Key areas of activity for an incubator partner

An incubator partnership - originally our preferred option - is a hybrid arrangement, a cross between an anchor partnership and a more conventional 'external' incubator or 'accelerator' programme.

By an 'incubator partner' we mean an existing agency - preferably one with CIC or charitable status - that is able to step in and support the activity of the small group of volunteers enthusiasts who are aiming to maintain and even develop further the level of activity on this site, and develop the PIElink project team within its own organisation, until such time as the new team is ready and equipped to be hived off and stand alone as a company in its own right.

An incubator partner needs to have not-for-profit status - ideally but not necessarily charitable status - in order to be able to bid immediately for philanthropic funding for future investment and expansion; and to agree 'secondment's of staff from other existing agencies, to provide additional time and expertise during this 'start up' stage.

Although the PIEPR CIC does now exist in its own right, an incubator partnership remains 'on the table', as a means to leverage resources into the project until such time as the company has attracted the funding to employ staff directly (which takes time, for funding applications to be processed).

Areas of activity for an incubator partner

There are three key areas of activity for an incubator partner, at this stage. These three key are:

Firstly to maintain the current activities of the website - at least to the activity levels of 2021, before they were suspended through the news of the health of the then editor, Robin Johnson (whose health that meant he had to bring forward plans to retire 'at some point').

  • This means using - and co-ordinating - the offers of time to help that we already have from various quarters, extending further the forum discussions, developing the SIGs, establishing a ‘PIE surgery’ advice slot. The incubation agency itself does not need to have all the necessary contacts and knowledge in every area, just to work with those that do; and ideally, to be ready and able to enlist more.

The second key task is to develop further the initiatives that were immediately next in the pipeline in 2021, although limited in scope  (or only barely achievable, if at all, by one person on his own, as Robin had been).

  • Capitalising on the opportunity for expansion, when the activity levels here are no longer limited by one person's time, means (for example) undertaking or contracting in work on segmenting the current member database, so that future offers to get involved go more specifically to those who have wanted that level of engagement, and on the topics of their choosing.

The third, and in the end the most significant for the future, is to agree and put in applications on behalf of the project for funding to philanthropic and other agencies to continue developing the PIElink as an active interactive community of practice.

  • This will then allow us to more quickly and more significantly expand the new activities, with a level of resources that we do not expect the incubator to be able to offer.

Future sustainability

There is in fact an income stream already in play - the PIE Abacus - that in the fullness of time, and with effective marketing, may well bring in sufficient income to sustain much of this work.  In the more distant future, the prospects for developing training resources for the higher education sector.

These options are spelled out in some detail on the PIElink's pages (especially 'And now a word for our sponsors : HERE)  But we can best see these as the future business' flywheel; it still needs a starter motor.




And now a word for our sponsors :  HERE

The future of PIE and the PIElink : HERE

'Elevator pitch' extended version : HERE

Sponsorship, secondment, and services 'in kind' : HERE


A quick summary of one possible future:

Income via the PIE Abacus


FAQs - Costs and sustainability: HERE

Income via the vocational training model

Is this the future of vocational training? :  HERE

Is this the future of academic publishing : HERE

How audio-visuals can add value to academic publishing : HERE

Escaping from the stranglehold of journal publication : HERE

The homelessness sector as beneficiaries   :  HERE

Company structures, partnerships, and an editorial advisory board : HERE

An advisory group ( or 'editorial board') for the PIElink : HERE