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From bootcamp to business: getting connected

This is the second in a series of articles charting the progress of participants from HutZero, a new cyber security entrepreneur acceleration programme run by Cyber London (CyLon) and the Centre for Security Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast

So, you have reached the end of your accelerator and your head is whirring with too many thoughts, often diametrically opposed, and squeezed into too short a timeframe. Your brain wants a break to set all of it to one side. Sure, take a day or two, but personally, I would not suggest much more than that. In no time at all, these ideas will have faded in your memory and you will find yourself back at work, same old, same old.

Well, the good news is you kept great notes in your diary, so that is the place to start. Believe it or not, those notes begin to look a little different already. Your brain has been quietly sifting, reordering and prioritising on your behalf. Some of it, you will end up just chucking out – but that is OK. Triage works, and not all of these ideas are going to work for you as an individual, or for your use case. In my case, I had about six weeks of follow-ups, all of it fairly day-to-day stuff, much like ordinary work, I suppose – that is probably a good sign.

The single task that took up most of my immediate time after the bootcamp itself was emails. If that sounds dreary, it isn’t. In the main, those emails were directed toward one common goal – setting up follow-up meetings with people I had met on the course (remember those mentors and cyber security companies from earlier?).

Even if the person in front of you was not able to help directly – and many times they cannot – crumbs of knowledge generally come your way, as well as follow-on intros. Either way, you got your name out there in a very directed way and, unless the meeting went terribly, silently and immeasurably, all these contacts work in your favour.

For what it is worth, in the immediate period following HutZero, I added at least 100 new contacts. The number itself does not matter – a few high-quality contacts might be all you need – but I was not in it for the numbers, and it certainly gives you an idea of the power of an accelerator. All of a sudden, you are – dare I say it – connected. And, if you remember, I don’t find networking all that easy.

Donal Carville is the founder of Circadian Capital and a member of the HutZero programme. ................................................................ ..................................................................................

This was last published in March 2017

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