All our lives, we’ve been told that networking determines half of your professional success, which, by the way, is an undeniable fact even if you are a freelancer working from home. For startup founders AKA the ‘lean entrepreneurs’, networking is perhaps everything.
As a startup founder, ask yourself this: How are you supposed to kick-start a business without support from at least a handful of experienced professionals? Where are you going to get the advice? From where are you going to attract investments? Do you expect to run all the aspects of your operations by yourself?
The simple answer to all these questions is: Your networks are going to help you get there. If man is a social animal, then ideally, entrepreneurs should be on top of this ‘social food chain’, socializing and forming networks wherever they go. Luckily for us, we are living in the digital age and networking has never been so easier. With an abundance of networking sites, you can discover and interact millions of like-minded professionals by just sitting at home. All startup founders should take this advantage of this blessing and go crazy on forming professional networks on the internet. For that purpose, here is a list of top 20 networking sites for startup founders:
If you are about to start a business or already have recently, then you must get on Efactor to take things up a notch. Efactor is an outstanding online professional community where entrepreneurs can gain invaluable advice, tips, resources and even funding from established professionals belonging to their fields.
When it comes to professional networking sites, LinkedIn is the King. With over 500 million users from 200 different countries, LinkedIn packs a phenomenal networking potential, considered a professional necessity by many and is mentioned in the contact information on resumes and CVs.
Meetup is a unique networking platform that allows you to become part of nearly 8000 professional groups and meet up with likeminded individuals sharing your interests and goals, to help each other out and achieve much more than you would alone.
Just like any good dating website, FounderDating sets you up with some of the best matches. The only difference is that those matches are entirely professional! At FounderDating you can interact with a vast community of renowned entrepreneurs and gain amazing advice from them.
YouNoodle is a one-of-a-kind platform for promising startups to avail amazing opportunities for growth. It helps investors find startups with potential, and vice versa, through different competitions.
Cofoundr is yet another classic networking site for entrepreneurs, particularly developers, where they can discover and form professional relations with other developers, entrepreneurs and investors alike, to exchange advice and support each other in their ventures.
7. Startup Weekend
Startup Weekend is a fantastic initiative that helps aspiring entrepreneurs to launch a startup in 54 hours, by meeting up with other entrepreneurs, investors, developers, marketers and much more at organized events in their cities.
Founded in 2011, CoFoundersLab is a brilliant networking site for startup founders to connect with other entrepreneurs, seek potential partners with compatible skills and experience and learn under the shadow of successful professionals. With over 35000 profiles, this site will definitely help you find a suitable professional match.
For those entrepreneurs seeking reliable and compatible co-founders for their business, founder2be is a great platform. Meet over 65,000 professionals and pick a co-founder for your company.
CollabFinder is a classic and highly reliable networking site to seek and approach potential co-founders for your projects and startup business.
Targeted to tech startups, CodeArmy lets lean tech entrepreneurs connect and share their 2 cents, and even find co-founders or collaborators for their startups and projects.
When it comes to seeking advice from seasoned entrepreneurs and marketers for your startup, StartupNation is definitely your go-to website. Gain invaluable knowledge, share your experiences and get useful tips on forums and discussion boards from established professionals.
Micromentor is yet another outstanding networking site where lean entrepreneurs can get free business mentoring from professionals. It can also be utilized by experienced business professionals where they can volunteer and reap rewards out of it.
14. Startups Anonymous
Startups Anonymous is an open community where new and experienced professionals alike can share experiences anonymously, teaching each other a great deal along the way. The website is perfect for confidently asking questions and sharing experiences due to the element of anonymity.
15. Founders Network
FoundersNetwork caters to tech startup founders, helping them connect with seasoned mentors. The membership isn’t free and you must be a full-time tech startup founder. Once you become a member, you get invites to various social events where you get to meet other like-minded entrepreneurs.
If you seek some education on how to organize fundraisers or analyze firms that fund startups, TheFunded is perhaps the best place to start. The website allows its users to anonymously rate and review different venture capital investment firms, making it a reliable and safe platform to get investment knowledge from.
Gust is a vast community where potential entrepreneurs get to meet legit investors, and allows you to build a profile of your startup business to attract investments. So far, over $1 billion worth of investments have been made on startups through gust.
Onevest is a renowned global community where professionals, from startup founders to investors alike, gather to share tips and advice on organizing fundraisers as well as help each other through investments.
AngelList tops the list of networking sites where investors meet startups, impressively making millions of dollars of investments possible each month. The website’s incredible database allows you to look up and approach suitable investors for your startup.
Startups.co is one of the leading platforms where lean entrepreneurs can find over 20,000 investors and get solid professional advice from others on crucial business operations.
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