Three Inside Networking Tips for SOCAP 2018
Catalyst Fund’s “How to SOCAP” for Entrepreneurs #2
Hopefully, you started your fundraising preparation for SOCAP weeks ago by connecting with attendees on SOCAP’s Pathable App or downloading the full attendee list to target specific people to meet, and reaching out to individuals for meetings. If you haven’t, you should review the list, at the latest on your plane ride over, to know who you should seek out while at SOCAP.
Depending on your objectives for SOCAP, you might want to focus on attending as many sessions and workshops, especially if this is your first time. For others, SOCAP is a conference to network — to catch up with old acquaintances and make new ones. The confluence of thousands of ecosystem peers is powerful and can be quite fruitful. It’s one of the reasons why you want to be at the top of your networking game at SOCAP. Here are three practical tips to create moments for networking in the SOCAP environment.
1. Embrace serendipity
While you should be asking your peers, investors, and advisers on whom to meet in advance, chance meetings with good contacts also happen on the food line, at the table where you sit down to eat, and when joining a conversation at myriad evening social events. This happens all the time at SOCAP, so be open to meeting people you didn’t know about or expect to meet. Be sure to sign up for the Inclusive Fintech Happy Hour hosted by Catalyst Fund, Accion Venture Lab, and Quona Capital and connect with entrepreneurs, investors, donors, and partners.
2. Loitering is Allowed
Make use of the outside space at the SOCAP campus and hang out there. The grounds outside the main hall do not require a conference pass and it’s a perfect place to hang out and set up meetings (even with non-conference folks) while getting some sun and fresh air.
3. Pace Yourself
It’s a long week so you need to strike a balance of night and day events. You probably don’t want to pack everything into the first two days and Friday is a slower day — connections happen throughout. If you’re traveling with other people, you could organize a WhatsApp group to have your ear to the ground on what others are up to get real-time info about which events to prioritize.