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Incubator Club for Credit Union Members [Update 1/ 21/2017: Final key insights, 3rd iteration and next steps]

We propose an “incubator” for credit union members, where they can pursue their small business dreams & connect with their community.

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it support the dreams and obligations of those 50 and older?

The Incubator Club provides those 50 and older with resources (community, networking, mentoring, finance, technical skills, e.g.) and support to remain active, develop a project they always wanted to develop but did not have the time to, help someone by providing expertise or join a team. It supports the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and also create potential extra resources to help them fulfill their obligations.

2/14/17 Update

The past few weeks, we have been working on completing our "Next Steps" outlined below (in the 1/21/17 Update):

Co-creation Workshop

On April 8th, we are planning to run a workshop and prototype our programming ideas. We will be working in the coming weeks to reach out to people in our target demographic who could possibly attend our event.


Connecting with Credit Unions

We are working on connecting with people who work at credit unions, including an employee from Boulder Elevation Credit Union who does community outreach.

Additionally, Kathleen joined a credit union and has been interviewing other members

Continuing Our Research Deep Dive

We are continuing our efforts to interview and connect with our target users. We're having (and planning more) lots of conversations with 50+ people who are interested in or have already started their own businesses. 

Kathleen and Adhish are attending an AARP workshop this week. More notes on this to come! 

Flora supplied us with a study on the history and original intentions of credit unions. Credit unions have always had the intention of building business roots in local communities. We feel like our project aligns very well with this mission!

We have set up a meeting with our business mentor, Professor Rajesh Bilimoria. More notes on this to come.

Lillian spoke with Chris Shaw, the director of BunkerLabs NYC -- an incubator for veterans with entrepreneurial goals. Chris gave us great feedback on both the structure of incubators, and how that could apply to our project, as well as inspiration for programming for our workshop. 

What We Are Thinking About

As our idea develops, we are considering the structure of the Incubator Club -- Chris Shaw suggested we consider a more traditional "Incubator" approach--i.e. instead of requiring successful business ideas to give back a portion of their profits to the credit union, Chris suggested we partner with a sponsor (an outside organization) who can provide/donate some capital. He thinks this will increase the incentive of Club members to launch successful small businesses.
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1/21/17 update/summary

Incubator Club’s Mission

The Incubator Club provides those 50 and older with resources (community, networking, mentoring, finance, technical skills, etc.) and support to remain professionally active and to develop a project they are passionate about. Joining the club offers people the chance to apply their expertise in a new way, and to connect with people in their community by helping other projects and organizations. The Incubator Club supports the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and also creates the potential for extra resources to help them fulfill their obligations.


Incubator Club Value Proposition

For people 50+: Gain access to resources to fulfill obligations they might have and / or enact their dreams  into a possible new venture and  earn an extra income by leveraging years of professional experience, engage in  professional development, network and connect with a community of like-minded people.

For the Credit Union: Increased credit union membership, more small business loans taken out, sharing 5-7% of the profits if a new business is supported by the credit union, and positive PR.


How does the Incubator Club work?

  • Monthly networking events and talks (free, anyone can join) created and managed by Credit Union employees or volunteers.
  • Members of the Incubator Club pay a small monthly fee (between $25 and $65 month). Credit union members and non-credit union members alike can join.
  • When someone joins the Incubator Club, they agree that if they end up starting a small business, a portion (5-7%) of their profits go back to the credit union


What does Membership Include?

There are 2 types of PAID memberships

  • Aspiring Membership
    • $25 a month
    • Free coworking space
    • Attend various professional skill building events
    • Access to our training/workshop sessions at a discounted rate
    • Book 1 appointment a month with our coaches (industry experts)
  • Regular Membership
    • $65 a month
    • Includes everything in Aspiring membership
    • Attend all trainings/workshops for free
    • Book up to 3 appointments a month with our coaches (industry experts)


Additional possible benefits with membership:

  • Low interest micro-loans
  • If idea takes form, assistance with web design and advertising


Monthly networking events are low-cost for the credit union and provide community members interested in entrepreneurship & professional development the opportunity to meet each other.

Workshops are for people who have decided to join the Incubator Club to work on their small business ideas. Workshops could be run by experts, specialists, or community members. They can be tailored to each community's needs and wants. Non-Members can sign up to these workshops for a fee.

