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The Venture Karma System

Crane Gears by Kevin Utting via Flickr Everything in the startup world hinges on the strength of your relationships.

Investors back people they know or people referred to them by people they know. It's why investors don't want to meet you, they want to be introduced to you.

Your ability to navigate challenges that block your company's growth depends, in part, on how quickly you can leverage your connections to find or create solutions faster than you could alone.

Entrepreneurship is not a spectator sport. You need to get out of the building.

As an introvert, I'm not the most social person at meet ups, conferences, and meetings. But I am constantly thinking about ways to help the people I meet. It's what drives me. My mind is always trying to interconnect. And as a result of that habit (obsession?) I have built a network of people who support me and support Springboard.

I don't do these things to build my network, I do them because I genuinely want to. I like going the extra mile, exceeding expectations, and trying to give more than I get.

It helps that doing these things is also good business. Going the extra mile for our entrepreneurs, making a valuable introduction that wasn't asked for, promoting wothwhile content or events - these things have built a stronger network of supporters who I can call on when I am the one in need.

To me, this the venture karma system. And in the changing VC world where there is greater transparency through Angellist, thefunded, and social media, it carries more power than ever before.