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Zaplings proposes a new model of innovation called Open Incubation

Too many great ideas do not succeed because too few people have the connections and resources to make them happen. <a href="http://www.zaplings.com">Zaplings</a> helps level the playing field for innovators and brings great ideas to life.

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Written by DeletedUser

Zaplings is a social network with purpose that brings great ideas to life. It will revolutionize innovation by connecting creators and contributors in brand new ways.

So many great ideas never see the light of day because most people are not connected to all the resources and expertise required to succeed.

Open Incubation - A new model

Business incubators are currently thriving. Incubators are companies that form personal relationships with entrepreneurs, offer valuable advice, and connect them to resources and investors.

Personal relationships between a startup’s founders and the incubator’s mentors are important to the startup’s success. For this reason, some believe an online incubator will not work.

However, this takes a limited view of what an incubator is or could be. Zaplings is creating a new model called Open Incubation. As we see it, Zaplings is not actually an incubator. Instead, it is a facilitator that allows individuals to form personal relationships and incubate each other.

Leveling the playing field for idea people

When most people have a great idea, what’s the first thing they do? Typically… nothing. Why? "I’m worried someone will steal my idea" is a common response. However, we don’t think this is the full answer.

Most people don’t pursue great ideas because they don’t have the necessary resources to make it a reality. It’s rare that the idea’s creator has the necessary connections in his or her social or professional network to take the idea to the next level. With the right people behind you, everything is in reach.

Every idea begins with a passion, and each requires various knowledge and skills to grow. With Zaplings, users will be able to find individuals with the right passions and expertise to bring an idea to life.

We have some pretty radical plans which will facilitate essential connections like nothing has before. Unfortunately we can’t say too much yet, but stay tuned. For now, let’s say we might just make progress addictive!

How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

Zaplings will support any idea at any stage of the creation process, and that includes web entrepreneurs like ourselves. Starting Zaplings has been the better market research than could be bought - we have been living and working and breathing the same struggle as those we are trying to support. Every challenge we face, we see how much benefit that we would personally gain from the existence of a global community working towards progress. This experience also leads us to new solutions to the problems we face.

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

The key resources we require are venture capital funding and human ingenuity and passion. We will be able to grow our network organically and authentically when innovators use Zaplings to make great ideas a reality. The passion and excitement that these idea people have for their own ideas will motivate them to encourage people in their network to participate in the idea's evolution. While the network will be global in nature, innovators will be able to keep their idea as local as they wish, only inviting trusted collaborators while the idea is private. Additionally, once a city's Zaplings community reaches a critical mass, it will be possible to have a much more local presence, where innovators and contributors can meet face to face and make critical connections.

How could we get started?

We have a long way to go but site development has just begun! In the coming months, both Zaplings co-founders will be moving to Austin, Texas to work on the startup full time. The next steps will involve seeking venture capital funding, hiring talented, creative, passionate web developers, and spreading the word about what we are trying to accomplish. We would love your help!

Virtual Team:

Paul Reader Louise Wilson Danny Thiemann

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DeletedUser

I'm pretty impressed with this idea, but I was wondering... Do you think Zaplings would offer some sort of legal advice/feedback to help entrepreneurs navigate the complex legal consequences of starting their business or startup? I guess I'm concerned with things like intellectual property rights, tax implications, business incorporation/organization questions, financial regulations or restrictions... there are a lot of things that entrepreneurs will need to hammer out before they can get moving. At least... they ought to hammer these things out to prevent disputes or other problems down the road.

I guess my question is, do you think Zaplings would have a legal help department or "tool" built right in? Or do you think it would be better for attorneys to join Zaplings and offer their services much like Kathleen (the graphic designer below) would offer up her graphic design expertise to an entrepreneur in need?

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DeletedUser

Zibi, thank you for asking such an insightful and thoughtful question! You're right, there's a LOT of legal issues that startups need to consider, and I think sometimes idea people don't think enough about them early enough.

There's a couple ways we plan to address the legal issues. First, as you alluded to, we want lawyers to be included in our community. The legal profession can be incredibly fulfilling or soul sucking, depending on your field, and for those in the latter category, perhaps helping startups get off the ground is just the job therapy they require!

Second, we will utilize LegalZoom's affiliate program. If you're not aware of it, LegalZoom is an awesome online resource that simplifies and streamlines the process for addressing just about any issue a startup may face. From applying for patents to drafting contracts, LegalZoom is an incredibly valuable resource for entrepreneurs. Better yet, when users we've referred pay for their services, LegalZoom pays us!

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DeletedUser

Check out the Community Economic Development Lawyers model from the Boston, MD area Community Law Center: It was founded by a Skadden Fellowship

http://communitylaw.org/

http://www.wcl.american.edu/clinical/community.cfm
http://www.bc.edu/schools/law/services/studentorgs/ced.html

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DeletedUser

Danny that's awesome! We should totally partner with a community law organization or multiple ones. And I should get in touch with someone from American U before I head out to Austin!

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