How VC Platform Builds Global 1:1 Relationships in their Growing Community
How does a community of 900+ professionals from 38 countries across 550+ organizations help members build lasting 1:1 relationships, even as the group grows? We talked with Cory Bolotsky, a community-obsessed builder and connector who serves on the board of VC Platform, to find out why these relationships are so important, and how his team maintains a sense of intimate peer support in their growing community using Orbiit 1:1 connections.
What is VC Platform?
Cory Bolotsky: The VC Platform Community is a group of professionals across the Venture Capital industry that serve in Platform roles. This includes heads of marketing, talent, operations, etc. Our vision is to recognize and propagate standards of excellence in portfolio and firm management to benefit the member community, the portfolio companies we serve and the global venture capital industry.
This industry is small, and typically most platform professionals are ‘lone wolves’ at their firm, operating on their own without a team. We built this community so that the role feels less lonely and so that we can share our success (and our failures) with one another.
How is the community managed?
What do members gain from the community?
CB: We like to focus on shared best practices. We do this through our community forum, which has daily, hyper relevant conversations and questions posed by members. We’ll take these conversations to Zoom, with members sharing their best practices on a range of topics. We even get together for an annual summit for all members for a full day of programming and networking.
What’s fun is that we are a community of community builders, so everyone in the group naturally loves meeting each other and building relationships. Given the size and breadth of the community, it’s necessary to have tools that enable us to do this at scale. We love the idea of building a mesh network where each node can get to know each other and build and launch their own sub communities, so that the group can exist without us needing to facilitate.
What problem did 1:1 connections solve?
CB: Orbiit was a great solution to the growth of our community – a good problem to have. When we first started 7 years ago, the group was 25 people and everyone knew each other. New members would introduce themselves to everyone by email and we’d all have one-on-one video calls to get to know each other.
As the community has grown to nearly 1,000 members, it isn’t practical to support one-on-one introductions ourselves. We looked at a range of solutions – we even considered trying to build out a tool to do this on our own, but Orbiit gave us everything we were looking for (including great tracking and metrics) out of the box. It’s been the perfect solution for making our growing community feel more personal.
The magic of Orbiit is that almost every community member walks away excited and impressed by how interesting and relevant their match is. Even after someone’s 5th or 10th match, they’re able to meet someone new in the community with a similar role and similar mindset to them.
How have 1:1s impacted the community?
CB: When we first launched Orbiit, we thought we’d maybe get 100 members to sign up, and we thought they’d overwhelmingly be less senior members. The reality has exceeded our expectations, with hundreds of members of the community engaging in our monthly rounds of matching, including some of the most busy, senior professionals.
It’s also been far less work for the Board to manage than we expected. The Orbiit team has provided a white glove experience, and helped to do all the heavy lifting to make sure that each and every session is a success. The impact has been that members feel more engaged, and are more appreciative of the community than ever before.
How will this offering continue to grow in the next year and beyond?
CB: Over the next 12 months, we hope members of the community continue to see Orbiit sessions as an easy way to meet a new and exciting like-minded person. This will make the community more intimate, so that hopefully when we meet again in person at our next annual summit more of our community members already know each other!
From 'Connected' to 'Connector'
How one VC Platform member brought Orbiit 1:1 conversations to his own community to increase connectivity.