Hub Notes from Kings Cross

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Hub Notes from Kings Cross

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:09 am

All Hub's:

Permanent staff is comprised of Hosts and Executives.
Hosts man the door, talk to people, help organize events, man cafes (if there is one), talk to people, suggest connections, day-to-day running of the Hub, adding members, and blends into the executive positions
Executives run the higher level issues of the Hub; marketing ideas, advertising, development of the Hub, development of processes, communication with other Hubs, vision, planning of events, and blends down into permenant staff.
In addition many Hubs take advantage of Interns, such as myself, either borrowed from companies that are members of the Hub or hired by the Hub itself.
All members of the permenant staff are paid on a salary basis while Interns are paid hourly, if at all. Staff need not be owners/shareholders of the Hub but it may be a logical choice for alignment of incentives at least in the early stages.
King's Cross has 2 executives, 2 hosts, and, with the addition of myself, 2 interns at this time. This makes it one of the more heavily staffed Hubs at this time. Islington currently runs with 2 host/executives that are able to fulfill all needed duties.

Corporate Structure:

The Islington Hub is a private limited company owned by the original group who founded it and developed the brand. They serve as a link between all 'registered' Hubs and manage the brand as a whole. They have developed a team that assist in the set-up of Hubs though this group is still in development, as per my understanding.

The Kx (Kings Cross) Hub is legally a partnership between the Islington Hub and a private company. Other Hubs are set up in a variety of manners as per the desires of the individuals creating a Hub.

Ethos:

"The Importance of Islington" - as the first Hub they realized that they could not create carbon copies of their Hub as each Hub would need to reflect the creators and community. Thus there is the theory that all the Hubs are 'siblings' in that they are different but come from the same source, it has even been said they have the "same DNA in their veins". Kx, in particular, is considered the younger, hipper, sibling of Islington. Whereas Islington originally was founded exclusively for Social Entrepreneurs, Kx is founded for members from a variety of fields, whether they be charities, employees of a large firm, or entreprenuers themselves, SO LONG as they subscribe to the Hub mentality.

The Hub aims to bring together separate groups of knowledge in hopes of creating a better future. This is facilitated in a variety of ways, including the role of the Host's in knowing members, the Hub intranet (discussed later), a friendly atmosphere/environment and events that people can relax and network at. Everything is done to ensure there is a consistent culture about the Hub and little things often become very important: Rather then producing paper brochures, both Islington and Kx have electronic ones (attached) that are mailed out in response to interest, all coffee and food that is served is organic and free trade, and the Hub aims to be waste free; recycling or composting all of their waste.

Hub Brand:

The Hub as an international brand has been developed by Islington originally and grown through several other Hubs. One of the major things that holds all Hubs together and creates a definitive community is the Hub Intranet. This is an online network, only accessible by members, that has contact information, a picture for, and synopsis of who they are, similar to Facebook. This links ALL Hub members from across the globe together by a few links. Thanks to the culture of the brand, it becomes very easy and open to contact people for discussions, meetings, projects, or whatever you would want. The Hub brand also provides members with a Hub Passport that allows them to travel to any Hub around the world to use their resources.

Finances:

Money is, as everyone knows, the bottom line. The Hub's main revenue stream comes from memberships (usually paid monthly or in one yearly payment at a discount). This means that the #1 most important thing for a Hub is value added for the members. This is done through superior services, facilities, and the entire culture and purpose of the Hub. The second most important revenue stream is the rental of specific resources (meeting rooms to the entire facility for evening events). This can, at times, surpass the stream from revenues BUT it is an important aspect of the Hub that these can only be booked and paid for by a member. This ensures that there are not strangers wandering in and out in large numbers, taking advantage of the Hub and diluting the brand. Finally, some Hubs, like Kx, have a small cafe that is part of the Hub as a tertiary revenue stream. Islington has a free kitchen that members are allowed to use as an aspect of their culture. Essentially there needs to be a kitchen/cafe of some kind to add to the culture of the Hub and it a matter of choice one or the other.

Marketing:

The majority of Hubs post Islington create an initial interest in the Hub (similar to our meetings in 2008) through a mass email to local individuals of interest. Kx, for example, sent emails to 10,000 businesspeople, charity workers, artists, and other suggested people about a month or so before the front doors were opened. This allowed them to have members before they even opened the doors. Post opening the greatest tool of most Hub's has been word of mouth. Due to the nature of the Hub, members often wish that it is to be successful and are often excited to talk about it. Another helpful piece of spreading the word is PR caused by events and members. In this way it is beneficial for the Hub to give back to its members so everyone can win.

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