Industry observers are publishing their 2017 startup forecasts. Below is a round up of some trends to watch – or take part in – this year.
The Rise of IoT
According to Forbes, the IoT (or the Internet of Things) concept means connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and other electronic gadgets.
Expect to see more IoT innovations – and opportunities – to arise in 2017. In the recent Economic Times trend report, they predict that wearable devices (fitness bands), smart cars and appliances will remain the most popular applications.
The most successful IoT innovations will have a service component. As explained by the Internet of Things Institute, the IoT market is becoming crowded with products but few of them stand out. One that does is the Amazon Echo. The reason: it ties into the Amazon backend to offer services—voice recognition, streaming music, or the ability to hail an Uber.
The IoT Institute also predicts startups will gain more traction in the market. In the past couple of decades, startups developed technology to make consumers’ lives simpler. The same storyline could play out within the IoT space. Startups are better positioned to understand consumer pain points than a large company. Startups have the ability to leverage their agility and fresh perspectives to take hold of a larger share of the IoT market.
Great Promise for Fintech Startups
Fintech Finance argues that the primary reason why Fintech became the darling of the business world is because it delivered ease of operations and convenience to the customer. Expect this niche sector to continue its growth in the coming year.
Prompt service and security will be must-have components to fintech customers. Tech-savvy consumers will be lured by high responsiveness and immediate solutions. As security breaches become more prominent and widespread, fintech solution providers will have to tighten security to prevent hacks.
Editor’s Note: Read Can Governments Help Cultivate More Fintech Investment Opportunities?
The Next Generation of Entrepreneurs
Dell’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Elizabeth Gore shared her startup outlook in Inc. She predicts that younger, more diverse entrepreneurs will emerge in 2017. Expect to see more millennials and Generation Z innovating in the marketplace.
In 2016, the number of women starting businesses reached a 20-year high. She's confident that number will increase in 2017. The trend is very apparent within the GIST community. Many women-led startups made great strides in their ventures, including Tech-I winner, Sarmina Sarwat from Bangladesh and GIST Startup Boot Camp winners, Phuong Bui and Viet Huong Nguyen of Higi Energy Vietnam.
Gore also expects to see more people from diverse backgrounds start their own business in 2017. In the GIST community, early-stage innovators are turning to entrepreneurship to address issues in their community or region as well as establish economic security. We look forward to hearing more success stories in 2017 from entrepreneurs like Moonga Chowe of HappyFarmer in Zambia, Pipo Reiser and Andrea Rivera of Sinba in Peru and Nermin Sa’d of Handasiyat.net in Saudi Arabia.
Additional Resources for Early-Stage Innovators
Below are some resources to help guide you along your entrepreneurial journey in 2017. You can view all GIST articles on our News & Resources page, and watch recordings of GIST Online programs here. You may also want to watch our upcoming GIST Guru webchat, How to Run Your Startup on Tuesday, January 17 at 8:00 a.m. EST (13:00 UTC).
Recordings of the GIST Guru webchat series in 2016
Understanding the University’s Role in Startup Ecosystems
How Companies Use Open Data to Enhance their Business
Successful Startups Take Smart Risks and Fail Quickly
Identify What You Don’t Know About Customer Discovery
Early-Stage Startups: Identify and Overcome Common Obstacles
Customer Interviews: Tips, Do’s and Don’ts
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