Title : Starting up in the Age of Sustainability
Starting up business endeavors is increasingly linked with demands of sustainability in all branches. However, the current world is still far from reaching the 17 goals for sustainable development as formulated from United Nations. The overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs probably agree that our social well-fare, our economic stability all our life quality depends on taking these goals serious and translating them into future business activities. However, reality is still miles away.
There are three major dilemmas for startups in chemistry translating sustainable demands into business. The first is the unique start up process in natural and life sciences itself. Becoming a scientist or engineer is not naturally linked to education in sustainable entrepreneurship, sustainability is not recognized as sensemaking vehicle in enterprises and that creating authenticity as business requires sustainability as driver. Secondly, development efforts in chemistry hardly integrate users, who increasingly demand sustainable products and processes. User innovation override managed innovation in R&D departments, there are far more successful. Thirdly, measuring sustainability impact is inherently difficult for mature organizations. Measuring it for startups that have limited time, financial and human resources and additionally fast changing business models makes this almost unsolvable. However, finding investors is increasingly linked to be able to measure its own sustainable footprint. In the future attracting investments from fonds or via crowdfunding will strongly be linked to transparent sustainable impact measurements. A new approach addressing this has been found in effectuation driven lean entrepreneurship.