Internews Center for Innovation & Learning

Internews Center for Innovation & Learning
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Social Startup Cookbook

There are so many apps out there that are about workouts, cooking and other personal guidance, but no apps for starting your own social business. Innovation Lab in Ukraine turned out to be a good opportunity to develop a structured and complete guide to social entreprenurship. Most Innovation Lab attendies didn't manage social projects at all, others haven't heard about it. Fortunately, the Social Startup Cookbook appeared and help many things to become clear. 

Moreover creating prototype or working project at Innovation Lab doesn't mean that it will be adored by judges. That's why there is a number of things to think about before pitch and make them absolutely clear.

 First of all there's an idea. The main question here is what kind of problem the project solves. But it's not the last one. It's better to tell where the idea came from. Most of copycats hide this fact. For judges it's easier to understand that there's a proven model that works somewhere rather then trust a super newly born idea that nobedy has come up with yet. Also scale is important. Usually it's minimum viable product that should be developed at Innovation Lab. But it's worth to think about where's the next level and how far this idea can go.

 Strategy is important for judges to understand how exactly the project will be implemented. It doesn't mean it's worth to describe timeline, but it's better to make the launch and marketing strategy clear. Also risks are important to forsee and demostrate how the team is going to prevent them. Taking your idea alone is not the thing to rely on, that's why shaping the list of partners and their role in the project makes sense.

 Sustainability and funding is the question to ask yourself at the very beginning, but if your preliminary estimates are fine, please and details on this later. We're living in disrupted times. The more models of monetization the project has the better. Stick to crowdfunding and other innovative payment methods, like pay-as-you-go or pay-what-you-want. Include diversity in terms of possible donors. Another core question here is why you think the project may be in demand when funding has finished. This is what most of social projects lack.

 Don't forget to mention the team as investors, even if they're funds, invest in people, not ideas. When you're done it makes sense to take your idea closer to investors at or other similar resources. Another good option is to take it to the local office of Internews Network or Innovation Lab.

 Download the Cook Book PDF copy now.