Startups solve problems.

This post first appeared on the Techstars Social Enterprise Startup Digest, published by Daniel D’Alonzo and Techstars.

Startups solve problems.

Sustainability, or, our lack of living in a sustainable way, is just another problem in need of creative solutions.

For-profit orgs get a bad rap because they know how to make money.

Non-profit orgs get a bad rap because they don’t know how to make money.


I wonder if there is a way for us to take the mission-driven inception of the non-profit organization, and plant that seed into the minds of emerging entrepreneurs.

Social enterprise is about transforming social problems into financial opportunities.

That’s where you come in.

Immerse yourself in your local community to identify how your stakeholders frame these problems from their point-of-view.

If you haven’t done this type of thing before, go have some fun at a Startup Weekend.

Explore with confidence.

Define yourself.

Know your values.

Be intentional with the people you surround yourself with and who you invite to join your team. Do team building exercises BEFORE you actually become a team.

Build projects that serve unmet human needs.

Start with the unsolvables, for this decision will be one of the most defensible things a startup can do for itself.

View the curated resources that accompanied this article, here.

To see the leader of the global startup ecosystem (and co-founder of Techstars!), Brad Feld, playing such an active role in the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator is sure to make this year’s program an exciting one to follow. Did you catch Brad’s AMA a few weeks ago?

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"Daniel is a unique visionary. Empathetic, sensitive and resourceful, he leads through facilitation. His programs are always built around the concept of getting the right people to participate. I look forward to seeing his initiatives work for the good of society." -Vijay Chakravarthy, Industrial Designer Society of America, Chapter President

"I raised $3 million from Eduardo Saverin (Co-Founder of Facebook) & Tim Draper (VC and Founder of Draper University). I owe a lot to Dan for simplifying complex ideas and being the initial spark of inspiration that motivated me to go for it all." -Josh Rosenheck

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