Getting involved in your local scene
One of the most important parts of growing a successful startup is getting, and staying, engaged with your local community. That community might be a community of artists, business people, bakers, homemakers, or anything else that’s rooted not only in a common experience,but also a local region. In our case, we are a startup company and we treasure engagement with other startup companies and entrepeneurs in our region.
Specifically, we are based in Baltimore, MD, which has a burgeoning startup scene that while becoming stronger every day, is still far smaller in size and influence as other startup powerhouses such as Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, and other more developed regions. For this reason, we are strong advocates of helping our peers become better entrepreneurs, in the process improving ourselves. By having strong peers, we’ll have a strong community, which will increase the opportunities for everyone in this region.
About six months ago, we launched our Baltimore TechBreakfast series. It is meant to provide a low-stress environment for startups to share what they are doing with their peers and discuss topics relevant to all companies in our area. It started out with just a handful of companies in the area, and has grown to exceed the capacity of our usual meeting spot. We’ve been very impressed with the diversity of the companies in this area, and it reassures us as we grow our business in this area.
A few lessons that we’ve learned from running this event that might be helpful to you, even if you are in a completely different industry, business, and region:
- Network with your peers. If you want to know more about what others are doing in your area, and there’s no meetup that exists for what you do, create one!
- Be consistent and persistent. Even if the event starts out small, just keep at it. Soon enough, if what you are doing is useful to others, it will surely grow. Keep your meetings regular and have them even if just a handful of people show up. It’s worth it!
- Share. Don’t hold your cards too close to your vest. A lot of great things can come from sharing your experiences, problems, concerns, suggestions, challenges, and opportunities with others. Karma is real!
If you are in the Baltimore area, we’d love to see you at one of our Baltimore TechBreakfasts, which is from 8AM to 9:30AM on the last Wednesday of every month. Check it out on our MeetUp page here. Even if you’re not in the area, we’d still love to hear about your experiences growing a local community of folks that reinforce each other’s activities.