Startups are set to benefit from a welcome improvement in market conditions in 2022. The post-covid economy will provide plenty of growth opportunities, across all sectors and industries.
The pandemic problems that made doing business in the last 2 years a challenge, such as global supply chain friction and lockdowns, appear to be behind us. So, it’s out with the old challenges, but what will the coming months bring?
Fastest growing startup sectors
With the looming climate crisis, socio-political concerns and the digitalisation of economies to contend with, there’s still a lot for businesses to contend with. However, where there are challenges, there are innovative individuals ready with exciting solutions that bloom into big business. Suffice to say, there are many exciting new opportunities for startups to exploit, with some sectors being set for serious popularity in 2022.
1.Go green or no home
Recent years have seen a change in how governments in the western economies view climate change. Adopting the phrase “climate emergency” has provided an impetus and focus on solving climate challenges in these countries. At COP26, world leaders agreed to work together “to turbo-charge the uptake of clean technologies”, by imposing worldwide standards and policies.
An important outcome of the COP26 summit was governments encouraging private investment in low-carbon technologies.
This development should help green technology draw in billions, possibly trillions of dollars in private finance in the coming years. Climate change is the pressing concern facing every country on the planet, and governments now seem resolved to face up to it.
Citizens across the planet are now demanding climate action. The important role that new technologies and solutions will play will ensure that green startups are an important part of the world’s response.
The ‘green sector’ isn’t a discrete set of businesses or an industry in its own right, going ‘green’ has a role to play across all sectors. This includes important carbon-producing sectors like steel, road transport, agriculture, hydrogen, and electricity. In many ways, these carbon-heavy businesses are prime examples of industries waiting to be disrupted by a creative startup offering a new way of doing business.
The stakes are high, but so too are the potential rewards. The upside of a novel solution to carbon-producing business models is as big as it could be, making ‘green’ one of the best industries for startups.
Crypto and blockchains are regularly making headlines, whether it be for huge gains (or losses) made on a digital currency, or a new security concern. These terms are often found together but they are very different parts of online infrastructure.
Blockchains are essentially databases that are shared across a network of computers. They store information electronically, making a secure and decentralised record of transactions or other data. Blockchains are best known for their role in cryptocurrency systems. Blockchains are distinct from cryptocurrencies, which are online or virtual currencies that are free from the control of central banks. These currencies are monitored and organised by blockchains.
Blockchains will form an ever-increasing part of the digital landscape in 2022. This technology can potentially be used in a wide range of applications and transactions. As the digital transformation of developed economies continues to move at pace, organisations are looking for a more de-centralised way of doing business. As blockchains are utilised in more transactions, and new ways, trust will grow. Already, big banks and financial service companies are looking at ways to exploit this technology and improve their business models. These include big multinationals like IBM, Amazon, Google and financial companies, including Visa.
The use of blockchain technologies can be spread across all kinds of different organisations, and areas as wide apart as music streaming, banking, voting and healthcare could all be beneficiaries from this technology.
There is indeed a huge space for the blockchain industry to grow. The regulatory framework for the sector doesn’t yet exist, but that doesn’t mean it’s a market akin to the wild west. Blockchains have serious and real-world applications and the promise posed by them could make it one of the fastest-growing startup sectors.
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3. The future’s virtual
Virtual reality is the use of technology to replace the visual aspect of an environment or experience with a more customised version of that environment.
The applications of virtual reality are expanding all the time. Businesses can use VR to offer everything from shopping for kitchen cabinets to training fighter pilots. As the technology becomes more sophisticated and its commercial uses grow, the costs will come down and it will become even more accessible to other industries to explore.
Among the reasons that VR is among the best sectors for startups, is its enormous potential across every industry. Its use is limited only by the imagination of business leaders. One of the revolutionary opportunities presented by recent events is workforce training. Hybrid working is now here to stay, so employers need a way to ensure their workforce remains highly trained, beyond that offered by click-through training portals.
VR technology can bridge the gap between online learning and the demands of the real world. Immersive training scenarios can be created, helping staff to learn new skills and professionally develop while being spread across geographical locations.
The obvious benefits of virtual reality to businesses are far-reaching. It can be put to use for everything from product design and development, the launching and marketing of products, to customers being able to try before they buy.
4. The digital skyscape is cloudy
The trend towards cloud technology will continue to be an important startup industry in 2022.
Cloud technology has the power to vastly improve collaboration and connectivity for businesses everywhere. The recent advances in technology have challenged traditional business models and digital innovation is becoming more and more important as the economy shifts online.
Businesses that are adopting cloud technologies can provide secure environments to facilitate and maximise collaboration, manage complex workflows and integrate processes across different geographical regions and time zones.
startups have an opportunity to offer unique solutions that can radically improve data insight and cooperation for customers. The cloud is already here to stay, making it a valuable and important market sector for startups.
There is a clear opportunity to create a unique IT solution that can help businesses that have yet to transition to digital technologies. In this space the possibilities are huge. With everything from SaaS applications, cybersecurity solutions and analytics all playing a part in modern business models, those yet to embrace the cloud may not even realise they need this solution yet!
Cloud computing will evolve and develop as the technology improves and artificial intelligence and machine learning become more embedded. As these changes occur it will always provide an opportunity to develop a new service or improve a process that can be quickly scaled and offered across the cloud.
When it comes to cloud computing, the sky's the limit.
Above we’ve covered the four fastest-growing startup industries. Technology will form an important part of doing business in the future. As economies move online and we all become more connected, through the internet of things, wearable devices and the metaverse, the solutions to our problems are technological.
There are real-world applications of things like blockchains, Virtual Reality and cloud computing, such as in healthcare where securing personal data, collaborating and diagnosing can all be improved by using them.
The climate emergency looms over the future as humanities greatest challenge, for those founders and entrepreneurs up to the challenge, the opportunities for growth and other rewards are astronomical. Solutions in this area are going to be amongst the most valuable in the history of mankind.
As startups look to grow in the post-covid world, with opportunities and challenges to navigate and master, it can help to partner with the right professional advisors.
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