Ohio. The result has been an amazing birth of gatherings and events that are forging new relationships.
Meetup.com is a great and free tool to either find groups near you or easily start your own. Explore it.
Build your network and knowledge by joining some of LinkedIn’s groups. There’s more value here than just staying connected to your co-workers.