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A "Football Academy" for 3D Printing Businesses
 Posted on 16/05/2014 - 08:44
Idea Outline
To use 3D printing as a catalyst to create an alternative community centric business culture; and organise facilities that are conducive for starting up maker/manufacturing businesses. To Meet - To Learn - To Do

The Challenge
Many academic, government and private organisations are supporting initiatives to encourage entrepreneurial activity. This renaissance is being helped by its popularisation in the media via television programs such as ‘The Apprentice’ & ‘Dragons Den’. However, the role of entrepreneur is not for everyone! It is far too risky for many and it needs a set of skills many of us do not possess; also the long hours, sense of isolation and reward expectations and realities, can also be a major put off to starting up and running a business. The challenge is to encourage and support anybody wanting to test and develop a 'viable' idea into a sustainable business; to find the complementary skills and knowledge they need; and primarily make it a sociable, interesting and meaningful activity.

The Solution

We define business as whatever we have to do as people to survive and preferably thrive.

We create an environment where ideas can be discussed and advice sought from people who have experience and where individuals have access to resources, to test ideas with minimal risk to themselves and their supporters.

We can deliver solutions as an 'academy' and our strategy is to use 3D printers to start small manufacturing businesses which will eventually grow with the academy's guidance.

Like a 'football academy' which can inspire and skill up individuals and create teams that play regularly; the aim is to do the same for start up businesses.

For this to work the environment, culture and operating principles have to be setup correctly and managed, this is what we are developing.


Target group and social impact
Anybody prepared to follow the aims and philosophy of our organisation, who want to start or be involved in creating business. We want to make business a social experience that builds communities, self help and sustainability. We want to integrate 'relevant' education into the process of doing business, and focus it on business needs and make it accessible to everyone; in bite sized formats as and when needed. We want to balance the collaborative aspects of working together with the competitiveness of testing skills and ideas to overcome the inevitable challenges we all face. We want to help people create a portfolio of business activities, starting with several micro-businesses to test ideas and find the best ideas that will flourish. We want 'crowd innovation'.




Competences of the applicant
The applicant has worked in IT for over 30+ years for multi-national companies; and attended university recently, studying part-time towards an MSc in e-Business. It is this experience that inspired the applicant that there was a better way to start up and run businesses. The "#3DPrinting Network Manchester" was co-founded by the applicant to research and test the concept being proposed.


Video Link
None posted
Social Category
  • Economic Empowerment and Prosperity
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Knowledge Society and Education

  • Tecnology Category
  • Audiovisual
  • Data
  • Web/Internet
  • Other

  • Please log in to Rate this Idea

    yeah sound like an enterprise club and not like an open club for everybody

    Idea Submitter

    It is open to everybody that is the point.

    Its purpose is to be self sustaining and help its members find success in doing real business.
    To be successful requires organisation; team work requires everybody to work together, like in football each player has their role.

    If you are confused, then to put it simply you wouldn't join a football club expecting to play basket ball.

    I like the idea, but 3D printing aside which I am very interested in, isn't this just an enterprise club?

    Idea Submitter

    Hi Amanda, thanks for liking the idea.

    To answer your question “isn't this just an enterprise club?”
    First let me pickup on the word ‘just’; are Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, just football clubs?
    They possibly are if you are a Rugby fan :-)

    I have helped setup enterprise clubs and their successes and failures have depended on how the people involved worked together in their respective teams. Team dynamics are greatly influenced by how the individuals that make up the team interact, which in turn is affected by their skills and attitude, their position in the group, their surroundings, the training, the tactics, the culture, the mix, etc. The successful teams know how to self manage and share the workload, the trick is to know how to manage the make up of teams to continually repeat success, which is the aim of football team manager, Sir Alex Ferguson did a successful job at Man United for a long time.

    Also motivation is a key factor, how often do we see clubs in lower divisions of football overcome their better payed opponents in the premier league when given the rare opportunity to meet, in say the FA cup; they are often better motivated and work better as a team for that one game.

    I have worked in large companies on pioneering projects in teams who had the ‘right stuff’ to make things happen. My colleagues have had similar experiences. We want to demonstrate how we can all organise ourselves better to improve our lives.

    We aim to make the academy more disciplined, better managed and better resourced than ‘just an enterprise club’

    Thanks for your comment :-)
    Mark