This article is written by Tamás Péter Turcsán. He is the founder of Pozi.io (innovation community), author of the “[email protected]”, organizer of 50+ hackathons, a mentor, and one of the influencers of the Hungarian startup ecosystem.
In a world stagnating towards a crisis, can we allow such astonishing mortality of startup ideas? The commonly used rule of thumb that one in 10 startups will be successful is no longer valid today, this ratio has become much worse. For successful startups to be born, we also need to make the innovation process itself sustainable.
When Covid started, we thought we would get over it soon and everything would return to normal. It didn’t happen that way. By now, traditional conferences, meetups, and brainstorming have ceased, and all events have moved into the online space. However, the world was not prepared for the fact that we would not be able to meet and network in person for years.
And the lack of personal connections had an impact on the startup ecosystem.
Incubators, accelerators, and investors are also complaining that there is not enough supply and that there are fewer and fewer particularly good projects in a weak deal-flow.
According to Metabeta: 59% of all accelerators get low-quality applications. 31% don’t get enough applications. 26% of all accelerators get both insufficient and low-quality applications.
As a hackathon organizer, I thought that well-organized events could be an excellent way to educate idea owners. However, there are serious obstacles to this operation due to closures and uncertainty.
It’s time for innovators to act
There is another effect of the pandemic and the global crisis that came with it: innovators feel really in their element during such periods. The solutions that are being born will be the foundations of a fresh start.
When I was confronted with the fact that it would be difficult to continue my previous work, I also realized that this situation was not only a challenge but also an opportunity.
The almost limitless networking possibilities before Covid ended overnight. The innovator who is starting now has to adapt to the changed circumstances. It can be seen that everyone needs to change.
If the number of inspiring events decreases, the opportunity to introduce projects narrows, networking falls to a minimum, then it is clear that fewer good projects will be born.
In the case of fewer teams, however, we cannot accept that a large percentage of them fail even before they are validated. We need to somehow reduce the mortality of startups trapped in the online world.
What is the problem that should be solved?
The experience of recent years has shown that most of the solutions developed in idea competitions, hackathons, never reach implementation.
Teams that perform well in the competitions will break up very quickly out of the spotlight of the awards ceremony, and the ideas will become a fog.
The events announced by the largest companies and innovation organizations are no exception. Moreover, here as more people call it, a lot more ideas end up going to waste. Except for the few winners, everyone has only one section in an Excel spreadsheet, which is forgotten by the organizers after the competition.
There are thousands of events around the world where ideas are born, but these ideas are not collected by anyone, nor are those who come up with and try to implement them.
It’s all like sowing the seed and not reaping the crop, just leaving it in the field, not caring what happens to it. “We must put an end to this waste, because revolutionary solutions have never been more necessary than they are now, right in the middle of a crisis.”
The restart of the economy will require new ideas and their implementers, but these need new tools for global innovators to operate globally.
We need to build a new community where they can introduce themselves, share, and validate their ideas, and seek out investors, mentors, and team members.
The ecosystem is currently so scattered, even the experienced startuppers get lost in the system.
Why does the startup world need a new community space?
There is currently no independent, open, and transparent platform where we can easily reach like-minded people. Facebook and Linkedin are not at all attractive to young people, they cannot be reached there.
Start-up events are thus less and less able to reach their target audience, who would be actively involved in the hustle and bustle of the international startup ecosystem.
My team and I are working on creating such a common space, Pozi.io, which is the new meeting point for the innovation ecosystem.
Today, we have registered users from 30 countries who also need to connect with the people and ideas that are relevant to them. It is a community where only information of your interest reaches to you and what is unnecessary can be avoided. It’s easy to find team members, get validation, and the help of mentors, which is crucial to learn and grow.
We need secure, closer cooperation, truly limitless thinking, effective cooperation, and sustainable innovation to recover from the crisis caused by the pandemic. All this cannot be achieved without connectivity, a place where we can make innovation sustainable.
Innovation can take it to a new level, if education, investment, and implementation take their rightful place in the big puzzle. Instead of one in ten, many more successful startups can be born if we systematically address the issue.
We can achieve significant efficiency if we fundamentally change cooperation at the international level. The interests of startups and large corporations point in one direction: to better serve users.
We can no longer be satisfied with the spectacular results of the tournaments. In addition to the winners, we must also help the “runner-ups” to become successful.
This way we put a stop to the waste of ideas and talent. It is particularly important now that effective solutions are found to mitigate the aftermath of the crisis.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the author are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of 150sec.