Who doesn't know the saying "it is WHO you know, not WHAT you know", this is certainly true from my experience when it comes to getting "deal flow" or raising the first $M or two needed to get your idea "out of the gate" and creating "traction" in the market.
Most of the "old guys" (over 40) i know in business have great contacts but usually fairly limited in scope, besides, how many personal friends can you acquire over your career? 10 -50 maybe.
With the new established "social networks" on the internet, you can quickly expand your personal network to hundreds if not thousands in a realatively short time if you take a little time out of your busy schedule to focus an hour here and there.
Don't take my word for it, go look for yourself. The best ones I have had success with are:
http://www.linkin.com/, http://www.plaxo.com/ and the latest cool social networks is http://www.facebook.com/
Once you have established a online relationship with individuals, start creating your own back up list in either maximizer, act or similar database. Keep in touch regularly and before you know it, once people know what your are working at, you will start to see emails saying, look at this great opportunity, or my friend "x", is looking to go public, can you help him? or my associate and i are looking to raise $, can you help?
Once the process of engagement is started, you will next need to.....
....till next time and i will fill you in steps of engagement.
If you have any questions or have questions, please feel free to drop me a line anytime.