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Give your start-up a 'Jump Start' (updated)

Need legal help but don't have any money? Need funding but don't have a business plan? Need a business plan but don't have a model? Join Jump Starter!

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Inspired by various discussions around needing mentoring, business advice and gaining help from others, Jump Starter is a platform where start-ups can be matched with companies or individuals willing to provide their expertise for free.

Pimp My Cause inspiration that I posted is a website that matches marketeers who want to do some good with causes that need marketing help. Jump Starter is a similar idea that provides legal, business and funding help.

Match Making for Founders, Talent Pool, Business Design Coaching are really great ideas which sparked my thoughts for this concept!

How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

Jump Starter provides start-ups with the initial help they need to get their business to the next level. Need funding help? VCs and Angel Investors would provide their expertise on what investors are looking for. It might be assessing the team or giving a view on what the company needs to do before looking for funding. Need legal help? Laywers would provide their expertise on what documents are required for each stage of the business. It could simply be providing relevant non-disclosure agreements or contracts or it could be making sure that the start-up are aware of what privacy policies will be required. Need business help? Business men and mentors could provide help with writing a business plan or discussing business models at an early stage. This would not be extensive help or take up much time but it would help give the start-up an injection to the next level. These tend to be areas which start-ups struggle with but are relatively easy for an expert to help on. **update** A-L's suggestion of getting people to pay back the mentoring nice they have benefitted and feel capable of helping others is a fantastic, closed loop idea. Having their success stories featured on the site would also provide them with publicity. This could create a real sense of community and peer support.

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

A web platform would need to be built but it would only be needed to match up start-ups with experts. It could be done initially through a Ning or Yammer. Someone would be needed to monitor and maintain the site. Marketing would be required to raise awareness so that there was a substantial amount of people on the site. It would be good if large companies allowed their staff work time towards helping start-ups. There may need to be some kind of screening to make sure that the start-ups don't a) expect too much from the experts and b) are at a stage where an expert can actually help and not be expected to do all the work! To scale the concept, if the experts like working with the start-up (and vice versa), there is no reason why the relationship can't expand and the help be paid for. It could be negotiated that the next round of help is paid for over time or shares are given instead. **update** Meena raised the valuable point about how to incentivize professionalsto use the site. It would be important to find companies who provide 'charity days' or general volunteering as part of their CSR offering to include Jump Starter. Allowing staff time off to help others can be very motivating. The other angle is finding professionals who feel they want to give something back to society. There could be some kind of fun, yet useful bartering offeri where companies will help if the start-up can offer something in return?! A bit like an 'auction of promises' or Kickstarter style incentives. (here's the idea behind an Auction of Promises' for those that haven't heard of one before

How could we get started?

A pilot on a Yammer site with a large company (maybe a company with all these expertise in house) and a few start-ups (the Hub members could be invited to join) to see if the two parties work well together. We could take learnings from TaskRabbit about what works when sharing skills with each other. **update** A launch night with an 'Auction of Promises' to create momentum, encourage engagement and facilitate collaboration.

Virtual Team:

A-L Fayard Meena Kadri Jiangxuan Wu


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Nice idea! Perhaps to help cover the cost of running the website you could broadcast webinars through it? It would be a good excuse to connect with the experts to deliver the webinars and depending on the topic could be worth paying to access for the entrepreneurs. The webinars would facilitate Q&A so listeners would be able to get specific questions answered. Experts benefit from the exposure to a new group of potential clients. Over time you would collect a library of these videos and could release the old ones for free.

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