Your Network is your Net Worth

Framework curated by Erin Wynn, Manager of Education and Evaluation at MindFrame Connect

In this video, Quin Sandler (Co-Founder and CEO of Plantiga) shares his insights around networking, developing effective ‘asks’, planning for networking events, and finding your communities in entrepreneurship.

What is Networking?

Networking describes the formal and informal ways that founders create connections in their communities. Developing a founder network means finding people who share your vision of success, and mutually supporting each other’s career goals. It centres on relationship building and connection, and is a critical tool for startups to access resources, opportunities, funding, and discoveries in their markets.

“Networking is valuable to any business professional but especially entrepreneurs. When starting out, an entrepreneur’s network can open doors to critical opportunities, knowledge, and support that can be the difference between a venture that succeeds and one that fails.”  

- Catherine Cote, Harvard Business School

How to Network Effectively

Be purposeful
Have a plan in place when you attend events, be strategic in your entry into new spaces, and have specific goals to meet with both events and relationship building. Networking can be strategic and intentional without feeling transactional. Having a clear assessment of your own gaps and needs can assist you in knowing your preferred networking outcomes.  

“It is arguably the most important thing you, as an entrepreneur, can develop. […] Networking with other founders, mentors, and investors will be critical to your success as a founder.” - Quin Sandler  

Be relationship-oriented
Effective networking centres on relationship and alignment. This means that developing connections and assessing the goals of others will help you return value to them, while meeting your own goals. Networking is not only finding opportunities, but creating authentic connection that carries the relationships out of a first meeting. Be curious about others and genuine in your conversations.

Think long term
Once you’ve established a connection, follow-up through social media, email, or setting a next meeting. Casual connections are great, but the best networks have vision beyond a simple LinkedIn add. Set time aside to maintain and grow your network to keep building long-term.


Networking for Entrepreneurs: 5 Tips & Strategies Harvard Business School

How Networking is Necessary for Effective Entrepreneurship

The Awkward Person’s Guide to Networking Harvard Business Review

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