A couple days ago I was having a Skype call with my sister. That’s not easy – we’re nine hours apart – with her living in Portland, Oregon and us here in Berlin. So we usually connect on the weekends when she’s not working. Since last year she’s been at Wieden + Kennedy as an Interactive Strategist. I was telling her about how we’d like to grow KS12 and she asked me whether I thought KS12 is a startup. I said it depends. Considering we’ve been doing this for years now it doesn’t feel new the way a startup is new. On the other hand, we’ve had ups and downs figuring out what exactly it is that KS12 does. If you’ve been paying careful attention to our website there are pages which have come and gone over the years as we’ve iterated on our identity and process. So yeah; KS12 is sort of a startup in that we’re still defining things, and also not a startup because we’ve been at this for a while.
Then my sister told me about the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE). According to them, they are “bringing together the brightest minds in business, marketing, and technology to create the most interesting and engaging startups imaginable.” At first glance I was drawn to the video content on the site – YouTube pitch clips of previous incubator participants. Watching a couple of those videos started to bring up familiar and contradictory feelings; on the one hand identifying as an entrepreneur, on the other hand not having an interest in building a web platform or mobile app. But luckily today I dug a little deeper. I found out that PIE has been involved with a handful of companies that are producing media: Uncorked Studios, Refresh and Epipheo.
Our curiosity is officially sparked: can KS12 get itself incubated?
We’re going to give it a shot at least. Seems like a good time to try. We’re going to use this blog to chart the process of trying to define the KS12 product as something worthy of investment. The worst thing that can happen is that we’ll get rejected. The best thing that could happen is you could be seeing a lot more KS12 videos soon. Cross your fingers for us – the deadline for the application is next Tuesday!
Footnote: I wonder if there are any other incubators with this sort of relationship to an advertising agency. From my knowledge of these sorts of initiatives, PIE does seem unique.