When competition becomes co-operation: a growth story
It started with a visit to iHub, the edTech incubator housed at the DSBN Academy. I'd wanted to see what they were up to for a while and how Cowork Niagara could support what they're doing.
About a half hour into the meeting, we started talking about events we were putting on over the next little bit so that we could identify areas to work together.
We both mentioned events that are happening March 5th, 2016.
Cowork Niagara is hosting Niagara's 5th annual International Open Data Day.
iHub is hosting a new event called 6Social.
Both of these events look really cool and have a similar social focus. I think both sides felt a bit disappointed that we'd end up competing for the same audience and volunteers.
But after looking at it, we discovered that it's actually very different audiences. They want kids 12-17. Ours, to be honest, is really geared more to adults (not that we would exclude kids, but it's just not the focus of this particular event). Quickly we came to the understanding that we could support one another in promotion, resources, and participation. So we spent about 20 minutes and sketched out how we could work together.
Here's the things we decided to do together:
- cross promote ideas
- introduce our networks to both events and explain the kinds of volunteers we're looking for.
- connect each other's event to the data sets we're using
- provide collaboration opportunities throughout the day, including opening and closing videoconferences talking about what we learned.