If you’re in Texas I recommend you attend a Campfire hosted by Austin Tech Ranch. Campfires are open networking/opportunity events held on the second and fourth Friday of every month, starting at 3:30.
The single greatest thing about this organization is that they are entrepreneur-centric. Their campfires consist of about 10 minutes of “person on the stage talking” and about 2 hours of “entrepreneurs networking, teaming up, and helping out”. The program is organized into two parts, a structured and an open part. The structured part organizes people into random groups of 5 people who each have one minute to say: 1) what they do 2) what they need 3) what they can offer. This is done several times, the end result being everyone knows who is doing what, what they need, and how they could possibly collaborate. Excellent idea. The second part is open networking, where all that information from the first part gets put to use. The last two times I was there they had free wine from a startup in Chile. Excellent idea.
I don’t really have any personal experiences with their paid programs such as their accelerator or other startup programs. I’ve only been to their free campfire meetings, and as it’s a long trip from Hong Kong to Austin, I’ve only been twice. Tomorrow will be my third time. What I have received is a lot of help from the every friendly ATR employee Dave, who has reviewed my plan and provided advice and networking. So if they are this helpful to me, imagine how helpful they’ll be if you give them some money.
You didn’t hear this from me, but I overheard an executive level ATR employee offer someone free office space and startup assistance, just because he wanted to see the guy’s startup succeed. So, I have this idea ATR is in it for the startups, not for the money or the fame, they way it should be. Hopefully I can help to push Hong Kong in this direction.
On a side note, they are well connected to Startup Chile.