Here are some potential workshop ideas:

  • Business idea refinement/most viable product
  • How to finance your small business
  • Preparing to take out a small business loan
  • How to become an independent consultant
  • Finding a consumer market for your skills/product
  • Tax help & legal resources


Coaching / Mentorship: Industry experts, finance experts (from Credit Union) and entrepreneurship experts will volunteer to provide coaching and mentorship to the Incubator club members.


What did we learn during refinement?

Key Learnings

We did a light prototyping presenting 3 users (55-60) with a brochure with main offerings (co-working space, networking, talk, community support, coaching, training and micro-loans) and 3 main modes of engagements (free for basic services and others for a fee; “aspiring membership” and membership +). All users found the idea interesting.

  • These 3 users provided a lot of interesting insights highlighting the importance of community, talks and trainings.
  • Financial resources is important for people at a later stage. It would not be the main trigger.
  • The different levels of engagement / membership seems a good option. 

These learnings confirm some of our insights from user feedback during the ideation phase: the appetite for such a service, the importance of community and the willingness to pay for such a service.


Potential for Growth

  • Possibly charge at different levels for various services
    • Ex. Charge for workshops/classes a la carte, monthly, or yearly
    • Ex. Charge for professional coaching
    • Microloans
  • If the credit unions already have community outreach programs we can build from the existing initiatives to target this specific age group.
    • Ex. Boulder Credit Union a successful community outreach program.
  • Crowdfunding: Peer-funded loans for New Ventures. Community members can fund others’ project (just like crowdfunding (kickstarter.com) but on a smaller scale and with community trust).


Next Steps

We want to create a support community for people who have time, have an idea, want to connect with others.

We want to reinforce the relationship to Credit Union as a learning relationship rather than a transactional one (as often with banks): Credit Unions offer opportunities for learning about entrepreneurship, provide resources (possibly micro-loans but most importantly coaching and finance expertise).


Refine Personas, Ideate, Prototype, Test, Iterate (by doing the following):

    • Off-Campus Activities
      • Walk-in to Credit Union to interview customers onsite  
      • Attend and/or contact people in meetup groups (i.e. Baby Boomers Financial Meetup, Young Seniors, and etc.) to test our prototypes and interview potentials for more insights
      • Visit New York Public Library's entrepreneurship workshops to see if there are people from 50+ age group attending and interview them
    • On-Campus Resources
      • Interview Director of Veterans Future Lab to learn about the skill-based workshops they offer
      • Meet with our professional mentor Rajesh Bilimoria (expert in innovation strategy)
    • Refine the cost of the services
      • Look at the cost implied by different offerings (location, training, etc.).
      • Compare with other similar services, programs and spaces
      • Get more user feedback
      •  Explore different business models that will allow to make this program / service sustainable. For example, explore an equity model as used by incubators: if members start a business with the help of the incubator club then they give 3 to 5 percent equity to the credit union.


  ____________________________________________________________________________________

Two Key Research Insights Formed this Idea

First Key Research Insight: people 50+ are still pursuing their dreams and aspirations

  • People 50+ are often retired and have discretionary income to spend
  • People 50+ often have flexible schedules and are looking for opportunities to connect with people in person


Second Key Research Insight: There is a lot of potential for financial services to improve the in-person experience for customers

  • Credit unions, with their community focus, are the perfect institutions to step in and meet this need


To know more:

Our report on our process developing this idea, from start to finish

Our slideshow pitching our idea

Original Proposal, second iteration of the idea (Dec. 2016) and learnings from light prototyping during refinement: see attached documents




What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Our group has a connection to a CEO of a credit union, and we are hoping to reach out to her and see what she thinks of our idea. We would also like to create a survey to gauge customer interest--perhaps we could ask users at this specific credit union to participate in this survey. Our survey would ask if customers were interested in participating in this program. It would also ask about how likely they would be to participate in real life at a branch (e.g. events held at the credit union bra

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

We are open to all feedback! We want to hear everyone’s thoughts on our idea. We would especially love to talk to anyone who has started a small side business--what challenges he or she faced, the scale of their side business, and if our idea would have been useful to them at any point.

Tell us about your work experience:

We are pursuing M.S. degrees at NYU Tandon.

