NextNY Biz Dev 2.0

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Andrew and I went up to Columbia University last night to participate in a discussion of "Biz Dev 2.0" put on by NextNY.

For those of you who don’t know, NextNY is a networking group started by Charlie O’Donnell and some friends who felt the need for young professionals in the NY Internet business to network and learn more about their industry.

I really like the format they used. They got a good group of "discussion leaders" who in most events would be panelists. But instead they put everyone in the audience and we just talked to each other. Much better.

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The discussion leaders included Tina Sharkey, Catherine Levine, Chris Fralic, Niki Scevak, Zia Daniel Wigdar, and yours truly (I think I may be forgetting someone and if so I am sorry).

The conclusion we came to is that you have to have business development people in a startup, even with simple integration technologies like RSS, open APIs, and embeddable widgets. But the job of a business development executive is changing. You have to be more product focused, more technical, and focus on making deals where there is already user level integration happening.

NextNY is a great organization. If you are young and in the Internet business in NYC and interested in networking, you have to join.

Their blog is here. Give it a read.