MSU REI Co-Learning Plan Project: Over the next two weeks, we will be posting small topics about certain aspects, values, principals, strategies, fledglings, projects, etc. of the Fledge. We are hoping our crowd will give input, submit quotes, give ideas, critique, and whatever else comes to your mind. The information given will be used to edit and contribute to our co-learning plan. Here is the actual text of what we wrote if you are interested in expounding on it now:
The Grand Ledge Fledge, LLC
Private and For Profit Ideation and Maker Space, Incubator and Accelerator: A Study of the Fledge
As many types of spaces emerge in the entrepreneurial ecosystem the ability to create sustainable models becomes increasingly important. The failure of these spaces leads to negative impact on the ecosystem. The Fledge, a private for-profit space, incubates and accelerates people and companies. This Co-Learning Document describes the process used for ideation, planning, prototyping and launching a business within the Fledge. The unique process employed removes barriers to entry through free services, space, and programming when the companies are pre-revenue. We will study the companies formed within the Fledge and report the current results, potential future and successes and failure.
Proposed Co-Learning Plan
Definition: Our Co-Learning paper will address the questions related to what makes a private for-profit incubator successful and sustainable. We will study the implementation of a revenue and equity sharing model being used at the Grand Ledge Fledge, LLC (The Fledge). The model consists of providing a creative maker place for ideation and prototyping, a series of programming to teach start-up and business concepts, and a series of community based projects. The projects allow people to experiment, learn skills and develop technologies. As the model is implemented, businesses are created and incubated in the space with the strategy of using the network of companies, skills and technologies as a shared resource. Once a company begins to generate revenue, depending on the type of company, they will contribute a percentage of revenue and/or equity in the company to the Fledge. These funds are then used to operate, expand and share the profits of the Fledge.
Community Impact: For many years, we have watched the term incubator be misused, often confused with shared space and some resources, we have watched incubators come and go, and we have watched incubators who have tried to create themes die from the lack of diversity. The model discussed above allows anyone to come in with any idea and try to develop it further. Our hyper inclusivity, our willingness to allow failure and our very low barrier to entry assures a certain segment of the distressed and underserved communities participate. We will study the demographics of the Fledge to further understand the communities being served and what motivated them to join us.
Work Plan: As stated above we will study the fledglings, projects, programs, and methods performed at the Fledge. We will start by collecting economic impact data from each company (formation, number of employees, grants received, outside funding, IP, and P/L). We will define the who, what, when, where and why of the company. We will define the background of the Founders. All this data will be rolled up in an analysis to determine the totals and averages and used other characteristics to determine correlations.
Secondary Benefits: The Co-Learning plan will serve as a guideline for the incubators we are incubating out of the Fledge: The Fledge Music Group a soup to nuts music and arts incubator; We Improve… a medical innovation incubator; and Escensio an incubator for previously incarcerated individuals, which will also be expanded to those coming out of rehab and potentially the refugee population. It should be noted here that incubating incubators is an important part of the model. It improves are ability to adapt in an ever-changing environment and ecosystem.
Plan Dissemination: We will publish the document as a Co-Learning plan as defined by the REI University Center by August of 2017. As we write the plan we will share it with our Fledglings to solicit their input, this will start immediately. We will share excerpts of it on our website and on our social media (1025 likes for the Fledge, this does not include Fledgling pages who will re-post), this will start immediately. We will have a press release promote by the Regional Innovation Network Group (RING and LEAP), when we are jointly satisfied with the document. We will prepare the presentation for the REI presentation, but also share within the Mid-Michigan Ecosystem and should be able to present to the smart zones through the MEDC, when we are jointly happy with the presentation. In addition, we will work in collaboration with the REI to make a short film / video to be used to share and present the findings.
Development of Co-Learning Plan: We will submit draft versions of the Co-Learning plan on an agreed upon schedule. We will then work with the REI University center to find gaps and enhancements that strengthen the Co-Learning Plan. We share your goal and vision to create a document which is useful to many and can be used to improve and repeat our model. We understand this is an iterative process.
Predicted Job Growth: As of now the Fledge has created 10 jobs. This Co-Learning plan will analyze the current companies and their potential for job growth. This then will be applied to future implementations including the incubators we are incubating.
Report Accessibility: We would like to strengthen our accessibility systems so we are very interested in complying with the accessibility requirements of MSU (and other best practices). We will strive to make this document accessible to everyone. This will include an audio version from our studio.