Ideas Farm is a new event from the people behind The Do Lectures and it aims to pair young entrepreneurs with successful business people to create a new wave of indie projects.

Ideas Farm is a new event from the people behind The Do Lectures and it aims to pair young entrepreneurs with successful business people to create a new wave of indie projects.

We live in the age of advice. Everyone seems to be blessed with it in bucketloads and you can make a pretty penny from expounding it via any number of inspirational platforms sitting profoundly on the interweb. Make yours succinct enough and you might even end up helvetica’d over an image of a beach uploaded to pinterest like a cheap Ruscha.

With so much advice circulating it’s hard to know what to take note of and what to pass up. You need a good curator, which is where new event Ideas Farm – brought to you by the people who founded creative conference The Do Lectures – comes in. With a mission statement to turn thoughts into reality, Ideas Farm is inviting young people with seeds of ideas to attend 14 days and nights of creative mentoring in the remote Welsh countryside and take their thinking to the next level.

We caught up with founder David Hieatt to find out more.

Can you tell us about Ideas Farm and why you decided to launch it…
Ideas Farm is our attempt to help some young start-ups build their companies. We’re asking people to pitch their tents in our field, and 14 days and 14 nights later, we’re asking them to pitch their idea to the world – with the hope that they can then get funding to go do it. There are going to be 100 mentors available on Skype, speakers every night, bands playing, farm suppers It’s a small community of like-minded founders helping each other. We’re going to apply some pretty harsh deadlines and we’re going to ask the young start-ups to sprint – to take a very raw idea to something very investible. Our focus is to find companies that really want to create change and make the world a better place.

This is an evolution of the original Do Lectures event. Why did you want to step things up?
Over the last seven years of The Do Lectures we’ve amassed an incredible network that really want to help each other. It would be a shame not to use that to try and help these young entrepreneurs. They’re on the runway and they have their wings and we just have to try and give them the confidence to understand that they can fly.

So the mentors are all previous speakers?
Yeah and there are about 100 signed up for the Skype sessions. That could be anyone from Zack who started Vimeo to Perry who helped start Kickstarter – so they’re really people who’ve been there and done pretty scalable ideas. And they’re all great fans of The Do Lectures and they’re keen to help other people.

What are you looking for in potential applications?
In terms of the people, obviously they need to be bright but they also need to have some grit. They need to be stubborn and work well in a team. The people are the most important thing. Because if they quit on something, even the best ideas will fail. We’re looking for people who really will, when tested, keep pushing. In terms of ideas, we don’t know want somebody who’s just going to build a really cool app – that’s what Silicon Valley is for. They do it well and we should let them do that. We’re looking for people who want to change the food chain, or make people happier, or want to clean up rivers. We’re looking for people who want to use their business as a tool for change.

Why do you think the world needs Ideas Farm?
We don’t want to be the best start-up school in the world. We want to the be the best start-up school for the world. And I think that’s an important distinction. We’re here to try and make this world a better place and if we can go and give some of these people some great advice, some tough deadlines, and some access to money, then that’s a reason for us to exist. There are a lot of start-up schools but 99.9 percent of them are not purpose-driven, they’re there to build the next big app. And that’s not for us.

What’s a better world look like?
Well how do we make people happier? How do we give people more confidence? How do we look after planet Earth? There’s only one planet and it only has so many resources. How do we eat healthier? How do we exercise more? There are a lot of great questions out there and we want to find some great answers.

A lot of motivational rhetoric lacks pragmatism. Is Ideas Farm a reaction to all that lofty talk?
Yeah, it’s a nuts0and-bolts thing. How are we going to solve these problems? How are we going to launch this company? We want these companies to start. The worst thing in the world is if these companies stay in people’s heads. We want to be practical about things.

What would make it a success for you?
We want to get these companies to a level where people might invest in them. Our aim is to raise money for those companies.

What if people wanted to do something more subversive – outside the business models of capitalism. Would you support them?
Oh yes. We cater for pirates.