Catalyst Companies: The Year in Review and Planning for 2015
It’s the end of the year. This post is a reflection of the Collaborative Economy market and Catalyst Companies in 2014, as well as a look towards what lies ahead.
The Collaborative Economy was a leading business topic of 2014. Over the past year, the Collaborative Economy movement has gained more attention from mainstream media, seen incredible pushback from the incumbents like taxi companies and obtained tremendous amounts of funding, while some startups created situations that left them exposed to intense scrutiny. Meanwhile, adoption by the public was forecasted to double (my findings on WSJ), it expanded into nearly every aspect of society, and shows no signs of decline. It truly is a movement in every regard.
Catalyst Companies, has experienced over 100% growth. The council I founded, Catalyst Companies, is now one year old, and we’ve also shown notable growth. We’re a membership for visionary leaders of innovative at large, established companies who want to embrace this movement – not be disrupted by it. We connect our members to a community of peers, industry experts and startups who are ready to partner. We host in-person and online events, and provide an archive of resources. If you work at a large company and want to learn more about our services, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The company has grown (see about page) and I’m joined by two full time team members, Angus Nelson, head of Member Success, Julie Viola head of Operations (with whom I previously worked for about four years), Laura from Zirtual, who leads coordination and special projects, and a host of other continuing business partners from our network and beyond.
Catalyst Companies 2014, by the numbers, we’ve:
- launched with 24 brands as founding members. To date, we’re at nearly 50 members, over 100% growth in one year, see list of members,
- have hosted five in-person events, including two multi-day summits, topical based salons, and member meet-ups and our kick off event,
- conducted over 28 online, recorded webinar sessions for members,
- introduced over two-dozen vetted startups to the council to enable new partnerships,
- learned from industry experts like Lisa Gansky, Mark Hatch, Arun Sundararajan, Terry Young, as well as the White House, and more,
- expanded the Innovation Network of leading stratups to include Lyft, Indiegogo, Elance-oDesk and Brit & Co. Over two dozen startups are now involved,
- led the online discussion by publishing Honeycomb version 1.0 and Honeycomb version 2.0, Sharing is the New Buying (100K+ views), and 2015 is the Year of the Crowd (200k+ views),
- published 53 blog posts on Web Strategy, and conducted numerous guests posts on other websites, referenced by media,
- presented at business conferences like Dreamforce, Oracle World, SocialShakeup, Airbnb conference, LeWeb and co-hosted the Resilient Summit in Kansas City,
- most importantly, we’ve seen a number of our members deploy to leadership positions in the market. Read the timeline and comments to see how they’re moving forward.
To scale, We’ve used as many Crowd Services, ourselves
We were busy trying to build a scalable business. To the best of our ability, we have tried to live the movement of access over ownership, on-demand services and tapping the crowd. We have been able to be efficient because we also live this movement as much as possible. We use co-working spaces like Breather and the Impact Hub on demand, tap ridesharing, stay at Airbnbs, use crowd-based services like Cloudpeeps, oDesk, Crowdspring, Shapeways and others. The Wall Street Journal invited me to share how we use crowd services.
We’ll be expanding the website to feature the successes our members have had in the market.
- We will continue to publish industry-leading research and documents that can be referenced by the industry as a whole.
- I will be speaking at a number of conferences, including the Swiss Economic Forum, Ouishare Festival, and the Collaborative Economy conference. I’m available to be booked through APB Speakers Bureau.
- We already have more than five events planned for our members, and we’re considering some which could be open to the public.
- We are growing in Europe and are planning a member event there in Q2.
- We are planning to hear case studies of consulting firms who’ve deployed with large brands in this market, to help tell your story.
If you’d like to understand where we believe 2015 is headed, and if you know of innovative leaders at large corporations that want to join the council, we look forward to connecting with you, please contact me at email@example.com – thank you!
To best illustrate some of our physical events –see gallery, below:
Catalyst Companies Spring Summit, SF 2014, a focus on sharing economy and maker movement, hosted by member Autodesk
Private tour of Shapeways, a 3D printing factory
Catalyst Companies Fall Summit, NY, 2014, hosted by member Polycom
Council Members from top brands share their perspective, Fall Summit.
Catalyst Companies Immersion Tours at Techshop with CEO Mark Hatch, SF
We’re all connected, led by Angus Nelson, head of member success
Catalyst Companies members meet Techshop, Brit&Co, TypeAMachines, Custom Made, Shapeways and other startups
Catalyst Companies Fall Summit 2014, a focus on retail and future of finance hosted by member Polycom.
Touring Shapeways 3D Printing Factory
The team: Angus, Jeremiah, Julie (not featured are our many partners, contractors and crowd-based providers)