What is Startacus?
Startacus is the self start society. It is a community and collaboration platform for ideas. This is the place where, if you’ve got an idea, you can make it happen. You can seek out people who can help you and you can help them too. You can work together on every little aspect of your idea - right down to the tiniest detail. Share your ideas, give advice and get advice. You can create your own virtual workspace, where you can start to get that idea moving - all of it or even just a little bit - it’s entirely up to you. And we’ve got a whole bunch of other stuff too:
Who is it for?
- a Culture section there are masses of interesting and informative articles on all things creative, inspiring or simply downright practical;
- a Toolkit where you can find all the useful resources you might need to help you get an idea off the ground and of course...
- a Community Forum where you can natter, chinwag and rant all you like...well....almost all you like...we gotta have some rules you know!
Startacus is for people all across the UK and Ireland who have a creative and enterprising mindset and who want to do their own thing. The self start society is open to all!What type of projects/ ideas can Startacus be used for?
Startacus can be used for all sorts of projects - from creative areas like music, film and design through to product design and business services - the possibilities are pretty much endless
How is a project or idea added?
Under the Collaboration section on the Startacus home page, simply click on the Create a Project button. A member will then be asked to reveal a little about their idea - its’ name, the type of idea it is, when they would like to have it completed by and where ideally they would like their collaborators to come from. Once the project or idea is first submitted on the site, the team at Startacus HQ do have to give it a quick once over, just to make sure it’s not something that’s gonna have the world and his wife running for cover - no illegal stuff, no downright nasty stuff allowed. Once we can see that all is good, then it’s ready to roll.
Can more than 1 idea or project be added?
In a word, yes! There are no limits to the number of projects or ideas that a member can add. We only ask that members do aim to be committed to the projects or ideas that they add and don’t simply add them because they love our fancy Create a Project section!
How can someone get involved in a project?
To get involved with the collaboration side of things, you’ve firstly got to be a registered member of the site. You can do that by signing up here. Once registered, you can then start creating your own projects or request to collaborate on others’ projects or if you’re the shy retiring type, simply wait until you’re invited! (A word in your shell-like though...don’t hang about waiting too long - why not just get stuck in! )
How can collaborators be found?
When a project is added to Startacus, the project owner has the option to work on the project independently, in private or to seek other members to collaborate with. The project owner can decide which particular parts of the project they require help with by making a particular Board and its’ requirements public. The Boards cover the following elements of a project: Concept, Development, Planning, Research, Design, Finance Marketing and Legal. It is up to the project owner to decide which bits they will work on themselves and which bits they need help with. That’s where the collaboration bit comes in! Members can search for projects to collaborate on based on either the type of project it is or the element of the project needing a little helping hand. It’s in a project owner’s interests to make their idea and concept as appealing as possible so that other members will be interested in joining and collaborating. We’re not talking bribery here, but would recommend that when an idea is added, the “in a nutshell” summary is so darn interesting that another member just will yearn to be a part of it! A project owner can also invite other members to join their project and collaborate on a board or boards, by sending a message through the Invite member option.
How do the Boards work?
As we stated above, there are 8 Boards that are available to a Project Owner. The Boards cover the following areas: Concept, Development, Planning, Research, Design, Finance Marketing and Legal. A Project Owner can select which of these boards they wish to work on and in so doing, create their own virtual workspace. Once a board has been created, a project owner can choose to ‘open’ it to collaborators by making it public or ‘close’ it by keeping its’ status private.
In each Board, there is an option to create a Workbook. This in essence is where the magic happens - where ideas get shared and where the real collaborative work begins.
Members who are collaborating on a project or idea can use the workbook to chat and discuss ideas, thoughts and proposals. The workbook records all the collaborative activity and discussion and can be viewed almost like a record of progress. Members can use the workbook to add comments and share links of articles, documents, images and videos. At present, this is restricted to externally stored files and articles only. For members wishing to share and collaborate on particular documents or files or videos or creations, we would recommend perhaps using Just Cloud, Dropbox or Google Drive.
Can a member collaborate on more than 1 idea?
Again, yes! There are no restrictions on the number of projects or ideas that a member can join. As long as the idea owner remains happy with a member’s contribution and collaboration on their particular project or board, then that’s fine by us too!
