Digital companies will survive and thrive

Words by Circklo team in News

There is a lot to be said about traditional businesses and business models: part of them will continue to be needed for the production and provision of basic goods and services. Most of them will cease to exist in several years’ time unless they swiftly embrace the digitalisation and optimisation of their customer/client offering.

2020 was a pivotal year in understanding the value and the real return on investment of digital marketplaces, supply chains, services, and products – those companies which swiftly embraced and built on digitalisation thrived; those which didn’t mostly collapsed.

This is also the view of Paul John Bakker, the Vice President for Global Enterprise Solutions at ASICS Corporation and mentor with Circklo’s Business Configurator Academy:

I think a lot of companies have taken a massive hit last year when everything shut down. And there were also companies that came out swinging after that, companies that were able to recover so fast because they were digitally focused.”

Bakker’s unique insights into the world of costumer focused multinationals has proved, and is proving to be, invaluable to the start-ups undergoing Circklo’s Business Configurator Academy because they are digitally savvy, disruptive by the very nature of their business propositions, and maverick in their approach to consolidating profit, purpose and circularity as their fundamental business purpose.

In the words of Maria Morais, Circklo’s Co-founder and Chairwoman: “Our Academy is solely dedicated to the mavericks, misfits, innovators, and ceiling breakers of the 21st century technology and science: it is a safe space for those start-up and SMEs founders who know they have more than just potential, they have the mindset to succeed, and Paul John is an ideal mentor for our candidates.”


Circklo's Business Configurator Academy is a fixed term, mentorship-driven programme dedicated to start-ups and SMEs aiming to succeed in sustainable digital innovation.

Circklo is looking to accelerate start-ups for profit and impact in the areas of:

  • Sustainable food and beverage companies;
  • Sustainable fashion companies;
  • Recycling and reuse of resources (i.e., plastic, metals etc.);
  • Non-financial metrics calculators, and track and trace platforms;
  • Financial technology (fintech).

Circklo’s mentors and coaches work intensively with all individual teams for 12 weeks, ensuring these are supported to create a refined business plan.

Each 12-week cycle culminates in a Dragons' Guild Day, when the teams which have attended the programme will be presenting their business plan to a carefully selected, invite-only audience of investors and industry experts, the goal being that of seeking investment funding for their business idea, and/or a way to validate their idea with a real case scenario.

The applications for July 2021 cohort are now open!



Set up in London in 2020, Circklo created the first Business Configurator in the world specialised in digital start-ups for the circular economy.

Circklo’s main expertise is in developing seed stage start-ups in the sustainability area.

Circklo offers start-ups both the opportunity to raise capital and accelerate their business and, also, to configure their business in such a way that purpose and profit can successfully coexist and complement each other in the 21st century digital world, fully using and embracing the principles of circular economy.

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