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Let’s build a virtual community where entrepreneurs can easily find trust worthy opinion leaders to test their prototypes.

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Louise’s comments on my previous post, Know who’s willing to try your prototypes, Priyanka’s Connecting Entrepreneurs, Experts, and Investors, and Rob’s It are the first followers that sparks a life into a new start up sparkled the idea of creating a platform that links trendsetters with entrepreneurs. is an online community consists of 2 groups – entrepreneurs and first movers. First Movers/trendsetters are the ones who are keen to try out new things. If this user group adopts your concepts, they are mostly willing to act as ambassadors for your startup and positively refer you to others. At, entrepreneurs can search for trendsetters by location and industry, they can then seek feedbacks from these trendsetters either in-person or online.

Besides non-disclosure agreement, has other features to ensure the safety of entrepreneurs’ ideas and the quality of feedback provided by trendsetters. Just like CouchSurfing, will have these features to give you a rich variety of information about a person – “verified”, “vouched”, and “references”:

  • To be a “verified” entrepreneur, one has to provide some proof that he or she is serious about entrepreneurship. For instance, a brief description of your ideas, photos of your prototype, or certification that you attended a startup event, etc.
  • To be a “verified” first mover, one has to provide some evidence that he or she is an opinion leader in certain field. For instance, # of blog viewers, twitter followers, FB fans, or speeches given, etc.
  • If an entrepreneur feels that a trendsetter gave valuable insights to his/her idea, he/she can “vouch” for the trendsetter. Trendsetters can also “vouch” for an entrepreneur is he/she thinks the entrepreneur is willing to listen to different opinions or has great innovation potential.
  • Besides the # of “vouches”, each individual’s profile page also displays “references”. “References” are brief descriptions people wrote after their interaction with that individual.

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How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

Provide a channel for entrepreneurs to seek genuine and useful feedbacks on their ideas/prototypes. Since trendsetters are opinion leaders, if they adopt the entrepreneurs’ concepts, they are likely to become strong advocates for these entrepreneurs’ business.

What kinds of resources will be needed to get this concept off the ground and scale it?

Web developers to develop the online platform Time to build up a large user group (OpenIDEATORS, any thoughts on how to attract trendsetters to join the community?) Partnerships with institutions to help verify the proof provided by entrepreneurs And of course, funding to accomplish the things listed above

How could we get started?

Figure out a list of trendsetters we wish to invite to the community, tell them the idea of linking trendsetters with entrepreneurs, and ask whether they’re willing to join!

Virtual Team:

Louise Wilson Priyanka Kodikal Rob van den Broek


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