Startup Society – Any new or experimental community located in a small geographical area.



The Startup Societies Foundation studies, promotes, and connects startup societies. Our ultimate goal is to create a vibrant, global startup societies industry through international conferences, investment summits, digital content, and academic studies. Our efforts are intended to create alternatives to traditional politics, business, culture, and technology.

Impact Areas

For politics, startup societies can provide a method to create totally new societies, without the barriers of existing institutions. For business, startups and established companies alike can innovate under competitive governance. Cultures can develop by being allowed the freedom to construct their own destiny. Technology can multiply the possibilities on all these fronts.

Ideology & Methodology

Startup Societies does not endorse any ideology or ideal society. It believes that there must be a multiplicity of options to test, ranging from private cities and special economic zones to collectivized communes. Their success depends on empirical evidence. In order to apply the scientific method to societies, we must have a large sample size.


Call to Action

While the goals and location may differ, our methods do not. We are a coalition of action. An alliance of thinkers, entrepreneurs, engineers, and creatives who prove their ideas through deed, not word. The best argument is proof in the real world.


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Joe McKinney


Joe McKinney co-founded Startup Societies Foundation after being dissatisfied with traditional politics and entrepreneurship. He hopes that startup societies can lead to experimentation and better government. Joe has previous experience with conventional politics as an officer of Young Americans for Liberty, as an independent contractor for political parties, and as a congressional campaign staffer. He has a background in non-profits through work at the Center for the American Experiment, the Koch Network, and being the Operations and Development Manager for the Benjamin Rush Institute. Joe has a history in tech entrepreneurship. He founded Proudsource, a crowdfunding fintech startup that allowed profit sharing investment for small businesses. Joe also co-founded Axor, a blockchain fintech startup that allows the unbanked to invest on any listed financial security from their smartphone. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a double major in political science and philosophy, with a minor in history. In addition, Joe has over 20 years of public speaking training and experience.


Thibault Serlet

Vice President

Thibault Serlet co-founded the Startup Societies Foundation to explore the creation of policy enclaves and novel political ideas. Previously, he worked at two startups: Proudsource, an equity crowdfunding website, and CryptoCom, a startup that manufactured audio encryption devices. He also completed an internship at Neway Capital, a VC which specialized in Special Economic Zones. Currently, he is writing a book about the history of Free Zones, city states, and technology trends in the last decade. One day, he hopes to build a city which can serve as a home for refugees from around the world.


Nikos Kostopoulos

Director of Fundraising

Nikolas Kostopoulos is an experienced project coordinator with a demonstrated history in the non-profit organization management industry. He is skilled in events management, fundraising, and lobbying. He is currently pursuing his  European Studies Master at Centre International de Formation Européenne with a Policy Making focus. Nikos leads initiatives to support Startup Societies Foundation in the European market. Main priorities include: consulting EU microstates like Monaco, Liechtenstein, and Liberland. He also supports initiatives to promote Special Economic Zones in Greece.



Remington Hernandez

Director of Media

Remington Hernandez is a journalist, media professional, and co-founder, as well as a founding member of Startup Societies Foundation. He is responsible for the look and sound of the organization, utilizing years of experience in media and broadcasting. From a very young age, he knew what he wanted to do in life and began to pursue his passions. Now, as Director of Media at SSF, Remington sees his work as a vessel to change the world for the better.


Joe Jarvis


Joe Jarvis is the author of the novel “Anarchy in New England,” and novella “Flight Grounded.” He writes for and his own blog in addition to other freelance writing. Joe lives in northern Florida, on a mini-farm he helped build from scratch. Keeping chickens, raising goats, planting a food forest, and creating vegetable gardens are all new to him, which makes every day an exciting challenge. Startup Societies Foundation naturally interested Joe, as his first published work of fiction, “Anarchy in New England,” is essentially about a futuristic startup society. His work for Sovereign Man covers what is wrong with current governing structures, and his own blog offers a vision of future possibilities for a free and prosperous society.


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This is a unique time in human history when it is possible to start many new cities because there is an enormous, unmet demand…Three billion people now live in cities. Three to five billion more will move into cities in the century…Urbanization gives us a chance to create startup-like entities.


Paul Romer, World Bank – Chief Economist

The virtues of business startups have led to many a success story. These enterprises start with clean slates. They embody the focused and often idiosyncratic visions of their founders. The successful ones grow faster than their competitors. Even after they become larger and more bureaucratic, these companies often retain some of the creative spirit of their startup origins.


Tyler Cowen, George Mason University – Economist