How to Network in a Co-Working Space
For the existing and potential F10 community to benefit the most from the various stakeholders, F10 as THE HOME OF FINTECH is offering work and collaboration space for FinTech enthusiasts. The F10 Co-Working Space is the place where the FinTech ecosystem comes together to further innovation in the financial world. Here are five tips about how to network in a Co-Working Space and exploit the opportunities that co-working provides.
F10 as THE HOME OF FINTECH aims to tighten the bonds within the FinTech ecosystem and bring innovative entrepreneurs, established institutions in finance, banking, insurance and digitalization, potential investors, future customers and industry experts even closer together with the new F10 FinTech Co-Working Space. The research and consulting firm Emergent Research, the Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC) and the co-working experts from the Office Nomads community conducted a survey about the role that work-related networking plays in co-working. 82 percent of respondents reported that co-working has expanded their professional networks, while 64 percent of the co-workers interviewed said their co-working networking was an important source of work and business referrals. Networking is a valuable way to learn from other professionals, industry experts and scholars, generate referrals and business, raise your profile and increase confidence. Below are five tips about how to network in a Co-Working Space and how to reap the benefits of the FinTech ecosystem coming together in the heart of the innovation hub Zurich at the F10 FinTech Co-Working Space:
1. Break the ice: key representatives from banks, insurance companies and consulting firms are regular guests at F10. THE HOME OF FINTECH has become an obligatory stop for FinTech delegations, regulatory bodies and investors from all over the world. Startup entrepreneurs thus have the chance to brainstorm and get feedback on their products or services from potential customers or investors and industry experts at the F10 FinTech Co-Working Space. Ask what other co-working members are working on or what they consider to be the main innovation hurdles in their respective sectors to break the ice and learn what they are interested in. Talk about the latest news in your field and refer to articles or social news. Directly ask potential customers and mentors for feedback. Find out which events the industry experts are attending to gain further insights into the field you are working in. Entrepreneurs in the Co-Working Space can invite other representatives from the F10 ecosystem to a free coffee to share ideas or to get valuable feedback from brilliant minds around the corner. You may also ask other co-working members to introduce you to their contacts that seem important for your network.
2. Show genuine interest: studies have shown that most people feel more connected to their conversation partners if they are good listeners. Show interest in your contacts, ask relevant questions, listen actively and signal that you understand what the other person is saying. You don’t have to remember every single fact but memorize the central idea. This will help you reconnect on the next occasion you meet and makes following-up easier.
3. Accept when someone is not in the mood to socialize: the person you are talking to seems distracted? Are they barely reacting to your inputs and not asking any questions in return? Does your conversation partner cross their arms, take a step back, not face you directly or take other measures to create more space between you? These could be signs that this person does not want to socialize (right now). Don’t insist if another co-working member tells you they are busy, too absorbed by work to talk or really need to focus on a work-related problem. This is not personal! Just smile, wish them a productive day and walk away. If the person is interested in talking to you, there will be other opportunities where both parties are more relaxed and have time for fruitful exchange.
4. Attend the events at the Co-Working Space: members of the F10 FinTech Co-Working Space have fast and easy access (mostly free) to exciting events and education opportunities ranging from speeches about entrepreneurship, FinTech or Blockchain to networking events such as the widely known series FinTech Meetup and InsurTech Meetup that are being held monthly at F10. Use these platforms to connect with like-minded people.
5. Reconnect: Once you have established contact, it is important to follow up regularly and keep in touch with the other co-working members. Stay updated through direct interactions, newsletters or social media, congratulate them on major achievements, new customers, promotions or media coverage and ask about the latest developments at their companies. Be prepared to provide short updates about what you have been doing within the last weeks and focus on aspects that might interest your conversation partner.
If you tend to forget names, make a list of the contacts you met at the Co-Working Space or at events. Add every person you rate as valuable to the list, jot down what topics you talked about and include the middlemen or multipliers who introduced you. This knowledge can help open a conversation the next time you meet and in establishing a long-term business relationship.
Do you want to become part of the F10 ecosystem? We are renting out 60 desks on 500 square meters at the F10 FinTech Co-Working Space located in our headquarter in Zurich. The offer ranges from single variable desks to your own desk with the opportunity to have privacy in small teams. Learn more about the F10 FinTech Co-Working Space.