Should a member offer a reward incentive when seeking a collaborator?
This is entirely at the discretion of the individual member. If the member does choose to offer a reward, the nature of that reward is of their own choosing. This could be anything from offering skills exchange in return, a financial reward, or non monetary rewards such as promotion or discounts. What is decided is not really any of Startacus’ business!
Who owns an idea or project?
The member who adds the idea or project is the owner of that idea, unless they are adding it on behalf of another person who has legal rights to that idea. If during a collaboration the owner of the idea chooses to allow another member to share or take ownership, that must be agreed independently between the members. We at Startacus cannot be held responsible for idea ownership being handed over.
How can a member protect an idea?
Since Startacus is a collaborative platform, an integral element is the sharing of ideas. It is up to the individual member to decide how much or what element of an idea that they share with other members during a collaboration. We do however wholly recommend that the idea owner does endeavour to protect their idea or part thereof when entering into a collaboration. We are delighted to announce that through our partnership with Creative Barcode, we can recommend an excellent method for Startacus members to do just that. Creative Barcode is an extremely easy to use, non-complex and cost effective way to authenticate and protect ideas at the concept stage. It is the only digital international identifier system that enables work to be attributed to a Creator both on and offline. It is also the only system that attributes ownership and protects concept ideas that are disclosed to third parties.
There are a couple of options that we recommend for Startacus members
- If a member is happy to share their ideas with other members for ‘free’, they can use CB-Lite and avail of free use barcodes. These codes are applied to any work that a member is happy for others to use without either charge or permission being required, but do ensure that an acknowledgement and source credit given to the member who is the creator
- If a member wishes to protect any project or idea from the concept stage through to completion stage, we recommend the Safe-Disclosure barcodes
- If a member wishes to protect a single piece of ‘completed work’ such as artwork, graphics, film or articles, which is being shared between members working on a collaboration, we recommend they use a Rights Reserved code.
We are also delighted that our friends at Creative Barcode have created 2 special promotional offers for all Startacus members wishing to avail of their services to protect their idea. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org for details of the promo codes you’ll need to get your discount.
It is important to note that Creative Barcode does not replace the need for patents and copyright. It does however provide protection over the core idea, which is why we are recommending its’ use for members and collaborators. If you require further information on protecting your idea, registering a trademark or applying for a patent, we recommend that if you are UK based, you refer to the Intellectual Property Office and if you are based in the Republic of Ireland that you refer to the Irish Patents Office.
These resources will be able to provide you with detailed information on the procedures you may wish to follow and advise on Non Disclosure Agreements that you may wish collaborators to sign and agree to before collaborating on a project. In general, Non Disclosure Agreements are used when projects are moving forward or progressing, or when an investor is seeking to invest, license or buy out an idea and not necessarily at the concept or idea stage that we envisage most projects on Startacus will initially be.
What agreements must collaborators make?
The individual terms of agreement between members collaborating on a project is entirely at the project owner and other members’ discretion. They can determine between themselves if a member is collaborating for free or if the collaborative element has any commercial or monetary value and if so agree collectively on how they will proceed. We would again recommend that collaborators may wish to operate under Creative Barcode ethical practice and barcode any of their contribution which contain Intellectual Property or are of commercial value. The specific terms and nature of an agreement between members working on a project is however something which fundamentally they must determine and agree to adhere to. We will not enter into any discussions or recommendations with individual members regarding what those terms should be. We can only offer guidance on why and how to protect an idea or elements containing Intellectual Copyright.
One more question - who designed the pretty amazing Startacus platform?
We’d so like to keep them to ourselves, but it just wouldn’t be fair. The folks over at ZooCreative are quite frankly the most talented, creative, innovative, imaginative, resourceful and inspiring guys you are ever likely to meet. Their creativity and their patience knows no bounds! For everything from website design and development to branding, illustration and photography, these are the guys to go to. From their little attic design studio in Northern Ireland they plan, plot, scheme, create and sometimes even play. In their own words: “if you have something to show the World, something to sell to the World, something which might just entertain the World or something to help change or save the World, then contact Zoocreative and let us offer you a different approach”.
With Startacus they’ve done just that. We heart them big time.