£3.6m Awards and Prizes for Big Impact Game-changers
The BIGCrowd platform is designed to find, fund and deliver tangible support to a great many Big Impact Game-changers all over the world. Highly exciting awards and prizes - and a range of collaboration benefits - are carefully designed to give a big incentive for Big Impact Game-changers to list and engage on the platform.
With half of net subscriber revenue being allocated to the prize and award pool, and with the exciting incentives for those who help grow the subscriber base - this can quickly add up to a huge amount of help and support globally.
Each award and prize will be worth £100k per month for 3 years - adding up to the incredible sum of £3.6 Million.
The focus is on helping the Big Impact Game-changers come to life and or get to scale and succeed in their mission. Our job is not to fully fund them - but is to provide a mixture of cash, governance and organised support - so these potential Big impact Game-changers can become independently and optimally funded, whatever that means. By providing the cash, governance and support to many game-changers at the same time - can give strong economies of scale and help create a very powerful incubation and acceleration ecosystem that over time is designed to stretch all around the world.
Funded by 25,000 subscribers - or a similar value in sponsorship - each award will comprise of £20k per month in cash, £10k in governance support and £70k spent on incubation and acceleration services in all of the areas shown below.
Click on each of the images below to learn more about each category of support,
For Big Impact Game-changing startups - individual founders or co-founding teams rarely have the all of the diverse and deep skills and experience required to deliver on their vision - so they have to recruit. Yet recruiting high calibre personnel from a position of weakness - is less than easy.
Common challenges can include;
Recruitment being random v process driven;
Access to a small talent pool v access to a wide pool of amazing candidates;
Limited or zero recruitment budget v a sensible media, tech or consulting budget to augment any process and to recruit from a position of strength;
No admin support, v admin support to better manage and filter incoming candidates;
Inability to complete background checks v process to ensure people have the right attitude, real capability and can be trusted;
Opaque compensation, which for seasoned experts is a tough sell v clear and funded compensation structure or path to it - which is much more attractive!
These are just a few of the talent challenges. All this can result in a group of misaligned miss-fits and part timers who are can lack commitment and struggle to deliver - versus a complementary, well organised, well designed and motivated team who are able to deliver again and again. Even for scale ups who want to take something that is working and ‘scale it up’ to optimum size and maximum impact - finding the right talent who can dovetail with and expand the capabilities of an existing team can be a challenge.
Having a strong team to complement individual or multiple founders or scale up leaders - and who can work well and grow together is so so important. Often though it is the investors or donors themselves who hinder the ability for founders to recruit high potential and high performing teams.
We think the current situation - where you need an amazing team to get capital, but without capital you are in a position of weakness that reduces the chance of recruiting an amazing team - is beyond crazy. Even if an amazing team is lined up, with no skin in the game, potential funders can take a cursory glance and make a snap judgement that what could be an ideal team - is no good. In practice, it is very hard to know for certain in advance - so agility is key.
While money does help, it is not just a question of unrestricted funds, an admin HR function or well placed connections. To secure a well balanced and strong team one requires funds to get the team operational, to get them embedded and part of development as soon as possible, with evidence that further funding can be raised thereafter. It is also about the right recruitment process for the sector and geography, a broad set of advisors and connections, buzz, intelligent supplier relationships if external agencies or technologies are required, and not forgetting PR and all the subtleties of messaging. Attracting personnel is like attracting customers - everything counts.
Further, when the talent is recruited, that talent has to be retained and managed. For the prize and award winners this is where BIGCrowd incubation and acceleration process and ecosystem comes in.
Internally we will be building up our own talent management practice
This will be for our own activity, but the team will also extend to the Big Impact Game-changers we support. The in-house team will work within our allocated budgets in all of the areas above - giving each of the BIGs a generous amount of recruitment and talent management capability for free. We will also be outsourcing to best in class suppliers - who are motivated to build relationships and deliver at a fair price and high standard..
