thumb_480_india_innovation_diagramThe economic slowdown and resultant killing fields of un employment are here. Pink slips, voluntary sabbaticals and pay-cuts have become an order of the day. Yet history has shown that some of the biggest stars were born out of such times – names like Google, CNN, Walt Disney and several others immediately come to the fore. Indeed these companies and several other entrepreneurs have shown what it takes to realize an idea by often sailing on uncharted waters and most importantly how to turn seemingly insurmountable odds in their favour.

The good thing about bad times is that talent is aplenty. So is the time and opportunity to shape those audacious ideas that were shelved during good times in favour of “business as usual”. Time to swipe the dust off those stashed away notebooks and back-of-the envelope notes.

The success of Israel and Silicon Valley have brought to the fore the criticality of a supporting ecosystem that can drive entrepreneurial ventures.

There is an interesting post on Socialutions which among other interesting observations says this “Again, financial system is not the only problem; the innovation system – or lack of an innovation system – is the problem. Perhaps oversimplified, but this is an astonishing omission from the national dialog on the financial crisis.”

The need of the hour is therefore to create and nurture an ecosystem that can help incubate ideas by participation of various stakeholders (Ideators, Contributors, Sponsors, Investors, Mentors, Academia & Research Institutions, Lawyers to name a few). We believe that together they will rally around a diverse set of aspirations whilst converging on purpose. Natural teaming between these communities can bring to bear the single most critical inputs to getting an idea off the ground viz. their collective capabilities and efforts to help fund an idea.

The funding of Ideas we have seen, has been significantly inadequate in the Idea-to-Prototype Stage, and in fact has been highly skewed towards funding Market and Growth risks.

On the other hand the increasing participation in online communities has paved the way for increased acceptance of collaborative working across several communities.

Community Powered Incubation of Ideas can therefore be summarized as:

1.      Co-opting members from diverse communities to form the ecosystem

2.      Enabling ecosystem members to connect, collaborate and co-create on an unified platform

3.      Allowing community members to vote and rate ideas

4.      Enlisting the support of members to contribute their efforts to help them move from Idea to Prototype

5.      Engaging the Investor Community to fund ideas that show potential and promise

6.      Leveraging the Community as a Marketing and Branding Channel for Ideas to support their  Go-To-Market and Growth initiatives.

PlanetAikon’s endeavour has been to put this rhetoric into practice.

If “necessity is the mother of invention” then it is our belief that “Recession is the father of Ideas”.  And if there is destiny, then may the “We Can” Ideators and Entrepreneurs meet her on their own terms.

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