Enable U Edward Lowe Fndn


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Enable U Edward Lowe Fndn

  1. 1. Starting a New Conversation Understanding and working with second-stage entrepreneurs
  2. 2. Why Second-Stage Companies? Because we believe they have the greatest positive impact on the economy • Create jobs • Attract money • Attract companies and talent • Drive culture • Affect philanthropy • Drive policy decisions through identified needs • Bring other companies to the table
  3. 3. We’re excited! Now what?
  4. 4. Important Questions to Ask • How do we get in front of the second- stage audience? • How do we understand them? • How do we talk to them? • What programs should we develop? • Who should help us?
  5. 5. Assessing the Present Before Diving Into the Future
  6. 6. An Honest Critique of Your Current Audience • What does your audience look like? • Can you segment them? • Is there a uniting factor that brings them together? • Are you the ―go to‖ source for them on at least three things? • Are you currently reaching second-stage companies?
  7. 7. An Honest Critique of Your Current Programs • What programs are you currently offering? • Who or what drives program content? • Do any of these programs affect second- stage companies?
  8. 8. Understanding the Second- Stage Entrepreneur If you really want to understand, you must listen and be willing to look beyond the obvious.
  9. 9. How to Spot a Second Stager • Moves fast and faces • Too much business can complex problems, trip them up faster than often many at the same too little – capacity time issues • Not attracted to • Hard to gain their trust traditional ways of • Trust their peers learning • Process everything • Very little time to devote through the lens of their to learning and it must business be just-in-time • May love creating but • Content must be not managing relevant instead of • Very positive elaborate • Need to build systems
  10. 10. Culture Rules! Theirs and Yours • ―Culture is the last mile. It’s the most important part of an entrepreneurial community—and the hardest to achieve.‖ • ―Entrepreneurs dress differently, talk differently and act differently.‖ • ―Creating the right culture is about changing attitudes.‖ • ―You don’t change culture overnight.‖
  11. 11. Does Your Culture Look Like Theirs? • Do you listen to ideas, then act and implement quickly? • Can you live with making mistakes? • Are you willing to change some of your direction to serve your audience? • Do you understand outside audiences well enough to find and match resources? • Is it OK if you don’t know everything?
  12. 12. Would You Turn Yourself Upside Down for Them? The strongest organizations allow ideas to flow from the bottom up instead of always from the top down.
  13. 13. Before the Hunt Begins
  14. 14. • Don’t make them wait on you • Your infrastructure must be fluid enough to implement quickly • Your team must buy in on culture • The rest of your audience is ready to come to the table
  15. 15. Now Can I Go Find Them? • Bigger isn’t always better • Work with your friends first – testimonials make powerful recruiting tools • Be wary of gunshot approaches
  16. 16. How to Listen • Small groups vs. surveys • Keep mixing up the groups • Open your mind beyond the traditional • What do they need they’re not getting anywhere else? • What issues are typical only to your region? • Turn needs into programs
  17. 17. It’s Crowded out There! • The good news: Entrepreneurship will save the day! • The challenging news: It is on everyone’s agenda. • How will you differentiate your organization?
  18. 18. Partnerships Avoiding the Bull’s-eye • You’re not the only one getting into the entrepreneurship game! • What niche can you fill that no one else is after? • Your current partners – What’s in it for them? • What organizations help you complete the picture?
  19. 19. Programming Makes a Difference • Keep asking your audience, “What keeps you up at night?” • Turn problems into programs • Use entrepreneurs to deliver the content • Have respected experts on hand who “get it” • Become specialists in peer-to-peer learning
  20. 20. Becoming The Match Maker • Understand that relationships drive partnerships and sales • Take time to really know your audience • Develop programs that push people to meet and talk: – Speed dating – Wine tastings – Pitch development
  21. 21. Is Everyone Feeling the Love? • Find ways to tell and broadcast success stories • Make the media’s job easier • Plan innovative ways to celebrate success
  22. 22. The Highlights • Assess current audience and programs • Look beyond the entrepreneur’s obvious needs • Understand what makes second-stage companies different • Culture rules! • Be willing to turn yourself upside down • Be ready for the hunt • Bigger isn’t always better • Listen well – become a trusted source • Partner! • Turn ideas into programs • Don’t make it too hard!
  23. 23. Penny Lewandowski Director, Entrepreneurship Development Edward Lowe Foundation penny@lowe.org