The goal is not to do everything for the BIG or to force them into any hiring decisions. Our job is to provide a fantastic facility and the talent pool which our scale can help us attract and which the BIGs can avail themselves of. Network effects and by supporting several BIGs at one time is not just to help Big Impact Game-changers find the right people from a position of strength but to help nurture and to grow these aligned individuals into some of the most motivated and strong teams around.
For the Big Impact Game-changers, the kind of PR they need is not the usual ‘wait for a simple story or notable event - and send out a mass of press releases to random media outlets’. The complexity which often lies behind Big Impact Game-changers - means they need nothing but the best.
We believe very best Public Relations is all about creating and maintaining relationships, relentlessly crafting narrative - and understanding threaded storytelling. Domain expertise can be especially useful - but often it remains elusive. PR professionals worth their weight in gold balance a fine line. They are clear and concise though are able to hint at mystery, generate excitement - and foster anticipation of what is to come.
In short, fantastic PR execs leave people wanting more - and get the mouths of the ideal target audience watering. They do not wait for a story but understand how to unpick complexity to create it. They stimulate action. Professional PR is exactly that - it is professional. Thus it is also about curiosity and imagination, incredible communication skills, clever strategy and strong tactical execution.
The BIGCrowd model is designed to attract stunning professional PR talent.
The goal is to constantly keep our in house team fresh on core capability and super motivated. Back-up will include training, tech and systems to build and maintain a strong network of relationships. As with other areas - the work to do good and do well can be a huge talent magnet and it can be a great motivator too. Along with above average pay, bonuses and benefits that are built in - and especially the importance and scale of impact opportunity - this all translates into an environment we intend to define as the PR professionals dream role.
The BIG client will come first so our performance will be measured on results and effectiveness. The benefit of having BIGCrowd incubation and acceleration PR team, is that before long they will be large enough to balance what is best done internally and externally - and outsource effectively. Designed to have strong core competences - and know the story of the BIGs we represent exceptionally well, professional public relationships cuts through the core of what BIGCrowd is all about.
Storytelling and filmaking
With time as the most precious resource - and attention spans increasingly scarce - Big Impact Game-changers often have a complex story to tell. Failure to tell it well can be the difference between, failure, success and maximum impact. To help people get excited and understand or appreciate complexity - a story needs breaking down and to be told from different angles. The right edit and emphasis is important for people to 'get it'. Drip feeding content (little and often) and hooking an audience through intelligent design - can compel people to act or leave them wanting more.
The key to success, perhaps helping a BIG raise investment or be taken seriously by a potential client, employee or government department - is telling stories in ways that can simplify core messaging for everyone. Those who need complexity or just more information - need to be able to get what they need in bite sized navigable chunks. Using stories to bring a project, business, initiative or not for profit to life is critical. For example, highlighting the importance of a solution for those who need it the most, and seeing and hearing a message from them or trusted third parties - can make all the difference.
The medium of film and video is just best for this kind of storytelling.
Film and video is how people are increasingly consuming content these days. It is how they learn, it is how they are entertained, and is what devour when they sit still or when they travel, If content is not entertaining and available, no matter how serious or complex the subject - it just won't hit the mark.
It makes no difference if amazing content exists and the the ideal target audience doesn't know or cannot find it. And so content needs communicating via email, YouTube, Vimeo, Social Media or just on the company website. Or it could be through a regular and exceptionally well produced and edited VLOG (Video Log / Video Blog). Brief but not too brief, and fit for purpose.
Alternatively, rather than an edited film or VLOG, it could be a filmed or Livestreamed conference or event. Where just one talk is recorded or several sessions and break outs depending on the need. When live events occur, it is important content is captured for promotion or learning purposes.
Professional storytelling and filming support.
Professional filming, editing and related storytelling support will be provided for the Big Impact Game-changers. BIGCrowd will build up capability in house and also recruit a stable of best in class suppliers around the world and in the regions the Big Impact Game-changers operate.
