We believe that there is a very strong need for an environment to support research and experiments on model-driven engineering. Therefore we have started the TopModL project, an open-source initiative, with the goal of building a development community to provide: (1) an executable environment for quick and easy experimentation, (2) a set of source files and a compilation tool chain, (3) a web portal to share artefacts developed by the community. The aim of TopModL is to help the model-engineering research community by providing the quickest path between a research idea and a running prototype. In addition, we also want to identify all the possible contributions, understand how to make it easy to integrate existing components, while maintaining architectural integrity. At the time of writing we have almost completed the bootstrap phase (known as Blackhole), which means that we can model TopModL and generate TopModL with TopModL. Beyond this first phase, it is now of paramount importance to gather the best possible description of the requirements of the community involved in model-driven engineering to further develop TopModL, and also to make sure that we are able to reuse or federate existing efforts or goodwill. This paper is more intended to set up a basis for a constructive discussion than to offer definitive answers and closed solutions.