Xchange with Team Academy of Applied Science

xchange amsterdam (1)_page-0001

Xchange with Team Academy of Applied Science

How important is networking really? Has it ever made any difference to someone starting a business? The short answer is yes, and we believe networking is fundamental and key to any startup’s success. It is for that reason we’ve decided to take up a group of 10 Entrepreleaders School graduates to Amsterdam every year as part of our Exchange Program with Team Academy University of Applied Science. But before I share some more insights with you about the students who will be travelling this October 2023, how about we explore the many benefits of networking?

At the core of it all, networking is about people, intentional people and at the core of any business success you can always find a talented team of unlikely individuals. Some of these people can be seen and some are quieter and behind the scenes such as silent investors and family members involved in supplying resources. So how do you find these unlikely individuals?

1.     Building Your Personal Brand

Before you start networking, it’s important to establish your personal brand on social media. Make sure your profile is complete, professional, and showcases your strengths and interests.

  • Use a professional profile picture.
  • Craft a clear and concise bio that highlights your skills and experience.
  • Share content that aligns with your personal brand and interests.
2. Prepare and Research

Before attending a networking event, research the attendees and companies that will be present. This will help you identify potential connections and conversation topics.

3. Start with a Smile and Firm Handshake

When meeting someone new, start with a smile and a firm handshake. This will help establish a positive first impression and set the tone for the conversation.

4. Ask Open-Ended Questions

To keep the conversation flowing and show genuine interest, ask open-ended questions. This will encourage the other person to share more about themselves and their experiences.

5. Listen and Show Empathy

Active listening and showing empathy are key to building meaningful connections. Make eye contact, nod, and respond with thoughtful comments to show that you are engaged in the conversation.

6. Follow Up and Maintain Relationships

After the event, follow up with your new connections through email or LinkedIn. Keep in touch and maintain the relationship by offering value and support.

7. Join Professional Associations

Professional associations are a great way to connect with like-minded individuals in your industry. Attend meetings and events to network and learn from others.

8. Attend Conferences

Conferences offer opportunities to network with professionals from all over the world. Attend workshops and sessions to learn new skills and make connections.

9. Seek Mentorship Opportunities

Mentors can offer valuable advice and guidance in your career. Seek out mentors in your industry and ask for their help in developing your skills and expanding your network.

Networking Online

1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows you to connect with other professionals in your industry. You can join groups related to your field, take part in discussions, and share your own content to increase your visibility.

2. Twitter

Twitter is a great platform for networking and building relationships with other professionals. You can follow thought leaders and industry experts, engage in conversations using relevant hashtags, and share your own insights and content.

3. Industry-Specific Forums

Many industries have online forums or message boards where professionals can connect and share information. These forums can be a great way to meet others in your field, ask questions, and learn about new opportunities.

Networking is not just about making connections; it’s about creating meaningful relationships that can drive a startup’s success. While finding these unlikely individuals may seem like a daunting task, there are effective strategies to help you navigate the networking landscape. Among its many benefits, networking allows startups to access resources that they may not have otherwise. This includes funding opportunities, mentorship, and partnerships with other businesses. It also provides startups with increased visibility in their industry. By attending events and meeting other professionals, startups can build their brand and establish themselves as a player in the market. Additionally, it also provides startups with opportunities for collaboration. By connecting with other businesses and professionals, startups can find new partners and work together to achieve shared goals.

It is because of those many benefits that the following startuppers and founders will be joining a diverse group of international entrepreneurs across Europe. The purpose of our 2023 Exchange program is to create an opportunity for hands on knowledge of how a competitive startup works. Each Exchange student will therefore shadow an International Entrepreneur over the course of two weeks. They will equally explore opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with local entrepreneurs as well as an evaluation of how their startup ideas would perform in a global market. Lastly, the goal of the exchange will be to help transform mindsets and introduce our graduates to new ways of thinking, doing and marketing their startups.

Richard, Malawi, founder at Maddogs, 24 Years old

Deosa, Congo-DRC, founder at Osa Osa Projects, 27 years old

Kiesy, Angola, founder at Something Yummy, 15 years old

Glenn Boulendet, Gabon, co founder at Osa Osa, 28 years old

Oba Mbadinga, Gabon -Turky, founder at Audace Prod, 24 years old

Vusi, South Africa, Beat maker , 19 years old

Christina, Malawi, Founder at The First Thrift,

Garcia, Angola, Investor and joined Father’s business, 20 years old

(no photo received )

Emson, South Africa, Founder at Open Foundation, 36 years old

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