The goal is to help the BIGs be both as professional and as efficient as possible. So if it is just filming a live event, we will be able to provide their team with the training and equipment so they can do it themselves. Creating a regular Vlog or blog on the other hand - and all the camera work and editing could be provided by the BIGCrowd in house team, or we could mix and match.
As per all the other incubation and acceleration services, each Big Impact game-changer will be given a number of credits each month for them to spend as they will from all of the 12 services on offer.
Film and video are good for some things, but formalised, crisp and to the point presentations or animated videos are better for others. This is especially important when it comes to getting over something that might be technically innovative and complex to explain. Or, when it is necessary to market, educate and entertain at the same time - and in an organised and professional way.
The problem is that not many founders or teams have the in house skills. Or indeed the funds or ability to source animation or presentation suppliers that can really understand the need and deliver material that can work. Even if one can find the right suppliers, knowing how to get the very best work to meet a need can be difficult. Sometimes it's not about money or even skills, but time. With many priorities - presentations often come far down the list.
People who are interested, really interested, often desire a steady stream of content to stay interested. Or, the ideal piece of content that can hook their interest initially. Content is at the heart of brand building - and these days and the quality of the presentation or animation is the quality of the brand.
While increasingly there is software that can simplify the process of delivering presentations, animations or even e-learning - the difference between creating content that screams out 'professional, potential, exciting, credible - with a simple call to action', and ones that fail is massive. Most fail or under perform their potential - and thus a great deal of effort, time and money can be wasted.
Presentations don't have to be just those that are self play but they could be delivered by a founder or senior manager at a conference. The person in question might be amazing at many aspects of their job, but if they are a poor presenter, or if the material they are presenting is poor and looses an audience, then it can have a severe negative effect. Everything counts and if even one investor, client or prospective employee is turned off by a bad presentation, that is one presentation too many.
So how can we help with amazing presentations?
All BIGCrowd Award and Prize winners (our non paying clients) will have a focussed presentation team on hand whenever they need it. The team will work with the client on an ongoing basis to analyse existing material and recommend and deliver improvements. When a special presentation is coming up, the team will work closely with the client to deliver new animations or presentations from scratch. As normal, the team will have significant in-house capability, but will also have a network of external suppliers whom we can outsource to. We will also use other platforms and incentive competitions to find animators, presenters and other media professionals when required.
The key here is ensuring the Big Award Winner is always put first. First and foremost we are seeking to meet their need, and so if it is better to outsource than tackle a project in house, thats what we will do. Whatever we do for our Big Impact Game-changers we will be delivering at cost, deducting the number of credits for services rendered from the overall balance. If a client would prefer to spend those credits on talent, or investor introductions - or wherever, then that is their prerogative. But with a highly motivated team who care about impact and getting the balance right to help the BIG deliver impact is what we are about.
Presentations and Animations
Investor and donor introductions are where BIGCrowd can bring a massive benefit to the Big Impact Game-changers . Many seek impact investment, donor funds or conventional investment and support. They may also require specific intros to hard to reach clients or key influencers for a partnership for example.
At it's heart, this is all about selling. It is about having the ability to open a door so the BIG can do a deal, make a sale, build relationships - and if there is a fit for both parties, do more deals and maintain and strengthen these relationships.
Core to this kind of specialist selling might be the technical understanding and regulatory approval if it comes to structuring a deal and introducing investors. Or it might require just a matter of a phone call via trusted third parties. Either way, of huge importance is the database. The Incubation and Acceleration teams will have a cross organisational investor and stakeholder database and CRM system. Many feeders and introducers, and indeed collaborators on the platform will help ensure we can reach the people our BIG Clients when they need us to.
The Power of Network Effects.
Because the BIGCrowd model has network effects, this means several elements combine to shine a spotlight onto the chosen BIGs. Firstly, winning the award brings a level of kudos or validation to the Big Impact Game-changers on the platform. However, by consulting with them to find out what capital they require, and helping evaluate the ideal target investor or donor, we can proactively make calls or go out on their behalf to exactly the profile of investor they seek. This is augmented by the other elements of the support offering. By delivering better presentations, getting the message in front of more people and by helping attract talent, this all builds to ensure there can be more interest from target funders, and more interest can translate into more chance of the Big Impact Game-changer being funded by the right partner on fair terms.
