Creating an Open Model for a Teal Startup Incubator (IEC 2016 Preview)

By Pedro Portela and Victor Vorski for Enlivening Edge Magazine

Check here for other Integral European Conference previews from Enlivening Edge and visit the official IEC website here.

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Starting with the ideas of Reinventing Organizations and the work of the “Teal for Startups” working group, we hope to create an open model for a Teal Startup Incubator.

Incubators and accelerators for new businesses and organizations are enjoying growth and increasing popularity. However, the existing incubator model is firmly based in the old paradigm and is clearly showing its limitations, focusing on the product and financial aspects of creating a company while overlooking Purpose, Wholeness and the opportunities of Self-management—not to mention having limited views of wealth and community and ecosystem.

We will be hosting a Workshop at the Integral European Conference to begin exploring this topic, in early May.  In this workshop we will explore together the questions of how to develop this new-paradigm Teal business incubator.

Questions like:

  • How would such an incubator differ from the existing model?
  • How can an incubator guide startups to develop the full Teal model in addition to the traditional aspects of a business?
  • How can different incubators collaborate together around an open model?
  • What next steps need to be taken to bring this model to life?

Pedro’s Story

“Creating and engaging teams around a seemingly impossible mission has always been what gets me up in the morning. This is what motivated me to accept the challenge of starting a space technology company in Portugal almost ten years ago.  After leaving the company in late 2013, I spent two years researching about non-conventional ways of starting and managing projects and businesses. The process took me all the way to permaculture, to a business incubator, to Schumacher College and Dragon Dreaming, to alternative currencies, gift economy, Transition Towns, Theory U, and now to Teal Organisations.

It took me two years and a lot of energy and perseverance to find this movement! Two years is a lot of time! My purpose now is to spread the message that there is a different way of doing things. That we are here to actually do things differently. That it is OK to be dissatisfied with the status-quo and that dissatisfaction is, in fact, healthy.

That there are like-minded people who are prototyping and willing to reach out and share their experiences.

This is how, in January 2016, my life path crossed Victor’s life path. After joining the Teal for Startups Facebook group and a short skype call in December, a synchronicity took place. I took my VW campervan and drove 2 hours to meet face-to-face in a permaculture project in central Portugal where he was retreating for New Year’s. Twenty-four hours of intense conversations quickly went by and resulted in getting to know each other and gave rise to what you are now reading!

My Dream is to create a beautiful gathering place in the country I call home, Portugal. A place surrounded by Nature with inspiring views of the mountains or the ocean (or both!) A place where the air is pure, and creativity blossoms. Where you feel everything is possible because you are surrounded by people who share this ideal with you. A place that, not unlike a greenhouse, replicates the ideal conditions for seeds to sprout and grow before being planted in the main soil.

This Teal Incubator idea should see the first rays of light in Portugal, later in 2016.”

Victor’s Story

Starting with Lego, continuing through software and now arriving at building organisations, the passion to create has been at the core of my life. My other love is to connect people, catalysing connections and spreading ideas which spark off new collaborations. Six months ago we began the “Teal for Startups (T4S)” global online working group to create a map from the Teal perspective of the landscape of creating and nurturing a new company.

Creating T4S, a space where like-minded people can meet and collaborate, has been a thrilling experience. Connecting with hundreds of people in the Teal community and tens of hours of deep conversation has given me joyous hope for the future of humanity. I am excited about what follow-on projects and collaborations this community gives birth to, Teal Startup Incubator being one of them.

In the 21st century, innovation means not just creating new products and services, but also exploring new ways of collaborating. Start-ups hold the potential to readjust the pyramid of wealth distribution, ultimately the promise of a post-consumer-materialistic society.

I feel that start-ups are our future. Every year 2.3 million startups are created in the European Union; imagine the impact if we could help a few percent of them be Teal?

I see a trajectory of history where new Teal entities like mammals start in niches in the ecosystem but in a natural succession grow to replace the dinosaur domination-hierarchicy organisations as the centre of the ecosystem.

My personal dream is to build a village centred on creativity, collaboration, and learning, a Teal Village. I see the opening possibility to create a new kind of community, rural but modern, a “Village 3.0”. A place for people working online, a hub of entrepreneurship, art, craft & design. A village which is naturally a Teal Startup Incubator.  (Learn more at the “Teal Village” session at the IEC or on: Our hope is to build the first prototype Teal Village in Portugal.

I am also incredibly excited to be collaborating with Pedro on planning one of the first Teal Startup Incubators in Portugal.

What’s next – The Goal for 2016?

Our goal is to have the first iteration of the Teal Startup Incubator start by the end of 2016. We want this to be a co-creative process and invite you to actively become engaged with this adventure!

Come to the Workshop

Come to our Workshop at IEC, check the schedule here.

Join Us!

We are looking to form the core team to facilitate a working group to explore these ideas further and bring them into reality.

Let’s Partner! We are looking for organisations to partner with to run a pilot of the model, including new existing incubators interested in exploring new ways.

We are beginning the discussion today, join us:

Copy of PORTELA_PEDROBorn and raised in Porto, Portugal, Pedro is currently interested in alternative management models and the personal development aspects these models build upon. Pedro was one of the founders and, for 7 years, Chief Operations Officer of a German-Portuguese SME developing space flight hardware.  

After leaving the company to find new purpose in life, Pedro found renewed inspiration in permaculture, alternative currencies and social technologies like Dragon Dreaming. After a short time as manager of Portugal’s largest Science and Technology Park, he found his place in a local not-for-profit Association active in alternative community projects.  Profile: Facebook  Contact: skypeid “dr.abaqus”  Request meeting:

VV jpg image00Victor: Passionate about building a better future through creating more holistic, humane, joyful organisations. He dreams of creating systems which support wide-scale open collaboration and peer learning, and release human creativity. For the last 10 years Victor has worked in flexible global virtual teams, designing software and advising start-up ventures. He has extensive experience in software design and is passionate about usability and user experience. He is currently planning EarthSkyLab an Entreprenourial Teal village centered around creativity, collaboration and learning. Victor is craftsman and lover of nature, and co-initiator of Teal for Startups working group.

Profile: Facebook, part-up,

Contact: FB messenger, skype: vvorski

Request meeting – calendly/vvorski