KTEC Pipeline – Networking Event

Day 4, Thursday 24th Jan: On Thursday we were brought to the KTEC Pipeline Innovators event and dinner in Kansas City. The KTEC PIPELINE is an innovative program designed to identify talented and entrepreneurial Kansans, match them with best-in-class training, resources and mentors and encourage them to pursue a career as a technology entrepreneur in Kansas. Although this was a private event we were invited to watch the entrepreneurs make their pitches (10 in total) over 5 hours.

ktecgroup.gifIt was comforting to watch these people pitching to very wealthy VCs and Angels and know that I would have been happy enough at any time to get up and take my turn, since we have been doing a lot pitching over the past year during the Kauffman Fellowship program. Since it was judged during the pitches we were unable to ask questions at the time. Fortunately we were also invited to the networking event and dinner that evening. Having experienced the frustration of spending entire networking events mingling randomly and not really meeting entrepreneurs/investors working in my areas of interest, myself and another one of the techie global scholars, Owen, decided to try target-networking. Basically this involves some stalking and conspicuous loitering in the general proximity of your prey, before an apt moment for attack prevails!!! This worked a gem. I managed to chat with Toby Rush, CEO of Rush Tracking Systems, one of the top five Radio Frequency Identification solution providers in the US, about some RFid ideas I had (in generic terms, obviously!). I also managed to stalk Joey Blue, Clint Batman, Tim Donnelly into talking to me!! Haven watched the pitches earlier in the day, in addition to reading up about these entrepreneurs before hand, allowed for fairly probing questions about their business models, motivations, approaches etc. All in all this was a fantastic event and definitely my best opportunity so far to mix with people I see as true tech entrepreneurs.

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3 comments so far

  1. Jon Ratliff on

    Hi Tony,

    Our agency does work with the Kauffman Foundation, including the program you’re in. I like the blog and thinks a great way to capture your experience.

    Welcome to Kansas City.

  2. Joey on

    Good idea on the blog! I enjoyed your perspective on the event.

    It took all of the PIPELINE members a year of hard work to get the the 15 minute pitch you heard. The program was great on many levels, but the networking and the people we get to meet, like yourself, has been one of the greatest assets.

    I look forward to hearing more about your time in the Kauffman program!

  3. joni on

    Great to have you there – come back and target network anytime!


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