I have been to quite a few events in Boston lately. I have come to believe that the best way to break into the Boston Startup ecosystem is to be persistent.If I keep showing up and learning, at some point I will feel like I actually have a network. So, with this is mind, I signed up for the Silicon Valley Bank CEO Summit. I heard about the event through the Startup Institute so I figured I won’t be gate crashing.
On Friday morning, the day of the event, I woke up and as usual, I checked my calendar to figure out my events for the day. Yes, I sometimes have multiple events scheduled per day. Then, I checked my twitter feed. All these startups founders were talking about coming for the event. Then I got really intimidated.
In the grand scheme of things, I am but a grain in a bowl of rice. I was intimidated because I just thought to myself “what have I done to earn a place in this room?” Instead of flaking out like my previous self would have done,I put on my best casual but professional look consisting of a black skinny jeans, black long-sleeved t-shirt and a pink cropped moto-like blazer.
I was lucky that there were other Startup Institute classmates there so I had a support network. We had lunch together then proceeded to go in for the sessions. If I expected anyone to be there blowing their horns, I was in for a let-down. The summit was very calm and ego-less. I learned so much listening to people talk about the challenges they faced, how to get funded, how to improve employee satisfaction etc.
Then we had the networking hour at the end of the event at a bar. I was at the bar stand ordering a drink when someone came up to me and said “I have seen you at so many events, I figured it is time to meet you.” Just like that I met someone that I had been admiring from afar at multiple events. The thing is I go out and see people. I get to talk to a few of them. I am often too intimidate to introduce myself because like I said “I am but a grain in a bowl of rice.”
Yesterday was a good day. I am glad I did not let my early morning jitters get in the way of an amazing opportunity.