Tuesday, December 31, 2013

LinkedIn, Entrepreneurs, 678 Partners, Momentum, Philanthropy and more

Can't believe my last post was back in 2011! Wow. 

Let's take a quick look at 2013:

1) Entrepreneurship Efforts
Volunteered a couple of hours a week for Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization. I also personally presented a break out session entitled "Red Bulling Your Network" (full Slideshare presentation here) to 150 students which eventually got ranked as one of the top 10 break out presentations(over 100+ presenters). The introduction video to the full presentation is below:

Here is a small list of other talented founders, entrepreneurs and other Chicago business leaders that I reached out to. They were generous enough with their time to present at different break out sessions:
1) Rise Interactive Founder, Jon Morris
2) Software engineer, Adriano Marquez from CrowdSPRING
3) Founder and President of Lightspan Digital, Mana Ionescu
4) Women panel with some amazing talent from PrettyQuick's CoCo Meers (Founder) and Shreena Amin(COO), Dima Elissa, Parissa Behnia and Mahrinah Von Schlegel
5) Co-Founder of Conferences.IO, John Pytel
6) CEO of ContextMedia, Rish Shah

I also judged a elevator pitch competition. Was a lot of fun watching the up and coming student talent. In some ways it felt like shark tank.

Post the national conference, I have been hosting a monthly webinar series helping 25+ students with LinkedIn, business development, fundraising and strategy efforts. 

2) Linkedin and Social Media
Last year my Linkedin profile was in the top 1% viewed profiles (take a look for yourself). 2013 results are not out yet but I don't think I will be that lucky to repeat last years results.

I removed 100+ existing LinkedIn connections. During 2014, I plan to add another 100 new connections (but need to remove 100 from the existing connections). I already know who I am going to remove and I also know who I am going to add. I have always been saying, its about quality and not quantity.

On Social Media, there are so many pictures you can share with your friends(Facebook is getting pretty boring). The place for business, specially on the B2B side, is LinkedIn and LinkedIn only. I have found Twitter to be a great place to listen to your competition(if there is any) and also get a pulse of the marketplace. Facebook and Twitter also can be great if you have a tangible product(car, jewelry, movies etc). When you run a consultancy and selling a service offering, LinkedIn is the place to be. Just my experience. Still waiting to see more ROI information on Non LinkedIn channels. Search has become so advanced.

3) Non-Profits and Philanthropy
Plan to volunteer some more time for a good charity with a strong board. Any suggestions? My passion is towards a combination of education and entrepreneurship. On a separate note, a few days ago, I came across a bunch of extra thank you cards that were given to us, when we hosted a fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Association. Since I hate wasting good items, I dropped them off at the Alzheimer's Association Michigan Avenue office so they can be re-used. The actual event was back in 2011 where we booked the Drake Hotel for a session of Cocktails for Causes in conjunction with Schain Burney law firm. Here is a video that we put together back then:

We sold out this event at its fastest pace and raised the most amount of money in all the "Cocktails for Causes" series. It was a lot of fun and we met some amazing people.

Through 2014 I will support a few more Non for Profits with their cause of fundraising.

4) Momentum Strategic Advisors
I have been heading business intelligence and strategic partnerships for a high end Chicago consulting firm since 2011. They focus on the ultra high net worth (UHNW) families. Our definition of UHNW is typically someone with a net worth of $30M and above. We have experienced a rapid revenue growth phase in our 2nd year. We have managed to create something very few start-ups get to experience. 15 employees and growing (much faster in revenue that actual employee growth) which is so unlike other start-ups. 2014 focus is going to remain on UHNW advisors. Typically RIA's and Family Offices are interested in our case studies but we also hear from celebrities, athletes, and 7 figure income earners. A great resource for information on UHNW families continues to be Wealth-X. Check them out. At the end of January I will do a update on US UHNW population on my LinkedIn's Slideshare.

I also will be hosting some private invitation only webinars for RIA's, Family offices and a few other segments. Contact me for more details if interested.

5) 678 Partners
My partner (Idea Chef) and myself (Network Sommelier) continue to build new strategic connections, mentor students and work/support women founders as well as look out for strategic investment opportunities. 1/3rd of Parissa's time is spent teaching entrepreneurship as an adjunct faculty at Associated Colleges of Midwest, the other 1/3rd of her time is spent mentoring and advising women founded businesses and the last 1/3rd of her time is spent as a "marketing mercenary" with strategy and marketing work for privately held companies.

Me? half of my time is spent on advanced business development and the other half is spent on business intelligence(supporting Momentum Strategic Advisors full time now). I continue to get contacted by private investors and family offices for strategic projects. I hope that continues in 2014.

6) What to look out for during 2014
Economy is much on everyone's radar. Real incomes have to improve and many more real jobs need to be created. I love the material that investment guru's like John Mauldin continue to put out . I agree with their prediction that the economy is still going through a secular bear cycle. How long can big corporations continue cost cutting and increase their profits? Technology, and big data will continue to drive efficiency. We will have to wait and see.

7) Happy New Year!
Wanted to wish everyone a great New Year and see you in 2014!