June 8, 2010

I don't usually write about things IDEO is directly involved in but I am making an exception here.

Lars Hinrichs, founder of the social networking site for professionals XING, launched his next enterprise today. It's called HackFwd (Hack Forward) and it aims to be a place where European technology talent can develop new ideas. It's a pre-seed investment company that offers 'passionate geeks' the investment and support they need to develop their ideas and get them out into the world.

Living where I do in Silicon Valley it is easy to forget that this kind of entrepreneurial ecosystem does not exist everywhere and is particularly weak in Europe. Lars' venture is special not just because it is offering European tech entrepreneurs the chance to get local funding (and so not be forced to make the trek to California) but also because the whole business has been designed to deliver an experience that is tailored for geeks. Check out the great video animation with the voice over from Stephen Fry on the front page of the HackFwd site.