By Hayley Arkovitz
For those of you not familiar with DigitalLA, they organize networking events in Los Angeles for professionals who work with or are interested in things like digital entertainment, marketing, advertising, startups and even fashion. On Tuesday I attended my very first DigitalLA event. Not only that, but it was my first networking event that I’ve ever attended by myself, without any colleagues or peers.
As a recruiter or a sales professional of any kind, it’s very important to network and expand both your knowledge of the field you’re in as well as your rolodex of contacts. After about a year and half of being in this industry I’m starting to really get my sea legs with the whole recruiting biz. But when it comes to networking, I have very little experience and I’m far from a natural.
The plan is to attend two networking events a month and blog about it. So that was the first of many. I’m pretty shy and introverted so it was very out of my comfort zone. That being said, I had to start somewhere and I’m glad I started here. It was enlightening, fun and much easier to talk to people than I thought it would be. The more I do this, the easier it will get. I’m excited to keep going and to share what I’ve learned with you guys!
So what about this event? What was it? When will I get to the point? (I’ll write a post about introverts and networking later as I learn more and gain more experience.)
Kevin Winston (founder of DigitalLA) invited 5 CEO’s of local Health Startups to pitch their company. The founders of each company gave the group a 5 minute synopsis of what their company was, what they made, who it was for, how they get their funding and why they were special. At the end of all the presentations, the audience voted for their favorite presentation and the winner got a $200 gift card to Amazon. For a half hour in the beginning and half hour at the end there were snacks, drinks and networking. Everyone was so welcoming, smart and because this was a health related event, most of the people were ridiculously fit! I’d say it’s a good motivating crowd to surround yourself with.
I’ll share with you two of my favorite startups from the panel.
This was the one I voted for. It’s also the one that won. It’s an app that does brain training for psychological health. This startup is seeded out of Seed Ventures. Will Smith also invested in this company. No big deal, just Will Smith.
Paul Campbell is the CEO and Co-Founder of bLife. He built a team of neuroscientists to help him turn a mobile device into a hand held coach for the fitness of your mind. Have you ever heard of Lumosity? It’s kind of like that. But rather than working on recognition, memory, attention span and things like that, bLife focuses more on your emotional health and wellness which directly effects your physical. It gives you a personalized fitness program for your mind based on:
1. Your ability to focus
It has you take a test before getting started in order to determine your status and how your personalized fitness program will go.
The number 1 proxy killer disease is chronic STRESS. Stress can lower your coritsol levels and suppress your immune response just to name a couple negative roles stress plays into your health. This app is designed to help people lower their stress levels therefore leading healthier lives. It only takes about 5 minutes out of each day to do the exercises. I’d say everyone could benefit from this and 5 minutes a day is absolutely worth becoming more emotionally fit in order to lead a healthier life.
Aquaforce- Nixon Marques
Nixon started off his presentation by saying… “The hardest part of fitness is bringing yourself to the platform and doing it.” We all know this fact. People can make plans to work out or join a gym or download a fitness app on their phone, but that does not do anything if you’re not actually working out.
Nixon wasn’t always in the great shape he is in today. He started out by running in water (a river in Africa to be exact) because he couldn’t afford to join a gym. That’s when he started shedding the pounds. You don’t even have to know how to swim to work out in the water. As long as you can touch the ground and have your head above water, there are endless exercises that work every muscle group in one go.
Because of Nixon’s amazing body transition by running in water, he decided to share this with the world. Now this concept isn’t new, but people have a hard time bringing themselves to go into the water in the first place to actually do it. The least used part of a gym is the pool. Most people also don’t have a lot of knowledge on what kinds of aquatic exercises they can do. It’s easier to just go on a machine in the work out room.
AquaForce is an app for your phone that gives you water exercises. How do you bring your phone in the pool with you, you ask? AquaForce will provide you with a water proof case. There are also water proof cards with the work outs on them that you can bring into the pool with you as well.
There are also DVD’s you can watch. If you look at what is available to us right now as far as aquatic fitness DVD’s they are all very stuck in the 80′s and people associate aquatic fitness with a more elderly crowd. AquaForce is trying to move in a different direction by marketing fit, sexy Miami type models. It’s goal is to be like the P90x of aquatic fitness. I think it’s definitely got the potential!
Lastly, I spoke with Nixon personally and he was one of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever talked to! He was very interested in what I do as a recruiter and extremely supportive about the blogging. I whole heartedly wish him the best of luck.
I never thought I’d say this but I’m looking forward to going to the next networking event. Not only do you learn new things and meet bright people who can help you in business but you may even make a friend! It’s amazing to see how many innovative people are out there really making things happen to make the world an easier place through technology and fresh ideas.
For anyone who’s nervous to go to a networking event (I’m sure a lot of you have no problem with it, but I know you introverts are out there and not speaking up!) keep in mind everyone there is looking to talk to new people. You’re a new person to them and you must exude confidence. If you can do that then you’re automatically interesting and worth talking to.
Don’t be afraid to go up to people and introduce yourself. I think this goes back to one of the first posts I ever wrote, be interestED and interestING. If you’re not sure what to say, just ask them questions about themselves and get them to talk, then the pressure is off of you. Even the presenters who have these brilliant ideas and awesome startups are putting themselves out there and could very well be as nervous as you.
I’ll take you on my networking journey and keep you updated on my trials and errors.