Please check all that apply:

  • I'm not currently involved in a credit union, but am curious to learn more!

This idea emerged from

  • A student collaboration

How would you describe this idea while in an elevator with someone?

The Incubator Club is a membership-based club for credit union members and non-credit union members to start their own small businesses. The club provides support, resources and networking opportunities to its members.

How might your idea be transferable to a large number of people?

This idea will be implemented locally by different local credit unions, but that it is scalable because replicable in all credit unions. It is also scalable because we could also imagine an online component where members from different local clubs could connect.

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

1. Participation to the program. For the first pilot, number of people attending the events, and then numbers of members, types of memberships. Also how many micro-loans? 2. "Outputs": how many collaborations emerge? how many ideas turn into start ups?

What are your immediate next steps after the challenge?

Collect more feedback. Connect with different groups and organizations in that space to understand their offerings. Connect with Credit Unions to understand better what would be appealing to them and how micro-loans could work. From there design a more refined programming a brochure and plan a workshop to invite potential users / customers and do a co-creation workshop with them.
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Attachments (8)

Incubator club original proposal.docx

Original proposal posted on the platform

Incubator club idea – 2nd iteration.docx

Description of the second iteration of our idea based on our user feedback during ideation. 12.05.2016

Refinement updates - Jan 2017.docx

Updates and summary of the activities and learnings during refinement (Jan 2017)

20170109174322521 (1).pdf

Experience journey map (Jan 2017). The persona was created based on our research.

image (2).png

Updated user flow 1/10/17

Incubator Club General Flyer.pdf

General flyer to present the club. Used during first user testing.

incubator club microloan.pdf

Flyer presenting micro-loans opportunity.

incubator club brochure v1.pdf

Light prototype of a brochure to present offerings and modes of engagement (free /2 types of memberships). Was tested with 3 users (55 to 60).

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ZERO COST startup is a strategic approach an idealistic concept. How do we develop a system that enables us to approach this limit. Fist step is do something with Positive Disruption.
The success of the system is determined by the length of period you can keep investment money out.

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Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Congratulations to the team and good luck developing the club.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Bettina and thanks all your feedback! I hope you can come to one of our next project critique (the next one is early March) and provide more feedback to the team!

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Thank you, Bettina! And thank you for all your suggestions along the way!

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Anne-Laure Fayard 
Thanks for the invite. Keep me in the loop.

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I wish my Credit Union was like this, mine acts like a bank. Not cool.
I have been testing a very similar concept. It's called ZERO COST startup. Walk in the door, post you goal, and get to work. But it requires a large building for people, materials, tools and system training. No banks involved, unless they give their cash no strings attached.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
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Max Noble thanks for your comment. Would it be possible for you to share a bit more with Team It'd be interesting to know about your current experience with your Credit Union and to learn more about your ZERO cost startup concept.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Max Noble thanks for your comment. Would it be possible for you to share a bit more with Team It'd be interesting to know about your current experience with your Credit Union and to learn more about your ZERO cost startup concept.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Max Noble thanks for your comment. Would it be possible for you to share a bit more with Team It'd be interesting to know about your current experience with your Credit Union and to learn more about your ZERO cost startup concept.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Congratulations Team Looking forward to seeing your idea evolved! Excited by all what you have planned for the semester!

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Flora  Lillian J Warner  Adhish Patel Kathleen Chao check this article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/power-intergenerational-collaboration-mark-bowlus?trk=p

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Team check one of the user scenario created by Bettina Fliegel for her Community matters idea: https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/6cb3f841-1a02-45a9-854a-9d4028e136c0.pdf She mentioned the incubator club! Great way to think about how to connect with potential users. Thanks Bettina!

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Team check one of the user scenario created by Bettina Fliegel for her Community matters idea: https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/6cb3f841-1a02-45a9-854a-9d4028e136c0.pdf She mentioned the incubator club! Great way to think about how to connect with potential users. Thanks Bettina!

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Hi Bettina Fliegel -- I love your user scenario! One thing that sticks out to me is how you illustrate the "trust" element that is so important in communities--your user, Sasha, joined a credit union and joined the Incubator Club because she was introduced to the idea by way of a member of her church, at a farmer's market, and while she was doing something with her family (taking her dad to a medical appointment). I picture Sasha as another "ideal user" of the Incubator Club.

