Creating A Bootcamp For Ideas

November 1, 2010

5:00 pm

At last week’s Tech Cocktail Chicago Fall Mixer event sponsored by Sprint, we had 15 startups vying for attention. One of them, IdeaBlob, stands out not because they were one of the few non-daily deal sites, but because of their path. Aja McClanahan brought the startup to us explaining that she’s trying to relaunch IdeaBlob, whose parent company recently declared bankruptcy. McClanahan’s company, IdeaMedia, is a start-up organized for the purposes of acquiring IdeaBlob assets from the failed company.

The concept of IdeaBlob.com is fairly straight forward – it’s a social networking site geared towards young entrepreneurs, where people submit ideas (either enterprise or sustainability oriented) and then get feedback from the community. The community votes for their favorites, who can then win a monthly prize (money) to launch their venture.

IdeaBlob’s parent company was a financial services business, and past recipients of their monthly prizes have included Stacey Monk of Epic Change ($10K), Andrew Magill of Asheville, NC- Stories of AIDS through Music ($10K), Andrew Personette of Design Green Now ($20K) and many others from 2007 – 2009. When the site was live, it had a userbase of around 150K users and in 2007, they even won the People’s Choice DEMOgod Award at DEMO. At the time, DEMO Executive Producer Chris Shipley said: “Ideablob is setting an important new trend.” That’s where McClanahan sees potential:

My company is a start-up organized for the purposes of acquiring IdeaBlob. It was a company within another company that declared bankruptcy last year. They are liquidating their assets and IdeaBlob.com is one of them. IdeaBlob.com is essentially a start-up as well – it had a small following and established user base, but the cord was pulled before it got the chance to gain any major traction.

The failed company has accepted IdeaMedia’s offer to acquire the site and related assets. The current challenge is to raise funds to complete the transaction. They’ve given my developer access to the source code for the purpose of raising capital. We now have a live demo version (password protected) to help in this process.

Tech Cocktail Chicago attendees were able to see that demo last Thursday night where McClanahan demo’d as part of her efforts to raise roughly $500K in order to acquire the site and its related assets and build it into a business to relaunch in early 2011. Her ultimate vision for IdeaBlob? To help people get the resources they need to follow their dream. From McClanahan:

Whether it’s expert feedback, prize money or attention from funders, the objective of IdeaBlob is simple – turning good ideas into great ideas!

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Jen Consalvo is the Cofounder and COO of Tech.Co. She previously worked in product development for almost 13 years at AOL for audiences of millions. Follow her on Twitter at: @noreaster.

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