The term “crowd” is becoming fashionable in our language as a prefix in different areas (all Anglo-Saxons): “crowdsourcing“, “crowdfunding“, “crowdlearning” among the best known, and among those least “crowd manipulation“.
In these environments, “crowd” symbolizes the participation of people in a certain activity, like this:
- “Crowdsourcing” (https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing) the phenomenon, coined by Jeff Howe in June 2006 in an article by Wired magazine “The Rise of Crowdsourcing” (“The rise of crowdsourcing” ), by which people participate in developing a specific element: a product, a concrete problem, a software application (usually done in a disinterested way) either through a request from a company (large or small) as per “motu” own “in order to solve a social and / or technological challenge.
- “Crowdfunding” is the mechanism that allows financing projects / products with the collaboration of people in different formats: as a donation (typically for NGO projects or social projects as they appear on platforms such as Verkami), in exchange for gifts or first versions of the product (like what is usually seen in platforms like IndieGogo or KickStarter) or in exchange for a percentage of ownership of the initiative (crowdequity) which is the model most often followed by private investors.
- Crowdlearning, as a way to share learning processes in a common space in which participants (experts or not) share their experiences informally free of charge with the aim of improving the cognitive abilities of all involved.
there is more, but with these we already approach the concept of “CrowdIncubation” that surely you will have already deduced.
On the other hand, another phenomenon that is “overflowing” is the “co-working” that was invented by Brouni in 1999, although it was in the year 2005 that it was really spread by Brad Neuberg who started to set up co-operative zones in San Francisco. “Co-working” is a way of working that allows independent professionals, entrepreneurs, and SMEs from different sectors to share the same work space, both physical and virtual, to develop their professional projects independently, while fostering joint projects (source: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trabajo_cooperativo). Normally the promoters of the co-working areas usually organize activities to encourage cooperation among their “inhabitants” (real engine of this type of spaces) as well as provide them with new business strategies but do not usually go further.
Finally, we find the “Incubators” as environments (physical or virtual) where the entrepreneurs of new business initiatives find a place to start. Models of Incubators there are several: entities that offer a physical space (the most …) where you can install at a reasonable price and with a provision of basic services such as access to meeting rooms, internet free (or not), free access (or no) to events related to tenants and, on occasion, access to a set of advanced services such as integration in contact networks to facilitate the identification of possible collaborations (both national and international), search for public and / or private funding through contact with private investors or the identification of possible support from the Public Administration for entrepreneurs as well as support in the search of professional profiles to incorporate in the present or future company among others.
In these environments, and depending on the entity, entrepreneurs can find support through mentoring processes (top-down), that is with the support of external experts who (either free or at an affordable cost) provide their experience to the Entrepreneurs to generate some expectation of success guiding them in the start-up process and growth, even (this is more developed by the accelerators) has an executive team that acts as a “coach” of your initiative giving you the guidelines to follow to consolidate it in a “action-reaction” approach In the incubators, and always depending on the quality and capacity of the promoters, networking among the incubated companies can be facilitated so that they can find joint initiatives that improve their respective competitiveness in the sector where they act
What happens when we mix all the previous ingredients?
Imagine an incubation environment to which, as an entrepreneur, you approach with the intention of developing your business initiative. This environment is formed by a set of fully operational companies with different degrees of business maturity and formed by experts in various disciplines who have learned along the path of the entrepreneur.
When you arrive, the first thing you do is to introduce yourself to everyone and explain the reason for wanting to join you, the current situation of your business initiative, the main needs that you have identified in order to grow as a company as well as your main qualities. At that time people, workers, from the various companies installed and with different profiles organize work sessions with you in order to help you meet the needs exposed and thus begin to grow with certain guarantees in a model “big brother helps younger brother” Even, at some point, someone approaches you wondering if you can help them solve a problem they have from the qualities they have presented when they arrive.Some time passes and an interesting and powerful interaction is generated among all the people who develop your business initiatives in that incubator … and there comes a time when a new entrepreneur arrives (as you did) and follows the same protocol, this time you are the one who supports the new entrepreneur in a first stage. just like they did the rest when you arrived.
You do not consider it a waste of time, or a distraction, but a way to enrich yourself with the knowledge of other people, with moments of exchange of experiences that will improve your own reflection on your initiative, with sharing efforts and developing new initiatives (hybridization by symbiosis or by synergies)
This is “Crowd-Incubation“: a cooperative and co-creative methodological process in which entrepreneurs help incubate entrepreneurs during their own incubation process.
Something similar happens in events of limited duration to a weekend (such as StartUpWeekend, Resetweekend, etc …) where entrepreneurs help the enterprising winner to launch their idea. However, in this case, the degree of involvement is maximum to get within 48 hours to launch a startup, but in the case of “Crowd-Incubation” the process is more natural and at a more manageable speed by all participants.
What do you think?