I recently was invited back for the second year running to participate in the judging panel of a regional startup competition. What struck me this year was the high percentage of startups which were not technology based, but based on new ways of delivering a service, or enhancing skills using that old form of technology, the human being.
In addition to the idea or startup being built around the skills and competences of the individual or the team, many of the startups this year were focused on education. It was such a major shift away from the range of startups I usually see that I wondered if this is a trend that others are noticing?
In a recent discussion about startups and the Third Sector, it was highlighted that innovation which makes the most impact often comes from new ways of thinking about processes and systems, as much as the introduction of a technology based solution to environmental problems.
Do we respect and give enough focus to these businesses which are neither ‘bricks’ nor ‘clicks’ based? Certainly we need this type of innovative thinking to enhance existing production processes, supply chain management and the ordering of corporate policies and procedures. Usually this innovative thought process is then packaged and wrapped into a new piece of software and an app. However, maybe there are benefits to seeing how a new way of thinking/operating can be delivered without the environmentally and economically draining resources of a piece of ‘tech’ – could putting the human being at the centre of the solution be way of making some of those immediate changes necessary for our planet? Or am I becoming more luddite as I get older?
Stats from Companies House show an increase in the number of tech startups by 14%, it will be interesting to see if this figure falls next year and if the wave on ‘non-tech’ entrepreneurs coming through the competition scene this year is an indication of a change of focus.
#StartUps #Luddite #Innovation