At Inspirefest 2016, a panel of entrepreneurs dismissed the idea that we have reached peak sharing economy – but the same people are making the same apps over and over again.

When we hear the term ‘sharing economy’, we immediately think of the dominant apps and services on the market, like Uber and Airbnb, that make billions each year off an existing infrastructure.

According to a PwC report, the sharing economy – comprised of services offering accommodation, car sharing and online staffing – is expected to reach parity with the traditional rental sector in 2025 with, each being worth $335bn.

Among the Collaborative Economy Inspirefest panel were entrepreneurs with decades of experience between them, including: Zipcar’s co-founder, Robin Chase; entrepreneur in residence at Index Ventures, Jules Coleman; and the author of Onlyness, Nilofer Merchant.

For the latter, she admits there is too much money sloshing around Silicon Valley, but on top of that the problem of a lack of diversity filters into every facet of a business.

“If we have mostly white males funding mostly white males coming out of Stanford University… and who are used to having their mother do things, then every app you create is a food delivery service, or a dry cleaning service,” Merchant said.

Words by Colm Gorey