Here at Hippo Enabler, our biggest passion is Hippo companies – where they can be found and how they can be developed and taken care of. The word Hippo is short for “High-Impact-and-Profit-Potential-Opportunity,” and Hippo company refers to a company with high potential impact on its target market and a chance to become the next big thing, or a unicorn, as we say.

Why do we talk about Hippos? Why is startup not enough?

We talk about startups casually, usually referring to young, innovative, tech-based, high-growth-oriented, entrepreneur-driven companies aiming to raise venture capital financing. However, people sometimes include low-tech and non-VC-oriented entrepreneurial projects in the definition. Moreover, the term “startup” refers to a company, not a solution or a problem.

The concept of Hippo underscores the business opportunity related to a particular solution to a specific problem, where there is high potential for both impact and profit. Not every startup has a Hippo, but any small or medium-sized enterprise could become a Hippo company.

What is the difference between a startup that has a Hippo and one that does not?

The difference lies in the potential for both impact and profit. If a startup only has the former, it is not economically sustainable. If it only has the latter, it is not fully optimal or complete as it does not drive critical global goals.

If a company claims to have a Hippo, what is the most important thing to do with it?

There is nothing more important than market evidence, potential customer interest, or early user feedback. Founders of potential Hippo companies often spend too much time on the pitching lane, trying to catch investors, instead of working with customers. They are often pushed too fast towards the investors’ interest, and nobody helps them gain a customer base at the right time.

In what industries will we see the most Hippos in the near future, and what kind of problems will they be solving, and why?

There is a call for Hippo companies to save the planet from heating up, expanding from energy to materials, foodstuffs, water, and more. Moreover, with Covid-19 not being the last pandemic, more Hippo companies are constantly needed in the healthcare space.

These are only a few examples of the Hippo scenery. Hippo companies can emerge from any industry!


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