Ideaforge launches marketplace for ideas, skills, and funds

Ideaforge, a startup with a mission to be the new engine of creation, recently launched an beta version of its idea development marketplace.

Aimee Whitcroft, a former employee of peer review site Publons and the founder of Ideaforge, said that her company sees a three-sided market to creation. There’s people with ideas which have been languishing, people with the ability to make those ideas happen, and people with resources and money who want to invest in something awesome.

Ideaforge aims to unite those three categories of people through the internet.

“At present,” Aimee wrote to us, “these people have no simple and accessible way of organising themselves globally around these ideas and making them happen. The idea stays in the drawer. The money and resources remain unused, or underused. The skills – and people’s sense of self-worth and engagement – [are kept] dull with non-use.”

The service works by allowing signed-in members to explore other members’ ideas, skills, and resources, or to publish their own. Users retain the copyright of anything they publish on the site, but the act of uploading it gives Ideaforge the license to use that content for the purposes of the site, until such time as the user takes it down.

One of the biggest fears that many entrepreneurs have is that someone will steal their idea, but Aimee believes that true innovation comes from collaboration, and the execution of the idea is what entrepreneurs should be worrying about.

“The world is changing very fast,” Aimee explains,  “and I think people are scrambling to try to figure out how copyright and IP should work, not only now, but in a future that will be vastly different from our current experience.

“People should retain copyright of their work – no doubt – and be able to gain value from their IP. How that value is mediated, though, is something different groups will navigate differently.

“With IdeaForge, I’m hoping to encourage the concept of open sharing, collaboration and creation, rather than the more myopic paradigms still so prevalent in industries such as publishing.”

Ideaforge was conceived last year before Aimee began working at Publons. The young entrepreneur realised that she had some good business and art ideas, but she also knew that she would probably never actually get around to doing anything with them.

“I was thinking about ways to get them out into public in case anyone else wanted to use them,” Aimee said, “and my blog didn’t seem the right avenue: I thought something with more reach would be better.”

“And I’m not even an ‘ideas’ person,” she admitted, “so I figured there had to be many people out there who’d also like to do the same with their ideas.”

Aimee then noticed a photo from a startup event that had a room full of people looking for investment, good ideas, and entrepreneurs who could pull off the execution.

That was when Aimee knew she had to create Ideaforge to be a virtual place where the million dollar, the million dollar ideas, and the execution of million dollar ideas could meet.

Although Ideaforge is still in its beta phase, the mastermind behind Ideaforge says that she has considered a few monetisation possibilities that can be put in place after the service proves itself as something that people want and would use.

“One of the likely first things I’d be offering,” Aimee explains, “is an ‘enterprise’ version for organisations who want to use the platform internally but don’t want to join the wider group.”

Admittedly, Ideaforge was not conceptualised as way to make money, but as a way to bring people together and nurture innovation.

Aimee’s advice for entrepreneurs is to read widely, be wary of fads and fashions, and to take an active interest in the world and people around them.

“And remember to be kind to people, too,” she adds. “That’s really, really important.”

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