Early summer 2022 update: founder, Becca Williams, is deeply exploring how she might first build Like Hearts Lab in the metaverse as a proof of concept that removes geographic barriers, reduces startup costs, and minimizes housing constraints, with potential for even greater and more widespread social and financial returns and benefits.
Phase 1 (in progress): lease existing commercial space in Buena Vista, Colorado that can be used in flexible ways. Surplus space can be rented to impact founders, e/retailers, local non-profits, artists, podcasters, technologists, and other social enterprises on a short-term basis. If Town will allow, can consider parking a tiny house on the premises that can serve as a “stay and sell” lodging space, enabling micro-retail businesses from out of the area to test new concepts and merchandise in a low-risk environment while staying in proximity.
Create a partnership and pipeline to help individuals formerly involved in the justice system to re-enter society through a fellowship/employment rotation program and/or partner with a Colorado-based non-profit that creates entrepreneurship opportunities for those individuals to run a micro-retail space.
Create a partnership with a local non-profit that creates meaningful work opportunities for neurodiverse individuals that can allow them to test social enterprise concepts.
Goal: deliver value to the Buena Vista community, collect data around needs of impact founders in order to shape the future experience, gather data on which/how many of the millions of annual visitors to Chaffee County identify as socially-conscious, test a sustainable short-term rental model that could serve as a case study/new category for Airbnb
Phase 2: create a campus near town as part of other development efforts centered on attainable housing
Goal: create a “catalytic community”
Phase 3: relocate to accommodate growth on significant acreage
Goal: maximize potential impact of community
Ongoing: a small, curated 1/2 day gathering of impact founders, non-profit leaders, board members, small business owners, artists, writers, technologists, entrepreneurs, musicians, community organizers, activists, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability executives who prioritize positive social impact as a core value
Goal: continue to refine the story of the value proposition of an impact-focused community
Ongoing: design and host a two-week mini-sabbatical/retreat experience for the people above
Goal: test whether my target market is willing to invest in this kind of experience, create tangible results for a curated group that can advance the story of catalyzing and amplifying impact, all while minimizing total investment using existing local tourism infrastructure and services.