Incubation Cycle

To enable cross-pollination between social and tech, we bring together the relevant networks, creating open, widely available knowledge tools and inspiring grassroots communities, activists and geeks to collaborate in inclusive, nurturing environments – worldwide.

We are also establishing an online community and we are launching a series of events inviting the grassroots themselves: problem owners from communities and tech-savvies, such as developers, free and open source developers, makers to pitch their ideas, find collaborators and join an incubation program.

We look for people

  • with a tech-based idea you think people could benefit from
  • who are passionate about solving a problem in your community and want to experiment with new ways of tackling it
  • and want to turn their passion into a viable solution

How do we take you there?


Step 1: Inspiration

Starting with an online community of developers, open source software and hardware enthusiasts and social entrepreneurs sharing ideas and joining the conversation and lively discussions around the future of technology and society and inspire community members to work together.

Step 2: Ideation

Call to action inviting community members to present ideas in the overarching theme of:

“How can we create a safe and happy digital future for everybody?”

We are not looking for the traditional tech4good/it4change/ICT4D solutions, rather problems arising from the penetration of digital space into our everyday life, using the platform to inspire more future-gazing and to spark ideas about how to use 3D printing, single board computers or sensors in new ways, blockchains, open source tech, how to avoid dependency on internet in the era of IoT, save society from stealth recruiting or the mass surveillance of credit card companies and other ways companies use big data, inspire more citizen science, etc.

Step 3: Co-creation and collaboration

Ideas can then be pitched at barcamps, allowing for social entrepreneurs and techies to find each other and start working together on an issue in bi-disciplinary teams for 48 hours, creating a rapid prototype of the solution in the Project Design Sprint. The Social-Digital Incubator then selects the best 2 projects per hackathon that are based on a relevant issue, solved by an innovative, feasible and financially sustainable – and a team with a great drive and chemistry.

Step 4: Incubation

Traditionally most start-ups don’t receive enough support in terms of project management, knowledge sharing and capacity building. This tailor-made development/incubation program around social entrepreneurial and other proven tools will ensure projects are created with long-lasting social impact. Partnering up with co-working spaces, the incubation period will allow for the teams to focus on their projects for 3 months, work in their local context with access to potential customers, without distraction and with help from experts.

Step 5: MVP – Prototype and customer feedback

In this incubation program, both software and hardware solutions are developed. The teams will be taught to use design thinking methods and have continuous conversation with potential customers to be able to develop their MVP, go-to-market strategy and a viable social business plan within 2 months’ time.

Step 6: Seed funding

As soon as ready, pitch in front of impact and angel investors but if preferred, also the possibility to run a crowdfunding campaign. If the sponsor wishes, they have the possibility to the sponsor to double the amount made in the crowdfunding campaign and hereby inspire the teams to work harder. This step is designed to allow for a reality check.

Step 7: Self-sustainment

The goal is to create businesses with financially sustainable business models with a measurable social-digital impact. Sustainability should be reached soon after the first round of investment and will be supported by feeding the projects into the international ecosystem of social-tech projects and follow-up sessions, in which teams pose questions about current challenges they have to experts.

Step 8: Scaling

With the capability to map their smart networks and a strong knowledge about partnerships, social franchise, movement creation, etc., the founders will now have the necessary knowledge to grow the businesses out of the local context to a much larger scale, create significant impact, and hopefully system change.


We mustn’t forget that a most ideas and attempts fail. The Social-Digital Incubator allows for failure and learning from mistakes. Experts will guide the teams on their way toward success. And if this is not the idea they will succeed with, there will be another one. As long as they are empowered to continue their work within the realm of social entrepreneurship, we will have succeeded.


Download this document: SDI Incubation Cycle