Know Your Membership Part 4: Networking
Welcome to part 4 of our Know Your Membership series where we take you through aspects of UKBAA membership, learn a little more about how they work and how best to use them. You can check out parts 1, 2 and 3 of the series at the links below:
Our topic today is close to one of the pillars of UKBAA’s mission: helping our members connect with each other. One of the key aspects of success in early stage investing is building and growing your network. For individual investors it expands your horizons, helps you find dealflow and develop your skills as an angel investor and for organisations it serves myriad needs from finding more angels for your angel group to the right legal support for your contractual needs and more.
Our primary method of encouraging and promoting networking is through our in person events. Although during the pandemic we switched to online webinars, we will soon be returning to live events, almost all of which had and will have again an hour or more of networking at their end. In many ways this is the best setting to meet your peers and future colleagues: simply venturing out and meeting people organically, moving through the crowd and striking up conversations. On average we held 30 live events a year with many held outside of London, helping to provide you with the opportunity to meet others in your local area as well as branching out into new locations.
One of the highlights of the year is our gala awards dinner held in the summer where we celebrate the achievements of the community over the past year, accompanied by a 3 course meal and extensive social and networking hours following. You can stay up to date on our upcoming events by subscribing to the newsletter, checking out the events page of our website and as members you will always be notified first of all our upcoming activities.
Fig 1: Networking at UKBAA’s Awards Dinner 2019
Of course, during the pandemic the way we network and connect was forced to change. Many organisations pivoted towards online meet ups, using a speed-dating style service that rapidly rotated you through a series of people, providing snippets of time in which to quickly build a connection with that person before swiftly moving on to the next. Our approach was slightly different and manifested in our Member Meet ups. These member exclusive events were more group focused, wherein we would invite a guest speaker to briefly introduce and discuss a topic or theme before dividing into a number of breakout rooms with around 10 or so members per room as well as a member of UKBAA staff and the speaker. This way we could encourage a more organic exchange of ideas and meeting of minds and ensured that all who attended would be able to also provide contact details for other members to contact them after the event. We hold these every couple of months and although we will be switching back to live events soon, we will be continuing with these online events as well to provide an extremely easy way to connect with other members.
Perhaps the simplest and easiest way to find and connect to other UKBAA members is through our social media pages, in particular our exclusive UKBAA Members LinkedIn Group. As the name implies, only members of UKBAA are eligible to join this group and it is used as a platform wherein members can find each other and casually discuss topics and themes with a few keystrokes. If you’re looking to find and connect with another member it’s a great place to search and a great way to join the conversation.
Fig 2: UKBAA LinkedIn Group
Networking can be difficult but it is an essential part of the early stage investment ecosystem. If you’d like to learn more about the networking and connecting opportunities discussed, or have any questions about networking further, please don’t hesitate to contact our Membership Manager Thomas Charles at email@example.com.
Next week we’ll be looking at Amazon Web Service credits, what these are and how to become a provider for your founders!