Insider Louisville readers know we are enthusiastic supporters of IdeaFestival.
This year’s event may have been the tipping point where IdeaFestival emerges from a fringe event for the geeky and curious to a serious catalyst for innovative change in our region.
Everyone we talked with came out of IdeaFestival 2012 sessions way beyond elated and inspired. We came out looking for solutions.
So, in order to transform ideas into action at this pivotal time in Louisville history, we’ve got a proposition for you.
A call to action.
Give us your detailed plan for a self-sustaining, social-impact business based on the concepts of social entrepreneurism.
If we believe your idea has potential, we’ll get you face time with major philanthropists, entrepreneurs and economic development including Ted Smith, director of Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government’s Department of Economic Development and Innovation.
If your business plan is viable, investors and management gurus will help you forge your idea into a working enterprise … a startup with a reasonable amount of time and capital to prove its worth.
Ultimately, we may be able to offer you space in the Molee Building downtown at Fifth Street and Muhammad Ali, where a group of savvy investors and dedicated philanthropists plan to create Louisville’s first incubator for social entrepreneurism – a project we believe has the potential to transform our city.
“We’re open for social innovation here in Louisville,” says Smith. “Idea Festival was the appetizer – bring on the main course and let’s take a social impact business to the next level.”
So, what are the expectations?
Simple. You have to come up with a business model that does well while doing good.
We want you to think WaterStep, the Louisville-based non-profit that oversees Third World water purification missions, and TOM’S Shoes, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based for-profit that generates revenue for Friends of Tom, the subsidiary that donates shoes to people in need.
Louisville is a city on the cusp of a renaissance. A variety of players from city government to local philanthropists and business leaders are actively searching for breakthrough ideas and ways to accelerate their success. Louisville is fast becoming a city that encourages non-conventional thinking and studied optimism – a city where smart people with new ideas meet up with patient capital and visionary management talent.
Think of this as continuing IdeaFesival as Solution Festival. We are in the real-time process of coming up with big solutions for big needs. We’re not talking years and years. We want to help you get your idea up and running in six months.
To be clear, this is NOT just a Louisville thing. If you’re in Des Moines or Dubai, we’ll help you move here and realize your potential.
This isn’t just empty Chamber of Commerce sloganeering. This is a call to action at the nexus where capitalism meets practical, sustainable social change.
We’re not amateurs. We’re startup veterans with national credentials.
We understand maybe 10 of the 100 companies we hope to help launch will succeed. But we also know that out of 90 mis-starts, those involved will stay in Louisville and perpetuate our startup culture, going on to create 10 more successful startups.
We have the building and the backers in a city with leadership that’s 100 percent receptive to risk takers– all the ingredients to help us help you keep the IdeaFestival momentum.
Join our team and send your ideas to: [email protected]