starting

Starting Companies Collaboratively

What is CoStarting?


CoStarting is a methodology and framework that helps makers and entrepreneurs create and launch products and services with an open and collaborative approach. Multiple creators join a cohort and work alongside one another in a given timeframe to create their projects. Everyone commits their time and money as well as willingness to help the other cohort members.

LIVE Fridays at 7pm (EST) - CoStarting Cohort #1

Requirements

Mandatory Requirements
Participation fee which will be pooled among all cohort membersSet duration (e.g. 1 Month) Weekly check-ins through video conferenceWeekly blog posts from every participantRegular updates through social channels (e.g. tweet every 1-2 days)

Optional
Post progress updates on YouTube, Indie Hackers, Hacker News, or other relevant channels

Curriculum

Pre-Kickoff Period:
Before the kickoff meeting, participants get paired up in a group and have the chance to get to know each otherIdea Storming: Should a participant not yet have a fleshed out idea, they can use the pre-kickoff period to idea storm with the other participants
1st Session - Idea Sizing Session & Goal Definition:
Introduce IdeasHelp each other in sizing the idea to make sure they could be done in the timeframeDefine Success Criteria: E.g. Launched publicly, Got on Product Hunt, got first User, generated RevenueDiscuss plans for week 1

2nd Session & On - Execution & Progress Check-ins:
Report last week's progressPresent next week's planProgress Sanity Check - Get feedback from others on your progressAsk for help on specific issuesGet mentoring
Final session:
Launch report: What happened at the launch?Recap: The entire projectOutlook: What's next?

Money Pool

As an additional accountability measure, or motivational factor to launching a project, and on top of the encouragement and help cohort members provide each other, the framework includes a participation fee. The goal is for everyone to launch their project in the given timeframe, if they succeed, they get their participation fee back. However, if they don't launch, their stake will be distributed to the members that launched successfully.

The core of costarting however is not monetary, but rather collaborative motivation, encouragement and collective help to get everyone to launch. That being said, if you should be so inclined to help our cohort members get even more motivated, you can add a donation to the pool.

Cohort #1 Overview

5 Participants / 5 Projects
$100 participation fee / participant
1 Month duration

Giglet's Garments


Born from a love for vintage fashion and a hate for waste, Giglet's Garments turns vintage and secondhand fabrics into upcycled pet accessories. In this cohort Giglet's Garments is launching a community with a focus on video content.

CoinDrop.me


A bitcoin wallet which uses a combination of words, for example send.sven.money instead of something like bc1qxy2kgdygjrsqtzq2n0yrf2493p83kkfjhx0wlh. Inspired by what3words.com

Optionator


Optionator is an easy-to-use desktop macOS application to calculate and view returns and profits / losses on stock options, pulling in real-time data from the stock market

Youmami


Youmami is an Instagram bot that monitors what’s trending around a specific topic (e.g., #barbecue or #vegan) and sends the user a recommendation for what to cook next.

Babilbox


Babilbox allows users to manage (view latest or popular posts, create and send messages, respond to posts, automate posts) of all their community profiles from one platform. It will be able to link a users reddit profile, Product Hunt Profile, Indiehackers profile and Hacker News profile.

Join a Cohort


If you are interested in participating in the next cohort, please sign up and we will notify you once the timeline for the next cohort is finalized.

Contact Us


If you are interested in getting in touch with us to learn more about the future of collaborative startups, would like to sponsor a cohort, or just say hello. Shoot us a line, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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Giglet's Garments

