After LeaderShift I started thinking about how many young people there are with smarts and energy, but no money or connections to experience and capital. And those with experience and success are busy, but might be willing contribute time to get new enterprises off the ground.

Solution: create a website that connects people with good business ideas (eg create an environmentally-friendly engine-free lawn care company), with people with planning abilities, (a board with people who have business experience, marketing experience, and startup capital of $1000), people who are willing to volunteer a few hours a month coaching the start-up (the businessperson, management person, and general interest person), with investment ( 5 people at $200/each), with people with time and energy on their hands to be the new entrepreneur (MECA drop-out who wants to stay in Portland).

Projects could developed in a wiki sense to essentially build a business plan online that would list the people and resources needed to make the project a reality, and then other users could volunteer to fill those posts like on Other similar websites are (used to raise money for small non-profits and businesses), and National Innovation Marketplace which matches inventors, investors, and manufacturers for a fee.

For example, for a particular type of project you might need multiple types of skills or interests; ie 50 investors at the $1,000 level, 20 investors at the $10,000 level etc. You might also have different roles: to build a new village, you need 5 people who are willing to be teachers, 3 childcare providers, one baker, one person to run a coffee shop, another to run a coworking space, one coordinator willing to work for $15,000 for 6 months, someone with tax credit experience etc. Once a group “fills” and is matched with a mutually desireable location, with sufficient investment, a membership meeting is called.Once all the categories (idea, board-members, budget, investment capital, job applicants) are ready, the board can convene to evaluate the idea in person and decide whether to choose a entrepreneur to start the endeavor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *