Meet Amelia Friedman - Cofounder at Hatch Apps, which automates app creation and was named DC's 2017 Startup of the Year.
Tell us about Hatch Apps.
We started Hatch Apps because we felt that software development was super slow, prohibitively expensive, and a lot of people were getting ripped off.
Hatch Apps (https://hatchapps.com) is turning the software development industry on its head. By automating app creation, our platform enables businesses to launch native mobile and web apps for a fraction of the time and cost of traditional software development agencies. Once launched, customers access a robust app management system, putting them in control— no more waiting for developers.
Who has inspired you most on your entrepreneurial journey?
My cofounder Param Jaggi, hands down. When you decide to start a company with someone, you're committing to spending 60+ hours per week with them for the next 5-10 years. That's more time than I spend with my any other person in my life.
Fortunately for me, my cofounder Param is the smartest person I know, and I trust him to the moon and back. He motivates me, he helps me feel safe in taking risks, and he supports me even when things get rough. We don't agree 100% of the time, but we always have each other's back. If not for him, I wouldn't be on this journey - by being that supportive, encouraging force, he makes it possible for me to take this road less traveled. The example that he's set (working hard, being creative, taking risks, caring genuinely about people) has also bled into our hiring, and led to us recruiting a team of people that I'm equally inspired by.
Moral here is this: When you're picking your business partner, choose wisely. It's the most critical decision you'll make on your entrepreneurial journey.
What are your top strategies for networking?
Building a network is the easy part. What I've found to be more challenging is maintaining and leveraging your network — as it grows, it's harder to keep in touch with each person.
I was struggling with milking value out of my network, despite the fact that I had grown to know a lot of smart, connected people. In response, I launched a personal newsletter. Once a month, I send an update on what I've been working on, and at the end I have a section for "asks." The response has been tremendous— people better understand what our company does and are therefore referring more customers, and they know what I need help with so they're able to jump to the rescue. I get replies all the time like, "A friend of mine is actually looking to build an app - can I connect you?" I use a listserv software so I'm able to track opens and clicks, and thereby know who in my network is most engaged.
That's just one way of doing it. Others I know have a personal CRMs and timed reminders to reach out or follow up with folks, or host regular small events for their personal networks.
Building a network into a leaky funnel is no good— churn with your network is just as destructive as churn with your customers. Make your networking more efficient by making sure that your network continues to stay engaged.
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