The Big Picture – Why Tech Companies Should Support Their Communities 2
This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
Felipe Millan is a highly ambitious and successful professional with proven success driving rapid growth for start-ups and mature companies. As an entrepreneur, he founded led several companies; as a start-up mentor and advisor, he translates my experience into valuable lessons for other early-stage innovators across the world through my work with some of the world's top accelerators and incubators, including Techstars Accelerator, Katapult Accelerator, Startupbootcamp Accelerator, Startup Wise Guys Accelerator, and others. Not only have I helped numerous entrepreneurs translate their ideas into reality and grow their businesses, but I also leveraged these relationships in my role as a Global Evangelist@ SEMrush.
Felipe functions as the Community Development Manage at Twilio Sendgrid. The community is a very important factor to Sendgrid. Starting out as a startup, Sendgrid received a lot of support to get to where they are today.
Tech companies are greatly positioned to give back to the community and these are some of the reasons why:
Culture of change
Focus on human experiences
Ability to predict the future
Return on investment (ROI)
According to Felipe, it’s important to know your community’s needs well enough before trying to reach out to them. Otherwise, you might end up giving things like free coupons and accounts which might not do anything for you. He cited a free SMS service which tries to reach out to people in need of mental aid as a good example.
In today’s crises of hiring talents, it is important that tech outfits can look out for their communities by educating future employees. This can be done by organizing workshops and meetups to hold relevant discussions around very relevant topics as well. This way, you find people who are naturally interested in the things you do, and would therefore love to join your team.
It’s also important to note that nothing is for free. This brings to the ROI benefit. Reaching out to your community gives a lot of value which you may not see at first. Asides from it being a good strategy for growth and helping your brand build long lasting relationships, you get proper brand awareness and more people would tend to relate with your outfit a lot more.
The community keeps spreading, even when you may have stopped. You will find out that the impact you make will keep on growing further, and more people will continue wanting to identify with your brand, and use your products. This is the power of the community.
Twilio Sendgrid has been giving a range of resources including access to their network amongst other things to startups who are part of their 12-month program. The catch here is that after 12 months, the startups you have groomed will most like turn to customers, and in turn. They will pay for your services and also refer all the entities in their network to you.