It’s been about 18 months since we announced the experimental WordCamp Incubator program, so we wanted to give a long-term review of the results of the program.
We announced the program and opened applications on February 18, 2016. We received 182 applications for this program. Interesting data on that application list: We received applications from 39 locations that did not have an active meetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. groups. We responded to applicants in those locations with an invitation to start their own WordPress meetup groups, with minimal results. Three of the locations that we heard from, however, did get a meetup started in 2016 — Cardiff, Wales; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; and Monterrey, California, USA — but not by the people who applied for the incubator program.
23 proposed locations had already hosted a WordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. in the past, or had a WordCamp already in planning, and another 28 locations already had an active meetup group. (A large number of applications were duplicates.)
From the short list of 16 candidate communities which we announced in April, we selected 3 incubator sites in May of 2016: Denpasar, Indonesia; Harare, Zimbabwe; and Medellín, Colombia.
Another six cities on that short list (Kochi, Nairobi, and San José in 2016, and Nagpur, Udaipur, and Colombo in 2017) have organized or are currently organizing WordCamps. (WOW!)
In the comments, we’ll provide a report on how the each of the WordPress communities in our three incubator locations has developed, since their WordCamps were held. Then in another post, we’ll discuss what it would look like to continue this program.