Networking help, CEO edition
February 21, 2014 6:34 AM Subscribe
I have a business idea that I would like to discuss with industry executives. How?
I have a business idea related to something that I'm very passionate about. Several smart people have told me that it is a Very Good Idea. However, the business idea is in an industry in which I have no experience or contacts. It's also an idea that to succeed would ideally need backing from, or at the very least informal support from, larger tangentially related companies in the industry.
I would like to connect with industry insiders in order to take the idea a step further. I've researched the companies in the industry and one is headquartered in my city. I want to ask the CEO of this company to coffee.
As I said earlier, I don't know anyone in the industry and am pretty sure I have no social connections with this man, so I am reasonably positive that I have no one who can vouch for me. I do have a pretty good resume, for whatever that's worth.
When I put myself in the shoes of this man, I imagine that his immediate reaction is that I'm going to try to sell him something or ask him for funding. I'm not. All I'm looking to do is to get his thoughts on whether he thinks my idea is viable; if so what my next steps should be; and if he wants, suggestions on other people to talk to.
My current plan is to call the company switchboard. I doubt they'd transfer me to him, but I do think it's possible that they could give me his secretary. I would explain a bit about who I am and ask if I could schedule coffee for a few weeks in the future.
As a backup plan, I was able to find the his email address as well. I view sending him an email as being less likely to work than the above plan. Regardless, I don't feel too hopeful about either of the two plans above succeeding. Is there something better that I should be doing instead?