9 days until Founders & Funders

It’s only 9 days until Founders & Funders Toronto. The challenge is to find a group of companies, in Toronto in the software and media spaces that are high growth, and high potential to raise venture capital. We have an excellent group of attendees. Think you should be attending? Nominate your company, we’re looking to bring together the people that start high-potential-growth companies and the people that fund them.

What set’s these companies apart? Their ability to explain their business in 140 characters. Maybe. Are they connected to the power players in this industry? Calling Jevon and I power players is flattering, but untrue. The Founders & Funders event is not a training event, it is not a sales event, t is not a recruiting event. It is not for service providers looking to sell services to these ventures.

Lots of folks didn’t really understand the venture capitalist are in the business of making money and that means investing into an idea that will turn itself into a pile of money with a 5-7 year timeframe; sooner would be better.  Lots of questions about how to buy us out causes me to make the point here  I made in meetings: If you aren’t into taking an idea, giving up some equity and getting to a liquidity event, we shouldn’t be an option for your funding.” – Rick Segal

It is a networking event focused on the people that start high-potential-growth companies and those people that fund them.

VC’s and entrepreneurs need to talk early.  I made the case that the early you speak with me the better which apparently was counter to everything others are saying.

Founders & Funders is designed to provide a social forum to help the money and the talent talk. As I used to say to Sutha at Ambient Vector, “it’s not that I don’t think there will be a YouTube for mobile, just convince me why you’re going to win”. Don’t tell me that your exit strategies are one of the following:

  • IPO
  • Acquisition
  • Diversification
  • Failure (please don’t let it be failure)

Help me understand why you’d be a candidate for IPO or acquisition. Is a would be acquirer buying your team? Your technology? Your customers? What business development are you doing to get acquired? Have you talked to the M&A folks at RIM? Or Yahoo? Your job is to get people excited about your company and your product offering(s). These aren’t questions that I ask because I like to hear myself talk, I want to know that you’re building a high-potential-growth business. I want to understand your business, market, product, business model, customers, strategic relationships, competition, barriers to entry, etc.

Nominate your company to attend Founders & Funders.

The Adoption Funnel & Evangelism Marketing

Cross posted on CommunityNorth.ca

Evangelism is…

It was used more in the evangelistic sense of preaching, pounding on the pavement, getting the job done, taking the battle to the customer – all that stuff. And that’s the sense. It was kind of a good way of saying that this is a real intellectual sales and marketing kind of hype job (laughs). – Guy Kawasaki

Evangelism is a sales and marketing kind of hype job. It really says it all. It’s all very simple, it’s about instilling a strong sense of loyalty amongst employees and/or customers such that they want to talk about your products. You get people to believe and they in turn get more people to believe. The difference is between sales and evangelism is between who is doing the preaching.

Sales is rooted in what’s good for me. Evangelism is rooted in what’s good for you. – Guy Kawasaki

Ulimately, evangelism is about “bringing good news” based on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Associations Ambassadors program. Fortunately, this has been digested and broken down into a marketing program. Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell have a great blog and 2 great books:

Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force
by Ben McConnell, Jackie Huba

Read more about this book…

Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message
by Ben McConnell, Jackie Huba

Read more about this book…

Jackie and Ben present a framework where “the ultimate goal is to create communities of influencers who drive sales or membership for your company or organization”.

  1. Customer plus-delta: Continuously gather customer feedback.
  2. Napsterize knowledge: Make it a point to share knowledge freely.
  3. Build the buzz: Expertly build word-of-mouth networks.
  4. Create community: Encourage communities of customers to meet and share.
  5. Make bite-size chunks: Devise specialized, smaller offerings to get customers to bite.
  6. Create a cause: Focus on making the world, or your industry, better.

We’re talking about using evangelism techniques to build community and drive revenue. This is very different than the altruistic ideals behind my involvement with BarCamp, DemoCamp and other.

Is there a difference between evangelism marketing and community evangelism?