Ralf Lippold

Co-Founder of @HTxA

This conversation is closed.

Creating a startup accelerator on the notion of open collaboration across disciplines to shrink the "idea to market time" to more than half.

Creating a space (within an historical building), where citizens, entrepreneurs, workers, researchers - in short locally engaged people - can play out their skills, knowledge, creativity in order to collectively creative economic wealth to the region they currently live in. Especially as I live in Dresden, Germany, once and again today one of the most interesting tech hotspots in Europe, built on a centuries-long legacy of innovation, and invention. Being on the edge drives innovation disrupting the current canvas of business, bringing up new opportunities to create value across the complete value chain.

Sharing is gaining shall be the motto!

Several role models of approaches and institutions are the underlying conceptual framework. Explicitly the following:

BMW Plant Leipzig - open space office environment, offering work space in the central building, designed by Zaha Hadid, for 700 employees (without any closed rooms)

Team Academy - "If you really want to see the management education of the future visit Team Academy" (spoken by Peter Senge, author of "The Fifth Discipline"; were team entrepreneurs are grown; there motto "Innovate or Die"

Singularity University - "creates a global network of like-minded entrepreneurs, technologists and young leaders to participate in crafting a road map to guide the evolution of these disruptive technologies" (written on their website)

Presencing Institute - "focuses on co-creating social technologies for change makers and social innovators around the world." (written on their website)


To set the project in motion I have applied to http://singularityu.org/gsp/ to learn more about emerging information technologies, and their impact on society, business, and education. To make it happen I have set up the following http://www.crowdrise.com/gsp12ralflippold, and ask you for your advice, support, or help in any form.

PS.: This is an experiment of a life time, thanks for your support

Closing Statement from Ralf Lippold

2012-07-27 The project has turned out different as envisioned, it did not go to Singularity University Graduate Studies Program 2012.

However what looks like a failure at first sight, evolved as the opportunity to bring the project of the startup accelerator into being, using the energy I gained by not being accepted this time for #GSP12, and extensively reaching out in my networks.

As a result, in September there will be a MVP (minimal viable product) version of the startup accelerator with two guest speakers from San Francisco and Sweden. If you are interested to be on the list of news on that check for #ColorsOfChoice on Twitter, and register.

Thanks for your ongoing support on making a vision for the region reality
Ralf (http://about.me/RalfLippold)

PS.: The follow-up of the crowdfunding process for #GSP12 has become http://BlueFuture2012.blogspot.com

  • Apr 11 2012: Education is a process lasting all life long. Co-operation among people having different education, experiences and interests is the best way to enrich all. People are a real source of theoretical and practical knowledge and the passion this knowledge is communicated can make the difference. A place where the exchange among people can happen in a natural and comfortable way is a dream coming true.
    We all need a place where our skills can be enhanced, where our knowledge can be proved and exchanged, without having the fear to be judged. A "play-ground" where knowledge is available for all those people who are curious and see the knowledge already reached as a starting point to gain more and more of it.
    I can't wait to play on this ground!
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      Apr 16 2012: Hi Angela, excellent question you bring up: what way to bring different education, experiences, and interests to enrich the whole?

      In the age of the enlightenment it was the coffeehouse, at the turn of the century from 19th to 20th again it was the coffeehouse, now enriched with the ability to get information from a variety of newspapers (there happened to be one on Prager Straße in Dresden with 100(!) international newspapers, and magazines).

      Today it is the internet that enables the sharing of ideas, knowledge, and information. Yet we as humans are born to be around other people in a physical space, may it be a park, a coffeehouse, some place.

      If this is enabled by what you have said in the first place then the best example is the Semperoper Ballett, the ballet company here in Dresden (to those who don't know) where in a "small spot" a variety of dozens of cultures come together to cocreate amazing artistic work.

      Shouldn't that be also possible for researchers, entrepreneurs, startups, and business folks?

      That's what drives me, as I have seen that in practice in several places around the world, visited these and got sparked.
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    R H

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    Apr 10 2012: Very interesting. A centralized community resource collaberation. Voices could be heard, qualified ideas could be discussed, Options could be assessed, and all facets of the community could have equal access. Sounds like a 'town-hall' meeting - which have limited success because of politics. So I ask you and the TED community: How do we keep self-interest and political maneuvering out of the long-term process? It's always the initiators which are able to keep the ideals and the vision in focus, and the successors who seem overwhelmed, or delayed, by the realities of politics - and I don't mean governmental, I mean inter-personal politics and self-interest/survival.
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      Apr 12 2012: Hi R H,
      thanks a lot for your thoughts. Locally "centralized" community resource collaboration, using the at hand (and emerging) information technologies to get connected elsewhere as well. It's meant to be like a "normal" eco-system where several sub-cultures, eco-systems co-exist and by that set up synergies. From "walled garden" to "open park". Of course there will be issues that are more open than others, yet the mere ability to bump into the "right" persons, and enabling the conversation is more than is achieved today in business, research, science, or other social fields.

