Sustainable Fashion: The Critical Factor That Dictates Startup Success

Sustainable Fashion: The Critical Factor That Dictates Startup Success

Sustainable Fashion: The Critical Factor That Dictates Startup Success

Bill Gross has founded a lot of start-ups, and incubated many others -- and he got curious about why some succeeded and others failed.

So he gathered data from hundreds of companies, his own and other people's, and ranked each company on five key factors. He found one factor that stands out from the others -- and surprised even him.


According to Bill Gross, the number one factor which helps startups succeed is timing. It accounts for 42% of the difference between success and failure.

It is surprising that idea isn’t the most important factor. 


In the fashion and textile industry everyone wants to be a sustainability leader. Fashion brands set ambitious goals to be achieved soon. Startups are developing innovative materials, but are not able to scale it up. If you don’t make a swift move soon you will find yourself left behind. I had coaching sessions with fiber and dyeing startups that raised questions about the transformation in how we utilize assets and open innovation. I recommended all of them to look quickly for cooperations with big industry players to speed-up time to market.

Recent examples in the fiber industry emphasize this approach to meet an abridged timing. Renewcell got funding from Swedish fashion brands and now cooperates with a Chinese manufacturer to scale-up production. The Australian startup Nanollose Ltd cooperates with an Indian partner to materialize a tree-free fiber made from bacterial cellulose rather than forests.

▶️ What would you recommend to a textile startup?

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  • Jamie Farley

    Fashion companies that rush their products end up making bad decisions, hindering creativity, and leaving important projects incomplete.

  • Emily Knell

    Timing is the single biggest reason that startups succeed, this is so true.

  • Janet Davison

    Very interesting

  • Andrew Camplin

    Being a little early is alright, but being late is a disaster for startups.

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Susanna Koelblin

Commercialization & Sourcing Leader Focused On Circularity

From blockchain to recycling, Susanna talks about emerging technologies and circularity topics in the fashion industry.


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