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Photo of Kathleen Chao
Team

Thanks for sharing this article. This idea is very similar to the winning team from our AARP Hackathon in December. The idea was to create an app that is shared by the "parents" and the "kids" where they can interact and help each other maintaining their family finance as well as making investment plans together. This could be something we incorporate into our ideation refinement :)

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Photo of Kate Rushton
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Hi Lillian and team,

Are you able to edit your post now?

Take care,

Kate

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
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Hi Kate, Lillian was eventually able to edit this morning. She started but had a meeting to go to. She'll work on this later today. BTW, Lillian J Warner was wondering if there was the option to have multiple people editing as she did not want to be a bottleneck for editing the idea. I told her that to the best of my knowledge, this is not an option but maybe things have changed. Thanks!

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Hi Anne-Laure, The OI platform only allows the submitter to edit the content - right now there's no multi-user editing. One option is to have them share the login info or they can collaborate offline and have the idea submitter update the post.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
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Thanks Kate! That's what I thought. We did the sharing login trick! :-)
BTW, check our latest updates. Any feedback, question, is welcome.

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Photo of Kate Rushton
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I love the way the idea is a lot clearer and more logical.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
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Flora Kathleen Chao  Adhish Patel  Lillian J Warner  Great updates! Really exciting to see the next steps listed. Shane Zhao  check what the team did to synthesize and clarify the idea? Thanks for the suggestion!

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Photo of Wingee Sin
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Hi Lilian and team! Took a look at your idea, and realize it is a great link to the User Experience that I mapped out! I have been working on the Personal Pension idea, but as you can see from the experience map, it shows small business loans is best to complemented also by some venture funding from an incubator! Would be great to collaborate!

https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/refinement/leverage-the-trust-people-have-in-credit-unions-to-create-personal-pensions

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
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Thanks Wingee Sin for reaching out. We will check your idea. We're all for collaboration. Let us know what our your ideas. We will also discuss as a team to see how to best collaborate.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
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Hi again Wingee Sin I checked the experience journey and it is interesting that you thought of the small business scenario. I agree that connecting your user to the incubator club would be a great idea. :-) In our concept, we did not think of the incubator as proposing venture funding but more as providing resources like space, mentorship, training, access to a network of potential team mates or customers. We thought of funding coming through small business loans (via Credit Union) or possibly crowdfunding. Lillian J Warner Kathleen Chao am I missing something? Please add. Wingee Sin more soon! Thanks again for reaching out!

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Anne-Laure Fayard I was also thinking about how the entrepreneur would finance their venture. The small business loan (via Credit Union) is great, perhaps it can be offered to the club member at a lower interest rate?

At first I thought the Credit Union would invest in the venture and I assumed this because the Credit Union will be receiving 5-7% of profits from the business. So, I imagined that the Credit Union was basically buying equity and receiving a return on their investment. Now that I understand that the Credit Union is not funding, but instead providing a loan, I think the best option would be to provide club members a low-interest rate small business loan.

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Hi! Yes--our vision is to provide loans at a lower interest rate to Incubator Club members. Glad we are on the same page.

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
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Hi all -- Anne-Laure, you said it perfectly. And yes, more soon, Wingee Sin !

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Anne-Laure Fayard Thanks Anne! Yes, I think would be great for the Incubator to facilitate resources including venture funding. Most incubators do that - and is an important part of their value added. Looking to see how your ideas evolved - and would be terrific to pair the incubator club, small business loans, and personal pension together!

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Wingee Sin We will definitely look into facilitating funding. We also thought of the option of crowdfunding as this was an idea that came up quite a bit during the research phase. It's also something that I heard working in some Slow Money chapters. From our recent user feedback on our very low-resolution prototype, we found that community, networking and training were also keep elements. We definitely would love to explore more how we could connect our idea with yours. The team is currently dispersed because of the winter break but as school starts Monday, coordination should be easier. I'm curious if you have some specific thoughts of how that could work. Thanks!

