Incubator.coop is an incubator for new CoOp businesses.
Incubator.coop is a pre-formation CoOp itself. This means we will exist to serve our Members when registered. To be even more precise, we are creating incubator.coop as a type of CoOp known as 'non-distributing' - so any surplus at the end of the year goes into improving the incubator experience.
Our Foundation Story:
The idea occurred to a bunch of us at Ethical Fields when Pollenizer - the orginal Startup Incubator in Australia - shut down after only 10-years. With the support of a small team of CoOp-interested folk, we started working on this idea. Together we've got up to this point, lets call it "incubator.coop v1.0"
Our View of What's Wrong With Traditional Incubators:
1. Conventional Incubators are not viable in themselves. Instead they act as a business development tool for "side-car" investors trying to pick winners. We need an incubator that exists to serve its incubatees.
2. Conventional Incubators look for a 1-in-1000 unicorn to repay their many wrong bets. We need an incubator that creates businesses of value that go the distance.
3. Conventional Incubators looks for exceptional talent. We need an incubator for collective endeavours
4. Conventional Incubators function with a top-down approach. We need an incubator that harnesses the wisdom of the crowd.
5. Conventional Incubators promote returns for the 1%. We need an incubator where 1 Member = 1 Vote
6. Conventional Incubators run for 6-months. We need an incubator that supports the whole period of development from formation through to operation.
Who or What Gets Incubated?
We help any type of Cooperative to 'Form, Organise, Fund and Operate'.
The exciting areas of new CoOp formation include:
- Community Owned Enterprises - anything from a pub to a post-office, school to satellite, house to hospital
- Online or Platform CoOperatives - these are being created by online communities in place of VC-backed platforms
How Incubator.coop Works
How The Funds Will Be Used
What We Need
If we raise:
- $5,000 from this campaign will pay for the current website technology, all insurances and registration fees for 1-year. This get's the incubator going.
- If we raise a further $25,000 taking us to $30,000 we will build the scoped software that solves the common blockages in collaborative work.
- If we raise between $30,000 and $100,000 we will build out a program of Events, Webinars and How-To's.
- If we raise $100,000+ then we will need our members to determine how we spend this to improve the incubator experience.
Avoiding The Tragedy Of The Commons
Collaborative ventures employ a variety of tools (web apps, social media, wikis etc.) and strategies (regular group meetings, webinars etc.) to make working as a group functional.
There are some challenges with working as a group that aren't solved by todays technology and they include:
1. Reaching a timely and productive consensus that in turn creates "collaboration paralysis".
2. Groups try to be decentralised, but often most have a bottleneck around finance related decisions.
3. Collectives need a way to track and incentivise efforts with non-financial and / or financial rewards and
4. Groups need a way to create agreement contingent on future outcomes on the blockchain to improve trust within commerce
Incubator.coop Version 1.1 and Beyond
If we raise anywhere from $5,000 - $30,000 then over the coming 12-months incubator.coop will use these funds to build out software. This software will improve the incubator experience for everyone.
Events, Education, Mentoring and More = Sponsorship
If we raise more than $30,000 we can run more Events, Courses, How-To Webinars and so on..
With the addition of Events, Courses and How-To's we also create Sponsorship Opportunities for incubator.coop and this helps to improve the incubator experience.
New Member Services
A similar crowdfunding campaign run by TechSydney in 2016 raised more than $500,000 in membership and sponsorship from the Sydney tech community.
If we were to raise anywhere above $100,000 during this campaign then we would be delighted.
YOU could vote on 1 Memebr 1 Vote basis - on how the incubator can best spend its funding to help members create new CoOp's.
To this end we are already listening. So get in touch
The Next Steps
Get Some "Secret Sauce" Now
"Secret Sauce" is brewed when communities come together and co-create some infrastructre collectively that indiviually they can't afford. It's basic Co-operation. It's why Co-Ops are flourishing in local communities across the world.
If you purchase our "Secret Sauce" Rewards you'll be supporting this world-first incubator concept.
- $100 will get you some "Secret Sauce" (it's yummy) plus Membership (pending some paperwork) when we open the doors in November 2017.
- $500 will get you plus your core team of 4 others Membership and "secret sauce". Plus we'll waive the first years Project Listing Fee (`~$250) if you buy this reward during the campaign.
Important Information: As a contributor to this campaign you are not guaranteed membership simply bu choosing the associated reward - as you will still need to qualify for membership and do the associated paperwork from November 2017 when this campaign is finished and the Co-Op formally registered.
Please Note: incubator.coop is pre-formation with formation expected before November 2017. If for any reason that changes we will let you know.
Surround a Project with Resources
The incubators purpose is: to enable Project supporters to gather resources around their shared Project - be they financial or non-financial resources - in order to go through the Incubator Processes and become a CoOp.
What each Project offers supporters ultimately depends on what the CoOp intends to do. For example
- If some steps the Project needs to take can be completed by providing non-financial rewards like certificates of recognition, then that's probably the best way forward.
- Some steps the Project needs to take could require payment. And so the Project supporters may choose to pool money and make it happen.
- A Project might run their own rewards crowdfunding campaign to their supporters in order to raise funds
Incubator.coop is a "platform"
As a crowd-sourced incubator we aim to provide the "tech tools" for Projects (or "incubatees") to offer incetives to supporters.
The extent of what we can offer initially comes down to the success of this crowdfunding campaign.
If we get the money to develop the technology, then projects going through incubation can offer supporters blockchain (smart) agreements and in turn offer payment contingent of future events. This is a big deal.
It means that Projects can offer supporters an incentive like a deferred payment and everyone can trust it. For example, if a supporter puts in money today and this is recorded on the blockchain, then at a future time the supporter can get paid (perhaps even with a premium for their risk) if and when the CoOp gets established and is operating.
We don't have the normally plush resources of an Incubator. We're not suitable for a VC-backed "side-car" fund, so investment in incubator.coop, unlike any other incubator in Australia, is by the people, not big money.
This means we operate only on the word-of-mouth and support of our members.
So we need you to do 3 simple things:
- - Talk about "Secret Sauce"
- - Pledge for a Reward
- - Share this page on your social media