Mobile Business Incubator



FedEx Office Mobile Business Incubator is a network of co-working spaces managed by FedEx. 






Our Proposal

Create a worldwide network of co-working spaces with FedEx Office services (and shipping) within.


In 2001 FedEx bought Kinko's copying services and turned them into FedEx Office. This move was made in response to changing market conditions. Overnight letter delivery was dropping because of the advent of email. The market for one or two day shipping was increasing because of the rise of e-commerce. By purchasing Kinko's FedEx gave themselves a connection to small business owners and others who wanted to ship parcels bought and sold on the internet. 
Our proposal would increase the reach of FedEx with regard to small businesses. By providing a service to attract startups that are just starting out, FedEx captures a lucrative shipping market.

What it is

A Kinko's in a co-working space
You are provided an office among other professionals. and all of the services that came with FedEx Office.
It's like the cloud, but for physical things
A desk in any city that you find yourself. Every time you travel you can ship your entire desk and have it ready when you arrive.

Why it is great

A community of mobile entrepreneurs
Meet like-minded people from around the world and cross-pollinate ideas.
Credible workspace
Each location has a credible office environment in which to meet clients.
FedEx Office Service
Each location has FedEx Office services to help with your print and office supply needs. And of course shipping!


With an established 300+ stores revenue would be $300 million generated by the store and office sales. Plus we estimate an additional $2.2 billion in increased shipping revenues.




The fun of this class is that we did things backwards. We spent two weeks on choosing our topic and creating a compelling position for it. Then we spent the remaining five weeks backfilling.

1. Opportunity Space
2. Positioning
3. Lynchpin Customer
4. Pain & Promise
5. Business Case
6. Implementation

We refined our idea while simultaneously selling it. Every week we built another layer onto it. With each step we added another piece to, but also distilled, our message. Each element we developed to communicate the idea within the organization also improved the product offering. With each iteration our message got deeper, clearer, and stronger.  In the end we had a very real new product that we could implement within a company.

Finally, we created an eight-minute presentation and accompanying leave-behind document, that made a strong case for our proposal.


1. Opportunity Space

Our assigned topic:

FedEx + urban delivery

We were to make a strategy for FedEx that focused on urban delivery. We started by analyzing the opportunity space - the company, the competition, and the consumers. We researched FedEx - its current condition, its assets, its history. We looked at the market as a whole - interesting trends in delivery and in the urban environment. Then we imagined a potential audience and their needs.


2. Positioning

Here’s the amazing part. The second week we came with three ideas for possible positions. Presented them to the class, and choose one. The third week we were done. We came with a refined position and presented it. 

This was the idea that we would present and the end of the term. All that remained was refining it. 


3. Lynchpin Customer

Next we made an ideal customer - a lynchpin customer. This is a very specific type of person, with detailed traits. With a lynchpin customer identified we are able to design for that particular person.

We chose “A Startup Just Starting Out”


4. Pain & Promise

We then looked at current options for these people and saw how their needs were or were not being met. Office incubators are all independent, this doesn’t help the traveling office hopper. Or if you go without an office you are left meeting clients in noisy coffee shops. This is not credible. Finally, FedEx has a great support service in its FedEx Office, but these are made for shopping (get in, get out) rather than staying and working.


5. Business Case


There is value in the office incubator part, but it pales in comparison to what could be generated by the increase in shipping. By providing a service, similar to FedEx Office, that fills a need, FedEx creates more shipping customers.


Startups aren’t just the small shop on the corner anymore. Today startups start out global. Any small manufacturing concern now begins with a global supply chain. FedEx can both service this need and benefit from it.


FedEx is large enough and global enough to take this on. They have the two things that are needed to make it work: office support to serve the need, and shipping to make it valuable. FedEx Office Mobile Business Incubator is the logical next step from Kinko’s.


6. Implementation

We anticipated where the challenges would be in implementation: FedEx doesn’t know about local office management, part of the pleasure of incubators are their local charm. We proposed solutions: buy or contract with local houses, or use local designers. We stressed that tight integration between offices - a strength the FedEx does have - is important.

Finally we created a step by step implementation plan:

Step 0: Install FedEx Office kiosks.

Step 1: Buy up existing co-working spaces.

Step 2: Re-brand.

Step 3: Repeat.


We were assigned the combination of "FedEx and bike messengers." From there we very rapidly generated several options and chose a single solution. We used the remaining five weeks making our case, stepwise.

With each step we added another piece to, but also distilled, our message. We repeatedly attempted to convey our message to the class. With each iteration our message got deeper, clearer, and stronger. For the final presentation we created an eight-minute presentation and accompanying leave-behind document, that made a very strong case for our proposal.