Other Crowdfunding Platforms.
If the Big Impact Game-changer is doing an equity or debt raise, our goal will be to help them and introduce capital from appropriate 3rd party investors. If it is possible to open up the funding round to the crowd, then BIGCrowd is happy to do so directly, on other crowd funding platforms, or as a combined deal according to need. This will allow us to open the opportunities to the BIGCrowd subscribers (many who have been hearing the story of the BIG for some time).
While we will not give advice, our governance process and the fact the Big Impact Game-changer is enjoying the benefits of the Prize or Award, goes some way to de-risk and improve the odds of success. Should we raise via other platforms or directly, a percentage success fee will be charged, however there will be no funds paid up front, fees will only be on success, and any marketing and associated fees will be provided through credits included in the prize.
It is important to point out that a very exciting part of the BIGCrowd offering is where the subscribers can earn commissions for helping grow the subscriber base and for collaborating in many ways. While the commissions subscribers can potentially earn can be quite substantial (see our social network marketing section to find out how), there are strict ethical limited to what can be taken as personal earnings. Anything above the payment cap, they have to donate to the Big Impact Game-changers on the platform which they choose. And so, in addition to capital that the game-changers might raise - they have the potential to attract donation funding from fans and advocates directly. It is up to them to engage and make the case as to why they should get this valuable support..
Social Media Management
Social media simply did not exist before the mid 2000's. Though it feels like they have been with us forever, LinkedIn was founded in 2002, Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006. Many other platforms exist today - include WeChat; Snapchat; Instagram; WhatsApp; Weibo; YouTube; Telegram; Skype; and hundreds more.
While in recent years many have grown up with pervasive social media and know nothing else - the reality is most people on the planet are still barely connected. This is changing fast as is the amount of time people spend engaged on these platforms. However there is a lot of complexity - and functionality has a habit of changing rapidly. As a result, few organisations are able to maximise their social media opportunity. Not only to tap into the current and growing user base for marketing and communications - but to stay ahead of the game.
For the Big Impact Game-changers, managing their social media profiles, activities and content will be a BIG thing. Again, it is one that sometimes falls to the bottom of the priority pile. Get it right - you can get and stay engaged with the right audience in this fickle world. Get it wrong - it is easy to be forgotten.
When you have the investment to fund this stuff - OK, it can be a lot easier. Well funded organisations can literally buy their way to social credibility, but few Big Impact Game-changers are appropriate for venture investors. Impact investors, donors and others rarely have the money to fund social media as it needs to be done - especially when alongside everything else.
Imagine how much harder it can be for potential Big Impact Game-changers when they are trying to promote their idea, venture or scale up - in order to raise the funds needed to succeed with maximum impact. Simply put you need risk capital and support to get risk capital. This is where BIGCrowd comes in.
A multi pronged attack.
In addition to everything else, like film, video, animations and PR - will use all key social media platforms extensively for own promotion - meaning, to promote the subscription itself - and thus raise funds to pay for the awards and prizes.
With our unique hybrid model, we will be promoting directly, with a social and conventional media spend from our marketing budget. Commissions from incoming business we generate (that not introduced by subscribers) will benefit aligned foundations and charities while at the same time benefiting the qualifying subscriber base. Yet, for subscribers to benefit, they have to collaborate and market to their social networks. In turn this marketing effort will promote draw attention to the specific causes and global goals we choose to highlight, incentive competitions we are launching - and Big Impact Game-changers we are getting behind. The subscribers themselves are encouraged to also share content about the Big Impact Game-changers they wish to support.
