Today we’d like to introduce you to Veronica Mackey
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
How I got here…
My entry into the fascinating world of business began as a representative for the Wilshire Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles. I loved my job! Nothing thrilled me more than seeing entrepreneurs turn their dreams into successful enterprises.
But when the recession hit, I watched helplessly as business owners in the area closed their doors. Their dreams. their life savings all gone. It broke my heart.
I thought of all the entrepreneurs who could have supported each other — if only they knew where to look. Maybe my friend who owned the travel agency might have survived with a few key referrals from the embassy official I’d recently met.
It took a long time, but when I watched “Shark Tank” I knew I’d found the right platform. I decided to help entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams by bringing them together with advisors, lenders, and investors.
Perfect Pitch is an open pitch competition where entrepreneurs compete for cash prizes while gaining access to experts who can provide funding and steer them in the right direction.
The positive energy, thank-you notes, and amazing networking that happens at Perfect Pitch events let me know I’m onto something!
I am currently seeking sponsors for Perfect Pitch, and expect to launch my crowdfunding campaign this spring. Eventually, I plan to franchise the event in 10 cities.
Has it been a smooth road?
My business went through a lot of evolution before everything came together. First, I thought it was going to be a newsletter that people could use to network. (I’m a journalist). Then, I thought it would become a business organization. Then, I just got confused and stopped pursuing it all together. I also became disillusioned because the same people who praised my work were those who were least willing to pitch in and help.
This will happen. So, again, do not wait. The road to becoming a trailblazer is not a straight path. There may be a lot of false starts and unexpected roadblocks. And, you never know how long it will take.
Everything looks so easy when you’re young and enthusiastic. So, it’s important to get going as soon as you can because you don’t want to lose your momentum. Don’t wait for the time to be perfect because there is no such thing. Find a way to keep your dream going even if you can’t leave your job right now. Whatever you’re able to do to move your dream further will sustain you in the difficult times.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Perfect Pitch – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am the CEO-Matchmaker of Konnectory, a business-to-business matchmaking firm. I specialize in connecting entrepreneurs to their ideal audience by arranging private meetings, mixers, and events.
Konnectory creates opportunities for clients to connect directly with influencers, decision-makers, or whomever their target market is, through pre-qualified leads, referrals, and introductions.
We think this approach is far superior, more time and cost efficient, than traditional networking.
One of the things I’m most proud of was a connection I made between a distributor of filtered water bottles and a nonprofit devoted to bringing clean water to third world countries. Through this introduction, $10,000 was raised and proceeds went toward building water wells in Africa.
What sets Konnectory apart? Our approach to marketing. We believe face-to-face meetings are still the best way to do business. It builds credibility and connects people in a way that the Internet just cannot do. Of course, we use technology too, but as a connecting tool, and not as a substitute for building relationships.
There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Focus on the “Who.” Find out who is going to be at the networking event. Get a list if possible, and try and plan who to talk to before you arrive.
Time is precious and you need to be strategic. Also, don’t try and “sell” anything the first time you meet because that can be a real turnoff. They don’t know you, so they’re not necessarily interested in hearing a sales pitch. Networking is the starting point. From there, you follow up and begin to develop your relationship. Think of how you might be able to help them first.
Mentors can be anyone — a friend, teacher, pastor, or your boss. Or it may be someone you don’t know. I have lots of different mentors that I have never met. Most have come from YouTube. When I want to learn something or have a problem, I just watch videos until I find someone who resonates with me. Sometimes, I buy their book or attend a conference. It depends on how much (knowledge) is needed to satisfy my situation.
I recently joined MicroMentor.com. It’s a free website that helps you find mentors.