Vintage fashion and upcycled creations.
I started Giglet's Garments about 4 years ago out of my love for vintage fashion combined with my hate for waste. I've utilized multiple platforms to sell over 2,000 piece of clothing that would have otherwise been discarded. Across my journey learning about the (un)sustainability of fashion, I've focused my vision more toward this goal of re-introucing "waste" products, envisioning a movement toward a more circular economy. Of course, the focus for this project is textiles. In the US over 11 million tons of textiles are discarded every year. Fast fashion is becoming the norm and has real consequences. So starting with the inventory I have, rather than donating or throwing away items that aren't able to be re-introduced as-is, I'm combining the passion for recycling textiles with another industry that I have found to be incredibly unnecessarily wasteful: pet ownership. I use these vintage and second-hand textiles to create all variety of accessories from sweaters and jackets to cat toys and bow ties, with the vision of having a whole range of products that can be made from upcycled textiles as an alternative to purchasing new, fast, plastic-riddled goods like those which most pet owners buy from big box stores. So, as opposed to the other cohort members who will be building something for this first month, I’ll be choosing an area of focus for our monthly collaborations. The first is community.

Business Model:

In addition to selling individual upcycled pieces, the business model I’m after with starting this community approach will focus around subscribers and access to information (such as paid patterns and other content). This may not come into play yet this month, as I have to reel in my visions and focus mainly on beginning to create videos. I don’t plan to have community monetization yet, but the hope is that the building of the community will also influence my shop sales on Etsy for the time being.

Launch Strategy:

Since this is already a functioning and launched business, my success will focus on the launch of my YouTube channel.

Scope:

As I mentioned the scope of my overall business plans are very large. So, for this month I’ll be focusing on creating video content, gaining viewers and subscribers.

Success Criteria:

1. Implement Subscribership onto my blog to track and utilize contributors’ emails. Gain 5 subscribers by the end of the first program

2. Launch channel and gain at least 5 YouTube Subscribers

3. Shoot, edit and post at least 2 videos per week with a total of 8 videos by the end of the month with corresponding blog posts.

Recent Project Updates:

Follow along:

CoinDrop.me

A bitcoin wallet which uses a combination of words, for example send.sven.money instead of something like bc1qxy2kgdygjrsqtzq2n0yrf2493p83kkfjhx0wlh. Inspired by what3words.com.

What3Words uses a word list of 40000 words to map 3x3m squares on the world. It is much easier to share 3 words than a lat/long coordinate. So, for CoinDrop, the concept is similar with bitcoin addresses. Share words, not cryptic strings. There are, or course, many more potential BTC addressee in the world than 40k x 40k x 40k = 57 trillion, and this is an issue to be considered. But the project focuses on human sharable BTCaddresses similar to giving someone a paypal.me address. And therefore a few trillion might just be enough.

Business Model:

It is the easiest way to get a memorable bitcoin "address" and everyone will want the easiest one e.g. 1.2.3 or apple.apple.apple. That's where the business model comes in. One can sign up and create a random combination of words for free, or they can pay for a custom combination of their choice. Either $4.99 or $9.99 per address. One addition could be a limit on random tries to find an address they like. e.g. 10 free tries of random address generations and then they could pay to enable more random tried (e.g. 20 tries / $1). But this would blow up the scope too large for this cohort.

Launch Strategy:

Once built my plan is to launch it on Product Hunt, Hacker News and Indie Hackers. Accompanied by the CoStarting default channels like my blog, twitter, etc.

Scope:

Since this is a massive amount of work, and never possible (at least not for me), in one month, I want to only create the presale page with the word generator / selector in this cohort. I can then start having people sign up, and even pre-sell the custom selected addresses.

Success Criteria:

Since this will just be a "would you pay for it if it existed?" type of scenario, I intend to set a minimum registered users as well as minimum paying users number as a success criteria to decide if I will continue on the project after the month. However from the coStarting perspective, what I propose would count as "Launched" is the following:

1. a word list database & random address generator algorithm
2. a website where people can sign up and reserve their random address
3. a presale functionality where people can enter CC info to reserve their custom address

Recent Project Updates:

Follow along:

Optionator

Optionator is an easy-to-use desktop macOS application to calculate and view returns and profits / losses on stock options, pulling in real-time data from the stock market. It can be used for testing out different investment strategies or for playing around for fun to see different outcomes based on actual data.Optionator will be built in Xojo, a cross-platform Integrated Development Environment and released for distribution in the Apple Mac App Store.The purpose of this project is a three fold personal goal for me (so to be clear its not that I believe this is a million-dollar idea):

1. Create a project from scratch to actually launch it within 30 days

2. Learn the Xojo IDE and programming language (it has been 15 years since I last used it)

3. Publish a desktop application in the Mac App Store

Business Model:

The app will be sold for $1.99, with each sale being $1.69 based on Apples new 15% commission. Being an upfront one-time purchase paid app has advantages over competitors that are only freemium with in-app purchases, subscription based or ad-filled.

