OCI Lab V.0: Program Description (Draft)

In the framework of the OpenVillage initiative, Edgeryders is launching “Open Collective Intelligence Lab”, the first P2P virtual incubator to support aspiring young social entrepreneurs in the MENA region.

The “Open Collective Intelligence Lab”, or “OCI Lab”, strongly believes in the power of collective intelligence to stimulate innovation and creativity, and to help navigate the complexity of the arising development challenges.

Hence, “OCI Lab” will offer to these early stage social entrepreneurs an online P2P mentoring, through community calls and conversations on Edgeryders’ platform, all moderated by “OCI Lab” team.

Any aspired young social entrepreneur, originated from one of the following countries of the MENA region (Tunisia, Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan), who has a brilliant idea to bring a positive social/environmental change into her or his community, is invited to apply through Open Village Platform. Though all ideas are welcome and eligible for consideration, but we particularly encourage ideas that address climate change through innovation and technology.

In first stage, the selected social entrepreneurs, also called projects’ leaders in this program, will be invited to community calls moderated by “OCI Lab” Team . In these calls, the projects leaders will have the chance to pitch their ideas to their peers to receive feedback or to explore areas of collaboration. Mentors and Experts form the Edgeryders’ Community will be also involved in this process to provide assistance and advice for each one of the projects’ leaders. To successfully complete this phase, each project leader must give constructive feedback, with the guidance of the “OCI Lab” Team to at least 5 other projects during the calls, and through the follow up conversations on the Edgeryders’ platform.

In the second stage, “OCI Lab” will connect the successful projects’ leaders from the first stage, to “Contributors”. A “Contributor” is anyone who has a set of skills and wish to take part in one of the incubated ventures. The “Contributors” are invited to apply also through the Edgeryders-Open Village platform where they are required to briefly introduce themselves, their skills and the areas they wish to work on. The “OCI Lab” team will match them later with the projects leaders so they can help them further develop and successfully implement their projects. Aside from the rewarding experience of contributing in meaningful and impactful projects, the “Contributors” will apply to join one of the project leaders, so together they form a founding team and continue working on the project. Each project leader can select at least one and up to 3 contributors. Follow up calls between the projects’ teams and the Edgeryders’ mentors and experts will take place in order to continue on providing the needed support.

In the final stage, “OCI Lab” team will select 4 projects by evaluating all projects, the progress made and the quality of collaboration among the “Project Leaders” and the matched “Contributors”. The teams of the selected projects will participate, with all the travel expenses covered, in the OpenVillage Festival that will be held in Brussels in April 2020 (Changes on the date or the place may occur). During the Festival, the teams will have an opportunity for networking, by meeting their European peers, international experts and mentors, and potential investors. All selected teams will also have the chance to pitch their ideas in front of the Edgeryders Community to win a seed funding up to 7000 $ so they will be able to start implementing their social or green ventures.

“OCI Labs” will open a call for application for both the “Project Leaders” and for the “Contributors”. Selected participants in the two categories will be notified, and given the necessary instructions and assistance to start the process of the P2P online mentoring as described above.

Finally, and in order to expand the outreach of our program, we will work with different non financial partners, including community spaces, coworking spaces, incubators, entrepreneurship programs, in order to identify and recruit the “Project Leaders” and the “Contributors” among their communities. “OCI Lab” is a great opportunity for the members of these communities to use the power of collective intelligence to develop their projects, and also to benefit from the support that the community of the Edgeryders can offer.