Idea: Offer an Internet based Credit Union (think E-Trade except an online Credit Union instead of stock trading ) where profits from the organization are used to fund a combination of space prizes, R&D, and new space business ventures. A few more details:
- Federally charted to operate in all 50 states
- Sign ATM/branch sharing agreements with existing brick and mortar credit unions to provide instant national reach (and great customer service)
- As with all credit unions, each account holder has a voting share.
- 1-3 years to start one with significant paperwork
- Here is one site's 10 steps to starting your own credit union
- Relatively low start up capital since you would use depositors funds to offer loans and make investments.
- Would garner significant support from existing New Space advocates adding early membership
- Assuming competitive rates with other similar financial institutions, advocates would not need to sacrifice financial return or customer service to support the industry.
- Competive rates and services would even draw non-advocates leveraging their deposits as well - all in the name of space development
- There many successful credit unions across the country - no new technology is being pioneered. Professionals exist that could be brought on board to run this one successfully.
- Has this already been done? Is there already a new space credit union out there focused on using its profits to expand the frontier? How about credit unions focused on non-space frontier expansion that could serve as a model?
- How profitable could such a venture be assuming 1, 3, 5 thousand members? I can model revenue fairly easily, but costs are hard to approximate without more knowledge about the industry. I need to do some primary research.
So now I need your thoughts. I hope there are others smarter than me on this that can weigh in.