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Lillian J Warner  Kathleen Chao  Adhish Patel  Flora  I went through the user flow. It's nice and clear and show the main points of the idea. I would recommend that you also share the user experience that you did with the character of Kate as it provides a richer perspective on the interactions and services.
Moreover as Kate Rushton  suggested, you might want to check this other example https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-empowerment-challenge/final-feedback/the-savings-card What it does well is look at a couple of scenarios. In your case, I can imagine that you might have Kate, your 60 years old retired who has an idea, a 55 years old, still working, but who would be interested in being involved in a project (although not sure what) and a 65, who has just retired and is interested in being involved in a small business because he wants to keep himself active, has business skills (because of previous profession) and would not mind earning a bit more than his retirement. Depending on these personas, they might be interested in different services, and not necessarily the loans. I know you might not be able to come up with all options (networking, classes, coaching, access to technical expertise e.g. accounting, law) but I think having 3 different scenarios - in line with the prototypes you are working with, would be useful. Looking forward to seeing the user experience map with Kate posted and all your upcoming updates.

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Hi Anne-Laure Fayard -- I think the user experience with the Kate character is attached already. It's "20170109174322521 (1).pdf" -- I apologize for not re-naming it--I didn't think the generic file name would be visible. OpenIDEO -- I can't edit this post right now for some reason--do you know why this could be?

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Thanks Lillian J Warner for clarifying. Sorry I missed Kate's experience journey.

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hi Kate Rushton -- i'm trying to add Kathleen Chao to our team, but the page says that this contribution is locked and can't be edited? do you know how we could add kathleen? thank you!

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Photo of Kate Rushton
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Hi Lillian,

I have just added Kathleen to your idea. Are you able to edit your post now? If not, please write back and I will contact the IT team and get them to investigate.

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
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Hi! Thank you for adding Kathleen! I am still unable to edit the post (I @-ed OpenIDEO before I saw your reply to my question--thank you for getting back to us so quickly).

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Photo of Kate Rushton
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Hi Lillian,

I am so sorry but the whole US team is off because it is Martin Luther King Day. I can add things to the backend. I don't want to do too much more in case I delete something.

I have sent the whole team an email for when they are back in the office tomorrow.

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Hi Kate! That's ok! Thank you for your quick response! No worries. We can wait.

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Photo of Kate Rushton
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Hi Lillian and team

I hope you all had a good start to the year.

I am wondering if might be beneficial to have some feedback on your idea in the main body of your post and the original idea as an attached document. I am just wondering if there is a way to make it very clear what is the current idea for anyone who is short on time and reading your post.

What would the user journey be like for people using the Incubator club?

The Savings Card'(a finalist idea from a previous challenge) has a good example of a user journey - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-empowerment-challenge/final-feedback/the-savings-card

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Kate! Sorry for being a bit slow but as it's winter break at NYU, several team members are traveling. However, our team worked on the experience journey map this weekend (Thanks Lillian J Warner  and Kathleen Chao ) and posted it. Feedback is welcome!

Can you clarify what you mean by "your idea in the main body of your post and the original idea as an attached document?" Are you suggesting keeping only the latest version in the current post?

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Anne-Laure,

I am wondering if the idea would be clearer if the main body was the current idea and the previous versions were in an attachment.

I am am just thinking about what would be easiest to read and understand for someone who does not have much time to look at the idea post.

P.s. I hope you had a nice winter break.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Kate! Interesting suggestion. We will try to do this.
Any feedback on the experience map would be most welcome.
As the team was working on their light prototype, some questions came up that you might have answers to:
Does the COOP have a community outreach person? Is the COOP interested in holding events at their branches or working closely with community members? Does COOP work with any local community members in other capacities?

PS: the winter break was one week for me but nice. :-) Thanks!

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Anne-Laure,

One week is not nearly enough. :-(

The user journey seems clear and logical to me.

This is a nice example: http://www.openideo.com/open/e-waste/concepting/neighbourhood-e-waste-champion/ where a few scenarios were created to explain the idea in a human-centered way.

I am going to ask the team for any further feedback and to try and get answers to your questions about credit unions.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Kate. I like Meena's e-waste champion journey. It is indeed a good example of multiple scenarios. Looking forward to any extra information or feedback. We will soon update with prototypes and also the original idea as an attachment.

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Team

Congrats on this being today's Featured Contribution!

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Very cool--thank you!

