Tapping into your academic past
As a startup founder or entrepreneur, you haven’t gotten to where you are by ignoring the assets at your disposal, but one network people often fail to leverage well is their past academic connections – and we don’t mean joining your college alumni group and getting trashed at games.
Many entrepreneurs have quietly leveraged academic connections to get their companies off of the ground, feed them, and help them to expand. But how?
To learn how entrepreneurs quietly leverage this network, we asked Ivan Matkovic, CEO and Founder of Spendgo how he taps into his academic connections, and in his own words below, he offers surprising insight into making this machine work well:
- Stay in touch with relevant people. I’ve found connecting with professors that have jobs and teach part-time to be most valuable. They have the real-world understanding, an active network and provide a great recruiting and internship platform.
- Be social both online and off. Your college friends usually translate into your after-graduation network. You never know who might be making your next introduction so it is imperative to leverage social media tools. This is so important and prevalent that if you were graduating today without 200+ connections, you didn’t take advantage of your education.
- Stay active long after you graduate. If you have the time to teach a class that is great and if not, finding opportunities to speak with students by giving guest lectures or attending student/alumni events. You’ll gain insights ahead of other sources for trending behavior and hear first hand the pain points of the next generation of employees and customers.
So what is your next move? Will you get back in touch with some professors, whip out your LinkedIn profile and spruce it up, or find ways to give back to your former school? They can all lead to opportunity, so what’s next for you?