Natalie is a sociologist and researcher on early-stage entrepreneurship in Europe. For the last five years, she has been conducting fieldwork with entrepreneurs and community builders for the project, The Startup City.
The only solution was to start all over somewhere in the world where we could build up something new without the system pressure… and so we tossed a coin to choose between UK and Denmark… and the country of Vikings and Little Mermaid became our new home. It took 3 months from deciding to close down to when we landed in Copenhagen to start all over with just 2 suitcases of luggage, lots of experience and even more hope. It was not easy starting all over again, but our path was paved with wonderful people, great opportunities, and with very important sprinkles of luck. — Mia Negru, co-Founder 2030 Builders
As we embark on the beginning of a new decade, it feels right to share a startup that is focused firmly on the next ten years. 2030 Builders is a B2B startup using gamification to help firms measure their impact and support progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. But it’s not only their business model that makes 2030 Builders a compelling tech story. It’s the incredible journey that this team has taken and the obstacles they’ve overcome, that makes their story such an inspiring one.
Founded by sisters Mia and Gabriela Negru in 2018, 2030 Builders shows how business models can be transformed more sustainably. Importantly, they show how building an impact-driven company is not about charity, but about how business models can successfully address some of the world’s most considerable challenges and make a profit.
Based in Copenhagen, the team includes Ciprian Lupu, CTO, Rares Pasca, Web developer, Raluca Papoi UX, Amandeep Midha, Technical Advisor and +12 interns and volunteers helping in the Sustainability, Marketing and design teams. I connected with co-Founder Mia Negru to learn more about how 2030 Builders is helping companies work towards building more impact with their business practices.
Hi Mia! Can you tell us a little bit about 2030 Builders? Who is the product for, and how did the company get started? What makes your solution unique?
2030 Builders is based in Copenhagen. What are some of the best things about the startup scene there?
The Copenhagen startup scene has many amazing opportunities and the ecosystem is build on supporting any stage startup in their needs. In our case, we have been very lucky to grab the attention of organisations that are backing up impact startups, like Copenhagen Business Hub, a governmental agency that guides us with a dedicated business advisors network, Creative Business Network that invited us to the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum in Bahrain, Gladsaxe Municipality that gave us office space in the SDG House and KIB, Women in Boards, that provided us with an Advisory Board. Besides that we also get voluntary advisory help from other professionals that are amazing in guiding our journey. We attend many events specially created for startups by PreSeed Academy, The Digital Hub and we benefit a lot from the startups membership package from the IT Trade Union ( IT-Branchen) and The Confederation of Danish Industries ( DI), both organisations with a big focus on SDGs.
If you had to give one piece of advice for new founders, or those at the start of their entrepreneurial journeys, what would that be?
For the new founders I have an important piece of advice: keep close your support group, family, friends, fellow entrepreneurs, as they are the ones you need the most when it will get hard. And it will get hard, or at least you will have that feeling sometimes, but the fulfillment and satisfaction of building something of your own it’s so amazing and uplifting that it will always stick with you. Once you are on your journey, be persistent but also agile in accepting change fast, keep your team happy, they are the ones that buy in on your dream and contribute to it. Get all the help you can and even more, people want to help people with dreams and not lastly, if you fail, give up on the startup idea but don’t give up on wanting to be an entrepreneur. We need more of us to achieve the SDGs, Solve global challenges and build the world we want to live in!