2019 Startup Trends: Our Predictions for the (Near) Future
Neil Armstrong once said that “science has not yet mastered prophecy”—and neither have humans. However, as a startup that works with entrepreneurs in areas that are hotbeds for innovation, we notice trends and patterns. Here are our predictions for startup trends that we believe will continue to flourish in 2019:
Trend 1: The Internet of Everything, not the Internet of Things (IoT)
A few years ago, the IoT was treated as a separate category from artificial intelligence or blockchain—but no longer. As more startups begin to design customer-centric innovations, the lines between artificial intelligence, IoT, and blockchain are becoming blurred. Customers don’t care whether an app uses a certain kind of technology—rather, they care about the ease of use, functionality, and value proposition of the products that they’re using. That’s why we predict that in 2019, artificial intelligence will still be the focus of many up-and-coming startups—however, these startups will begin to create cross-technology fueled products, such as combining AI and IoT.
Here’s a scenario from a recent article by Wired Magazine that explains how AI and IoT can work together:
Imagine you have an underlying heart condition and choose to monitor your physical exercise through a wearable device, like a Fitbit. The wearable device (of course) collects data points on your health—but, what if there was a way for your doctor (or a technology equivalent to a medical professional) to then take those data points and evaluate whether they were correlated to a “normal” range of behaviors? It would be beneficial for both health practitioners and individuals, but how would your doctor be able to manually interpret millions of data points? Enter machine learning. If the secondary device that is receiving the data points can be trained to learn which data points are relevant, there would be immense potential for patient-doctor relationships to take on an entirely different form.
Whether you’re innovating in IoT, AI, or a combination of the two, you should always consider intellectual property protection to not only protect your ideas, but to also obtain more funding and attention from investors.
If you’re a startup with questions about how to best implement your idea, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with our patent expert here. Start your 2019 with a clear plan for your company!
Trend 2: Cannabis-infused beverages will be front and center in places that have legalized marijuana
As cannabis becomes legal in even more states (and in Canada), we predict that 2019 will bring even more innovation around cannabis. It’s important to point out that hemp (non-psychoactive cannabis) is now legal in the U.S, which opens the door for new startups to flood the market with food and beverage innovations. In Canada, large beverage companies are looking at the possibilities of creating cannabis-infused drinks, and even looking at acquiring smaller companies that have specific industry knowledge. While all of this may sound like it’s happening on a macro level, we predict the changing legal regulations will level the playing field for startups—and even better, catch investors’ eyes as they look to put their money in a newly legal industry.
What does this mean for food and beverage startups in 2019? An industry expert predicted that the cannabis beverage market will be worth 600 million dollars by 2022, so if you’re a food and beverage startup even on the periphery of cannabis infused beverages, we expect that you may face increased competition in 2019 as new startups are attracted to a market that’s heating up. When there’s increased competition, there’s also an increased chance that another startup will suddenly appear in the market with a similar idea, targeting a similar demographic.
That’s why we recommend you protect your idea if your startup’s market is heating up. Without idea protection, your startup could be left behind in 2019. Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation to ensure your startup enters 2019 ahead of its competitors.
Trend 3: Meat-alternatives will take center stage in the minds of consumers.
Soy, jackfruit, wheat—what do these ingredients have in common? They’re all plant-based proteins that you may find yourself consuming in 2019. As consumers continue to embrace no-meat protein alternatives, big food companies are taking notice and growing their plant-based food division. For example, Nestlé recently acquired a company called The Incredible Burger, a meat-free burger alternative, and plans to bring the product to stores.
However, we think that burgers aren’t the only food that we’ll see on shelves in 2019. We expect to see smaller startups make big entrances in plant-based products this year, as there’s massive room for growth. In particular, consumers worldwide have expressed interest in foregoing meat products, at least part-time. The food market in 2019 will adjust to accommodate these new consumers.
Is your startup looking to move into alternative protein in 2019? Stay tuned for our upcoming series of articles on food tech!
If you think we overlooked a trend or have any questions about the list above, feel free to write to us. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think the future holds for startups in the coming year.