Home » Building relationships

Category: Building relationships

Start-Up Europe Week has just Begun!

Start-Up Europe is a platform aggregating several organizations, supported by European Commission,that contribute to European start-up ecosystem. Start-Up Europe is a part of European Union (EU) Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan. That is why its mission is to connect players of local start-up ecosystems in EU countries, including connecting start-ups, entrepreneurs, and researchers with start-up accelerators, co-working places, private investors, public funds agencies mentors, or local authorities, which all can support start-ups’ “go to market journey”.

Between 1st -5th of February 2016 Start-Up Europe organizes the biggest entrepreneurship event in Europe. This is 1st edition of Start-Up Europe Week, with 220 cities in 45 countries participating, and hundreds of events being planned, including conferences, workshops, meetups, or mentoring sessions.

If you are a start-up ecosystem stakeholder, you can be a participant of the planned events. And if you are a start-up player, you can support Start-Up Week by organizing event or becoming part of the initiative by using the form here.

Start-Up Week goal is to promote initiatives of Start-Up Europe, which are in force for a while now. My favorite initiatives, which altogether create European start-ups support ecosystem, include:

– Open call for Micro-Grants for start-ups to enable them participating in relevant start-up events, workshops, and usage of local, start-up dedicated services. Micro-Grants are also strong enabler of networking at European level, including events planned for start-ups stakeholders in 2016.

Start-up Future Roadshow with series of workshops for students, and aspiring entrepreneurs, where they will find training sessions on funding opportunities and meet with mentors. The roadshow is organized by by European Young Innovators Forum, and kicks-off in Poznan in Poland on 27th of February 2016.

– Start- Up Europe Club of over 4 thousand investors interested in funding start-ups ad various stage of their development.

European Crowdfunding Network, which is an initiative to support European crowdfunding services providers with self-regulation issues, and strengthen crowdfunding voice of crowdfunding in policy making discussion to result in growing number of local crowdfunding platforms and wider access to capital for start-ups.

Database of almost 300 thousands companies founded in Europe, including funding amounts, and companies’ details, which might be a great deal of support in looking for potential business partners, including suppliers, and customers, but also mentors.

EU Accelerators Assembly, which aggregates over 70 start-up accelerators, I was writing about some time ago. If you are start-up accelerator, you can register there and find partners for Horizon 2020 call for projects called
Startup Europe for Growth and Innovation Radar”, which enables financing of strategic partnerships building between European start-up hubs. Imagine that as a start-up accelerator you can submit an application e.g. for creation of Pan-European acceleration programme with professional mentors, and international demo-day. Find details of applying for EUR 1,5 m per project till 25th of April 2017 here.

– As a start-up you might also be interested in using co-working space for leading your start-up daily activity in Europe. For that purposes you can use information aggregated by Co-working Assembly, where you will find already registered co-working spaces. In case you are co-working space founder, you can submit information on its location and services offered.

– Beside over 4 thousand of private investors Start-Up Europe shares the knowledge on over 1300 other start-up funding opportunities, including public funds’ co-financing, in the database of Start-Up Europe Club here.

If you like what is happening in Europe, and you are start-up ecosystem stakeholder consider to sign a manifesto for Entrepreneurship & Innovation to power growth in the EU.

If you are still looking for “a meat on the bone” you might be interested in Practical guide to doing business in Europe. The guide doesn’t only provide details of starting a company, including registration of European company online including, but also provide knowledge on intellectual property rights protection of your start-up, selling your products and services abroad, employing people in the EU, building up your team, exploring taxes and customs related issues, and  getting the basics of merging and acquisitions, which might be interesting for later stage start-ups considering exit strategies.

If you still feel hungry, reach out to us using our contact form, and still “stay hungry, stay foolish”.

Dzida !


