Things Learned From Innovators in 2 Years

In News by Mary KurekLeave a Comment

September 2019 marks the second anniversary of The Introducer Magazine.  We couldn’t be prouder of the people we’ve featured and the impact we’ve instigated through this unique magazine/business development platform and its companion network, The Frontrunners League of Social Impact Innovation.

We’ve learned a few things, too.  We thought some of what we’ve learned through interviewing and working with more than 200 innovators and problem solvers might be of interest to those of you who serve, fund, and collaborate in the social impact world.  Here we go:

 

  1. There’s a tendency to push away opportunities when an innovator thinks they “have that base covered.”  If it’s a legitimate opportunity with no commitment upfront, one should always take the call.
  2. Most do not know or have the specifics on who they need to move their projects forward. They only have generalizations that focus more internally than externally, meaning they think they are looking for “anyone who would like to support my innovation or special interest project” instead of “impact investors who have already put money into xyz companies who are at A-round” or “innovation hub executives with authority to make deals with tech innovators.” Just like entering keywords into the computer, that’s what it takes to acquire the right people assets to move you ahead.  This is critical and the issue persists at every level.
  3. Many haven’t spent enough time with a professional ensuring that their pitch decks are solid, complete, and compelling.
  4. We’ve seen plenty of content from every type of source – academics, included, where spelling and grammar is a concern.  Nobody’s perfect (including ourselves), but, when it concerns marketing or operational materials, even adding an app like grammarly could really help.
  5. By now, you surely realize that The Introducer is really the beginning point of a serious business development program within social impact spaces.  We have come across some innovators who are only interested in communicating with resources that are ready to “deal.” How do you know unless you get on the phone?  Certainly, some people are too busy to entertain exploratory calls, but, in the last week, we’ve facilitated 13 business calls that were actually labeled “exploratory.”  Of those, 10 are advancing toward business. Second conversations are in the works for 4 with NDA/doc swaps with 2, a contract offer for 1, a potential partnership forming, and several new introductions have evolved from these conversations.  You are missing good opportunities if you don’t open the door a bit.
  6. Many of those we’ve featured who have developed a disruptive technology have more than one!  In follow-up conversations, we are continually amazed at how many of our game changers have 2 or 3 other projects (sometimes dissimilar) that are in the works.  Often, these other projects are under separate companies in which they are involved. We’re talking life-changing work. These people are absolute gold mines – literally and impactfully.
  7. We’ve interviewed a few diplomats and representatives of governments interested in bumping up or creating an innovation hub or an innovation “reputation” for their areas.  These countries are rolling out their best red carpet and are telling you so in their spotlights. We especially like to see that happening – helps us to know where to send our innovators.
  8.  Accelerator leaders sometimes aren’t as tied into what the rest of their team is looking for.  Before applying for these types of opportunities, do your best to determine specifically what the actual decision-makers are looking for. The Director may not be part of the assessment team. 

    Now, here’s where it applies to YOU

If I were you, I’d be looking at this as a map for where the gaps and possibilities lie.  Let me help you: Innovators often need help with the admin side of their house. Pitch decks, marketing materials, and so forth should look and be professional.  Consultants who do that should be cruising each edition of The Introducer for these sorts – sometimes a resource like that is listed in the game changer’s “networking interests” at the bottom of their spotlight.  

We have featured plenty with disruptive technologies (health tech, particularly). If you are an impact investor, CEO of a Family Office, or a funding source…you could easily pick up on one of these gold mines.  Or, you can just contact us.

Operational consultants or those of you who have expertise in planning product launches might be interested in subscribing to The Introducer – every edition will likely have several people you should get to know.  Sign up form is bottom right of this page.

If you are an innovator with a tech product that you would be interested in making a deal for manufacture, you should be contacting us now.  

If you haven’t yet, you should read our “Networking Connections Posts” that are published about a week after each edition goes live (we tell you who from the magazine needs to be connecting with whom and why).  If you are a start-up consultant, business developer, HR professional, tech or impact investor, working deals in the UHNW space, CEO/Director of an international NGO, corporate responsibility director, innovation lab director, an innovator looking for a partner or collaborator, or someone with a project or idea for a good one in Africa, you need to be reading the magazine, checking out those posts, and talking with US.  Get in touch.

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