With the increased popularity of entrepreneurship, lean, collaborative and open start-ups emerge. Everyday, thousands of new ventures embrace open source software development, common creative licensing, collaboration platforms, crowd sourcing, crowd funding and social entrepreneurship from the start. Technology start-ups have redefined competition. To stay in business, corporates increasingly realise the importance of innovation through venturing and ecosystems. Traditional ecosystems are primarily supply chain driven. In the new ecosystems, we see corporates, start-ups, universities, students and VC’s collaborate to develop new products and solutions. The venture economy is taking of.

Open Incubation

Starting-up of a new venture – commercial or social – is nowadays accessible to anyone wanting to cross the chasm[1]. Venturing platforms and forward thinking by Steve Blank, Eric Ries[2] and Alexander Osterwalder – to name a few – have shown us a new approach to entrepreneurship, venturing and business model design. However, in my conversations with founder teams, I came to realize that it is not only the venture methodology that is changing. The way ventures are being incubated – at the start – is changing as well. Contrary to the 20th century economic model, which was very focused on economic value creation, a new generation of entrepreneurs has started to think differently about the purpose of a venture, its values, organizational design and equity ownership. Thomas Malone describes in his book ‘The Future of Work’ the emergence of loose hierarchies[3]. Lean, open and collaborative venturing approach is what we defined as Open Incubation.

In progress: the Open Incubation Playbook

Lean, open and collaborative ventures need to develop a different perspective on venture governance. A new playbook is required to enable ventures to align the roles, contributions and rewards of their participants. Yancey Strickler, co-founder and CEO Kickstarter, said in an interview with Wired Magazine[4] that projects on Kickstarter “are often funding things on the bleeding edge, we’re tasked with thinking about how the future should be governed. We take this responsibility very seriously”.

In the Open Incubation Playbook, we want to address the challenges that lean, open and collaborative venture teams are facing: How to start an open venture together with multiple co-founders and partners?; How to find a balance between contribution and rewards & benefits of the venture team members?; What types of contribution and rewards & benefits do we recognize?; How to deal with he need for ventures to attract different skillsets both at the start and over time?, and; How to combine an economical viable business model with social entrepreneurship?

Interested? Take a look at the first draft of the Open Incubation Playbook paragraphs

See also the Open Incubation workshop at LaunchBase Maastricht