TechStars NYC announced yesterday it's 2013 class of top shelf brands. Having thousands of other businesses to compete with, getting into this elite class is no easy task.
Below are 10 suggested categories that could become huge opportunities in 2014:
1. Enterprise web/mobile solutions: These are supposedly once again “sexy,” and there are plenty of ways to apply consumer Internet advances to the corporate world. I think we’re just scratching the surface in that respect. And the combination of recurring revenue SaaS models along with relatively easy customer discovery make these deals very attractive to investors.2. Media Analytics and Enhancements: This too is an area with many uncharted waters. We’re only beginning to see all the effects of social media and untethered televisions on media consumption, audience measurement and engagement, and advertising spending.
3. General Analytics, including all things Big Data driven: Here’s one that is already hyped but has a long way to go as machinery and data tools get ever more powerful. There will be a lot of successful entrepreneurs who find practical ways to deploy these resources.
4. Entertainment and Gaming: This standby still seems to have legs as gaming adapts to the proliferation of the newest multi-purpose mobile devices. And, it looks like state laws are slowly but surely evolving to make real money part of the equation for online gaming. This is just going to get more interesting.
5. Noninvasive Health Diagnostics and Analytics: The 2013 winner Neurotrack with its Alzheimer’s detection techniques is a great example of this. There’s a lot more creativity to be applied there.
6. Human Performance, Health, and Wellness: Here’s where I’d put all the cool products, including augmented reality, new touch interfaces, personal data collection devices and other concepts that go direct to the point of better living without crossing over into deep medical science and FDA approvals.
7. Security: Hacking is firmly affixed in popular culture; even the Hawaii Five-0 episode this week centered its story on that topic. The use of technology for personal and data security has many more successes to breed and will be in the headlines for years to come.
8. Space: That was a major theme of SXSW 2013, and there are many innovative companies trying to privatize the space industry. With that should come clever commercial applications for rocket payloads beyond joy rides. It’s not too soon to consider looking to the skies.
9. Green: I’ve seen many deals applying technology to reduce energy consumption, and there are urgent needs around water conservation as well. This may deserve a category unto itself.
10. General Consumer: There needs to be at least one spot for the latest, hippest pure consumer plays, lest we miss the next Twitter.
There are still other areas like public transportation that still need a lot of help but the ideas above should get you headed in the right direction.
Which one of these suggested categories interests you most and why?