Unemployment: A Startup Ecosystem Driven by Unemployed People

Imagine a platform where unemployed people can easily and safely collaborate and experiment with new concepts and ideas: Unemployed people form ‘virtual startups’ and exchange services to build new services, products, and companies.

George Krasadakis
The Innovation Machine
5 min readSep 29, 2017


A startup ecosystem by unemployed people -Image: pixabay

46% youth unemployment (at the time of writing) in Greece; not to mention the hundreds of thousands of ‘convenience jobs’ — where highly skilled people are underemployed for a basic salary of a few hundred euros. And it is not only Greece: Spain follows with 39%, Italy with 37%, and many more countries across the globe with significant youth unemployment levels[1]

Entire generations are ‘forced to fail’ in the era of the financial (+political, +social) crisis. At the same time, the so-called ‘brain drain’ further increases the gap between economically weak and strong countries: high-unemployment countries are investing in people — by providing advanced education and other social services — only to realize that, when those young graduates are ready to become economically active, a significant percentage of them finally offers their skills to competitors (other countries competing in the same market); thus, widening the imbalance.

At the same time, the impact of the workforce transformation under the lights of the AI revolution will globalize and intensify the problem.

A massive outflow of talent towards economies of better state — where a meaningful job IS an option

Unemployment at a global scale is a tremendous problem of social arrangement and culture: It reflects how people perceive reality and economic activity, and how they decide to use their energy, skills, and capabilities to shape their future and impact their environment:

Unemployed people are typically disconnected and in many cases isolated from the markets; they tend to spend their energy in search of the next ‘good, safe job’ and they typically avoid exposure to new business, entrepreneurship or similar ‘risky’ activities

Although governments offer services and programs for unemployed people, they fail to deal with the problem at its core: societies need a mentality shift towards innovation, creativity, and experimentation

The ‘economic system’ must encourage people to use their talents and capabilities, to take controlled risks in order to go after alternative professional opportunities

Unemployed people, in tenths of millions across the globe, can be seen as an enormous manpower that the ‘economic system’ fails to use: talented people, senior industry professionals, domain experts, enthusiastic graduates, scientists, entrepreneurial youth, and many more classes of unemployed people, trapped in a job-seeking state with limited or no options at all.

Unemployed people need to shift from a mode of ‘competing for the limited jobs available’ to ‘collaborating and creating new opportunities and jobs’

What if there was a specialized collaboration platform for unemployed people, to allow them to connect and exchange ideas? To offer each other expertise and services, and potentially form new businesses? To run zero-cost business experiments by exchanging services, expertise, and resources? To network and build strong professional relationships?

A startup platform, driven by unemployed people

Imagine an online service with a single objective: to empower unemployed people and inspire them to discover new options and alternative professional paths.

A modern online service providing the tools for intelligent, skills & intention-based team formation — by unemployed people for unemployed people

A service providing individuals and teams access to an extended network of resources and knowledge. A platform encouraging professional relationships among unemployed people while fostering networking, resources, and knowledge discovery. An ecosystem establishing effective information flows across multiple business and media networks.

This business ecosystem can provide the means of collaboration among unemployed people toward a shared business goal (a new product, service, and, eventually, a real company). At the same time, it can provide special support by local governments and organizations (funds, programs, resources, etc.) and the connected ecosystem (private funding, business angels, Banks offering special interest loans, VCs, Research, Academia, etc.)

Unemployed people will be joining this online platform to:

1. Announce/ share their professional goals, interests, and intents. They communicate their skills, professional experiences, and capabilities.

2. Get found by teams or other users with similar/ complementary skills and goals.

3. Find potential partners, associates, and/or team members.

4. Submit a business idea and set up a working team/ ‘virtual startup.’ The Virtual Startup is a team of unemployed people who are connected by a shared idea/ goal and bring complementary skills and expertise to ‘make it happen.’

5. Join clusters and ‘virtual startups’, typically consisting of other unemployed people — users of the platform.

For instance, a potential entrepreneur — currently unemployed — has a great business idea and needs experts in certain technical skills. In our scenario, the entrepreneur gets connected with other unemployed people, through the platform, and finds those with the right skills and also with complementary intentions. For example, web developers with no entrepreneurial goals — just looking for a good professional deal and possibly small-scale participation in a venture.

This self-organizing team of unemployed people may lead to a ‘virtual startup’, which can then be incubated under certain programs and processes. Part of this support could be offered by local governments and/or private sector sponsors.

The ‘virtual startup’ can access several resources, and significantly benefit from systematic exposure by the media & business stakeholders connected to the platform

Assuming interesting business outcomes from this ‘virtual startup’, several scenarios are possible — such as funding, investment, special loan agreements, or even initial sales via the exposure through the connected media network.

Such an ecosystem can lead to dramatic long-term improvement of the workforce, markets, and societies.

The platform can promote success stories and business initiatives via the connected ‘media network’ thus attracting more talented people from local or international markets.

[1] Youth unemployment rate in Europe



George Krasadakis
The Innovation Machine

Technology & Product Director - Corporate Innovation - Data & Artificial Intelligence. Author of https://theinnovationmode.com/ Opinions and views are my own