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Virtual Open Incubation Ecosystem (VOICE)
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

VOICE (Virtual Open Incubation Ecosystem) will help bridge the gap in the broader entrepreneurial development ecosystem by providing an international, virtual innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem based on open innovation, crowdsourcing and co-creation principles; where individual users and start-ups will meet, find collaborators and partners, co-create ideas and prototypes, utilize the wisdom of the crowd to assess the value of the project idea and/or prototype, share and find connections/partners, business and technical information, knowledge on start-up related topics, online tools, online content and open educational material as well as access to capital and crowd-funding. This crowd-driven virtual business incubation ecosystem will: (a) bridge the gap between entrepreneurial need and action by providing an online, community-driven and social innovation ecosystem that will support in addition to the standard incubation phases, the "interest phase", a currently unaddressed phase where the individual has the need to be actively involved in entrepreneurial activity, but does not have any business idea or business partners or special expertise about how to proceed; (b) facilitate community-driven value, which is a core innovation element of the VOICE ecosystem. VOICE will enable individuals that aspire to become entrepreneurs to tap into the collective intelligence of the crowd and turn their entrepreneurial interest or need into a collaborative research project that will result into a prototype and to a successful "crowd-venture". One of the core competitive advantages of the proposed incubation model relates to the benefits that can be derived from the community and the crowd-capital that stems from it.VOICE focuses upon the ICT market and its key driver software and IT services (online & m-applications, open data apps, social networking apps, games, etc.) and addresses the needs of the: (a)B2C segment (i.e., individuals, students, graduates, etc), (b)B2B segment (i.e., universities, investors, VCs, mentors & innovation consultants, business incubators, start-up associations, etc); (c) B2G segment (i.e., EU, national governments, national ministries of innovation etc) and (d) the community at large.VOICE ecosystem will be tested in a real-life setting for 6 months within the project lifetime and then commercially exploited by the partners.
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