Social Change Labs

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Competitive Landscape — SRI-Human Ventures

OVERVIEW

We have analyzed five organizations which are SRI international, Uncharted, GoogleX, Atomic Labs, and Human Ventures. The required information regarding funding sources, work processes, and long term strategy has been compiled in this spreadsheet.

While the details of funding sources were available for most of them, the quantum of funding or revenue was not available for Human Ventures and Uncharted. The details related to work processes and long term strategy has been compiled based on the available information. Long term strategy has not been explicitly mentioned, in case of SRI International, Atomic Labs, and Uncharted but we have drawn inferences from the publicly available information.

We will now discuss in brief each of the five organizations.

SRI INTERNATIONAL

Stanford Research Institute, or SRI, is an organization founded in 1946. It is a non-profit, independent research laboratory which works with governments, major corporate and industry leaders. It undertakes most advanced R&D and is accredited with the development of technologies like Siri, online banking, medical ultrasound, and many more.
SRI has revenue of more than $500 million, which is generated from sponsored research and is reinvested back into the organization.
Its long term strategy is not specifically mentioned, but we can see a trend towards partnering with international governments like Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Oman.
In 2017, it has also invested in two startups suggesting that the organization is looking to tap research capabilities in the startup ecosystem.

UNCHARTED

Uncharted is an organization which assists entrepreneurs by collaborating with governments, foundations, corporations along with mentors and investors.
While the quantum of funding is unavailable, it has received funding from more than 540 funders including angel groups, international funds, and foundations. It also raises funds through public donations. While explicit, long term strategy is not mentioned, but from the publicly available information, we can infer that organization is focused on building its international network of entrepreneurs and funders. Recently it has launched its accelerator in Nigeria and Pakistan.

GOOGLEX

GoogleX or X is a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent organization of Google. It has a budget of around $1 billion per year, which is funded by Alphabet. It works on big problems which would require a radical solution and breakthrough technologies. The team comprises engineers and scientists with deep technical expertise. The ideas are taken to a level, where they are graduated into a separate entity. As per a statement by Astro Teller who is heading X, the mission of X is to improve technologies by a factor of 10 and develop science-fiction type solutions.

ATOMIC LABS

Atomic Labs is a VC fund, supported by Peter Thiel and Marc Andreessen. It has raised $20 million in Oct 2017. Atomic Labs is working towards building long-lasting companies. It generates ideas and then finds suitable entrepreneurs for execution. So far it has come up with 10 companies. While no explicit statement has come from leadership regarding long term strategy, it is believed that Atomic Labs is trying to upend the VC model by mashing together the roles of founder and investor.

HUMAN VENTURES

Human Ventures, is a startup studio fund based out of New York, which helps talented entrepreneurs in starting their companies. It brings in industry experts, advisors, investors, entrepreneur and talent together. Its portfolio includes 12 startups from tutor software to matchmaking in NYC Silicon Alley. The funding detail of Human Ventures is not available. As per the available information, it is a fund founded by Joe Marchese and other New York-based angel investors. Joe Marchese has sold his adtech firm for $200 million to 21st Century Fox in 2014. While no specific focus is mentioned, from our analysis of portfolio companies, it has invested in seven startups founded or co-founded by women out of a total of 12.

CONCLUSION

The competitive landscape of SRI International, Uncharted, GoogleX, Atomic Labs and Human Ventures has been compiled in the attached spreadsheet.

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Competitive Landscape — Ideas42-FuturePublic

The information about Ideas42, Future Public, In With Forward, DS4SI, Not Impossible Labs, and Nex.tt has been compiled into "Set 2" tab of the attached spreadsheet. You will also find brief summaries with links to all included sources below. Please note that for most companies, there were no up-to-date direct statements about long-term strategy on the websites, press releases, social media profiles, articles in the media, or in the interviews with the leaders of those organizations. I made assumptions based on the available content.

The organizations have a variety of funding sources, with foundations and government bodies appearing most frequently. Also, Nex.tt has 5-10% equity in accelerated businesses and charges entrepreneurs a $100 application fee. In With Forward also has a membership fee for the access to its resources. Most of the organizations utilize partnerships with public bodies and companies that can help to accelerate their products. They also have teams of experts in multiple fields. Additionally, Not Impossible Labs uses crowdsourcing to develop solutions for healthcare issues.

FINDINGS

Ideas42

Ideas42, funded by grants issued by foundations for specific projects, relies on its advisors and affiliates for behavioral sciences insights and partnerships with private and public bodies for implementing their solutions. They also host competitions to incubate innovative ideas. Some of the grants include those from The Rockefeller Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. There are no direct statements about long-term strategy. The content on the website suggests that long-term projects depend on partnerships with the government, large banks and lenders, and leading healthcare providers.

Nex.tt

Nex.tt received initial funding in the seed funding round in 2013. Now, it charges entrepreneurs a $100 application fee and takes 5-10% equity in the businesses they start. It works as a pre-accelerator, where entrepreneurs can test their ideas and build products or services from scratch, with the help of 50+ in-house experts, such as developers, designers, and attorneys. While there are no direct statements about long-term strategy, it seems that the company is largely dependent on its network of experts, without whom Nex.tt would be unable to accelerate ideas with such a quick turnaround.

Not Impossible Labs

Not Impossible Labs receives donations through the accompanying Not Impossible Foundation. Some of the projects, including Not Impossible Awards, are also co-sponsored by large companies, such as Intel or Avnet. This lab focuses on tackling healthcare issues with innovative tech solutions, utilizing the skills of its community of experts and crowdsourcing. As mentioned, they also host Not Impossible Awards, which promote a similar approach to healthcare innovation. The last statement about strategy is from 2014 when the founder and CEO said that building the community of experts who can help develop the solutions is key to future success.

Please note that I used one source from 2014. All strategy-related information about the company in the media was from that year.

Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI)

DS4SI receives funding from various foundations, all listed on the studio's website. The team consists of artists, activists, academics, designers, and other experts. They occasionally partner with other institutions. DS4SI takes on clients, who are also listed on the website. Projects included on the website show that the studio also does non-commissioned work with the help of local artists. While there are no direct statements about long-term strategy, the studio's website suggests that maintaining funding is key to their success.

FUTURE PUBLIC

There isn't much information regarding Future Public's funding on the website or in the media. Two of its recent projects were funded by the Big Lottery, one of them under the Commissioning Better Outcomes Fund. We can assume that the organization is funded by public bodies which commission the projects it helps with. Future Public partners with public good-oriented organizations, including commissioners and delivery providers. Their team helps with service design, strategic business development, proposition development, and impact-readiness services. There are no statements regarding long-term strategy. By analyzing recent projects, I concluded that partnerships with city councils are key to the company's success.

Please note that it was especially hard to find direct answers about Future Public. The website doesn't include "About" section. Also, press searches into the organization and its directors, as well as its social media profiles, don't provide any valuable insights.

In With Forward

In With Forward's projects are funded by foundations, agencies, and government bodies through its partnerships with social services. The company itself doesn't have a non-profit status. Additionally, they have a membership fee for organizations that want to have access to their resources for social R&D. Their work process consists of designing a specific social solution and establishing a formal partnership with social services to implement it. They also collaborate with experts from multiple fields. Their strategic goals include national and international expansion and improving the behavioral change framework for organizations, which they started to test in 2017.

Conclusion

The competitive analysis of Ideas42, Future Public, In With Forward, DS4SI, Not Impossible Labs, and Nex.tt has been compiled into "Set 2" tab of the attached spreadsheet.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01