Is Now the Best Time to Be an Entrepreneur? We Think So.

INSEAD Summer Startup Tour (SSUP!)

It is not just because we coincidentally went on a startup tour this summer. Entrepreneurship is more tempting than ever thanks to the infrastructure and systems in place today. Whether you have a brilliant idea or not, it doesn’t matter anymore.

There is support available for any and every kind of profile that was not possible just a few years ago. Here, we try and jot down reasons (and super cool start-ups) that got us excited about being an entrepreneur and hopefully this excites you too.

  • Capital: Let’s kickstart with some real numbers. The year of 2018 saw an all-time high of Venture Captial (VC) funding amounting to $251 billion globally (1). This year, at least in the US, the trend already seems to be on its way to beat 2018’s numbers. Capital investment aside, if you are afraid of leaving your job and stable income, there are accelerators providing comfortable monthly stipends to get you started.

Letting go of your current job/ job offer in pursuit of entrepreneurship has never been easier.

  • Not Only Capital: Venture Capitalists (VCs) are starting to provide not just capital, but also business support ranging from marketing to data management, to strategy (like Project A in Berlin and Atomico in London). That is if you have an idea that they are willing to bet on. If you don’t, that’s not a worry either. There are numerous accelerators such as Antler (based in London, but present globally), that are investing in people and teams first before brainstorming on ideas. They are also providing mentorship and connecting entrepreneurs to VCs. So, if you believe you are cut out for this world but missing the big idea, there are plenty of opportunities for you to take the plunge.
  • Climate Change and Fashion: We all know by now that we don’t have enough resources to sustain all of us and it is going to get worse. Nothing we are used to will stay the same. The clothes that we wear, the food that we eat, the way we use energy, land, anything and everything will change. This is precisely why entrepreneurship and innovation are so desperately needed now more than ever.

The fashion industry, in particular, is in a phase that the energy sector was in 30 years ago.

Fashion is said to be the second most polluting industry in the world, and it desperately needs a big overhaul of not just existing practices, products and supply chain but also that of customer behaviour. Here, we briefly introduce you to start-ups that are aiming to do just that.

Circular Fashion

Circular Fashion System. Source: Circular.Fashion

Circular Fashion: Based in Berlin, Circular Fashion is the winner of H&M’s global change award this year. It provides expertise and support to designers and big corporates to move towards a regenerative system through their unique “circular IDs”. This digital tag provides transparent information to users and sorters to ensure closed-loop recycling. Learn more about them here:

Colorifix: The company has developed a natural dyeing technology using microorganisms engineered with advanced synthetic biology methods to produce, deposit and fix pigments onto a variety of fabrics. This natural dyeing process uses 10 times less water than traditional dyeing methods, has the same quality and similar cost structure. They have industrial trials planned in India later this year and we have our fingers crossed for it to be a huge success. Learn more about them:

Stuffstr: Built on the vision of "No Unused Stuff”, Stuffstr aims to let consumers capture the value of used stuff. By partnering with retailers to buyback products, it is also trying to change customers purchasing behaviour. They envision that customers will think more about the resale value of a product and in the process go about purchasing more quality products that can have a second life. Learn more about them:

Save Your Wardrobe: SYW is another cool startup trying to give your clothes a second life by digitising your wardrobe and providing a whole eco-system of services around it to take care of them. They have an app launch coming up soon in London, so if you around, do sign up! Learn more about them:

– Team FTS

(1) Statistics Source: