The why of the “social ventures incubator program?”

The City of Adelaide has shown incredible foresight and leadership last year when it tendered for a social enterprise incubator in Adelaide. You may be thinking: City council, Adelaide, social enterprises. How did these three things come together? Do you know where Adelaide is or how beautiful this city is?

Courtesy of Study Australia
Adelaide is going through a significant change right now.

There is an increasing sense of despair that you read through the papers on job losses and at the same time people living here are seeing a more vibrant city. The cultural and sports scene is fantastic as ever. The startup scene is even better. The co-working spaces I frequent have increasing number of freelances, consultants, entrepreneurs and lone rangers creating value. The aspirations are high and there will be a better future for South Australia.

For example, have you heard about the social capital initiative? What if you could take one of the most iconic spaces in Adelaide and imagine a future where “creating social and business value” is commonplace. A large campus of startups, SMEs, corporates, universities and government. All located in one place. All collaborate. They grow, scale or die. But they innovate.

The government to its credit is focussed on the same space. The universities are focussing on this too. The large NFP sector is changing too. The business world is moving in the same direction.

//The 90D program

In this context, it is no wonder that a rigorous, 90 day program for startups with a focus on impact: social or environmental is launched in Adelaide. We seen an incredible bunch of ideas, talent and aspiration in the various nooks and corners of the Adelaide. We want anyone and everyone who wants to make a difference to participate in this.

Australia has seen its share of social startups (ThankYou, Streat, GoodThanx); its share of organisations trying to create the ecosystem of social startups (SSE, Social Traders, SVA) and financing this space (Impact Investing Australia, Forrestors, SIEFA). You have philanthropic leaders (Allan English, Paul Madden) who are continously pushing the boundaries of what it means to create value in this space.

The BCorp movement is booming. The idea of a impact organisation, an ethical corporation is increasing. Can you make money and do good? Ofcourse! This is the optimistic starting point of the BCorp movement.

Invitation to the SVIP launch on March 17th, 2016

The Social Ventures Incubator Program (SVIP), one of the first of its kind in Australia, is built on these foundations.

It is designed around Business Models Inc’s systematic, evidence-based methodology to help startups and their teams to successfully develop and implement new business models in order to ensure a solid performance and success in their markets.
Business Models Inc 4 phase methodology

For many years Business Models Inc. has helped corporate organizations explore new business models and strategies. We’ve done this using tools and processes, like the business model canvas, strategy maps, co-creation, visualization, self service. This is what companies, like Toyota, KPN, Heineken, Dorel, Herman Miller and Fujitsu love.

The idea for the 90 Days Program was born a few years ago. Business Models Inc. is working together with incubators, accelerators and venture capitalists all over the world, whereupon we’ve found a winning combination: government or investors deliver the infrastructure and Business Models Inc. will deliver the tools, content, case studies and energy.

We have adapted this to the social space. To enable this to happen a whole constellation of collaborators have put their hand forward to help us.

// Roll Call

  • Paul Madden, CEO of Wyatt Trust and Chairman of World Relief Australia
  • Tom Dawkins, co-founder of Startsomegood
  • Matt Andersen and David Paterson from Social Capital Initiative
  • Brenton Caffin from NESTA, Founding CEO of TACSI
  • Allan English and Lisa Cotton from the Funding Network
  • Dan Madhavan from Impact Investing Australia
  • Julie Steele Scott from Philanthropy Australia

Amy Pokoney, Theo Campbell and Paul Daly from the City of Adelaide are driving this with a whole bunch of their colleagues.

Thanks to the generous time and support from these individuals we are focussing on creating the first prototype for this model.

We are keen to explore, expand and create a new way of doing business. We see this as a starting point for this space.

Did I mention, its free! It’s fully funded by the City of Adelaide.It’s not free in terms of effort and time. It’s hard work. But you know that already!

// Next Steps

For applicants, go to this link for more information.
For organisations, if you want to collaborate, contact me suhit.anantula [at]
For everyone, spread the word!

This Series:

  1. The why of the “social ventures incubator program”
  2. The MegaTrend of Social Innovation
  3. #SocEnt Model 1: The Give + Build Model
  4. #SocEnt Model 2: The Innovation Model
  5. #SocEnt Model 3: The Employ + Heal Model
  6. Re-imagining Soap
  7. The B-Corp Movement
  8. Where is Value Created?
  9. The NFP as an Ethical Corporation
  10. …..

Business Models Inc is an international strategy & design firm that helps corporates, government, NFPs, entrepreneurs and start-ups innovate their business models and design strategies for the future through co-creation and visualization.

Suhit is a Strategy Designer at Business Models Inc. He is focussed on innovation for social change. He combines design, business, social sciences, entrepreneurship with a focus on social innovation and social entrepreneurship. He works with organisations to create value for customers, employees, stakeholders and the society. He calls it “Humanomics”.

You can learn more here —