So with all this social marketing activity which is built into the model, this on its own is great. However, this is just the start. The incubation and acceleration offered to all Big Impact Game-changers will include personnel to help manage, co=ordinate and delver social media activity, and an outsourced budget where necessary. In practice, if all the 12 services were split evenly, this would be about 7 days per month of time of people of different seniority, and just under £3k per month for the outsourced social media budget. This can all help the core social media activity explained above - go a very long way.
Technology is such a big term. It can mean so many things. For some when you talk tech you could mean: Web development; Mobile; SEO; Database and CRM; Integrated telephony, Cloud PBS; Energy; Smart Grid; Payment Systems; Blockchain; Software; Hardware; Electronics etc. The list goes on and on.
While all Big Impact Game-changers will be involved in technology of some kind, and for many technology will be core to their innovation, it is rare to find any organisation that understands and has the ability to do everything well.
When they have a non core need but not understanding or time, this is typically the pain point where valuable resources can be easily wasted. Perhaps through choosing an unethical, expensive or incompetent supplier, or just by spending too much time trying to figure something out or do it directly. Everything counts, and especially where tech is concerned, using resources well can be the different between success and failure.
BIGCrowd aims to build an in house team of multidisciplinary engineers and technologists in our Incubation and Facilitation units. These teams will work with the Big Impact Game-changer awardees to identify gaps - and help fill them.
Some capability will be delivered in house, for smaller projects or ad hock activity. Whereas, for the more in-depth delivery the tech team will work with the awardees to source the right suppliers and contract them effectively. Budgets could be taken from the outsourced budget (£35k per month) depending on the other priorities, or the clients could use their other capital or resources. We could save up money from the budget if there is a large project, or even help them fund it.
The BIGCrowd objective to help the BIGs with tech, can also be extended via the platform. With details of capability, we can post jobs, gigs or advice requirements to our growing network of subscribers, thus potentially bringing the true wisdom of the crowd to any tech problem or issue. The point, is by taking up some of the slack in some of the non core areas, but areas that still count, then we can help the BIGs focus on what is core to their mission, thus helping them with success and impact.
“Tactics are the what. Strategy is the why. Tactics are the actions. Strategy is the planning. Tactics may achieve goals. Strategy is all about setting the right goals.” Lynn Parker, Startup Strategies.
The above quote says it so well and it is not just for start ups. This is for any organisation or initiative regardless of stage. But making the right strategic decisions can be like trying to navigate on a mountain in a blizzard. You get hit with all forms of advice, which can come from every angle, the consequences can be serious, and you cannot see far in front of your face.
Shoot from the hip strategic advice can come thick and fast, especially in uncertain times - and so many feel the need to second guess leadership decisions and direction. They might mean well but often they are filtering their own experience which might be relevant, or it might not. Frequently advice can be given without data or complete information and can be incredibly subjective.
So how can leaders of Big Impact Game-changers safely decide on the best 'why' and plan and navigate the 'right goals' to get them where they need to be for their mission and overall purpose?
At BIGCrowd, we aim not to second guess BIG leaders but to support them.
The BIGCrowd offering will provide strategic consulting when required. We believe the relationship between us has to be consultative and driven by results. The senior team from the BIG have to be comfortable with the account directors from BIGCrowd support, and vice versa. In turn, any suppliers we source (and pay for with the award) or any work we do via the in-house team - has to be effective and focused on impact. So matching personalities and requirements is key and central to what we will do. We will also be able to put out calls for specific consulting support to the network of professionals on the platform.
For the strategic consulting side, this of course is a wide area. We are not doing something that is about generating revenue for ourselves. It is about solving problems for the BIG and not adding to them. So getting a detailed requirement brief is critical, and sometimes, getting ahead of the brief is more effective. Meaning, understanding the scope of the mission and its current operation, and being creative with the strategic options offered, and always remembering, the Big Impact Game-changer and maximum impact on the SDGs comes first.
Event Attendence and Event Management
We believe what separates those who are out to change the world positively, and those who are not - is presence, accessibility and transparency.