      You are right the challenge is, "In which way to set up the structures, the incentive systems, in order to enable the wished for behavior?"

      It already starts with asking for advice on making this trip with that tremendous amount of tuition a reality. First single sentence answers from friends, or business folks, "An interesting idea, yet I can't give you that amount of money!". Asking them about their business, and in which way I could help quickly opens possibilities such as, "Oh, I see. We can do interviews while you are there, and I post it on my blog. Great idea to restart this."

      Peter Diamandis has given a great interview at Stanford University, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNxlLl4wpp8 ("When you ask for money you often get advice, and when you ask for advice you get money!")
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        R H

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        Apr 13 2012: Thank you for responding. I agree with the idea of an "open park" of "several sub-cultures" , and interdisciplinarians, collaberating on issues. I would portend that enlightened diversity is the key to successful solutions. I have seen Mr Diamandis in action. He's quite a salesman. My one concern is the shifting power bases within the 'sub-cultures' involved, and how the individual participants regard, and continue to regard, each other over time.
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          Apr 13 2012: Thanks for mentioning the "power shift" within the organization. Yes, that is a concern. Edgar Schein, formerly professor at MIT Sloan, has written about that in his book "DEC is Dead, Long Live DEC" very intensively.
          Actually during one of the our "protopyes", the http://flickr.com/CoOrpheum, exactly that happened, the sub-cultures took all off in different corners of the future opportunities space. The energy (of the people) so to say diffused over a larger space, and were not as powerful in the end.
          It probably needs more connection to an official partner within a network of partnerships (like is the case at Singularity University). This enables increased floating of knonwledge across the different stakeholders, and bounds the community together by a larger "social force" (all being more or less "one family", yet at different, well-positioned corners of this new entity).
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        R H

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        Apr 17 2012: (in response to 'power shift':) Now that is very interesting to me. The apparent 'randomness' of sub-culture direction given opportunity. I would hypothesize that each sub-culture had 'built-in' incentives or impetuses for 'choosing' their direction. As you cited, what would be needed is a unifying incentive to 'stay on task' so to speak, all the while allowing each sub-culture to express their contribution in their own way through their talents and expertise. This is very exciting to me. Connection to an 'outside' parnership network would add diversity, but also would expose the group to the influence of other 'power bases' and emphasis of effort, not only realizing the benefit of increased input and opportunity, but also absorbing further stresses on the cohesiveness of the 'cells', or sub-cultures. Would not this 'social force', and the intensity of direction and productivity, become diluted or randomized? The question then becomes, for me, how to engage sub-culture synergies and synchronicities and maintain focus?
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          Apr 17 2012: Hi R H,
          thanks for your comment, which I just read coming in. At present the single "subculture" will be tech-scence working on bringing technology, and research findings into market. Rather than working in "their" subcultures in a multi-setting like http://singularityu.org/gsp opens the opportunity to acceleraten, and shrink time to viable markable product.See http://abundancethebook.com on this where Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler describe, and inquire at the same time on make the abundance of innovation potential to become free.

          Sharing is gaining - as is the DNA of Silicon Valley, or around MIT, Harvard where even newcomers (I happened to get invited back in 2009 to attend several of their open entrepreneur meetings). Being visible to a diverse field of people, also with slightly, or bigger difference in background opens new future opportunities.

          In general you are right, as a "stable basis" of trust has to be essential to make the rest happen.
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    Apr 10 2012: How similar or dissimilar is your idea to Sparked.com? Just trying to get a gauge on it.
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    Apr 16 2012: Where the idea originally has come from: http://www.slideshare.net/RalfLippold/2010-1001-lockschuppenenglish (mainly driven by working for almost 10 years in environments where processes, strategy, and markets had to be explored, working at BMW Leipzig for over five years has been the final touch on letting this dream grow in my mind).
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    Apr 10 2012: Hi Jon, Thanks a lot for your comment. LockSchuppen is different from Sparked.com, it is meant as a physical space, being a sort of incubator/ accelerator for startups from either the university-backed background, or independent entrepreneurs. Pretty much like what I have seen at Cambridge Innovation Center, http://www.cictr.com/ - being the hub between the research (in the Southern parts of Dresden), the production (in the Northern parts, with two large chip factories), and in the middle of the city the art communities (http://twitter.com/SemperoperDD, http://twitter.com/SemperBallettDD, etc.).