This is how startups should network

Joe Procopio
6 min readAug 22, 2019

One of the coldest truths about startup is that it’s pretty freaking lonely.

I don’t mean lonely in the sense that we spend long days in front of flickering laptop screens in dark, windowless basements. No, in that sense, startup is actually kind of social.

When I say startup is lonely, I mean there aren’t a lot of places to turn when we feel like we’re going it alone. Even within the ranks of a well-formed company — I don’t do what Scot does, Ryan doesn’t do what I do. We’re all playing off our own experience and making the rest up as we go.

Startup is a career. It’s not a hobby, it’s not a lifestyle, it’s not a job. All careers require a network to help shape a person’s growth. So like everyone else, entrepreneurs and startup people need an outlet for everything from connections to continuous learning to problem solving to letting off steam.

So we network.

In 20 years doing startup, I’ve learned there are all sorts of questions and even arguments as to how much time a startup person should spend networking, where they should network, with whom, and what they should do when they get there.

Well, as it happens, I also spent three years building and growing a startup networking platform that went local to regional to national to acquired.

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Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com