Presence, first and foremost is about being seen, communicating well, and being well perceived as a result. It is about getting into the right industry or related events - and doing so with clear objectives in mind. Especially initially, it might be necessary to sponsor an event to get an opportunity to speak, or even pay to attend - which with travel and accommodation can add up. Or, a strategy might be to run your own events that are professionally but affordable put together, and with the right speakers to hook the ideal target audience and thus validate the message of the Big Impact Game-changer. Though if you can be invited to speak at a high profile event, have something meaningful to say or present, and do so well, you can become thought of as a shaper and highly relevant to the sector or field you are determined to change. As a result this can help attract funding, clients, employees and all manner of supporters. But if you speak poorly, cannot present clearly, answer questions succinctly, or if you seem desperate - the opposite is true.
Accessibility is about behaviour. Not just having a presence at enough of the right events, but networking intelligently and being available for those who want to talk to you. If a leader is a particularly bad speaker, it does not mean they are a bad leader. But if they are it is important that others in the management team can take on that role, preferably many people at different levels - and ideally with the ability to talk with one voice. But accessibility is still critical. If people can get to you, partners, funders, influences or whoever, if you do not follow up, or worse - if you do not respond when they do, you show disorganisation and are being unprofessional. It’s very hard to follow up with everyone, and spreading oneself or an organisation too thinly - making it hard to focus on core activity - is a greater sin. Which is why systems, organisation and resources are hugely important.
Transparency is the last but perhaps the most important part of the mix. You have to be authentic to capture people’s hearts. You have to be authentic to turn interest into advocacy. And you certainly have to be authentic to access people’s wallets or be deserving of support, collaboration or contracts - whatever they look like. To be authentic, transparency is so so so important. But what does that mean? It is not about giving away all business secrets. But it is about being clear and if you cannot talk about something - to explain why not. It is important to clearly explain why you have conviction and belief that that you are doing will change the world. Transparency is conviction and it resonates. Above all, transparent candour wins out and can win hearts and minds.
What BIGCrowd can provide.
Helping them be present, accessible and transparent, BIGCrowd will get behind the Big Impact Game-changer awardees with our own events, events for specific BIGs, and we will pay for them to attend other high priority events. Of course, events should augment a mission and not get in the way of delivering on the mission. So we will advise and support the BIG to get the balance of the events they attend and do right.
The events team will help get invites and free places where possible, and if sponsoring or paying for an event or attendance, we can use the outsourced budget, and will do our best to help the BIG get value for money. If appropriate we will work with the BIG to get sponsorship for their own events (perhaps a free room or event space, or drinks / food etc).
We will also work with the film and storytelling team when necessary to ensure there is great content filmed and edited. That way the value can be extended and those who might not be able to attend in person, can participate and watch from afar or at a later date. In addition, we will provide, PA systems, microphones, screens and projectors, all the way to lecterns and refreshments.
Should there be a speaking or presentation opportunity for the Big Impact Game-changer, if required the team can arrange or give speaking training and practice, can work with the presentation team to get the ideal content, and ensure that the message and its delivery fits with the overall mission.
Offices and Facilities
The right location and a productive work environment can be a huge factor in organisational success. But it can be a challenge for organisations to predict their property needs accurately. This is especially the case for early stage or fast growing organisations.
At the time of writing early in 2018, the property market is barely recognisable from where it was just 10 years ago. Shared office supply with WeWork and many others is now common in many big cities around the world. With payment by the desk and often with monthly payment and minimum notice periods, as a result, it is a great deal easier to flex with the size of an organisation. One can add and remove desks, which are rented alongside other facilities, including shared common areas, access to meeting rooms, events and sometimes free coffee, tea or beer. The camaraderie and networking can be great, but the space is not your own, and personalisation is often frowned upon.
The BIGCrowd Facilities.
BIGCrowd has the goal of creating a number of large scale facilities, where our incubation and acceleration capability will be delivered. These will have film studios, event spaces, meeting rooms, and in some cases light manufacturing and prototyping capability. They will also offer a handful of desks to the Big Impact Game-changers who have one an award.
