At a time in which economic constraints can be tougher than usual, it is interesting, and useful, to learn that an startup has created an online marketplace that works as a social network offering people the chance to access valuable skills and services without paying any cash. Timerepublik services are not free of charge, either; but they can be paid with "time".
This brand new startup with strong Italian connections is used to introduce itself as a "time bank", that is a community grounded on the concept of "sharing economy", where it is easier for people to access goods and services that they do not own, using units of time as currency instead of money.
Timerepublik is a very easy-to-use network: people who can provide services simply have to register to show their availability in offering, for example, a one-hour service. Once they are approached by somebody interested in the service, they can collect "one hour" in their virtual wallet and spend it whenever they want for any other service they might be interested in. Users can transact online, but they can also meet in person if they want to.
Registration to Timerepublik is free, and all new users are rewarded with a credit of five hours that they can use as they like. Timerepublik founders, Gabriele Donati and Karim Varini, believe that one of the best aspects of their network is that "users don't have to limit themselves to services they normally charge for, but they can also use it to do skill-building outside of their normal jobs and careers". For example, some users might be interested in using the platform to strengthen their resume, or even to prepare for a transition into a new career. Both founders are from Lugano, and their start up is based in Switzerland, but they both have Italian origins.