Launch Strategy:

Once built my plan is to launch it on Product Hunt, Hacker News and Indie Hackers. Accompanied by the CoStarting default channels like my blog, twitter, etc.

Scope:

Week 1: learning options trading and investing basics, re-learning Xojo platform

Week 2: building initial UI and basic functionality of the app

Week 3: completing basic app functionality, preparing creative to be used for marketing and App Store

Week 4: sign up for Apple Developer Program, work on signing and sandboxing the app and publishing to the App Store, completing development of the app

Success Criteria:

10 paying users ($16.90 in revenue)

Recent Project Updates:

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Youmami

Instagram bot that monitors what’s trending around a specific topic (e.g., #barbecue or #vegan) and sends the user a recommendation for what to cook next. The recommendation would be either an instagram personal message, or a mention to the person in the winning post. I think the public mention would make the bot visible and attract random users to sign-in.

Business Model:

use the bot for free for 1 month, and if you like it subscribe for $1 per month. Donations (one time or recurrent) to prove if the idea has any value for anyone.

Launch Strategy:

Once built my plan is to launch it on Product Hunt, Hacker News and Indie Hackers. Accompanied by the CoStarting default channels like my blog, twitter, etc.

Competitors:
I did some search on instagram bots. Mostly focus on automating tasks (auto-reply, likes, etc). The interesting part is the monthly fees are >$10. Here's a list: https://www.smarterdigitalmarketing.co.uk/what-are-the-best-instagram-bots-in-2020/

Scope:

Week 1: Implement the basic algorithm to find recipes on different hashtags (#keto, #barbecue)

Week 2: Design and implement the basic architecture (going for simplicity)

Week 3: Start a focused campaign on Instagram

Week 4: Release the bot

Week 6: Success or Fail? (I’m giving myself 2 weeks)

Success Criteria:

$5 in donations.

Recent Project Updates:

Follow along:

Babilbox

One place to manage all of your online community profiles

I plan on making this a feature of a larger platform but thought this would be a good project for this group to kickstart the thought process and fun to position and brand it as a standalone app.
This platform allows users to manage (view latest or popular posts, create and send messages, respond to posts, automate posts) all their community profiles from one platform. It will be able to link a user's reddit profile, Product Hunt Profile, Indiehackers profile and Hacker News profile. I guess it's a social media scheduler but for forum-based communities.
Post Content, Engage, Discuss build an Audience.

Why?
It would be super cool to see this work and super helpful.
It would help users quickly establish themselves in multiple communities at once, enhancing their reach and garnering them a quicker way to start building out their audience for their projects.

Business Model:

One tier monthly subscription at $40

Launch Strategy:

The focus will be on indie-SaaS and indie-makers who understand that being helpful and engaged in communities is a great way to seed their projects with first users and find great distribution channels.

Competitor Landscape:

Pretty much any Social media scheduling application like Buffer or Hootsuite. But I could not find any platform that would dock into online communities and behave the same way. My competitors focus solely on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. There are many reddit schedulers as well. If I can get sub-reddits, Indiehackers discussions and Product Hunt Discussions and Hacker News discussions working It could be a pretty good pain reliever. If I were to get this working I’m sure any of these competitor platforms could turn on the switch quickly. But I could carve out a pretty good business with the right positioning and user focus.

Success Criteria:

Wireframe completed

Clickable Design

Landing page set up

20 Waitlisted users

2 pre-sales

Recent Project Updates:

Follow along: