The topic of climate protection is finding a most fertile context in the start-up scene. This raises hopes for a real social change, because it is precisely here that effective products and services are born, that could counteract environmental pollution. TechFounders, the Accelerator program of UnternehmerTUM, and the sustainability consultancy akzente have conducted the Europe-wide online survey „Sustainability in Startups“ to find out how important climate targets are for the start-up scene. According to the survey, sustainability is a priority for around 90 percent of start-ups.
"Sustainability has finally become a serious business opportunity for companies - no start-up, no matter what industry, can afford today not to consider the question of the future viability of its business model against the background of global ecological and social challenges," explains Thomas Melde, Managing Partner at akzente.
A total of 282 European start-ups from various sectors took part in the online survey between February and March 2020. It showed that the start-ups are already thinking about the benefits for people and the environment when developing their business model - also in response to expectations within the team and future customers. This trend is also confirmed - albeit slowly - in financing: venture capital is also increasingly flowing into sustainable innovations, but at only 26 percent, the rate is much slower.
Nevertheless, the start-ups are facing a number of challenges in terms of motivation: In order to professionally integrate the topic of sustainability into the business model, there is still a great lack of guidance and proven instructions.
"Our survey shows that the majority of the start-ups surveyed are on the right track. We want to provide them with the best possible support. It is also important to raise this awareness among venture capital companies. With these initial findings, we hope to inspire founders and venture capitalists alike to become active," says Miki Yokoyama, COO at TechFounders. "Due to the corona crisis, some start-ups are currently under high pressure and are facing new challenges that even extend to securing their existence," adds Thomas Melde. "However, the reconstruction, further digitalization and transformation of the economy will be much more characterized by sustainability."
You want to know more? You can download the whitepaper "Sustainability in Startups" here.