5 Industries With the Most Opportunities for Tech Startups

In 2017, Forbes compiled a list of the Next Billion Dollar Startups, revealing companies poised to become the fastest-growing within their industry. Of the startups profiled, 70 percent comprised the fintech, healthcare and biotech, data and analytics, logistics and new space industries.

While many entrepreneurs may already have an understanding of these tech-related industries and what they bring to the table, others do not. (What exactly does the term “new space” mean, anyway)?

I did a little digging to uncover what happens in each industry and why, despite the list having been compiled nearly a year ago, they’re still the top five to watch out for in 2018.


What’s going on in this industry?

Defined by CNBC as “any technological innovation in financial services,” this growing sector has seen traditional financial markets disrupted by new technologies. A couple of terms that nearly everyone, entrepreneur or not, has at least some familiarity with include cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin) and blockchain.

What makes it worth watching?

A third of consumers worldwide are using at least two types of fintech services, which gives startups the edge in creating companies in this industry. There are opportunities to hire talented individuals worldwide who are skilled in this sector, which is good for business and the overall economy. It’s also an industry worth funding, with $17.4 billion received in investments in 2017.

Related: How Cloud Technology is Enabling More Budding Entrepreneurs to Set Up Business

Healthcare and biotech

What’s going on in this industry?

A few years ago, biotech (healthcare’s highest profile subsector) went through a bit of a rough patch with its stocks in the U.S. The news wasn’t perturbing healthcare startups, which continued to be formed and funded at the rate of 200 percent between 2010 and 2014.

To this day, there are tons of opportunities available for entrepreneurs to break traditional, inefficient healthcare molds to better benefit every generation.

What makes it worth watching?

Although it will take time, healthcare and biotech is an industry that startups can truly transform with the help of technology and innovative new ideas. Independent entrepreneurs aren’t alone in their desire to disrupt this industry either.

This year, the CEOs from Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase all united with the intention to start their own independent healthcare company for the employees at their respective corporations.

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Data and analytics

What’s going on in this industry?

When isn’t this industry in high demand? In 2015, Forbes estimated that 49 percent of the top 100 analytics startups were based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, with 32 percent in late funding stages.

For startups, the ability to collect and understand data can mean everything when it comes to making decisions, reaching your customers and staying one step ahead of the competition.

What makes it worth watching?

Four companies — Cohesity, Farmers Business Network, Looker and Segment — were singled out in the data and analytics category on Forbes 2017 Next Billion Dollar Startups List. All four startups have created systems that make it possible for companies to gather and analyze data with ease. That last word is key, especially where big data is concerned, and has created customer loyalty to startups of this nature.


What’s going on in this industry?

Flexport and Postmates, profiled in the aforementioned Forbes list, are just two of the many logistics companies changing how delivery is done.

According to AngelList, there are 2,035 logistics companies throughout the world with services ranging from cross-border shipping to on-demand delivery in your own neighborhood.

What makes it worth watching?

One of the slowest moving sectors in the logistics industry is freight forwarding, which is actually still on the mostly manual side with few startups working to change it. With the help of technology, other startups can leap in and make the process most streamlined and seamless.

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New space

What’s going on in this industry?

If there’s not enough action on Earth for you, startups are heading to the sky to find and analyze data globally, a term referred to as “new space.” This is all being done via satellites, many of which capture data through camera images or listen through radio signals.

What makes it worth watching?

The truth is out there — and so is all sorts of new data that could give us better insight into how our world is changing. As more startups take flight, it’s key to make sure that we don’t overpopulate space with, well, more stuff since about 3,000 satellites currently orbit Earth.

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