The summer holidays may have arrived, but innovation never stops – and neither does our newsletter.

This month, we discuss the barriers underrepresented people face getting into our industry, one Brazilian MedTech’s journey from start-up to starring role in the fight against Covid and TikTok’s latest AI manoeuvres.

Have a read, tell us what you think and most importantly enjoy the rest of the summer!

This Way Up:

Visionary ideas to fuel your ambitions

Accelerators | VC | Diversity

When it comes to diversity, the tech start-up sector has a long way to go. Start-ups are hard, and the odds are further stacked against founders from underrepresented communities getting their big ideas off the ground and making them a success.

We’ve run a lot of accelerators and we speak everyday with founders and investors, which has given us some insights into what’s most needed to get new ventures off the ground. We recently got the chance to research the key issues facing diverse founders and discussed the best ways to solve for them – and we’ve written a whitepaper (with support fromSoftBank Vision Fund). Learn how corporates can use accelerators to help and reap greater financial rewards at the same time, including developing solutions that:

  • Tackle the unconscious bias that stops many founders in their tracks
  • Build peer-to-peer networks that empower founders to develop sustainable success
  • Bridge the funding gap by making sure every finance decision follows a transparent process

Great talent isn’t getting the support it needs and that means that investors are leaving money on the table. Read our whitepaper to find out how you can win by doing good.

Zooming In:

Getting off the ground

Founders | VC | Entrepreneurial Growth | Interview

One way to get a venture capitalist’s attention is to tell them they’re doing everything wrong – and that’s how David Schlesinger became the co-founder and CEO of Mendelics, a hugely successful Brazilian genomic sequencing firm.

Ok, that’s a bit of an oversimplification. But back the right person with the right expertise and the right idea, (and with some good timing) it can really pay off.

We chatted to David about how Mendelics has grown into a 300+ person organisation and its role at the forefront of the world’s response to the COVID pandemic.

In The Know:

What’s fresh and what can I do next?

Sustainability | Fashion | Digital | Tech

Of course it’s sustainable…it doesn’t exist!Digital is the source of fashion’s sustainability gains – and its woes. On one hand, ultra-fast platforms like Shein are responding to what’s happening on TikTok and putting Zara’s fast fashion to shame: where Zara drops a mere 24 new collections a year (450 million items), Shein releases a staggering 700-1,000 new styles DAILY. On the other hand, digital fashion (aka outfits that don’t exist) is seeing a rise in both traction and funding: DressX a marketplace selling 100% virtual items just raised $2 million, The Fabricant has partnered with Adidas, Buffalo and Tommy Hilfiger, and everyone from Virgil Abloh and D&G to Coca Cola (yes, you read that right) want a piece.

So what? Whilst digital fashion stands in complete opposition to its fast-fashion counterparts, those lauding digital as sustainable should think twice (…at least). The ETH network currently consumes as much energy as Ecuador, and the game engines needing to render 3D designs still guzzle colossal amounts of energy. Whilst there are improvements underway, brands lauding themselves for plugging game-design into their supply chains, or bringing goods on-chain to make them more transparent (or lucrative), should understand that they’re going from red to amber, and they’ll be waiting for a while at least before they turn fully green. As well as making the tech more energy-efficient, making fashion sustainable involves thinking more about how often clothes are bought and used, where materials come from, how they’re manufactured and what happens when you don’t wear them anymore. There’s no one-size-fits-all, or plug and play, solution.

Want another hit of insight from the innovation coalface (so to speak)?

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