Did you know that Uber and AirBnB are cleantech?

NOTE: First published on the Fjord #Slush14 minisite as a part of our #livefromslush compaign.

I have been hearing a lot about Uber and Airbnb lately. We all have. These are some of the impressively successful startups working their way in to our daily life, and shaping the larger industry trend. I was listening to Roope Mokka from Demos Helsinki talking about ‘Smartups’ at Slush, when it hit me; Uber and AirBnB are both cleantech startups.

The standing definition of clean technology from Wikipedia is as follows:
Cleantech is any product or services that improves operational performance, productivity, or efficiency while reducing costs, inputs, energy consumption, waste, or environmental pollution (Read the full article here)

This was an eye opener. Think about it. Cleantech = smart utilisation of resources and smart use of resources. This means bicycle refurbishing, thrift stores, solar energy and fusion energy companies are all cleantech. This means companies like AirBnB (valued up to 10 Billion USD), Uber (with an valuation of 17 Billion USD) are in the same category as your local bike shop. The interesting question is — can your local bike shop scale it up in the way that AirBnB and Uber did?

These new startups that are using resources in an efficient way, have turned into companies that are worth insane amounts of money. Companies are utilising available resources in a way that creates value for all stakeholders. Lets take AirBnB as an example. Who would have imagined just a few years back, that you would have people you don’t know staying at your home? AirBnB offers value to the owner of the home, it creates value for the people needing a place to stay for a conference or a holiday, and while providing this service to the stakeholders it creates value for itself. After all, it has been valued at 10 Billion dollars. This kind of transformation and scalability of services is possible in today’s world, and that makes cleantech very, very interesting. We are redesigning services around utilisation of resources. It will touch our daily lives — people like you and me.

As long as our customers are humans, and their requirements are the everyday needs in our lives, we can generate new revolutionising companies that will disrupt and transform the way we conduct our lives. What could better than that?

Cleantech is not just about creating new services that are environmentally friendly or generating new technology around it. It is about resource utilization business and that is a business of huge proportions.

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