While this is our goal, in the early days prior to having the subscriber numbers to warrant such large investments, we aim to work ourselves in flexible space. In partnership with other providers, this will allow us to grow and also include a number of desks for each winning game-changer should this be what they require. In practice, we will will always seek to have property professionals as part of the BIGCrowd team, and even when we migrate to purpose built facilities in our core areas of operation, we will hire other office providers in other geographies, for ourselves and for the BIGs we are supporting.
Accounting and Governance Support
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Accounting can be seen as the boring bit of launching or scaling a Big Idea. Rather than boring, it is highly necessary and essential for a potential Big Impact Game-changer to get right. Not just the accounting for what has happened, but working to predict expenditure, revenues and funding rounds that are coming. There is complexity, there is a requirement for systems, for software, there are regulations that could be different for various geographies and activities, and with money involved, there is the potential for mistakes and abuse.
Accounting and governance can also fall to the bottom of the pile when it comes to a list of priorities. There is a huge difference between operating professionally, transparently, and being proactive with financial and governance matters, and doing a half baked job. The former enables you to ask questions from key stakeholders clearly, and it is a great exercise that forces senior management to think about the strategy and tactics of the venture or initiative. The latter makes it harder to raise funs, always costs more in the long run, and opens up a number of risks for the entity and for the individuals involved.
£10k per month on Governance and Impact Reporting.
For each Big Impact Game-changer, BIGCrowd will spend £10k per month on governance and impact reporting alone. This is designed to take at least some of the pressure off the Big Impact Game-changer themselves. We will employ people internally to do this and will also outsource to a number of suppliers.
This £10k per month could include auditing claims of impact or to actually help gather the data and evidence in the first place. We will help the BIG prepare and present the information into quarterly impact reports, which will be published both on BIGCrowd.net and on the Game-changers own website. This is a condition of our giving over the award. It is not about expecting an awardee to be perfect all the time, or indeed at any time. But the goal is to see them seeking to do something positive, with real ambition, not have negative consequences (or keeping them to an absolute minimum), and heading in the right direction.
Accounting Advice and Support.
In addition to the £10k per month, from the support budget we will be able to outsource an amount of specialist or general advice from leading and innovative accountancy practices and suppliers. Again, our goal is not to do everything for the Big Impact Game-changer. They are already operational or have or are about to raise capital, so they should be handling most of the accounting function themselves. In this regards, our job is to do a professional gap analysis, and with a roster of appropriate suppliers, help fill those gaps so that they get their accounting and governance right. We aim to help them ensure systems are designed to scale and succeed for the long term. If they do not need added support and if priorities lie elsewhere, it is their choice re allocation of resources.
With legal services, the real challenge for Big Impact Game-changers, is getting the right solicitor (lawyer in the US) at the right time.
Very rarely can start ups or early stage entities afford a full time or even a part time General Council. Without one, sometimes finding the right legal services can be a difficult. This can be for many reasons. Cost and risk, perceived or real, for the law firm; need for sectoral expertise; time; lack of access and language. They all contribute to the challenges of finding the right firm, of which key is the relationships one can build with one or more champions within the firm.
With the chance of continued funding for complex ventures or ideas normally quite low, few of the large firms will easily work with those with new ideas or initiatives - and fewer will seek them out. Simply put, law firms follow the money. If an important client introduces them then the chance they will take a look is increased, There are exceptions, where firms will work on contingency, perhaps with the not for profit sector work pro bono, or where they will take on a new client who is not yet fully funded, but these are rare. The bigger legal practices are big machines who often prefer working for other big machines and highly lucrative sectors. Pay to play very often is the order of the day, and when it comes to the legal world, playing can be very expensive indeed.
