Jul 5, 2018 Anna Pakkala
Startups come from a need. A need for which no solution yet exists. Or perhaps one does, but it’s not sufficiently accessible to those who require it. Or it doesn’t address the need in the most optimal way. Or it is too costly or too difficult. You get the gist. A truly functional solution for the need is yet to be discovered and is just waiting to be found.
Enter: the founder (see what I did there?). Founders experiment, test, run against conventional market wisdom, and persevere even when other people call it plain madness. They trudge on, fine-tuning until the solution is well and truly, properly, found.
The biggest problems facing us today, whether it’s climate change, structural inequality, diminishing natural resources, or a number of other wicked societal problems, are the ultimate need-meets-solution gaps.
We have problems feeding the world’s population. We can’t supply clean drinking water for those in need. Oceans will have more plastic bags than fish by 2050. We continue to rely on fossil fuels for energy knowing full-well the consequences of our actions. Meanwhile, people are leaving the war-torn regions they used to call home behind in masses (for reasons often rooted in the first tangible effects of climate change), looking for shelter and safety we can barely provide for them.
These are just some of the problems we know we have. What we need now are people capable of banging their heads against the wall enough times to come up with a feasible solution.
What the world needs are founders. Founders with can-do-attitude, who are willing to be called a little mad for attempting to solve these problems through startups.
The startup scene is gaining more steam than ever because of the immensity of the problems we face. This is because startups experiment where large corporate machines or governments start to think about moving forward. Startups try, test, fail and succeed at the pace that is required in order to solve the biggest socio-environmental issues of our time.
We need big corporations with the resources and reach to help these startups gain traction, a cooperation that brings out the best in both. We need increasingly interdisciplinary collaboration between major players in the field. We need partners in government, academia, and in the non-profit and grassroots levels to help us with testbeds, laws, research, insights, questions, critique and resources not found in the business world alone. But at the heart of it, what we need are founders – innovators and disruptors – who dare to face the world’s toughest problems, the most fundamental needs, and keep going until they have the solution, all at a neckbraking, agile pace that larger organizations can only dream about.
There has been growing interest in investing in emerging markets, especially in Southeast Asia. Our speakers, Kay-Mok Ku (Gobi), Soo Boon Koh (I-Globe), Kaspar Hadiyat (Koro Partners) were joined by Jorel Chan, who is the head of Investment Operations for Slush. Their discussion ranged from: personal insights, their experiences, as well as how Southeast Asia has […]
I am my Rival who Drives me Chika Terada, the co-founder and CEO of Sansan kicked off his speech proposing to disclose his own stories. Last year, he tried to come up with a profound lecture. But then he realized, he’s not in a position to lecture. This year, he told the audience that instead, […]
The day 1 at Dialogue Stage was a success. With having engaging speakers and the smooth-as-ever facilitation, some talks had really sought the core aspects of the entrepreneur mindset. Here, we will address three out of the seven dialogues. Cross Border Business Strategy: How to build your own brand in this society? Welcoming Techstars as […]
A dream isn’t something that is final, it’s something that should constantly be updated and thoroughly thought about with the aim to achieve it. Miku Hirano is the founder and CEO of Cinnamon, a company that is dedicated to “remove all unnecessary work from the world by using AI.” At a glance, Miku seems to […]
The winner of Slush Tokyo pitching contest has been announced – congrats, Clarity K.K.! Their matchmaking platform helps women who are returning to the realm of work after having kids. The work-life balance for women in Japan is a tricky issue, and Clarity K.K. tackles the challenges of traditional work arrangements by enabling women to identify the […]
Helen Tung, Emergent Tech advisor and MINERVA fellow at the EU, moderated the conversation between Takahiro Nakamura (Director and COO at ispace) and Kazuo Ishigame (Co-founder and COO at Infostellars) on how to make it in space. Welcome to the space age. These two will be your guides. Ispace aims to develop spacecraft technology to extend […]
Yat Siu is the founder and CEO of Outblaze , an award-winning digital services company specializing in things such as gaming, cloud, AI, and smartphone software. He sold Outblaze’s services to IBM ten years ago, pivoting the company to digital entertainment services. Siu is a bit of a tech legend, according to many: the online […]
Slush Tokyo 2019 Pitch Contest Semi-finalists Announced! It has been a great turn out at the Pitching Stage at this year’s Slush Tokyo. 40 contestants pitched in today’s contest. Not surprisingly, even greater ideas and concepts were presented in front of an eager and curious audience and judges. Contestants’ ideas and talks were diverse: from […]
We collect cookies to make your experience here smoother.