Starting a new venture is a team effort. Lean, collaborative and open venture teams try to benefit most from the rich experience, skills and motivation that participants bring to the venture team. During the initial explorative phase of the venture, the team seeks to develop a product of solution whilst applying an open, lean and collaborative approach. Working this way, you may expect that the venture needs and team contributions will change over time as the venture develops. This leads to five governance related questions that every venture team should ask at the start of a new venture:

  1. How to start an open venture together with multiple co-founders and partners?
  2. How to find a balance between contribution & rewards of the venture team members?
  3. What types of contribution & reward do we recognize?
  4. How to deal with he need for ventures to attract different skillsets both at the start and over time?
  5. How to combine an economical viable business model with social entrepreneurship?

Typically, new ventures don’t have a formal organizational structure at the beginning. Only, after the venture celebrates its first success, venture teams start thinking about an organizational structure and governance model. Often this is too late. Venture team members might become disappointed, as the chosen set-up of the venture structure is no longer aligned with the (past) contribution and motivation of the participants.

To ensure full alignment of the venture team members over the course of the development of the venture, founders realize they need to give early-on guidance on the roles, contributions and rewards of the participants. Good venture governance design helps to establish trust among the venture team members to collaborate more effectively. This becomes even more relevant in an online collaboration environment where participants might not know each other that well. The Open Incubation Playbook provides entrepreneurs and start-up teams a venture governance model that allows the participants to quickly agree on contributions, rewards and the rules of engagement of the venture.

Why would you spend your scarce time and resources on the incorporation of a company or foundation, equity and share option plans or salaries, if the venture were still in its beta phase?


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