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Photo of Linda Dorman
Team

Hi Lillian,
I'm just getting around to really looking at all of the ideas submitted so apologies for not reaching out to you sooner. As the idea I submitted involves creating co-working space and services specifically designed for this audience, do you think there might be some common areas where our ideas might intersect? If so, I'd be interested in working together on the next phase.

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Hi Linda Dorman -- yes -- I agree; lots of overlap. Definitely interested in collaboration Team 

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Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Welcome to the Refinement phase Lillian and team! We've added new Refinement questions to your original submission that we'd love for you to answer. Please check out the Refinement Phase Toolkit for instructions on how to answer the new questions and other recommendations we encourage all idea teams to consider in the upcoming weeks.

Refinement Phase Toolkit: http://ideo.pn/2du9sf7

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 12/21" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Thank you for all the help and feedback! We are really excited to continue working on this. Our Team team now includes Adhish Patel , Flora  and Kathleen Chao. Now that the Fall semester is finished and we're all done celebrating the holidays, we're exploring the Toolkit, planning different ways to prototype our idea. We will update soon!

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Lillian!

I look forward to seeing how this idea develops in the refinement phase.

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Hi again, Kate. Thank you! We are really excited our idea made it to Refinement--thank you for taking the time to give us such good feedback during the previous two stages--your thoughts have been really helpful.

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Lillian and team!


I really like the idea of two tiers of membership.

Why?

I can see someone being a casual member for a few months before upgrading their membership after they have had time to think and really work out what they want, especially if they are going through a life change and just want to dip their toes into the idea of entrepreneurship.

I think what is interesting about this idea is that it can be adapted to the needs of different credit unions.

What are the alternatives to “Ideally, the credit union would employ one full-time person with small business expertise to coordinate the club and be a resource for members”? I am thinking for a small credit union with not as many employees.

I recently read this article:

https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2013/aug/02/starting-a-business-after-retirement

One thing jumped out to me - “The 60-year-old said: "You don't have any small children at home any more, so you don't have to sacrifice your time with your family and can concentrate on your business without having a bad conscience. The downside is that you have to keep fit and you can't be ill. You have to be there and I have to find lots of energy, especially at the startup stage."

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

@Lillian J Warner   @Aurora  @Hasan Ahmed Ansari  @tanvi sinha thanks for the update from the presentation. I thought it was great that you were able to get feedback on your idea from people 50+ who were interested in starting a small business. I also thought it was really interesting that you learnt that people would be willing to pay for the service. I think the question that Shane asked about where the incubator could be located is interesting. I could see it as connected to the Branch on Wheels. I could also see it connecting with: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/ideas/community-mattersI also like the idea of @Kate Rushton to explore further the offering of classes (that you included in the idea) and maybe look at other existing models. For example, check the Academy of Makers (I believe that's what Kate was referring to): http://www.academyofmakers.co.uk/
I think you have started nicely connecting your idea to the Credit Unions but you could explore this further.
It seems to me that if Credit Unions was supporting such a club it'd be a great way to reimagine the relationship between customers and the bank: from transaction to learnings and opportunities.
Great work with a lot of potential for future exploration.

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Thank you, Anne-Laure Fayard . I think our idea could definitely take place in the Branch on Wheels. I also think it could be held at the credit union, depending on how big the credit union hosting it is. I liked one person's idea of connecting it to already existing community spaces too--that would definitely be a good way to strengthen the relationship between the credit union and the community. I also really like the idea of connecting our idea to other programs where community members are "doing" and "making" things--like the Academy of Makers. All good stuff to think about and expand upon. Looking forward to thinking about this more.

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Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi all.
Another community site to think about for the Incubator Club might be a local public library. Some libraries are hosting Incubators and classes associated with them.
http://www.citylab.com/work/2013/02/why-libraries-should-be-next-great-startup-incubators/4733/

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Photo of Leah Edwards
Team

I love the idea of helping experienced workers who may be laid off from their jobs or who just want a change to be able to start a business of their own.  

Working with a credit union community could help insure that the business founders are from the community they are trying to provide a product or service. Deep understanding of the market (and a particular user need) is a necessary element of success. 

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Thank you, Leah! Yes, agree about deep understanding + success. I think small business owners focused on their specific community's needs could experience a lot of success. 

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks for this update. Great insights. Looking forward to tomorrow's presentation. 

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Lillian J Warner and team check this article shared by Kate Rushton  This is an example of what Barclays Bank did in the UK - Barclays launches Eagle Labs – Inspiring the UK to get making - http://www.newsroom.barclays.co.uk/r/3318/barclays_launches_eagle_labs___inspiring_the_uk_to_get

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Hi! Anne-Laure Fayard Kate Rushton --thank you for this article. Their program sounds really robust--like a fully realized, UK version of our idea combined with Kim Upright 's 50+ Maker Spaces idea. Definitely inspirational for us as we refine our idea. Thank you again. 

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Hi Lillian J Warner and team, check this idea https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/ideas/50-maker-spaces which tackles a similar issue but using a slightly different approach. I'm wondering if there would be way to connect both ideas at some point. 

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Photo of Kim Upright
Team

Thanks for the connection Anne-Laure
I think our two ideas have a perfect fit as I have also given a lot of thought into what I call the re-startup culture. It is co-opting the start-up culture and it's focus on youth, agile implementation and entrepreneurship and leveraging the experience and talents of "the Elders" In a sense the Makerspace would also be a shared work space/headquarters for collaboration and learning and in a sense become an incubator. Support and sponsorship from our local Servus Credit Union would be a perfect fit and innovative for them as well.

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Photo of María Ramón Vázquez
Team

Hi team! Its a great idea with a very interesting perspective. Looking forward how the idea evolves and develops. 

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Photo of Anthony Chukwuma
Team

I have been part of a four cooperatives and my experience is that many times, many members cannot meet up with their contributions and this is a major challenge to fighting the resource challenge of over 50's and even the challenge of poverty particularly in third world countries.

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Team

Anthony Chukwuma , thank you for this feedback! This is an important insight that we will need to consider when prototyping our concept.

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Team

I think, it is a very serious angle to consider towards a better over 50. 

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Lillian J Warner Aurora Hasan Ahmed Ansari and Tanvi check this research post as I think https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/research/60-years-in-the-making/ I believe Kreshna's mother good be a potential member of the incubator club. 

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Lillian!

I hope you are having a nice weekend. 

Are you aware of the Google Campus 'Founders over 50' pilot program? 

It was a one-day a week, 6-week programme held at the Google Campus in London for the over 50s founding their first business. 

https://www.campus.co/london/en/events/ag1zfmd3ZWItY2FtcHVzcj8LEgZDYW1wdXMiBFJvb3QMCxIGQ2FtcHVzIgZsb25kb24MCxIFRXZlbnQiEjcwMWowMDAwMDAwaHpHaEFBSQw

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Hi Kate Rushton --I haven't heard of this but this is really relevant and interesting. Thank you for this!

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Hi team, great idea and with a lot of potential. I'm curious to see what the CEO of the credit union tells you. You might want to think of developing an experience map (integrating some of the questions and suggestions you've already received) to present it to her. It will make it easier for her to give you specific feedback. It'd be great if you could meet with a few members of the credit union to show them the experience map and see how they react. You can create an experience map for different types of users - a founder, a participant and possibly a younger person. I agree with Bettina Fliegel that having this club as an intergenerational club would be great. Regarding incubators, happy to put you in touch with the director of NYU Tandon incubators. You might also want to contact UnionSettlement to get their feedback on their idea. A next step for prototyping would be to create a brochure / flyer and ask people if they would sign up for participating to the Incubator club. Looking forward to seeing the idea evolve. al (writing from NYC OpenIDEO chapter account as my personal account is currently blocked :-( ).

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Hi Anne-Laure! Thank you! That would be great to contact the Director of NYU Tandon incubators--it would be great to talk to that person.  Agree about the experience map, too--maybe next week we could talk more about that?

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Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

This is awesome!! Really excited to hear the feedback from the CU CEO. 

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Photo of Kenneth Walton
Team

You mean a bank card that rewards saving?

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Lillian!

Congratulations on being today's Featured Contribution. 

I think the idea has a lot of potential because it is scalable and adaptable. One credit union could adopt the model and offer direct funding and expertise and another credit union could adopt the model and be very hands off and allow it to be more autonomous. 

I would be interested in knowing how much of it would be online and offline. I would also recommend getting in contact with some founders of incubators in New York to get their perspective. 

Have you seen @Kenneth Walton 's post in the ideas phase? There are some overlaps there: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/ideas/microfinancing-life-re-financed-at-50

It would be interesting to know how much time commitment the 50+ could give to an incubator compared to the typical cohort at an incubator - early 20s/30s. 

I am just thinking of Jill Zeisler post on the sandwich generation - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/research/life-can-be-a-pickle-for-the-sandwich-generation

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Hi Kate! Thank you! We agree with what you're saying about the idea being scalable and adaptable. This program could be implemented at multiple credit unions and take shape in totally different ways (to fit the needs and wants and tone of the community). 

Also, good point about getting in touch with some people who have real incubator experience. We are going to do that. Thank you again. 

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Photo of Tanvi Sinha
Team

Hi Kate! Our team is also interested in seeing how well this idea adapts to the unique needs and time commitments that a 50+ might have compared to 20/30 year olds! Also, getting in touch with incubator founders is a great idea to get us started!

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Photo of Kenneth Walton
Team

Absolutely That is the basis of the idea. Doing something new and living your dream is usually not related to what you have done in your career or job. That is why you are dreaming?
Using the experience, you’ve gained in life is much greater than the job you’ve done. It may include many of the skillsets you have acquired especially soft skill on the job, and managing people, projects and budgets. However, it also includes the 30 years of experience you gain raising kids, maintaining a household, hobbies, volunteering and relationships you have built over that time.
If you are a designer you may have spent a career doing environmental signage graphics, while you dreamed of starting a fashion line, or opening an animation studio or being a book illustrator, or maybe even a product designer or developer. All of the skills sets you have developed at 50 will lead to the re-imagined / re-financed start-up. That is the idea.
I have attended a few pitch events over the last few years, and participated in a few. The best pitches usually come from someone who has become an expert at something over time, and they usually saw something in what they were working on; that inspired a product developed out of a passion they had. It is not always a derivative of the area of expertise that inspired the idea.

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Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Great idea Lillian!  I think one of the biggest issues is finding teammates to get ideas off the ground and this directly addresses that.  Some credit unions are associated with community non profits.  It would be interesting to see if this idea can function as a resource for community groups, businesses etc. as a go to place to access human capital on "challenges" that a community might want to tackle.  
(Here is a community non profit that has an associated credit union  in NYC :  https://unionsettlement.org/about/
https://lespeoples.org/union-settlement-fcu-merged-with-us/)

In this model will the 50+ skilled members be paid for their services?  I can see this as an opportunity for older folk, who may have retired, to work as consultants/teammates on projects.  In this way they can continue to bring in some income over time, adding to savings, promoting financial stability.

Are you thinking that these incubators would be intergenerational, bringing together all types of skills and experience?

Excited to see how this idea develops!

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Hi Bettina Fliegel -- thank you for the links! Interesting about the community non-profit that also had a CU attached to it.  I would imagine that while that CU was around it had a very loyal and engaged customer base. 

And you bring up a good point to consider about the skilled members paying for their services. As our group works on our idea we will definitely be thinking about that, because you're right, it would be nice give an extra incentive to people to participate.

Our group right now is thinking that the incubator club could definitely be intergenerational. Maybe marketed at first/primarily to established adults with established careers. But we definitely envision anyone and everyone being encouraged to participate.

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Photo of Kenneth Walton
Team

Hello Lillian,
Someone pointed out that your concept is similar to a couple of post I added to the challenge. Do you think there are any shared learning experiences to be had between our ideas? 
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/research/life-re-financed-at-50-microfinancing-for-aarp-youth-62-and-under

https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/youth-mentor/ideas/aarp-start-up-incubator-aarpubator
Ken

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Hi @kenneth! Yes, very cool, our group's idea and your idea definitely have a lot of overlap! Can you elaborate more on this?: "But what if there was a way to cover the day to day expenses and debts you have accumulated through life getting to age 50, by using the knowledge you gained getting there as collateral, so I can re-imagine my life now, and be stronger financially at 64."

--Do you envision your customers' business pitches being totally new and separate from jobs they already have? Or a job switch? Or a way to start a side business to pay off debts? Is an AARPAngel already an established thing, or is that a concept you've come up with? 

Looking forward to hearing what you have to say! 

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Team

Congrats on this being today's Featured Contribution!