Short Calendar for Forward Thinkers

WebBusiness focused shows, summits, and exhibitions are not only are stimulative for intellect, and broaden the horizons for your daily brain-pumps. In fact, by participation in entrepreneurship focused events you can make new acquaintances and start developing relationships with business new-comers, succeeding start-ups, or big-name corporations.
So when and where you should make an appearance in the nearest half year ?
3rd-5th of November 2015Web Summit in Dublin – it’s an event considered one of the best technology conferences in the world with almost 30 thousand attendants from over 100 countries already registered , incl. 1 thousand of speakers. The event is organized since 2010. This year topics are: Internet of Things and digital marketing. Guest speakers include John Scully – former CEO of Apple. Early stage start-ups can register in “Alpha Program” and be selected for free exhibition.
11th -12th of November 2015Slush in Helsinki – the event and its merits have been described in one of my previous posts. It gathers many industries such as entertainment, gaming, or education.
17th – 19th of November 20154YFN (4 Years From Now) at Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) in Barcelona. 4YFN this time will set up a village at event expected to gather over 10 thousand of smart city enthusiasts. Over 400 cities from over 80 countries are expected to be present at SCEWC this year.4YFN events focus on future trends, future technologies, future industries, and future companies of course.
18th – 21st of January 2015World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi – event for future energy and clean technologies enthusiasts, especially small businesses. Already 650 companies from 41 countries confirmed participation in the exhibition part, and over 32 thousands guests are expected in total.
14th – 17th of March 2016Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Medellin – the next edition of GEC will take place in Colombian “City of Eternal Spring”. Event is focused on nurturing entrepreneurship as an ecosystem, as its organized by Global Entrepreneurship Network and the Kauffman Foundation.  Richard Branson was one of the speakers in previous editions.
16th of March 2016 – SME World Summit 2016 in Dubai – probably the biggest event for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in the region, incl. presentation of region’s business road-map, and business niches in which start-ups and SMEs may fit. 3 thousands of attendees are expected.
7th of April 2016SME EXPO 2016 in Nairobi – theme of the next year edition is “Innovative Solutions to Boost SME Revenue Growth”. Workshops  on cash flow management and technology solutions for SMEs are planned. One of the speakers will be Dorcas Muthoni, who established Openworld Ltd at the age of 24. Openworld’s solutions are used by Government of Kenya.
21st -22nd of April 2016 Business Rocks in Manchester – over 5 thousands attendees, incl. 300 exhibitors are expected to discuss drones, robotics, wearables, Internet of Things, and more.
So which event are you going to hit?

Don't tell people your dreams.
Source: www.pinterest.com



Where 15 000 Entrepreneurs Meet in One Place?

Collaboration around innovation works best when people have space to talk to each other. Pretty rarely sparks of enlightenment and – so needed – sheer enthusiasm happen when communication is narrowed down to virtual reality only.
Slush is an event that answers those needs. Organized in Helsinki in Finlandia between 11-12th of November 2015 it gathers entrepreneurs and innovators from all over the world. This year organizers expect 15 000 forward thinkers to be there. Can the time at such event be spent effectively?
Slush covers networking , roundtable discussions, workshops, and pitch competitions, but, what’s probably the most important the matchmaking with event participants can start before the event itself. And the key to effective networking we’ve written before is to know whom, how and with what value proposal you want to approach in advance to create ground for meaningful follow-up.
This year edition is to focus on among others on health and wellbeing, education technology, data security, gaming or online marketplace and digital money.
You might be interested that the call for speakers for the event is open till 31st of August 2015, and for Slush 100 pitching competition till 9th of October 2015. In the latter, the winner of 2014 edition won investment worth EUR 500 000.
                                                       Source: http:/home/tomaszpi/domains/tomaszpilewicz.com/public_html/www.slush.org/


How to Make Friends and Influence People?

How to make friends and influence people?
For those, who don’t know Dale Carnegie it’s worth mentioning that he was not only selling beacon and soups in beginning of 20thcentury for Armour & Company in Chicago, but also wrote couple of books. And one of them has been read by 50 million people and was translated to almost 40 languages. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” written in 1936 is one of these self-improvement books you’ll find very actual today and want to get back often.
The core concept of the book bases on changing people’s behavior by first changing yours behavior toward them.
This is a book particularly for those, who want to develop deep, driving desire to master principles of human relations. It is written in great story-telling style, with plenty of case studies, allegories and metaphors rolling summing up so called “principles”, incl. the fundamental ones, which make other people to like you, e.g.:
1) Become genuinely interested in other people
2) Smile
3) Remember that a person’s name is that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
4) Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
5) Talk in terms of other persons interests
6) Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely
Sounds easy, but can take years to discipline oneself, practice, and apply.
One of the most important messages I understood thanks to studying D. Carnegie is that you can make more friends in 2 months by becoming interested in other people than you could do in 2 years by trying to get other interested in you.
Other principles elaborated by D. Carnegie refer to thinking new thoughts, discovering new ambitions and winning people to your way of thinking of course. Carnegie gives tips on how to avoid arguments and to handle complaints, be entertaining conversationalist, or simply arouse enthusiasm among people.
I like this book, not only because of principles it teaches, but also for great deal of history of doing business. You’ll find there story of one of the most profitable companies in the US in the past – Bethlehem Steel Company, or many examples referring to undertakings of A. Carnegie, J.P.Morgan or J.D. Rockefeller and industrialization of the United States.
                                                     Source: www.pinterest.com

