Open Venturing Accelerator
The Hub Launchpad project
"Our aim is radical system innovation – and we are convinced this needs both new entrepreneurship and wholesale institutions change. Hub Launchpad aims to be an engine for both. Let us explain why and how.
We have been co-funded by the Cabinet Office’s Social Incubator Fund. Our take on ‘social’ is that we need to look beyond traditional notions of social enterprise, focussing instead on radical openness – we are inspired by how the open source ethos is changing how ventures are built even outside software development: not just radical transparency about data and supply chains, but also sharing hardware designs and service models for others to use, improve and reapply like you would with digital source-code. The challenges of this time need the ‘open source way’.
Of course the open source way has already come a long way. From the world of Richard Stallman and Tim O’Reilly or Red Hat Linux to the open data movement to Arduino’s world of infinite possibility and to a third industrial revolution where hardware designs can be shared, edited, improved collaboratively. Projects like Open Source Ecology or Wikispeed show how dispersed communities can collaborate, improve and test remarkable concepts & products in remarkably effective development cycles. And similarly, we are seeing new everyday businesses showing that you can open a corner store or bakery with genuinely local products and locally raised investment. And, though not self-identifying as open, we know how public service innovators like the charity Keyring are opening up the care system for vulnerable adults in ways that are crucial for the future of our public services – creating volunteer-led neighbourhood networks that enable skills sharing and resource sharing between vulnerable adults and the wider community (and yes, save money in the process). We are inspired by how this could lead us to think further about an open source city.
These are all projects we’d love to have funded if we’d been around before – and our aim is for Hub Launchpad to enable and invest in the next range of ventures and projects of this type, initiated by entrepreneurs, makers and change-makers in larger organisations.
We have developed a unique 7-month programme which starts with a 4-month part-time network of meet-ups, challenges and hacks. In this first phase we are aiming not so much to support fully formed projects but focus instead on helping a wide range of talent to develop ideas together with their peers. A three-month accelerator builds on this open community.
Some of our founding partners are themselves currently working on open venture projects such as WikiHouse and OpenDesk. We are learning, iterating and probably still failing in some respects. With Hub Launchpad, we pledge to be open about how we go about this, sharing our approaches and our data for you to use, to scrutinise and together advance knowledge in the Open Venture domain. We aim to build a common infrastructure to enable the gathering and sharing of data." (http://www.hublaunchpad.net/2013/08/launching/)