What's the best way to use LinkedIn while employed and developing a startup?


I'm currently employed full-time, yet I want to market myself on LinkedIn as the founder and creator of my startup. The goal of being on LinkedIn would be to network with peers and potential partners, investors, etc.

Would advertising yourself as the startup founder and an employee hurt the image of the startup?

Would advertising yourself purely as the founder (and not mention the employment) downplay the employment and make HR think twice of your commitment?

Please share your experiences!



asked Jun 19 '13 at 05:42
11 points

1 Answer


First, you should be clear about your goals. "network with" is as vague as it gets.

Second, LinkedIn is not a way to achieve any meaningful business goals.

Let's say that by "network with investors" you really mean "find investors for your startup". Creating a profile on LinkedIn won't get you anywhere.

Finding investors or partners for a business is hard work and a bit of a catch 22. If you don't have a great product with traction, no amount of other work will attract an investor. If you do have a great product with traction, investors will find you.

So the best way to attract partners or investors is to have a great product.

As to how that affects your employment - it depends on your contract and what the employer thinks of their employees having a side business.

Some employers (like Microsoft) forbid that outright in their employment contract (or at least did when I worked there).

Some might not like that.

Some might not care.

We can't possibly know what your employer thinks so if you think your employer might react badly to knowing you're also working on the side, you shouldn't advertise that anywhere, including at LinkedIn.

answered Jun 20 '13 at 08:56
Krzysztof Kowalczyk
1,950 points

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