Leveraging our shared
community assets to empower entrepreneurs addressing social problems
Sustainable, scalable enterprises create step-change advances
Profit-driven enterprises are not distracted by fundraising cycles; their leaders wake up every day focused on creating change
Long-term existence is tied to the ability to create real value; that means serving, not exploiting, those affected by social issues
Scalable enterprises can accelerate their impact by rapidly proliferating their model within a city and across geographies
We are Collective Works
The Collective Works team has an unusual mix of experience in research & design, consulting, strategy, venture investing & corporate finance, and leadership. This allows us to take a rigorous approach to both understanding complex problems and implementing enduring solutions.
We partner with social entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations and for-profit, for-good businesses to help them scale their impact
We help leaders frame social problems in their local contexts and identify a range of options to address them utilizing design thinking and lean startup methods
NEW VENTURE CREATION
We partner to identify and launch new revenue-generating companies or lines-of-business that drive sustainability for the organization
EARLY VENTURE SUPPORT
We provide support services including business strategy, fundraising support, and executive coaching to help social ventures scale
Collective Works partners with CICOA to launch Duett
CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions, a non-profit agency, empowers older adults and people with disabilities to remain comfortably and safely at home through case management, including matching to in-home healthcare services. The agency's care management team developed a lightweight tool to reduce the number of hours spent manually matching over 700 service providers to those needing care. Collective Works partnered with CICOA to assess the market opportunity for a software solution that could address this need for 600 agencies similar to CICOA nationwide.
NEW VENTURE CREATION
After user validation with CICOA employees, Collective Works partnered with CICOA to refine the product roadmap, identify a CEO, and incorporate and fund a new startup. The partners co-founded Duett, an Indianapolis-based SaaS company, which increases the speed and quality of matches while enabling care managers to spend more time developing and executing personalized care plans for their clients
EARLY VENTURE SUPPORT
In order to enhance the success of Duett at an early stage, Collective Works holds two seats on the board of directors. In this capacity, Collective Works supports the CEO with early team hiring, compensation, and equity; development partner identification and vetting; and go-to-market strategy.
OUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
Our approach to designing businesses
City as a sandbox
We believe Indianapolis is a favorable place to create enterprises focused on social needs. Its urban density lowers barriers to accessing large user groups experiencing similar problems. The city's culture of collaboration enables entrepreneurs to test solutions to locally-felt problems with national implications.
Entrepreneur soul care
We believe there is a different pathway to enterprise success. Entrepreneurs experience high levels of anxiety, depression, divorce, and other psychological hardships. Existing in a community that encourages a more balanced lifestyle, a focus on self-care, and meaningful relationships not only allows for a more resilient founder, it leads to a more durable business in the long run.
We recognize the complexity of social problems, which require varied solutions that seek to break down barriers to human flourishing. No single solution will "solve" any systemic issue, so we believe in focusing on doing one thing well and partnering with an ecosystem to augment our impact while working generously with others.
We believe in designing "with" - not "for" - those in underserved communities by relying on their experiences and assets. When we humble ourselves to ask others for insights in a way that brings them dignity, we co-design solutions that empower individuals, lead to community ownership, and ultimately yield sustainable ventures.
We believe in listening and adapting. Each neighborhood, community, and city has their own nuances, which make blanket solutions not only ineffective, but harmful in some cases. Scaling successfully requires deep local knowledge, which occurs through constant dialog with respected community leaders.