Start-up companies are once again oh-so-trendy… Of course they aren’t a new phenomenon, for example in the late 1990s the Internet bubble brought up lots of start-ups, but during the past few years they have very strongly come to the limelight again. There are even TV shows like Dragons’ Den (Leijonanluola in Finnish) featuring entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to secure investment finance from selected venture capitalists.
I ran across an article from last year about Envia Systems, a start-up based in East Bay, USA, that had crushed the record for energy density of a rechargeable Li-ion battery for electric cars at 400Wh/kg. It got me thinking about the role of start-ups in moving the world toward sustainability. Maybe part of the answer to the current problems lies within the start-up culture? Start-ups are not so much constrained with the pressures that bigger companies have (like making stable profits and having to continuously improve its performance), and their business ideas are usually very innovative – so why not sustainably innovative as well.
I googled “sustainable start-ups” and was a bit disappointed to find out that for example the venture capital for clean technology plummeted in 2012 and is expected to continue decreasing this year, too. However, after reading about successful sustainable start-ups of different kinds, I’m sure at least on a more minor scale change is very much possible and more importantly already made. Here’s one example: