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"Start-Up" Week - A week of events uniting start ups with their local community - **UPDATED**

Similar to a Clerkenwell Design Week type event, how about a week long event for local start ups in cluster networks (ie. Tech City in London)?

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17 12

Written by DeletedUser

A week long "design week" type event for start ups with events such as:

- Open House previews & events hosted by local start ups 
- Potential new start ups can exhibit their ideas & concepts to find investors/partners
- Inspiring talks from industry heavy weights
- Workshops

(For inspiration, check out Clerkenwell Design Week)

How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

Sets up a forum where entrepreneurs can share their stories and connect with each other, up & comers as well as their local community and schools. Start-up week explores how we can potentially connect: 1) local start ups 2) local community 3) local schools (universities in particular)

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

- venue to hold talks & workshops (though these can be in different venues within the network cluster) - identify local start ups interested in participating in the open house previews - find expert speakers and workshop facilitators - marketing to engage local community In order to scale the effort, each local Start-up Week will need a local 'guardian' who acts as a coordinator of the event, with input from other partners in their local community. These guardians will need to get in touch with the 'Start-Up Week' facilitators to start a local chapter, similar to that of the Pecha Kucha (http://www.pecha-kucha.org/night/start-a-city) or TedX (http://www.ted.com/pages/organize_tedx_event) type model of assigning local guardianship/license. This will help ensure that the goals and objectives are aligned across all local chapters.

How could we get started?

Prototype a small, one day event in a building where several start ups are located, partnering with each company and ask them to open their doors & share their stories with attendees from the local community (perhaps a local school?) Could also experiment and link members of a local start up community with a local university with an innovation/entrepreneurship program and hold a 'walking tour' to 4 or 5 start up companies. Looking at start up clusters around the world, there tends to be a strong start up community around the local universities (ie. London's tech city and Bloomsbury universities; Silicon Valley and Stanford, etc). This approach to prototyping will leverage the university's network of entrepreneurs as well as give integrity to the event, especially for new start ups who are potentially weary or extra protective of opening their doors. The start up who is the last stop on the walking tour could hold a brainstorm with the tour group on a particular challenge that they are facing; or alternatively the tour would end at the university hosting the event where they could hold a Q&A session/social hour.

Virtual Team:

Amy Bonsall Karina McElroy Joshua Smith Bev Chu

Evaluation results

11 evaluations so far

1. How well does this concept address a significant pain point felt by European web start-ups?

This is a major pain point for European start-ups - 9.1%

This is a "nice to have" but not a serious pain point - 90.9%

I really don't know - 0%

2. How novel do you think the concept is?

Never seen it before - very novel! - 9.1%

This is common in some places but not in many parts of Europe - 27.3%

This is not novel but a good iteration - 45.5%

There are already other solutions out there that address this problem - 18.2%

3. How easy is this concept to implement and maintain?

It could be implemented quickly and easily maintained - 27.3%

It could be implemented quickly but will require regular updates to ensure it is accurate and relevant - 45.5%

It is a big undertaking and would need a lot of support and cooperation from people and organisations to make it happen and to maintain it - 27.3%

4. What type of organisation is best placed to take this forward?

The European Commission should own this one - 9.1%

This belongs with member state governments (e.g., the UK, Belgium, etc) - 9.1%

This is best being owned by a private company - 9.1%

This feels like a non-profit - 45.5%

This is a start-up itself! - 27.3%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world! - 9.1%

I liked it but preferred others - 63.6%

It didn’t get me overly excited - 27.3%

17 comments

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Photo of Farez Rahman

Great idea Anne ;)

I think the community can benefit from a virtual (ie online) element to this too. Having this as a 'physical' event is great but it also means that it leave out those that do not have the means to travel to the venues. And since this is meant to have a European focus, having a virtual presence will also allow people to connect across Europe.

Useful things during startup week that can be organised online:

- Live Q&A with startup founders over various media

- Webcasts from the different chapters, TEDx style, as you mentioned

- 1-2-1 sessions on Skype

- Virtual speed dating for discovering potential co-founders/business partners

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DeletedUser

The design week needs to consider how those not already involved in web entrepreneurial ideas would be enticed into this network.

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DeletedUser

Building on your 'getting started idea', perhaps the design week could connect existing incubators in a city to build a stronger community of start-ups? The week could then end with a "start-up weekend" (http://seattle.startupweekend.org/) where people who have networked over the week come together to build ideas, make pitches and start new ventures.

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DeletedUser

Sounds great Karina! I think we're on a similar wave length definitely. We're going to put together some efforts in Clerkenwell (where the IDEO London studio is located) to see if we can prototype a small event here..

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DeletedUser

Exciting! It could also potentially be interesting to connect our ideas together where this start-up week could be held not only in connection to existing incubators, but also university entrepreneur centers.

http://www.openideo.com/open/web-start-up/concepting/the-european-centers-for-entrepenuership-ece-network/

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Looking forward to updates here on how the Clerkenwell prototype goes!

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DeletedUser

Sadly due to time constraints we haven't yet been able to prototype this idea, but hope to very soon.
Karina - I think there's a great potential in the way that we can potentially connect:
1) local start ups
2) local community
3) local schools (universities in particular)
Looking at start up clusters around the world, there tends to be a strong community around the local universities as well (ie. London's tech city and Bloomsbury universities; Silicon Valley and Stanford, etc)

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DeletedUser

Hi Anne, this is certainly true! If you check out the refined idea for the entrepreneurship network, one thought is to create a sort of "kickoff" weekend that could incorporate some of this concept.

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DeletedUser

I think this concept is closely related to http://startupweekend.org/. However what I could see doing to bridge the two is to actually have local business or investors bring to the table problems or challenges that they see need solutions. This could give more direction to these types of events and perhaps encourage local business to participate.

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DeletedUser

I really like the idea of creating a 'design challenge' of sorts much like we do on OpenIDEO as a way to connect and encourage participation from the local community. I'll try to build this in as well. Thanks Joshua for the great build!

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DeletedUser

I agree with Karina. This system would help people who are interested in the same field to come together to form a stronger idea. But I think an important question to pose would be letting your idea and strategies out in the open would allow alot of other people to duplicate them. So would people be as open about it and if not then how would they receive good feedback.

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Photo of Paul van Zoggel

'my precious ring... idea' is a good point. However for any (future) webentrepreneur he/she should think 50-50. 50% is for common good / open source / open ideaOS. The other 50% you do it all by yourself first as far as you can get, like writing a book.

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DeletedUser

Hi Aayushi & Paul! Thanks guys for the feedback. I totally agree that there are certainly bound to be concerns around intellectual property.. and I wonder if we could build something into it from the start that would help re-enforce a 'sharing' principle much like how we work on OpenIDEO. Or on the other side, we could make it more of a grass roots type of vibe similar to Kickstarter in that this type of effort could potentially expose people who normally wouldn't have the resources or contacts to go forward with a new venture.

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Photo of Bev Chu

Hi everyone - building on that idea, I wonder if making transparent where different start-ups are in the process would mitigate those fears. Perhaps as part of the event, people could be matched up (in a more intimate setting) based on the various stages of the start-up process. For one type of entrepreneur, being matched up with a different level of start-up maturity might be welcome to help keep ideas flowing, yet seem less threatening from an IP standpoint. On the other hand, some people might be looking to join forces with similar start-up concepts, in which case they would be more open to talking with people at their same level. My instinct, though, is that if people come to this sort of venue, they'll be willing to share. Pay-to-play -- everyone has something to gain by sharing with others. Looking forward to seeing this idea evolve!

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DeletedUser

This is a great point of view Bev -- creating an atmosphere of 'sharing learnings' between start-ups who are each a different stages of development is fantastic. I agree too that those who come to participate in an event such as this would do so in the spirit of collaborating and sharing, but at the same time we wouldn't want to exclude the local community members who are not necessarily entrepreneurs themselves but interested in starting a business themselves. Any thoughts on how to address the IP issue in this case anyone?

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DeletedUser

This is a great idea. I am a documentary/viral film maker. I would love to get involved with this event and would love to film the whole process.

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Nice one Dan! This concept might be of interest to you as well: http://www.openideo.com/open/web-start-up/concepting/ted-positive-sharing-failure/