Three stories of inspirational startups
Startup success stories provide the perfect food for thought. There is always something to learn from them and they help us to leave some of the popular misconceptions about entrepreneurship behind. We selected the following stories of three enterprises to inspire you and help you to better understand what does, and what does not make a real difference in the business world.
Innovation is usually associated with cutting-edge technologies, but in practice, it often has more to do with innovating how human beings interact with each other. Accordingly, the winning idea for a startup is not necessarily based on the invention of a sophisticated device. Instead, winning startup ideas often generate value by creating a (virtual) space that brings the needs of some people together with the corresponding skills possessed by others.
From this perspective, Charly Cares provides an exemplary case. This Dutch startup created by a young woman, Charlotte van der Straten, has successfully innovated childcare. The team of Charly Cares has found a way to locally source and reliably select the right “Babysitting Angel” for everyone. Its services, accordingly, Charly Cares offers to its users via an online platform that can be conveniently operated via their mobile application.
Crisp, another Dutch startup, operates on much the same wavelength as Charlie Cares. The services provided by Crisp aim to revolutionize the retail food sector by making high-quality products available to as many persons as possible. Thanks to Crisp, you can use your phone to order the best quality groceries that the Netherlands has to offer – cheese, fish, vegetables, and homemade pasta to name just a few examples. Since the freshness of the products plays a major role in their quality for Crisp, it focusses on sourcing many of their products locally so it can guarantee deliveries in a timely manner.
Another good point of Crisp comes from the wide praise for the startup’s potential in the fight against pollution. The use of Crisp does not just encourage the use of local products that have a minor environmental impact, but it also has the potential to play a significant role in decreasing the waste of groceries.
Do not hold the myth of the young entrepreneur who drops out of university to start a billion-dollar business as the standard. The narrative arc of Steve Jobs is more an exception than a rule. Successful entrepreneurs are often highly educated persons with a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree, and this does not necessarily have to be in finance or the hard sciences.
Take for example the story of Ludwig.guru. This linguistic search engine helps people to express their ideas and is gaining traction as one of the best to ever do so. Interestingly, Ludwig.guru CEO, Antonio Rotolo, holds a master’s degree and a PhD in a discipline that, at first glance, would seem to have very little to do with (technological) innovation – Archaeology.
The moral of the story? The first step to getting to a winning business idea is to understand the real needs of people, and sometimes an atypical background can be a real asset in this analytical process.