Entrepreneurial mindset in challenging times

Maybe you read my article 2022 in review. If not, I have summarized all significant events from the previous year that led me to eventually giving up on stable income and embark on my entrepreneurial journey with the ultimate goal of writing better software for the planet and humanity. In the following article, I am summarizing progress in 2023 so far regarding Sustainable UI open-source initiative and outlining several challenges I have encountered along the way till this day.

I have realized entrepreneurial mindset is not something that you can take for granted. It is a way of thinking that you either inherit from your parents or build up from scratch because you have an idea you impatiently want to push out to the world. The latter is my case which is why I am reading 4th book in one month time, in hope for finding something that would encourage me to make the mark.

Purpose-driven businesses

There is one big difference for business unit I want to establish when comparing to current approach to business that majority of CEOs have in the current world. Business is created to make profits by providing value to its customers. How to build a business that, with authenticity and full integrity, provides value for the planet and humanity while also being financially sustainable? This is the kind of question I am always getting back to.

You can create value for customers in various ways. Today's world faces many challenges - coping with war of two civilizations in Ukraine that has lasted for a year now, climate change that is a consequence of comfort we people in a developed parts of the world are living in, inequality as those who are least responsible for this problem are hit with the biggest force and very likely more than what I am aware of at this moment.

Oxymoron is a newsletter by Tom Greenwood, founder and CEO of Wholegrain Digital. Thoughts of Tom have resonated with me a couple of times before and is a big source of inspiration for me. When I have a successful business one day, it has to have success defined in the 3 aspects very well: well-being, equity and sustainability. How could I make this?

Seeking investment opportunities

Sustainable UI (SUI) is an open-source initiative of mine that has started on Carbon Hack 22. It embodies my interest in nature & user interfaces to briefly describe it. I am asking what is the symbiosis of the two? How do you create user interfaces that are in symbiosis with the planet and users? In my eyes, this ultimately means designing and developing user-facing applications in way that benefits well-being, equity and sustainability.

I could be more specific here as I have a startup idea in mind right now that could be built on top of the SUI platform. The point is there is a need for entrepreneurial mindset rather than engineering mindset that I graduated from at college roughly 2 years back in time. I wish college taught me more in area of entrepreneurship. I couldn't expect this from my parents as they are working for the state their whole life.

In the interest of raising funds for my idea, I attended networking events in my town, contacted a few friends who may know something, crawled the websites of programmes that European Union comes up with in regard to the green deal and found out about lots of interesting things I wouldn't otherwise. Implementing my idea and making it a startup makes the most sense on a bigger scale in case of the SUI project. The more users the project has, the better. Thats why I am thinking it is important to focus on getting support from a higher-regional level organizations.

Programme Slovakia

Nearly 13B euros in euro fond programmes will be flowing to Slovakia during the upcoming years through the Ministry of investment, regional development and informatization. This could be relevant for a business idea that focuses on making software better for the planet and humanity. As there is a strong correlation, it would make sense to find a relevant challenge.

Venture Program by EIT Digital

Programme on the European level that helps people from 22 EU countries develop a MVP (Minimal Viable Product) and find their first investor. EIT Digital receives 5% of equity and there has to be at least 2 team members to join. Corporation will be established during the programme.

My decision

Venture Program makes perfect sense for SUI and idea that could be built on top of the platform for building UIs with sustainability at core. I am going to give it a shot, contact a few people that may be interested in helping me out. There are other programmes but this idea is early-stage. Later on, it could be interesting to join an accelerator such as ClimAccelerator for Baltics & Slovakia or EIC Accelerator where the solution has to be on a different technology readiness level (TRL).