Not only is Jason Lemkin a tech superstar turned venture capitalist, but he’s superior mentor to up-and-coming founders.
A serial entrepreneur, Lemkin co-founded EchoSign (acquired by Adobe) and NanoGram Devices (acquired by Greatbatch) before spinning his wildly popular forum, called SaaStr, dedicated to software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies into the equally successful venture capital fund of the same name. Lemkin, dubbed the “Godfather of SaaS,” recently closed the $70 million SaaStr Fund I.
A byproduct of his stardom in the SaaS community is his role as a much sought-after mentor to startup founders. And Lemkin is not one to shy away from such requests.
Jerry Jao is founder of Retention Science, a Santa Monica-based artificial intelligence marketing startup that have received mentorship -- and later investment -- from Lemkin. Jao posted an article on Entrepreneur.com Friday detailing his introduction to Lemkin and how he cultivated the relationship from complete strangers to mutually beneficialbusiness partners — through networking.
Lemkin is busy and cannot attend to every person’s request for mentorship. . Jao recalled doubting his ability to connect with Lemkin after witnessing him being “approached by six sets of founders within a three-minute span at his conference.”
However, that did not deter Jao. He sent a cold email to request a meeting with Lemkin, and he did not give up until he got his meeting. In the end, Lemkin not only connected Jao with “a very important hire” for the company, but also ended up investing in the company himself.
Jao’s painstaking networking process can be succinctly summarized in three steps: an audacious cold call, persistently following up and reciprocating.
He also shared a few tips on how to make each of these moves gracefully and effectively. You can read the full article here.