Goal: 1,000,000 Young entrepreneurs (call for volunteers and feedback)
A few weeks ago I spent the week working with students from the local DC-area NFTE group. (NFTE is the National Federation for Teaching Entrepreneurship). These high school students had given up their Spring Break in order to help consult me and 2 other entrepreneurs on our business challenges.
The challenge I laid out for them was around our stalled Maverick1Million.org platform for young entrepreneurs. I got a lot of great advice from Sabera, Ivonne, Dion, Autumn, Kalan, Nytiah, Shahara and Percell (thanks guys!) and now I want to take it the next level with others engaged on this project.
And now I’m excited to have our new superstar intern, Adam, who is going to be commandeering this project so the time is right to throw this out again and build the 2.0 version of the site.
I’m asking for help for feedback on the project and potential volunteers that want to be involved. But first let me give you a snapshot of what would be included (as of today):
2020 Goal: 1,000,000 Young entrepreneurs, between the ages of 13-23, impacted, engaged and inspired to create or enhance their own business start-up.
Maverick1Million.org is a FREE multi-media platform for online learning, virtual mentoring, community, funding and idea incubation for young entrepreneurs. It consists of the following sections:
- Maverick Entrepreneur Knowledge Bank –
- Success Secrets Interviews of successful Maverick1000 members and celebrity business icons (i.e. Sir Richard Branson, Tony Hawk, etc)
- Tools and additional resources provided by members and partners (i.e. Dan Sullivan’s thinking tools)
- Maverick Business Blueprints - Step-by-step advice from fellow young entrepreneur Maverick1Million members detailing how to start a particular business. (i.e. everything from a lawn care service, baby sitting business to an iPhone app)
- Maverick Upstart Platform – This allows young entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas to compete for seed capital through crowdsourced funding. Young entrepreneurs can choose to make their ideas public for wider funding or just private for Maverick1000 members to see, fund and virtually mentor them.
- Maverick Idea Incubator – Maverick1000 members and other successful entrepreneur mentors have many business ideas that are not the right fit for their current ventures for numerous reasons. But instead of letting these ideas lay dormant they can be uploaded into the Idea Incubator so young entrepreneurs can then develop them. The affinity for the original ideas would drives one-on-one virtual mentoring and possibly even a full pledged partnership as agreed on by both parties.
- Maverick Q&A – Threaded questions and answers that voted up/down for usefulness about all aspects of business. Becomes a reference guide and living learning tool. (Quora.com or Stackoverflow.com are 2 good examples.)
Why am I building this?
You might be wondering why am I doing all of this? Quite frankly, I believe entrepreneurship is the driving force for innovation, change and value creation in our world. And right now is that incredible golden area where you can start something small and see what happens.
I’ve been incredibly encouraged by research from authorities like the Kauffman Foundation, the largest foundation dedicated to monitoring entrepreneurship. They reported that 2009 had the great number of starts, even exceeded the peak 1999-2000 tech boom.
Now couple that with surveys I’ve seen where the majority of high school students want to have their business instead of getting a job. Plus, mix that in with the social entrepreneurship and “conscious capitalism” I see in many young entrepreneurs ideas and you have an amazing combination.
It’s clear to see entrepreneurship is on the rise but sadly, there’s very little real-world education aspiring business owners would get in school to help guide them.
One of the core DNA’s of my group of Maverick companies is to be that RIPPLE. And what bigger ripple can we create than with the young entrepreneurs. Personally, I get fired up and excited hearing and working with startups.
So if you’re with me, I need some help. In the comments I’d love to hear your thoughts on a few things…
Q: The Name. So first thing first. What do you think of the name? The Maverick1Million name is a reference to the big goal of a 1,000,000 start ups. But we’ve also registered a few other options:
Q: The Platform. After building a much more complicated version in the first version of Maverick1Million.org I want to create something lean and simple to start with. I’m strongly leaning towards the Word Press platform with a host of plugins that should be able to handle a lot of the functionality I want. If you want to dig deep – here’s a mindmap included the sections and plugins I’ve researched. (The #2 in blue means it would a phase II item.)
I don’t know if WP will be the ideal platform to handle the large volume I’d like to grow the site to – but I’m of the opinion that when we get to that point the site/platform will look different and the needs of the users won’t be the same anywhere anyway. I’d rather get something out quick and see what parts are used and what members say they want more of.
Q: What should be included/deleted/featured? The NFTE students really liked the main parts of the site we had outlined. They also thought there should be some sort of way of incorporating the Maverick Business Adventures into an optional experience for the young entrepreneurs so we would consider using a Meetup.com API for that.
But what do you think?
What are the most important elements to be featured? What should be deleted and/or added? If you were 13-23, what would be the most helpful to start your own entrepreneurial venture inside this platform?
Q: How do you track the success of the young entrepreneurs start-ups? One of the biggest parts of this I struggle with is how would you track and measure the success? To me, if a young entrepreneur made $1from the material – I think they’d count towards the goal.
The working idea would be to have a separate spot these members can post their success and perhaps it’s incentivized by a sponsor. (i.e. prove you made your first $1 and you’ll get a free domain from GoDaddy.) But I’m sure there are better ways. Thoughts? Ideas?
Call For Volunteers:
Quite frankly I don’t know exactly who we need or what kind of talents. I’m certainly thinking someone well versed in Word Press and membership sites and cool user interface would be a great start from the tech side! If you are inspired and excited about young entrepreneurship and want to be part of building Maverick1Million.org (or whatever its going to be called) I’d love to hear from you. Just drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and what skills/talents you bring to the table. Even if its I’m willing to promote the hell out of this thing – I’ll take it!
And please let me know what you think in the comments and drop me a note if you want to help out. I’ll continue posting on the blog the progress and updates.