What’s Big Deal about Follow-up?

You took part in networking event and you swiftly closed the conversation with magic phrase “I look forward to following up.” But what it actually means, and why it’s so important today?

You don’t have to read The McKinsey Way, “The McKinsey Mind” or “The McKinsey Engagement” to find out that simple, traditional “thank you notes” sent by McKinsey consultants to their engagements sponsors after delivering the service were the key to generate next engagements, even many years later. It appears that small acts of kindness are not forgotten and the follow up is the secret weapon of networking.

Before we got to this, let’s recapitulate on your engagement during networking event maximizing potential for successful follow-ups:

– You took some preparations and set a goal to reach to 5 most important person for you before you went to networking event,
You came first and went out last, or at least gave a try,
– You were reading peoples IDs pinned to their suites (that’s they are for!) to localize, who you were looking for, and you was doing everywhere – standing in line for food, in corridors, in exhibition sites,
– You knew what are “opening gambits” and “middle game questions” and you focused on telling how you find solutions to challenges people face,
You obviously took notes on the back side of the business cards you exchanged,
You was using “end game techniques” you was finishing up the conversations you had in 3 minutes.

Now you are ready to follow-up. Basically follow-up is getting back to the person you met using one of plenty communication channels available today, incl. social networks for professionals, like LinkedIn, sending a text message or an e-mail. The most natural communicate you could pass is thanking person for the time they found for you. Doing so you may be that you’ll do a “footprint in the contact list” of person you met, and will be within they reach the moment they may look for someone like you.

But hey, doing thanking for time people give us is so natural, that it should not be the propose of following-up. So how to make it more successful in terms value creation for the business you develop or nurture? Consider e.g.:

– Attaching link or scan of article, which may be interesting the person you write to,
– Attach link or write something you’ve heard a about the people or companies your person is aspiring to. Writing something about competitors is also not a bad idea,
Attach something funny, like comic story or mem related to the business the person you met operates in,
Attach your company’s newsletter – yes a newsletter. If you think your company is small and you haven’t been doing newsletter because of that, be convinced by the argument that there are 2- pager newsletters sent with persistence by start-ups and SMEs, which turn out to be successful. Short information about current project you are engaged in, something about success of the client you supported recently, and interview with one of your employees or partners will do it. Besides, if you want to start doing it in a big scale someday, you have to master newsletters and mass communication. If you’ll your first newsletter in personalized way and attach it to follow-up note with ask for consent for receiving the next ones – you are in,
Write something about new product to appear on the market, which may be interesting to your contact,
– Inform about an event, seminar, lecture, training – anything which may be interesting to your contact and would be natural occasion to meet again and deepen the conversation you started,
– Don’t attach everything and at once. Spare something for next, value adding follow-ups.

This is the way you turn the networking into following-up with value adding follow-ups. And if you give value first – you make them call you, not you calling them 😉



                                                       Source: www.theberry.com

Dzida !  

Networking for Networking Buzzword Haters

To develop your company you need more successful deals closures. You already know that marketing is not fat, but muscles, but how to generate more deals if your promotion budget is tight? The answer is networking – a buzz word, in business context shall be defined as making connections enabling building long term relations with potential of value creation.

How networking differentiates from other form of marketing communication? It doesn’t work without amino acid communication interface. In other words it’s about very direct human to human interaction.

What differentiates networking from casual chit-chats? The former gives you justification and purpose for further business relationship building with reference to the acquaintance you already made. Being not total stranger to a person you networked with increases chances for positive reply to asks you make.

