Artificial intelligence Startups Venture

The Rise Of The Solopreneur 

By Sailesh Ramakrishnan 

We’re officially in the era of the solopreneur, marking the next evolution of early-stage businesses.

These solopreneurs are a one-person show, operating and managing a business independently, handling all aspects from product development to marketing to sales. And, solopreneurship is skyrocketing globally, thanks to tech advancements that make running a business smoother and more cost-effective.

This new type of entrepreneurship is a game-changer in today’s innovation-driven yet financially tight market, opening doors for early ventures to flourish.

The tech driving the solo movement

Enter the tech revolution fueling this solo surge.

Accessible AI tools are at the forefront, letting solopreneurs automate tasks and easily tackle complex processes that include everything from data analysis to customer interactions. The most adept solopreneurs even craft custom GPTs and intelligent tools tailored to their unique business needs, sidestepping the security risks of public AI software.

Sailesh Ramakrishnan, co-founder and managing partner of
Sailesh Ramakrishnan, co-founder and managing partner of

Then there’s the magic of plug-and-play APIs. These are like ready-to-use, customizable tech Lego bricks, letting solopreneurs snap in advanced functionalities without the hassle of building from scratch. It’s a time-saver and budget-friendly way to enhance business operations, keeping the focus on core activities.

Consider a technician in a field such as oil and gas, traditionally bogged down with manuals and tedious procedures. With so many resources, getting answers to specific questions is challenging and time-consuming. Now, a singular tech-savvy technician can upload resources to an AI interface that quickly comprehends all of the information, resulting in quick, detailed answers, transforming operations and potentially leading to the creation of a new niche business.

This is just one niche example. There’s a world of possibilities where advanced technology empowers solopreneurs to build and compete without needing big teams, specialized co-founders, or significant financial resources.

Combined with increased investor support available to business owners, these resources are streamlining the entrepreneurial journey now more than ever.

How it’s impacting the startup and VC ecosystem

Solopreneurship is driving significant changes to traditional startup dynamics.

With technology helping solopreneurs go head-to-head with larger entities, it’s pushing later-stage startups to adopt efficient tech and leaner models inspired by the minimal overhead and agile practices of solopreneurs.

We may also see the market begin to favor smaller, agile businesses thanks to solo owners’ ability to be more agile, flexible and customer-centric.

VCs are also adapting and eyeing micro-funding and alternative models like revenue-based financing to fit the unique needs of solo ventures. This shift could see more solopreneurs in diverse, niche markets, weaving networks of mentorship and sustainable growth.

Navigating the solo journey

Solopreneurship is a path ripe with benefits such as streamlined decision-making, adaptability and direct control over your work-life balance. But it’s not without challenges. Knowing what you don’t know and where to seek guidance is key, especially to scale in the future.

Once you’ve considered the pros and cons and are ready to embark on your solo journey, here are a few best practices.

First, build a robust support network by fostering relationships with mentors, peers, and industry professionals who can provide the insight and guidance you need. Second, consider how you can leverage outsourcing or collaboration with a freelancer or partner, especially for aspects of business management you are less familiar with.

Finally, it’s crucial to prioritize self-care and prevent burnout from Day One. Set realistic boundaries, plan breaks and have thoughtful brainstorming sessions about maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Sailesh Ramakrishnan is co-founder and managing partner of, a global, early-stage venture capital firm. Previously, he was CTO and co-founder of LocBox (acquired by Square), a startup focused on marketing for local businesses. He also led engineering at Walmart Labs and was a computer scientist at NASA Ames Research Center.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Copy link