the tactic toolbox • the scheme suite • the manuever manual • the blueprint bundle • the playbook pack • the approach arsenal • the strategy suitcase • the resource repository • the tactic toolbox • the scheme suite • the manuever manual • the blueprint bundle • the playbook pack • the approach arsenal • the strategy suitcase • the resource repository • the tactic toolbox • the scheme suite • the manuever manual • the blueprint bundle • the playbook pack • the approach arsenal • the strategy suitcase • the resource repository

How to handoff to new hosts

Written by Ananya Anupam, Jake Rudolph and Seneca Forster

Beyond fostering spaces for amazing work, longevity should be one of the primary areas of focus for nodes. Being able to identify and nurture relationships with other awesome people who will carry the torch for the community is incredibly important, and making sure you’ve set out a plan for how the node will last beyond you is essential!

To some extent, this document originated from the work existing hosts did to make sure incoming hosts would be able to run and scale sessions without dealing with any loss of context. So much of the work that goes into Socratica is experimental, and a great handoff allows us to try more things while banking on a foundation of tried and tested principles.

General Notes/Thoughts

  • First, form an incoming team! The host role is a fair amount of commitment, and it’s always valuable to have more than two hosts at any given time, especially when accounting for weekend travel plans, midterms and academic commitments, and general availability.
  • Handoff needs to happen early — the more time you give new hosts to get used to the additional responsibility, the better. Ideally, new hosts attend the last couple sessions of the previous term to get an idea of the basic responsibilities of running sessions (food ordering, location set up, etc.) without having to worry about remembering everything.
  • For a deep dive into the role of a host and setting yourself up for success within the role, look at the growing-people section of the toolbox!

Choosing hosts

  • Cultivate the relationships early
  • Look for people that already embody the values you want to carry forward
  • People that don’t know that they want to be hosts

See also: How to find co-hosts

Onboarding new hosts

A helpful way to onboard new hosts is to share some notes on Notion/Google Docs guiding them on organizing weekly sessions. These notes will vary depending on the session format you follow, but ones to consider can be:

  • A to-do list of action items for:
    • Pre-session (room set up, check sign up forms for accommodations and photo consent, etc.)
    • Organizing activities (lead intro circles, curate demo line up during break, time demos, etc.)
    • Post-session (upload pictures to shared Google Photos, message new people thanking them for coming, make new Luma event page for next week, etc.)
  • A list of potential icebreaker questions to easily choose from and keep track of questions already asked
  • A “demo diary” listing presenters and projects described in a brief sentence
  • A short video or written instructions explaining how to set up any audio/video equipment in the room

How to fundraise

Written by Rishi Kothari and Joss Murphy

For many, the first mistake is to focus too much on having funding before running a session. Our point here is that you don’t need much more than space, cool people & friends, and good vibes. Back when Socratica Toronto was first getting started, it was ten friends, too many cookies, and the food court. We could have skipped the cookies and it would have still been great. Anyways, an event doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles to be a good one; it just needs to be memorable to the people who are there. Money can be an excellent way to add to your events, but it is in no way a prerequisite: often, having financial infrastructure, sponsors, a full process for raising funds, and everything associated with it can actually be a hindrance to running good events.

TL;DR- don’t let yourself get overly serious in the beginning; raise money when it’s absolutely, unequivocally necessary to add to your events.

All that being said, if exploring funding options sounds like a good idea for your node, here are some ideas that have worked well for us in the past:

  • Potential Donor: Venture firms

    • Incentive: Lots of amazing things come out of universities and likely these sessions! They want to be the first to know. Them sponsoring = paying you to do advertising on behalf of their brand.

    • Where to find: At Waterloo, we have a partnership with Contrary, a relationship that was built through our organizers’ involvement in their VP and Fellowship program. Twitter is also a useful platform to find other potential sponsors, including student-oriented and general venture firms. Some examples include Neo, Dorm Room Fund, Rough Draft Ventures, and Ripple Ventures.

    • Watch out for: Be cautious of firms that may take advantage of students’ lack of experience. Avoid doing unpaid work for for-profit companies – ensure that they are sponsoring or partnering with your agenda. If it’s their agenda, they should hire someone and pay them accordingly. Be wary of requests for exclusive access to the community (e.g. no other sponsors allowed) - this could be seen as unpaid work for a company. Also, ensure that any firm you partner with aligns with your values – remember, your partnership is an endorsement, and people will trust your judgment of character.

  • Potential Donor: Accelerators and Incubators

    • Incentive: Wanting excellent bias-to-action people (and obviously the companies that sprout from them). Them sponsoring = paying you to do advertising on behalf of their brand AND trying to buy loyalty and gain trust for if/when attendees want to be part of the accelerator.

    • Where to find: Your university’s entrepreneurship or engineering faculty are good places to start to your search—Waterloo receives support from Velocity and Eigenspace; university-focused accelerators are mandated to support students! Press—most new accelerators & funds will have some kind of public process for recruiting founders. See TechCrunch/Forbes.

    • Watch out for: They might not have a budget to sponsor stuff, likely more able to give you space / resources / connections. For these things, they might charge money because it’s part of their business model. See venture firm red flags.

  • Potential Donor: Local startups and companies

    • Incentive: Wanting to give back and cultivate ecosystem. Building some kind of hiring pipeline or local cultural values.

    • Where to find: Google maps! Startups close to your university are usually there for a reason—seek help from those around you first! Values aligned founders and companies. Word of mouth. Companies with history of supporting young / underrepresented people.

    • Watch out for: Space that’s not close to where your target demographic lives / not accessible via transit. Values alignment: the relationship your members may have with a company you work with is deeper than that of a VC or accelerator; ask yourself if you’d work for them as a potential employee & if you truly feel represented by them.

  • Potential Donor: Individual altruists

    • Incentive: Believing in a better version of the world and wanting to be part of making it happen.

    • Where to find: Alumni of stuff related to your attendees. Similar demographic of attendees or family members who are similar demographic of attendees. Building stuff that feels values aligned.

    • Watch out for: These relationships may be harder to “pass off” term over term as they are highly personal and variable to individuals’ financial situations.

  • Potential Donor: Grants

    • Incentive: Believing in a better version of the world and wanting to be part of making it happen.

    • Where to find: Twitter, the internet (Curius!). Rationality/special interest communities (or anywhere else independent research is conducted/emphasized). Local universities. City, Government. Local banks.

    • Watch out for: Make sure the effort expended: money received ratio is worth it. Your time has value (especially as an organizer)! Be wary of super long shot stuff, really focus on ones where you feel you are the ideal candidate applying. Local stuff is great.



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