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MAGNET Start

The Challenge:

Ideas are abundant as more and more people realize the endless possibilities of changing the world through technology. The challenge now, for most people, is getting past the initial hurdle of finding talent and persuading them to work on your project– for "free" or for little money. Putting together an MVP (minimum viable product) then is a clear first stage goal for all entrepreneurs. 

However, getting to the MVP can be extremely challenging for many entrepreneurs and many ideas may be discarded before having a chance be tried by the intended audience. It is the intended audience who ultimately looses out when that happens. 

The explosion of incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces and meet-ups in your city are a manifestation of the need for connection and for real life interactions around projects and ideas. Yet they fall short in catalyzing real and meaningful connections in a focused way. They merely serve a a campus for connections to take place, as networking events or as clubs for entrepreneurs who pay for a membership. 

The Vision:

To revolutionize the way ideas become MVPs by providing a cheap, fast, replicable and fun platform. 

The Idea:

To create a platform for your idea to work as the magnet that attracts the needed resources together. If your idea is exciting enough, innovative enough and valuable enough talent will compete to be a part of it and help make it happen.  If the idea doesn't resonate with others as you though it would, you would know it right then. The stronger the magnet, the more it will pull. 

It shouldn't be left up to the entrepreneur's charm, persuasiveness or connections to determine weather an idea lives or dies– Those are all valuable tools but the lack them shouldn't be the only mechanism. The idea itself doesn't "belong" to the entrepreneur, he is it's guardian,  and  the intended audience should decide wether it is valuable or not. And if not, why? how can it be better? can it inspire other new ideas? 

So the platform has two purposes: 1) bringing people together around valuable ideas, providing support to all entrepreneurs; and 2) serve as a "natural selection" mechanism to help ideas evolve or fail quickly and cheaply with community feedback. 

How it works

Think of it as a 30 day hack-a-ton competition. 

It begins with a social event that is held every 3 months in your city. We summon all artists, geeks and entrepreneurs to come and partake in an fun evening of exploration, innovation, networking, food and drinks. 

The purpose of the event is to feature 3 to 5 pitches form entrepreneurs who are looking for talent. Each speaker gets 13 minutes to hypnotize, sway, persuade, inspire the audience. 

(Entrepreneurs who wish to pitch will go through a simple process prior to the event to make sure they meet basic criteria. The top 3 - 5 are selected to pitch).

At the end of each pitch a talent request is made. This is where the netrepreneur outlines who he is looking for to form his team.  This is immediately followed by a talent auction amongst the audience members. 

The talent auction offers the opportunity to the attendees to bid for the specific jobs that the entrepreneur is requesting. Rather than cash, the currency used is commitment time. 

Say you need a python developer and your pitch has fired up the room. At the end of your 13 minutes, when auction time comes, all python developers are going to compete– in terms of work hours– for a chance to get the spot in your project. Whomever is more passionate and commits more hours, wins the spot. An 'official' record is kept. Repeat with every role.

Once all the projects have been presented and teams have been formed the competition begins.

Teams have 30 days to produce a functioning MVP and unveil it at the 2nd event.  The best MVP will win a $$$ prize donated by a sponsor. The $$$ prize will have to be spent in the following way: 

1. As retroactive payment to everyone who worked in the project by the hours invested at an established rate.

2. Amount left is re Invested in the business.      

Assets needed:

- Online platform: The value promise of the organization extends beyond the matchmaking stage. The Online Platform will serve as a tool for project members to communicate and to keep track of the important all the information. 

- Physical space for events will be rented out with local partners. 

Human Resources:

- We will require a management team who will perform two main tasks:

1. Ensure the optimal functionality of the online platform tool and it's continuous development.

2. Ensure the successful completion of all events including marketing and outreach efforts. 

The customer:

Our main customer is the local entrepreneur, artist and geek who seeks to connect with one another around meaningful projects and ideas. The same people that you would find at your local co-working spaces or tech meet-ups. 

Our customers will have a chance to make project-centered connections, build teams and have a clear goal in sight– with a juicy incentive at the end.  In contrast with other networking options such as meetups and co-working spaces, MAGNETStart  offers a clear framework that goes beyond creating serendipitous connections, it ultimately focuses on producing and Shipping MVPs.

Whats hard:

- Building the online platform (I wish i could pitch this idea at my local MAGNETStart ). 

- Getting people excited to participate and to come out to the events and Join a Team to compete.

- Secure sponsors

Whats Unique:

The concept is quite unique. It borrows elements from many existing products and services already in the market (TED Talks, meet ups, accelerators, hack-a-tons) 

How to repeat it again and again:

The cycle repeats every 3 months and it will expand into other cities of the US and the world (perhaps as a franchise) as the concept catches on.  

*name tbd. ideas welcome. 

2. Freelancer Vs. Entrepreneur

With this project the goal is to build a system, a formula that can be replicated seamlessly across regions and by anybody who sees the need and potential benefit of doing so in her community. For that purpose, at the core of the product there will be central software tool that will provide all the support necessary for the managers, entrepreneurs and participants. 

Hiring talent:

To to get the project of the ground will need to form a core team of passionate and talented people. Initially, I will look to create a partnership for people in the key roles where they will have a stake in the business– Specially for the development of the online platform. Later will look to hire talented people to help run the more practical aspects such as event planning and marketing outreach while I and the core team focus on developing the online tool and creating new ways of producing value for the clientele.

Cash Flow:

Initially a moderate investment will be required for building the online platform and to organize the first few events. At this stage the cash will come from Sponsors– Brands and organizations (or even grants from the govmt.) that wish to support and promote the growht of the entrepreneurial echosystem and the overall technology industry in their community. 

At a later stage a franchise/ Lisence model can be explored, where other independent organizers can utilize the online platform for their own MAGNET Competitions for a small fee. At that point, my role will be to improve the Online tool and continue to inovate with features and ideas that will enhance the value offer.  

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