The Thinc Team had a chance to sit down with Justin Sacks, founder of StartupPoint — and we’re super pumped for his Lunch’N’Thinc this Thursday, January 8! Learn more about Justin below…
Your “A-ha!” Moment:
My a-ha moment for StartupPoint was in August 2012. I had helped create a paper map of the Atlanta startup ecosystem for the launch of an initiative called Startup Atlanta. The keynote speaker for the launch was the Director of the US Patent & Trade Office. He held up the paper map, waved it around, and said, ‘This should be happening everywhere.’ Interestingly, he reached out just a month ago about deploying StartupPoint with the World Economic Forum, so it was nice to be able to tell him about that moment and that indeed it might be happening everywhere.
What do you enjoy about the startup community?
I love people who challenge the status quo and offer a vision for a better world. I really enjoy meeting fellow social entrepreneurs, people who are trying to solve major economic, social, or environmental problems through their business. If I had my way, entrepreneurs would be in charge of running the country.
My passion is sustainable development. I really began to focus on sustainability in college, when I developed a proposal for environmentally sustainable public housing design. I have another startup called Ripl that is starting to gain some traction, more so in Europe. Ripl is based on my many years of working with organizations to measure and optimize the sustainability of their supply chains. This work was recently featured by the UN as global best practice and my first US patent was approved last year. So…it only took 15 years for all these ducks to line up!
Fun Fact About You:
I have been to Timbuktu. Yes, it’s for real! Perhaps more memorable than Timbuktu itself was the journey to get there. I was traveling with friends in the Peace Corps, so we traveled like locals rather than tourists. Instead of a six-hour car ride, we took the public river boat. We spent three days and two nights on this boat, sleeping atop sacks of millet, and you don’t want to know how going to the bathroom worked. It’s one of those experiences I will always remember but never want to repeat.