The large 'Magic Circle' firms and others can also be very difficult to navigate. It can be time consuming working to develop relationships with all the department heads and their teams that you might need to work with. With many large firms the partners themselves might not know each other due to mergers and acquisitions that are so common in the legal world. So getting the right corporate finance partner to introduce the partner who is an expert in employment law, human rights, property or environmental legislation can be a big ask.
The smaller firms who are of course less expensive can be amazing, but not always do they have the capability to do all of what is required. And they can be hard to find too.
The BIGCrowd legal offering.
For the Big Impact Game-changers the legal benefits BIGCrowd will offer will be many. Firstly, for limited work and advice there will be our in-house legal team. There will be General Counsels, specialists and junior solicitors, especially with expertise in funding and corporate finance work. They will give general advice and do some of the boilerplate work that can be expensive from the larger firms. Our in house teams though will not seek to do everything.
Because the prize and award winners will get a huge spotlight with the aim of helping them become fully funded, this can be a massive attractor to the law firms who would not normally know about or deal with potential Big Impact Game-changers. So our General Counsels will be responsible for building relationships and helping the BIGs get access to the kind of legal firms best suited to service the Game-changers globally as they scale.
The BIGs and our General Counsels will have the ability to access our extensive senior legal network. We will be sponsoring, hosting and participating in industry events, organising pitch sessions and working hard to match the right solicitor and firm with the right Big Impact Game-changers. They will be advising on those relationships on an ongoing basis to be sure that a firm is delivering and continuing to understand and meet the Big Impact Game-changer need.
Critically the General Counsels, who will be available for a few hours or a few days per month if need be, and will be constantly looking out for the Big Impact Game-changer. The aim is to help them be compliant, understand and get ahead of their key risks, and they will do so as an extension of their management team.
BIGCrowd aims to build up a collective intelligence that can benefit all the Big Impact Game-changers. So they can find and build relationships, not with law firms who are seeking to buy a bit of feel good marketing and spin, but those who are serious about maximum impact. By finding firms that are motivated, affordable and fit for purpose, the Big Impact Game-changers can be best position for success, individually and collectively
BIGCrowd Prize and Award Delivery Strategy
Though the BIGSupport program is potentially worth many millions - due to the BIGCrowd, the BIGs pay nothing at all. From an accounting perspective it is all classed as a grant. When the prizes and awards are announced, the supported Big Impact Game-changer becomes our client for a three year period. That is assuming they agree to our governance requirements and our modest terms of service. All we ask are three simple things:-
If they do succeed, when they are in a position to in the future, they pay it forward in some way. This could be via a donation to support others via their foundation if they create one; or something simple such as giving time to mentor others.
If they seek to do an equity, debt, grant or donation fund-raise - we ask that our BIGCrowd network of subscribers, impact investors and donors be given the first look opportunity to invest (of course it is the prerogative of the BIG to accept or decline any offers that come as a result) .
When the BIGs are properly funded and sustainable and the free support program comes to an end - we ask that they consider retaining the marketing, communication or other services of the BIGCrowd network.
As the client - the goal is ensure the Big Impact Game-changer is fully satisfied and in charge of the support program. Through a combination of in house support, and outsourced support and related budgets - we believe the optimum incubation and acceleration services can be given.
The In-house budget will enable BIGCrowd to build up multi disciplinary teams in the all of the core areas shown above. As things scale these in house teams will be located in our regional hubs (what we call Pods). These pods will be a maximum size of 200 people - giving them the ability to serve circa 50 Big Impact Game-changers at any one time. With a wide a range of seniority and experience, this strategy gives us the ability to give each Big Impact Game-changer over 4 people equivalents across the range of the disciplines and levels. Some of these people will be operational, spending several days a week on social media support for the BIG they are asigned to for example. Others will be working in account management - helping manage the internal resource and the optimum mix of best in class outsourced supply. All of this will be tailored to the needs of the Big Impact Game-changer in question.
Because the BIGCrowd model is designed ultimately to be Global, these geographically dispersed hubs and mix of outsourced supply will ensure we can service the BIGs from both a local and global level as appropriate.