So how art of the start in business networking shall look like? There different schools deepening relationships and connections making, and everyone should use what fits and works for ones best. Such toolkit can derive from e.g D. Zack “Networking for people who hate networking” combined with J. Gitomer “Sales Bible“.  Such business-networking toolkit would consist of “powerful phrase” you prepare and master upfront to the context of networking opportunity you are to join, some “opening gambits” you use to start conversation, some “middle game” questions you ask to maintain its dynamics and some “end game” techniques for conversation closing just before jumping to another one to make connections with as many people relevant for your business as possible.

O.k., so how to start, and why “powerful phrase” is so important? Ask yourself a question, if person you’ll speak is to remember only one thing from the conversation, what should it be? Powerful phrase sells your area of expertise, experience and care or someone’s business. It enables you to get information you need for successful follow-up, and it is still clear and short. You think it is impossible to prepare such a sentence?

Let’s take a look of how such a phrase could look like for somebody, who e.g. offers running fun pages of companies in professional way. Such sentence could go like this: “Hi, I’m […] from […], I support companies in running their social media in one-stop-shop way. From my experience I know how important today is to have constant, direct interaction with company stakeholders. What do you do to hear the voice of your customers?”’

Need another example? Let’s assume there is a new market entrance advisor. For him such sentence could go like this: “Hi, I’m […] from […], I support companies in setting up businesses up new places. From my experience I know that new companies don’t reach out to government incentives and tax exemptions they are entitled to. What do you do to make sure you enter new market in money-wise way?”

You have your phrase, hopefully several variants of it, and you go to a networking event. How you make the first step? Be creative! Opportunities multiply if you start looking for them. In event environment “opening gambits” apply even to standing in a line for food, e.g.:

·         Would you like to join me checking the desserts?
·         Where did they found strawberries in the middle of winter?
·         Do you know what kind of cake this is?
·         Here it is! (When passing the plate to the person right behind you)
·         Do you also would like to try this? (When choosing something for yourself)


You get the reply, and communication has started. How do you switch to “middle game”? Don’t forget that you are in the middle of this for business purpose, therefore what could works is:


·         What kind of work do you do?
·         What do you like most about your work?
·         What interesting projects are you working on?


Don’t forget to go here with your powerful phrase you have been working so hard.


At this moment you have more than more than needed to set up successful relationship building plan, and it is also very good moment to stop to leave person you have been speaking “craving for more”. So how, which “end techniques” will not make your speaker feel offended and enable you to circulate ?


·       Be honest and say “I promised myself that I will circulate. I’d better walk around.”
·       Appreciate time you received and say “I am sure you want to talk with others. I won’t hold you up” or “I am sure there are others who want to talk with you. I don’t want to hold them too long.”
·       Don’t end without “May I have your card?” “It’s been great meeting you”, “I enjoyed the conversation, thank you” and of course “I look forward to following up !”


Good networking is not about talking to someone to death, but rather about rising someone’s curiosity in clear and crispy way to get their full attention later. It will make effective usage of marketing and communication materials you can now send attached to the “Thank you note” to the person you spoke with. You know what they say – no follow up – no networking
Not to forget that it’s also about fun. Because if there is no fun, what’s the point?


<a href="http:/home/tomaszpi/domains/tomaszpilewicz.com/public_html/www.amazon.com/gp/product/1605095222/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1605095222&linkCode=as2&tag=dzidaconsu-20&linkId=EBC63MZILWN54QXV">Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected</a><img src="http:/home/tomaszpi/domains/tomaszpilewicz.com/public_html/ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=dzidaconsu-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1605095222" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

                                                    Source: http:/home/tomaszpi/domains/tomaszpilewicz.com/public_html/www.bkconnection.com

Dzida !

Fortune Helps those Who Dare

Dziękujemy wszystkim start upom, z którymi mogliśmy się spotkać 31.03.2014 w ramach Entrepreneuria Start Up Academy 2014, w tym w szczególności dla twórców świetnie rokujących przedsięwzięć takich jak System BORG, Bullets, Spare Time, Context Shopping oraz Bokser.

Laboratorium Brama w którym odbyły się spotkania to świetne miejsce na kreatywny mentoring i nadawanie marzeniom biznesowego kształtu.

Ktoś kiedyś powiedział – nie próbuj dogonić świata, niech to świat dogoni Ciebie 😉

Dzida !