When someone mentions “tech hubs” Silicon Valley may be an instinctive first thought. However, it should not come as a surprise that this is not the only place that entrepreneurs tend to flock to in this day and age. With differences between the types of businesses that people want to pursue and the diverse personality types amongst people, it can be very complicated to pinpoint the optimal place for an entrepreneur to meet like-minded individuals. Even so, a rise of tech hubs has been attracting diverse crowds, many with comparable pasts, to specific locations across the globe. Arguably, the politics, costs, and customs that mark these different locations can affect one choice over another; nevertheless, there are ideal places for technology-focused entrepreneurs to settle down.
According to an article by Entrepreneur.com, a study done by Expert Market resulted in a list of the top ten cities for tech entrepreneurs. The study takes into account average salary and costs of living amongst several other factors when finding the best tech hubs to live and work in. These are their top 10:
- Berlin- Silicon Allee
- Austin- Silicon Hills
- Toronto- Silicon Valley North
- San Francisco- Silicon Valley
- Boston- Route 128
- Tel Aviv- Silicon Wadi
- Los Angeles- Silicon Beach
- Montreal- Silicon Valley North
- Paris- Silicon Sentier
When you get to one of these magnetic metropolises, it is possible that you don’t know anyone there. Paul O’Brien, a startup CMO and strategy advisor, suggests starting off by visiting and filtering some of the co-working spaces around your city of interest. The hosts of these spaces are there to connect people, so with the right attitude, you will naturally grow your network. He suggests that the days that you are not in one of your co-working spaces, you should be working from the best coffee shops around town. Choose about five to ten popular coffee shops that you like, and move between these frequently. The benefit of going to these coffee shops will come as you become recognized; a familiar face at one of the networking events hosted by the co-working spaces will be enough to help you fit in without you really knowing anyone.
If it is your first time leaving your hometown, you can probably use some help developing the skills to form a network. For starters, think about your network as your social circle. Social circle is more appropriate as you are trying to meet people that you can contact for more than just work-related favors. It is better to refer someone that you can assure is talented and a hard-working personal friend, than an acquaintance you met who seems to know what he is talking about. Note that talking to strangers is the easiest way to start a network from scratch. Thus, after you have the right mindset for going out to meet people, start up conversations with random people. If you practice cold approaches enough times for an elongated period of time, it will come more naturally. You can start by smiling and commenting on your surroundings, then small talk until you find something they are passionate about, and let them tell you about it. Allow them to talk about themselves and if you show interest in what they have to say, you will gradually build a connection. Make people feel great around you, and they will remember you. A great book for networking basics is Dale Carnegie’s infamous How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Find ways to offer value so people want to stick around you. One of the best ways to offer value is to introduce people with similar interests to one another. People appreciate someone who brings interesting people together. Host a fun event and emphasize how much you look forward to having friends meet each other so they are more likely to attend. Encourage them to bring friends and you will soon be on your way to a growing, strong social circle. The more circles you become part of, the easier it is to meet people and the larger your network will come to be.
Keep in mind that genuine fun, positivity, and value is what attracts people towards you. Forget about trying to impress others with amazing stories or stellar facts; wait for them to ask and they will be even more impressive. Here at Launchbyte.io, we have developed an incredible network of entrepreneurs around and beyond Boston. If you want to learn more about how we did it or who is in it, check out www.launchbyte.io.