Inside FutureX / September 30, 2019

5 Lessons We Learned in 2018

What an incredible year 2018 has been. Purpose-driven business will be instrumental in shaping a better society for everyone, and this year we’ve seen the movement gain momentum across the globe. We’re a growing company, and we’re always learning, so we thought we’d share our five lessons from 2018. 

FutureX Origami Shapes

It’s time for a new style of conference 

We like to do things a little differently. This year, we hosted the inaugural Impact Summit in Glasgow. With spoken word performances from Loud Poets, talks from the people making serious waves in their sector, interactive workshops, inclusive roundtable discussions and a street food market, it was not your average conference. We loved bringing over 300 people together to discuss how we can build a better future. 

Impact Summit will be returning to Glasgow in 2019 – we’ll be at SWG3 with a new lineup of incredible speakers. This event is open to all enterprising citizens – register your interest here and get a discount code when tickets go up! 

Lunch: food stalls at Impact Summit 2019

The landscape of investment is changing

Investment is a huge part of the startup world, and it’s an ever-changing beast. However, while profit will always be critical to a VC’s strategy, the best investors have adopted purpose-led models. They see profit not as the singular goal, but as a by-product of achieving your company’s purpose. At Startup Summit 2018, our impact investors panel gave a fresh perspective on how investments of the future could look. Leaders from Nesta Impact Investments, Scottish EDGE and Social Investment Scotland presented new ways for entrepreneurs to consider their growth and capital needs. 

At the Business Builder stage, early-stage investors from Silicon Valley (who we’ll catch up with on our Silicon Valley Accelerate programme in April 2019) spoke alongside Steve Ewing, Director of Operations at Informatics Ventures. They discussed how international investors are now looking at countries like Scotland for new investment opportunities. 

Startup Summit is all about educating and inspiring entrepreneurs, giving them access to the business leaders that have the inside knowledge they need to succeed. SUS19 will be coming to the Assembly Rooms next autumn. You can pre-register for tickets here

Culture add is more important than culture fit

The FutureX team is growing. We made three new hires in 2018, each bringing new perspectives and backgrounds to the table. With company culture being discussed across every industry, we are conscious in our hiring process. We’re lucky enough to work with businesses like Adopt An Intern, who put diversity and inclusion at the heart of everything they do. 

Check out our job board!

Two men speaking in exhibitor hall

The theme for SUS18 was The Power of Company Culture. Almost all of our speakers touched on the theme throughout the day, but we were struck by Leela Srinivasan, CMO at SurveyMonkey. She spoke about how important company culture has been for her as she made career choices in Silicon Valley.

Our team will be looking to grow again in the new year – follow us on Twitter to be the first to know when we open applications.

Socially-driven businesses are paving a more conscious future

Even in markets dominated by legacy brands, new businesses are coming in to shake things up. Take a look at Brewgooder, founded by Alan Mahon, who spoke at Startup Summit 2018. Brewgooder is a beer brand that uses all the profits from their clean water lager (brewed by BrewDog) to bring clean water to people in less privileged countries. Since being founded in 2016, they’ve brought drinking water to over 33,000 people. 

Hey Girls is another great example of purpose-driven business. Using a buy-one-give-one model, Hey Girls donates women’s sanitary products to those living in period poverty. Founded by Celia Hodson (who spoke on the Impact Stage at SUS18) in January 2018, Hey Girls already has a monthly turnover of around £1 million and is stocked by Asda and Waitrose across the UK. 

In the face of adversity, entrepreneurship is thriving 

With many significant challenges facing not just the UK, but the entire world, the world needs problem-solvers more than ever before. One side of entrepreneurship focuses on contributions to the economy, but it represents so much more than that. Entrepreneurs offer smart, outside-the-box solutions to the problems we face in every aspect of our lives. As we come up against these unknowns, one of the most important actions we can take is by supporting entrepreneurs who are building change from the ground up. 

Love what we did in 2018? We’ve got more of this up our sleeve. Sign up to our monthly newsletter for all the latest information and updates. 

Originally published December 2018

FutureX Team