It doesn't look like the startup craze is going to end anytime soon. However, startups in certain markets are faring much better than others. Here are the five sectors to keep an eye on this year:
Capturing data, analyzing data, and making decisions based on the trends that data reveals have become integral facets of running a business. Data influences marketing plans, budgeting, expansion, partnering, and essentially any and all components of operating a successful enterprise. And, the private sector folks aren't the only ones clamoring for data. State and federal governmental offices rely on data to make policy decisions, and educational institutions use data for hiring and curriculum purposes. As a result, startups that help companies, agencies, and organizations with collecting and interpreting data are on the upswing, with plenty of investors willing to plunk down some cash in the ones that demonstrate strong growth potential.
Online education is no longer viewed as a subpar manner of learning. In fact, it is on its way to becoming the primary means of educating people of all ages. Anyone from anywhere in the world can tap into some of the best universities in the U.S. and other countries via an array of online educational platforms, many of which offer their services free of charge. And, a good number of these educational pioneers already have solid financial backing from companies like Google and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. There is still a lot of room for expansion in this market, which is why it is considered one of the hot startup markets that merits attention.
Health and Wellness
Everyone has probably heard that the healthcare industry rakes in billions and billions of dollars annually. In addition to soaring healthcare costs, related markets are also doing quite well, such as those with a fitness or wellness spin. For this reason, any startup that offers software, mobile applications, medical devices, and/or other health-related technology are poised to do quite well if they manage to find the right niche. The interest and demand are definitely there, so it is really a matter of offering something unique, decreasing the cost of an expensive procedure or service, or solving new issues that arise that will generate the most interest and funding.
It is pretty amazing how many successful startups do nothing more than connect people in search of a particular service, such as crashing somewhere (think Airbnb) or hitching a ride (like Uber). Any startup that identifies demand for a specific type of service and manages to create a platform to connect those seeking that service with those that can offer it may be onto something. The ridesharing and delivery service market may be a bit oversaturated, but prospective startups with an innovative venture may be able to garner the attention of similar investors.
With the rise of cloud computing, the sky's the limit for startups interested in providing SaaS, sometimes called on-demand or web-based software services. These service providers offer an assortment of solutions, both personal and professional. Some of these are targeted for individuals, some for small businesses, and some for huge firms, and they relate to things like data storage, HR and payroll systems, financial planning and tracking, and so much more. There are so many possibilities when it comes to SaaS that it is no wonder that investors continue to show interest in these startup ventures and will likely continue to do so throughout this year and into the future.