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Start-up Starter Subscription Service: Different levels of Info, Advice and Mentorship

This concept allows start-ups to pay based on their needs as well as determine when and what information they need from selected mentors. They can get advice bi-monthly, access to connections, curated package from mentors and fundraising help.

Photo of T. Annie Nguyen
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The Start-up Subscription service is a mash-up of Quarterly.co and LinkedIn services. This concept allows start-ups to sign up and receive tailored information and guidance from selected mentors towards their specific company goals. The subscription is a low monthly cost that can be set up bimonthly or quarterly depending on the start-ups' needs. Start-ups can sign up either by interest in a particular mentor or a specific category in which start-ups can choose from such as healthcare, technologies, gaming, education, etc.

The basic subscription model will allow for various modes of communication such as limited and scheduled web chats, conference calls and email. For the next subscription model up allows start-ups to access mentors connections and will receive a package curated by the mentor. The package can include sources of inspiration, basic supplies, tools, artifacts, maps, etc. meant to help through the process. The supreme subscription model will give start-ups all the basic and regular perks, but also online fundraising tool that allows anyone to contribute. This page can will be hosted and give start-ups a way to tell their story and have the support of the mentor in tailoring the page.

How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

This concept supports web entrepreneurship by allowing different subscription levels for people, start-ups can access the right kind of information, help and tools they need and desire to move them further to success. Not all start-ups are the same and start at the same place. Letting them get information from selected mentors from a different industries makes the advice and guidance even more useful and tailored. Progress in a start-up is definitely not linear and taking note from mentors who have either had experiences with start-ups or in the particular industry and connecting them with start-ups builds a stronger network and community for success.

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

People & Partnerships: Mentors especially will be nominated and chosen to become a mentor. There will be a small core group of people who will mentor to start with and will continually grow based on the needs of the start-up community. Mentors will have experience in the field and decided how much they want to commit based on their schedule as well as the subscription model. They will be recognized for their work and given opportunities to invest in the start-ups as they have made initial connections. Other areas of partnerships will be with companies that are willing to help with material goods that mentors want to send for the curated package such as tools, supplies, etc. such as online software tools for project management (free trial or code to these tools), office supply companies (Office Max, Muji, Target), relevant magazines or articles, etc. The companies in return get their products out there. Money: Since it is a subscription model, there will be revenues generated to maintain the website and resources for such as content managers, communication, legal that is needed to get started. Initial funding from the government to get it started would be helpful, but making this idea a paying concept allows it be self-sufficient in the future and not reliant on government funding. Technology: This concept will be a website built that allows start-ups to sign up an account, pick a subscription model and mentor as well as make payments. The first phase will start with the basic model. As the website builds out further, it will include the regular model and finally the third will allow start-ups to host a page about their project and allow them to fund-raise for particular goal through the website. This work will require a design and development team. The website could expand into a platform such as a mobile and tablet application down the road. To keep costs down, this platform could be a project led by a team similar to Code for America, where one-year selected fellows, who specific work on developing and making technological tools work for cities and people.

How could we get started?

To get this idea started, we can start with 5 mentors in one community and test to see how start-ups will use the subscription model and how frequently. This is a good place to test the pricing model too based on what is being offered and what start-ups are willing to pay. The mentors and start-ups in a particular field/industry will have an opportunity to present how the concept worked and what didn't work before adding more mentors and expanding. Making this information available online to others is also key. The success of both Quarterly.co and LinkedIn as hubs of information and connections coming together highlights the tangible and intangible needs that occur for start-ups. Paying for a service based on their resources also makes start-ups evaluate what they need, which can be even words of encouragement and sparks of inspiration to real world business and legal advice.

Virtual Team:

Awesome concepts and inspirations from the community!

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Great to be getting yet another dose of your comprehensive thinking, T. Annie!