How to Build a Mafia with Sudarshan Sridharan of Fion.tech

Sudarshan Sridharan is a 20-year-old co-founder of the wildfire prediction startup Fion.tech, and co-creator of the Gen Z Mafia. We discuss how to launch a tech startup when you're only 20; how VCs want deal flow but college kids want party flow; how awkward outcast can "flip the switch" to start networking; how to use Twitter; and the benefits of being silent and elevating others.

Sudarshan Sridharan is a 20-year-old co-founder of the wildfire prediction startup Fion.tech, and co-creator of the Gen Z Mafia. We discuss: How to launch a tech startup when you're only 20; how VCs want deal flow but college kids want party flow; how awkward outcasts can "flip the switch" to start networking; how to use Twitter; and the benefits of being silent and elevating others.

➡️  Suds' startup predicting wildfires: Fion.tech
➡️  Fion is hiring engineers and enterprise sales (email suds@fion.tech)
➡️  Follow Sudarshan on Twitter @itzsuds

As soon as I understood, "OK, I talk to much," people don't like this about me, like I lacked social awareness. Then I started really just honing in on that stuff when I was like 16-17ish. By the time I got to college, I immediately flipped the switch from being this kid that was just running businesses and trading stocks to "Yo, I'm a party promoter."

Like I literally just showed up to school, carrying around a bag of king-sized Skittles around my dorm, and anybody who was like, "Yo, can I get some Skittles?" I'd be like, "Give me your Snapchat." And so naturally that first day I got... 200 people added me and then one guy was like, "Hey, come to this party."

I went to that party. And then I started posting those parties on my Snapchat. So within the first week of school, I had 2000 people who added me, like freshmen who are looking for parties. Very quickly I knew, like how VCs want deal flow, kids want party flow. So if I just give them all these parties, people are gonna like me. From there I realized, "OK, I've got this following. I should probably be using it." So I started like just posting, basically like my Snapchat became my blog, a blog of my life and I learned very quickly how to push content, and that might seem not that important, but I think community building is a lot of... finding people of a general demographic and then adding value to them.

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