Explore networking tools and tips on how to create lasting connections

Soumya Adusumilli
February 22, 2021

When you throw a pebble into water, it produces ripples which propagate outward as large circles further from where the pebble initially landed. It’s surprising to see how such a small stone could have a huge impact on its surroundings.

As entrepreneurs, we embody creativity, perseverance, and determination in all the things we do. We create new products and services that affect others in society. 

So the big question is, how do we become that pebble? What can we do to meet new people and create a lasting effect on those around us?

Let’s go through some tips on how we can network effectively and build lasting relationships.


Be Authentic

When you feel that networking is an obligation rather than a learning opportunity, the process won’t be as enjoyable and rewarding for you.

To create lasting connections and find people that you can rely on is no easy task. You need to put in the effort to reach out, identify common interests, and provide an exchange of thoughts. 

A conversation is only enriching when you ask good questions and make an effort to connect with those around you.

A good way to break down walls and ensure that networking is fruitful is to engage in ice-breakers!

Here are some great ice-breaker questions to ask entrepreneurs at a professional event, casual meeting, or even online:

-      In the beginning, what motivated you to become an entrepreneur?

-      What do you enjoy most about what you do?

-      Looking back, what’s one thing you would do differently?

By listening carefully to others’ experiences, you will gain great insight that will help you prosper as an aspiring entrepreneur.

All it takes is curiosity, passion, and that initial step to create those ripples around you!

Expand Your Circle

In a globalized world, relationships that would have been impossible in the past have become the norm. Online networking has become an important step in career advancement and is essential for any individual, regardless of major.

Some of the best online networking platforms include Tribemine, LinkedIn, and Meetup.They are all free websites that have tools for messaging, profile building, and community support .

These features exist to expand your outreach and introduce you to new interests that you may not have encountered before.

Here are some tips on how to take advantage of these online platforms and produce mutually beneficial relationships!

-      Diversify your existing network through outreach into new interests

-      Keep conversations going!

-      Start sooner rather than later

Remember, it is important to take action.Interact with others’ social media posts, connect with others, and join community groups. Despite being nervous, nothing will happen if you don't take the risk to reach out.

Be that pebble. Dive into the water and be ready to create and feel an impact.  

Company Spotlight

Sidney Collin, a biomedical engineering major at Cal Poly never expected to become the CEO of a startup. It was not until shemet veteran Jack Brill who had freezing of gait, a Parkinson’s symptom that disrupts movement.

At the Cal Poly Entrepreneurs’ guest speaker event, Collin talked about how she created a device that includes green lasers and metronomes as a solution to Brill’s problem. This became the start of NextStride, her medical device product, and her company Deo Oro Devices. 

Collin says De Oro Devices is all about “the heart, the head, and the wallet.” You need to find someone who connects with your story and that’s what allows your product to become successful.


Be Aware and Share!

So what’s the best way to take action and network with like-minded professionals who have a passion for entrepreneurship?

Join Cal Poly Entrepreneurs! It is the place to go to find your passion, meet new people, and learn more about entrepreneurial thinking!

Come to our weekly Tuesday meetings from 6-7pm to discover something that inspires you!

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