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Innovation Hostel

The Innovation Hostel network would build off of the desire young entrepreneurs already have for collaboration, travel, and working hard to bring their ideas to life.

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Written by DeletedUser

Teams of web entrepreneurs apply for an Innovation Hostel passport. Selection could be done by a board or better, voted in by a community. Six(?) countries set up Innovation Hostels in low-rent culturally rich neighborhoods. Each team would then live and work together for one year rotating through each hostel after a two-month stay. Hostels are set up to house three teams at a time allowing for cross cultivation of ideas, expertise, andexperiences. Each team would live expense free, have access to tools needed and a small monthly stipend for expenses. At the end of each two-month stay there would be a salon/party to document teams progress. After one year, the entrepreneurs should be prepared to fend for themselves and get further investment if necessary.

How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

I have seen with entrepreneurs some of the major obstacles are: 1. Focused time (often teams are working on projects as a second job). 2. Access to others with diverse and complimentary skill sets and experiences. 3. The ability to cover their cost of living (this can be very minimal – food, shelter and the ability to get a beer once in a while). By providing an experience that is focused, expertise rich, and culturally diverse, entrepreneurs would have a fertile situation to quickly build and iterate their ideas.

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

People: There would need to be some sort of oversight group and minimal support staff. I would suggest that each country with a hostel gets a seat. These positions could be funded by the European Commission. There should be a set of local mentors for each hostel as well as “drop-in” experts (VCs, experienced entrepreneurs, artists, performers, athletes, etc.). Ideally this would be donated time or possibly part of an individuals academic obligations (university professors). Hostels: These should be VERY basic housing with community workspace and social space. Funding for the space could come from local governments to help promote an innovation zone or possibly a local university that has extra housing available. I could also see companies wanting to sponsor different locations to be associated with innovation. Technology: I would suggest that technology companies are approached to sponsor access to servers, etc. And there should be some sort of community platform for the teams and the public to interact with. Money: Someone more knowledgeable than myself should figure out the numbers but if it could come in around $1M for a hostel and operations for a year it would seem to be a reasonable investment for a country. I suspect it could be done for significantly less if sponsorship was obtained.

How could we get started?

Get six countries to allocate budget for their hostel and operating costs. Let cities bid for the opportunity to have a hostel. Assemble the “board” and find the physical space. Set up application process for entrepreneurs. Set a date and go.

Virtual Team:

This is going to sound like a suck up, but I drew something from almost everyone’s ideas.


Join the conversation:

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I am new to the site and have been reading a lot of other peoples' submissions and two happened to cross paths in my brain. The previous challenge "How might we restore vibrancy in cities and regions facing economic decline?" mentions pock marks of empty blighted space in Detroit. I am sure that there are similar parts of Europe that have struggled. Maybe you could create little entrepreneur villages like Christiania (in Denmark) but without all the drugs and bikes. Some of my most intense productive periods have been when I had a few entrepreneurs crashing with me at my apartment and we worked in close quarters for a week, how much could you accomplish if you all lived in a little community? You could provide communal meals inexpensively, maybe take 2% of simple equity for companies born in these immersion incubators?

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