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Volunteering for start-ups portal

Allow people to find one-off or longer term ways to volunteer their skills with start-ups.

Photo of Amy Bonsall
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The concept of volunteering is familiar to all of us. What if we apply that to start-ups, and had a dedicated site where start-ups could post needs and people could volunteer to share time and skills? 

The site could be simple: one page on which start-ups list needs and any location restrictions, another on which people list skills they're willing to share. Each would be searchable. A further step could be to automate matching possibilities. 

How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

Providing them a location to find people willing and able to help them out with various needs, from branding to development to legal advice to strategic advice, depending on their needs.

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

Web development and then spreading the word.

How could we get started?

This could start as a very simple webpage that allows people to log interest.

Virtual Team:

Thanks to the London IDEO brainstorming team!

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DeletedUser

This is a great idea. It would be important to build as much recognition and currency for the volunteers' actions as possible. For example, an app that displays the volunteers' portfolio of successfully completed tasks on Linkedin. Another idea would be to make it compulsory for the start ups to have a section in 'about us' on the start up's website that lists the volunteers, with their Linkedin profiles.

It would also help if the volunteers' assistance was broken down into discrete tasks connected to time units: a weekend, one day for a month, an evening a week etc. This would make it more attractive to volunteers maybe? And also show publicly just how much of their precious time they had given up.

One last thought- what if you had volunteered for Instagram? Is there any way the terms of accepting volunteers could include some kind of reward or at the very least major recognition in the event of an IPO or trade sale? Tricky one....

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DeletedUser

Again, awesome concept. Something like this would find more users than expected. This Site would offer the ability for professionals transitioning between careers to build their resumes. You could call it Bridging the Gap or Venture Transitions!

One difficulty with ideas like this is how to ensure that the work a startup contracts someone to do is done to a satisfactory level and in a timely manner. Perhaps there is need for an intermediary that makes sure projects are done correctly. If a user that agrees to fulfill a job fails, they could have a rating that goes down and likewise a rating that could go up with a job well done. In this way, individuals who complete projects satisfactorily will stay in the game.