The proposal aims to create a for-profit business environment based on the not-for-profit research and communication activities of ITKI. The purpose of the proposal is to identify and assess the business opportunities created by ITKI and its prime deliverables, the Traditional Knowledge World Bank and TKWB Toolkit.

The adoption of a cultivated-business strategy as outlined here will enable ITKI to attract equity capital, in addition to the public grants and charitable donations for which the Institute is currently eligible, and to leverage that capital to maximize ROI for the Institute and its investors. It will also contribute to the long-term sustainability of ITKI by creating a guaranteed minimum turnover.

The assumptions on which the proposal is based are:

  1. ITKI will build a capital endowment, revenues from which will be used to finance its not-for-profit activities.
  2. By opening its potentially profitable initiatives to private investors, ITKI will increase its organizational capacity and diminish the financial risks associated with its actions.
  3. By partnering, in the investment of its capital endowment, with others in a multi-investor fund focusing on TK and its innovative use, ITKI will benefit from economies of scale while furthering its cause.
  4. By facilitating the practical application of its research findings ITKI will generate increased interest in its core concerns and establish close, permanent bonds with end users (fidelization).
  5. By creating a community of economically sustainable for-profit businesses that utilize its research on an ongoing basis, ITKI will assure the long-term sustainability of its intellectual-capital investments.

To achieve the “daisy” of overlapping business interests described below, it is not necessary for ITKI to start up new enterprises, particularly in fields in which it has no expertise and no mandate (such as banking and finance). In the scenario described here it will be sufficient to establish privileged relationships, or to form joint ventures, with businesses that already have a strong track record in their respective fields. For example, ITKI may partner with Etica SGR (Italy) or Triodos (UK) to establish the TK Fund.

The ITKI Cultivated Business environment will include, but not be limited to:

TK Partners
Development and asset acquisition vehicle for a variety of property types including both improved properties and land. Forms partnerships with individual, corporate and institutional clients to rezone, entitle, plan and develop office, retail, multifamily, hospitality (geo-tourism), industrial, agricultural and residential real estate; institutional role in these partnerships includes acquisition, land entitlement, development, financing (both debt and equity) marketing, leasing, facility maintenance, budgeting, asset management and disposition.

TK Intellectual property center
A “chamber of commerce” to protect the interests of the indigenous peoples to whose collective heritage TK belongs. Local, regional and global advocacy, including defense of the rights of peoples to TK drawn from their collective history. Foreign trade promotion, vocational training and general services to members.

TK Fund
Innovative traditional business investment fund. Promotes collective investments with a wide range of investment aims targeting TK and its innovative use. Investment partner for ITKI capital endowment: investing money alongside other investors allows ITKI to benefit from the inherent advantages of working as part of a group. These advantages include an ability to hire a professional investment manager, which, theoretically offers the prospects of better returns and/or risk management; benefit from economies of scale (cost sharing among others); diversify more than would be feasible as an individual investor, theoretically reducing risk.

TK Financial service center
Capital markets arm of ITKI; correspondent lending; placement of debt and equity with banks, pension funds, opportunity funds and private equity; construction loans, bridge loans, term loans, mezzanine debt, participating mortgages, preferred equity and joint ventures.

TK Center for sustainable living
Sustainable products and services based on TK; Lexicon of best practices in resource management; geo-tourism; ITKI Store (online and in selected sales points concorded with partner organizations such as natural history museums, botanical gardens, etc.). In short, the Center for sustainable living is ITKI’s retail arm.

TK Conseil
Risk management consultancy. Identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks; coordinated and economical application of TK and other resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of negative events or to maximize the development of positive opportunities.

Professional office for traditional/innovative design, engineering and architecture. Ipogea’s current research functions to be ceded to ITKI.