Meeting the right people at the right time can catapult your business to the next level. But it’s difficult to make connections that go deeper than a LinkedIn invite, and it’s far too easy to play it safe at networking events, which makes forging authentic relationships that much harder.

David Olk is the co-founder of ShopKeep, a point-of-sale software company that he grew from the two original cofounders to nearly 300 people. ShopKeep is growing into one of the country’s largest B2B SaaS companies and Olk sourced and closed on the first $100m of outside capital while growing the the business while building the team and forging the strategic partnerships that got the company to scale. He now sits on the board of ShopKeep and works with the talented executive team as the business matures. That’s freed up David to start another company, Voray, a platform that facilitates small-group networking dinners.

A Voray event is hosted by a key influencer in an industry who invites a select group of their close friends and colleagues to help create new connections between them. The intimate, curated nature of Voray events fosters meaningful and long-lasting business relationships between people who share common goals and have actually spoken in person.

Olk has become a master connector over the course of his career and genuinely loves to help people build relationships. In our interview, he shares many of his secrets for meaningful networking and effective business building, including the most surefire ways early-stage businesses can find traction and how to work with four different types of people you’ll find in your network.

I’m very grateful that Olk agreed to come on the show and teach the community how to create more valuable business relationships—a topic I’m personally passionate about. Enjoy the episode, and follow Olk on Twitter or through his personal blog for more insights into the mind of a networking expert.

In this episode with David Olk, you’ll learn:

  • How connections can change your career path for the better 
  • Keys to finding success with an early-stage business
  • The importance of checking your ego and emotions
  • The four types of people in your network and how to interact with them
  • How and why to say “no” sometimes

Please enjoy this conversation with David Olk!

This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.

DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.

So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powderkeg Podcast.

David Olk Quotes from This Episode of Powderkeg:

“It’s inspiring to be a part of something. I really enjoy creating things, building things, especially if they help other people.” — David Olk

“Success for an early-stage business really depends on your ability to play the game well while listening to what people are saying in the stands.” — David Olk

“As an entrepreneur, part of your job is taking the emotion out of the room and working strategically with other people.” — David Olk

“People respect you if you learn how to say ‘no’ properly.” — David Olk

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:



Home Shopping Network



Goldman Sachs

Gerson Learning Group


Private Equity Firms:

Warburg Pincus

Apollo Global Management

VC Firms:


Upfront Ventures

Software and Apps:





Interval International





Smart Host



Yale University

Tulane University




Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad Course


Steve Blank

Perry Chen

Fred Wilson

Andy Weissman

Jason Richelson

Kara Nortman

Jason Rapp

Barry Diller

Victor Kaufman

Mark Gerson

Jack Welch

Evan Hammer

Michael Roderick

Ryan Levy

Michael Lazerow

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank David on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let David Olk know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank David on twitter!


What stood out most to you about what David shares in this podcast?

For me, it’s how connections can change your career path for the better.

You? Leave a comment below.


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