August 17, 2014
One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is disrupting the status quo. When we feel that we can innovate or improve upon a current process, it’s in our nature to do what we can to bring about that change. So, if you’re looking for and industry where you could make a splash, maybe you should consider one of these.
Consumer transportation is grabbing all of the headlines right now. With Uber and Lyft constantly expanding and disrupting local markets, it’s no surprise that the public’s attention is focused on them. But what about corporate transportation? There is just as big of an industry in moving people and goods around for companies and organizations. Look at the inefficiencies within this industry and find a way that you can improve upon them.
Many businesses have a fleet of vehicles that are not always in use, or perhaps they have trucks that they only need once every few weeks. A company could easily step in and provide a service that allows those businesses to monetize their idle fleet. This is just one idea when it comes to the corporate transportation industry.
Jody Jones, the President of Red Star Transportation is carving out her own niche of disruption within the industry. Her organization saw a broken way of doing business that was causing headaches for the schools, the district, and the drivers. She decided there had to be a better way and is now expanding her services around the country.
The green industry has been around for decades. But that’s exactly what makes it such a great opportunity for disruption. Just look at what the Solar Roadways people did with their Indiegogo campaign a few months ago. While getting into energy can require quite a bit of capital, crowdfunding and VC groups can help with this barrier to entry.
Companies like Tesla are growing quickly and taking advantage of the shift in global priorities. They are currently valued at $30 Billion and are only eleven years old. As the need for green energy and green solutions continues to grow, there will be ample opportunity for startups and entrepreneurs to step in and carve out a share of the market.
You don’t necessarily have to go into the energy vertical either. Camfil Clean Air Solutions saw a way to improve upon air quality and energy efficiencies within office buildings. They entered a crowded market with legacy companies that owned the majority of the market share, but they still succeeded by offering a green solution.
More established startups like Eventbrite have created some great tools for planning and organizing events. But there’s still a big void in the promotion of these events. With everyone moving towards mobile, there are lots of solutions that will be needed in order to get the word out about events.
Currently, over 50% of all internet activity is done via mobile devices. And this figure continues to rise. Our event promotions, however, still rely on many old fashioned distribution methods such as radio, TV, and billboards. But with our eyes spending more and more time looking down at the device in our hands, there is a need to get the information about events to the mobile users.
SpinGo, an event promotion company, decided to tackle this industry from the flank. Instead of going directly at the major competitors, they found a niche that was being overlooked; the newspaper industry. They now curate and manage the events calendars for several hundred newspapers around the country. So, be creative and find your niche.
As a boat owner, I can tell you that recreational vehicles are expensive. They cost a lot up front and then can be a money pit with upkeep costs. With the sharing economy gaining so much traction with groups like Airbnb and Spinlister, it opens the door for other companies to step in. This is more of a personal plea, but I would love some entrepreneurs to make it easier for me to enjoy the great outdoors without breaking the bank. So, get on it… please!
The recreational vehicle industry is projected to be a $10 Billion industry within the next three years. Companies such as Cruzin are starting to emerge. But all of them are new and there is plenty of opportunity for the right entrepreneur to become the next Airbnb of recreational vehicles.
The Internet of Things
What is the Internet of Things? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s an internet that connects things. This means your fridge, your watch, and your TV will all soon be connected to each other and will talk amongst themselves. In fact, this is already happening in many connected homes.
How can an entrepreneur disrupt this industry? Once all of these things will be connected, they’re going to need to provide a purpose. It’s up to us, as entrepreneurs, to come up with ways to improve the daily lives of consumers by developing software and systems that will enable our things to become smarter and more useful.
There are those that believe the IoT industry could be one of the biggest industries in the world. Cisco’s CEO pegged its potential at $19 Trillion. And the more remarkable statistic is that only 1% of the world’s devices are currently connected to the internet. So, the opportunity for entrepreneurs lies within the other 99%.
SmartThings is one of these startups that are trying to make the home a smarter and more connected place. And their message must be resonating, because they just closed a 12 million dollar round of funding.
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