It’s the exciting, tumultuous frontier of our time – the Wild West of the new millennium.
Inspired by the billion-dollar success stories of startups such as Uber, Twitter and Instagram, there’s no shortage of optimistic graduates looking to join one or create their own to seek their fortune.
Based on the culture and social entrepreneurship of Silicon Valley, startup ecosystems can now be found on every continent. TechCrunch lists cities as diverse as Amsterdam, Bangalore, Berlin, London, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Sydney and Tel Aviv among the top startup ecosystems of the world.
The 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report estimates that 100 million startups are launched every year – that’s three every second. An overwhelming majority will fail, but that hasn’t stopped people investing in them. In the US alone, US$48.3 billion in venture capital is invested each year in startups.
The thirst for success isn’t limited to graduates with low scores who don’t have other options. Fortune magazine found that top graduates from US Ivy League universities are just as keen to join startups as their peers.
There are many reasons why graduates are attracted to startup culture, according to The Guardian.
“With competition for roles at more recognizable brands getting fiercer by the year, and general dissatisfaction building at the way many large corporates are operated, many generation Y-ers are looking at London’s so-called silicon roundabout in Old Street as an exciting alternative to the traditional rat race.”
There’s an ‘us versus them’ mentality surrounding startup culture, and so-called traditional corporations in the technology, professional services and banking and finance sectors now find themselves competing directly with startups for top talent.
Some large corporations are embracing this new way of doing business by creating startups within their organization. Coca-Cola, GE, IBM, MasterCard, and Mondelez International are just a few of the big names developing startups within their walls. Fortune magazine says that for now, we don’t know if these efforts will succeed.
“Optimists would say this will allow some decades-old enterprises to sip from a fountain of youth. A pessimist might worry that it’ll be the corporate equivalent of middle-aged parents donning tight clothing and awkwardly twerking to demonstrate to their horrified teenagers that they’re keeping up with the times.”
Whether you’re a recruiter working for a startup or a well-established enterprise, one thing is clear: Millennials aren’t afraid to go it alone. To attract top talent, both types of organizations have to demonstrate their appeal against the increasingly appealing option of self-employment.