Enrique Allen of 500 Startups says while some of the world’s most successful startups were founded by designers, most people in the profession are still “mercenaries for hire, helping other people get rich.” He cited YouTube, Tumblr, Airbnb, Android, Flickr, Foodspotting, Slideshare and others as examples of the companies designers have built. His argument: Designers can become great entrepreneurs because of their deep understanding of people, their expertise at figuring out what people want and their potential to become visionary communicators.
Allen says designers have the desire to create great companies, but they don’t have the mentorship and education opportunities currently available to technical or business founders. The d.fund hopes to fix that by giving designer entrepreneurs access to mentorship by some of world’s most successful designer entrepreneurs. It’s essentially a startup bootcamp.