From Seed to Flower: Growing a Strong Network Through Direct Relationships

New Blog Series: Unveiling Strategic Networks

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Words by Carlos Pichardo


Here’s a hard fact: in the competitive landscape of business, your network often determines success or failure. A good network can give you access to capital, solution providers, and other elements necessary for a booming business.

Here’s another hard fact: building a winning network is difficult work. You have to be able to leverage different channels, recognize opportunities, and build lasting relationships. The challenge can be daunting when you’re starting (and even once you’ve got your feet wet).

However, it’s certainly worth it. yet2’s network has been built across multiple channels to include small and large companies, technical experts and scouting partners. The following blog series highlights the power of a strong network and explores three of our ten channels we’ve used to build ours: direct relationships, broadcast channels, and databases.

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The Soil of Networking: Direct Relationships

Let’s kick off the series by diving into direct relationships. There’s no way around it, cultivating and maintaining direct relationships are essential to creating a powerful network. Direct relationships are powerful because proximity allows for better communication and collaboration. For yet2, the power of direct relationships has been proven over and over again in our 25+ years of global scouting and networking.

That proof is why we invested in offices in the U.S., Europe, and Asia and relationships with over tens of thousands small, medium, and large corporations alike. The physical and digital proximity allows yet2 to show up or call for help when needed. Ultimately, that’s what direct relationships are all about: showing up for each other.


Show Up and Show Out

Showing up means taking the time to understand the other’s needs, whether it be through reaching out, through research, or other methods. What’s important is demonstrating care and concern. Everyone wants a strong network they can draw ample resources from, but if you’re constantly thinking about what you’re going to get, you’ll end up with very little.

Showing out means making yourself a viable solution provider and framing yourself that way. Your network should know your value and know you’re willing to give. Without showing out, others have little reason to keep you as part of their network. Simply put, if you want to be able to say “I know John Doe in biochemical engineering, he can help us” John Doe needs to know you’ll have his back when the time comes.

Of course, networking isn’t all about giving, but one thing yet2 has found is you can’t expect others to do what you would do. Don’t assume others are going to show up automatically. Part of building a network is mutual growth and allowing others to help you. Being vocal about your needs and helping others help you is key to producing fruitful relationships. It builds confidence and let’s others know what you’re about.

At first, this may seem overly transactional but relationships take time to mature. Eventually, the time comes when the seeds sprout and true partnerships/collaborations begin to bloom. A great example of the fruitfulness of direct relationship partnerships is the collaboration between yet2 and Chartline VC.


yet2 and Chartline VC

yet2’s history with Chartline is unique and goes back to the very founding of both companies. yet2 was founded by cofounders Ben DuPont and Phil Stern in 1999.

Chartline (which started as yet2Ventures) was incubated by yet2 before becoming its own entity. Ben and Phil eventually moved to Chartline, becoming the Managing Directors. But even with such fertile soil, it still takes hard work and intentionality to preserve and grow the relationship.

Whether it be including time for Chartline at yet2’s global team meetings or creating opportunities for mutual collaboration, yet2 has worked hard to nurture the yet2/Chartline connection, and Chartline has done the same.

Our efforts have not gone without reward. yet2 is one of the only global technology scouting companies with such a close relationship with a venture capital firm. As such yet2 has deep access to the venture capital network, a great channel to use when helping our clients reach their goals.

During yet2’s monthly team meeting, Chartline shares key new investments and gives industry predictions by Chartline’s foremost experts. Such trust and openness arm yet2 with another powerful avenue of information we use to guide our clients.

Occasionally, this connection is a vital contributing factor to yet2’s success. For example, a client approached yet2 seeking niche applications for EV charging technologies. One promising start-up we identified had a direct relationship with Chartline.

Owing to their relationship, yet2 could quickly set up an interview leading to data points unavailable online. These results came early in the project and perfectly set up yet2 to provide our client with further guidance. All this was achieved while keeping our client anonymous, and it all began with drawing on our relationship with Chartline.


That’s the power of a strong network.

Stay tuned for the next blog in this Unveiling Strategic Networks series!


Image by Daniel Oberg on Unsplash

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