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That’s how most of the more than 4,500 people who have attended our meetings describe the sessions held five times a year. Meetings of The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN) are expressly for those who are fanatically focused on starting, buying or turning around businesses. In addition to serial and aspiring entrepreneurs, meeting participants include angel investors, venture capital funds, family offices and preferred service providers who may be of help in various transactions.
The agenda for each meeting includes round table introductions, presentations by four early stage ventures, feedback from a panel of experts, a designated networking period and facilitated discussions of topics that are of interest to participants. Each presenter has 10 minutes, without Power Point, to make his/her case. Although the presenters are seeking funding for their ventures, the meetings are primarily intended to give them a chance to hone their presentation skills and network with like-minded people who can be of help. Valuable takeaways from every meeting are business-to-business connections, networking and technical support and subject expertise shared by other entrepreneurs and service providers.
In fact, the willingness to share knowledge, expertise and network is required of everyone who attends a TEN meeting. Two other requirements are: no job seekers, and no overt proselytizing by service providers. Anyone seen aggressively working the room with a fistful of business cards is not invited back. These three rules have served us well since the inception of The Entrepreneurs Network in 2000. Consequently, we are diligent in observing them.