Sometimes you have the entrepreneurial spirit and skill, but you just don’t have a revolutionary business idea worth pursuing. If you are ready to launch a startup but lack direction or inspiration, you might consider one of the following concepts, which many accelerators, incubators and venture capitalists are eagerly awaiting. They have great growth potential.
Brick and Mortar Reimagined
The Amazon Effect is an ongoing disruption of the retail market due to e-commerce. Typical brick-and-mortar stores are struggling to keep up with the convenience and low cost of online — so brick and mortars need to make atypical choices for growth and survival.
There is no one way to reimagine brick-and-mortar businesses, but a few successful examples do exist. Consider Tesla, Warby Parker and Peloton, all of which use physical locations as storerooms to supplement their online sales channels. Undoubtedly, consumers expect online ordering, immediate delivery and similar features even from brick-and-mortar businesses, so you should consider this when building your next brick and mortar.
Building a green business is one thing; building a business that helps the Earth remain green is entirely another. Considering that the Paris Agreement limits the world’s allowable temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, there is plenty of demand for businesses bent on eliminating harmful greenhouse gases.
If you have training or experience in the sustainability sector, you might hop toward developing a startup centered on carbon removal and sequestration technologies. Though this tech is still new and expensive, the business that can offer a cost-effective and accessible solution is sure to strike it rich.
Regardless of how you feel about the treatment of farm animals intended for meat and dairy production, you should recognize that the current factory farm model is embarrassingly unsustainable. Already, nearly all available farmland in the world is used for meat production. As populations grow, there is no room to expand.
The only viable solution: replace farm-raised meat with lab-grown meat. It isn’t as ludicrous as it sounds; there have already been significant successes in producing food that is scientifically indistinguishable from animal products. However, startups can take strides in the marketing of this non-meat meat product, so the masses will accept the alternative more easily.
If we continue cutting down trees at our current rate, we won’t have any rainforests by the end of this century. While obviously, this is terrible from an environmental standpoint, it is also economically devastating to industries reliant on these scarce resources.
Startups that address unsustainable practices like deforestation with sustainable solutions are likely to receive positive attention from growth investors and consumers alike. Solutions might be the introduction of synthetic alternatives, cleaner options or even supply-chain improvements that preserve the environment while providing the resources we continue to need.
For the last century or so, the transportation industry has only been minorly affected by technological change — until now. The introduction of driverless capability in conjunction with the popularity of the ridesharing economy promises to revolutionize how most people get from here to there. Most experts predict a large-scale abandonment of traditional vehicle ownership in favor of participation in affordable and convenient robot-driven transport.
Smart mobility startups that get their start now are more likely to have the established infrastructure to find success in a post-driver world. You should begin developing your rideshare fleet today, so you can transition to autonomous options when they become available.
Memory is fickle, capable of slipping and sliding away from the truth based on emotions and experiences after-the-fact. Worse, increasing longevity introduces much of the population to memory-related diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Suffice it to say that most people are looking for ways to enhance their memory in the short and long term.
Unlike other startup concepts on this list, memory augmentation doesn’t necessarily mandate the invention of some sci-fi technology. Rather, simple solutions like voice assistants and wearable devices have a considerable impact on memory. Building tools like this for memory-specific purposes could be a smart move and provide a lot of growth.
Fake News Defense
Most everyone is aware of the plague of false information spreading across social media and the rest of the Web. New, exciting technologies, like Adobe’s Project VoCo and Project Cloak, can be used for creating even more convincing lies to confuse or sway the public. What we need now is a tool for sorting the fake media from the truth.
As yet, there are no simple options to help the public — or social media sites — identify fake video, audio or fake content in general. Likely, this type of tool would be so successful that it would eliminate fake news entirely, making its creators exceedingly popular.
It is impossible to predict with 100 percent accuracy what types of businesses will succeed and what will fail. Still, given the current trends in public taste, technology, economics and environmentalism, the above startup concepts are likely to take you far.
For other ideas, look at some of our side hustle articles.