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More often, entrepreneurs are in search of the best business ideas to stimulate changes in which the future of the modern world is in great necessity. According to The State of European Tech by Atomico reports, two-thirds of researchers and scientists hold that technology entrepreneurs can contribute to solving social issues in 2021 more than the European government. But the sole creativity is not enough to make it a reality. Addressing these challenges requires a fundamental rethinking of approaches to innovation and business models.
We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.
In this article, we gathered examples of unusual business ideas, which can stimulate the market and provide new revolutionary solutions for the future.
Talking about eco-awareness, we should mention Brightly, an unusual startup from the USA that is actually a platform with content that helps people to lead a sustainable and ecologically ethical way of life. It is worth noting that the business idea started with a simple podcast that gradually reached a large audience, providing a solid foundation for complete software and product that promotes environmental values.
On the platform, in addition to various kinds of content, they carry out the promotion of products and brands that care about the planet. The platform is also designed to unite and empower like-minded people on the platform.
In 2021, the team raised $1M to further encourage conscious consumerism.
Roślinny Qurczak, or vegetable chicken, is one of the options to substitute animal meat. The idea of the product is to produce vegetable chicken with a distinctive structure, which is very similar to fibres in poultry.
In recent years, there has been a significant development in the food industry, in particular, plant products that mimic meat analogues. In the climate crisis, such foods will be important not only for vegans and vegetarians but also for the sustainability of the entire world. The development of mass livestock production requires, in the first place, large areas, which leads to environmental degradation and, secondly, makes a significant contribution to the number of greenhouse gases. For example, the methane generated during the life of ruminants pollutes the environment, and the development of technologies for the production of plant products that mimic meat analogues has not only future potential but also ensures zero methane emissions.
It’s no accident that plant-based meat substitutes are so popular. Polish startup Roślinny Qurczak uses proteins derived from beans and wheat, which contain essential amino acids for our body. Business ideas of this kind help to increase the interest not only of the investors but also popularize the food industry market in the creation of analogue food products.
The plant-based product created by the company will imperceptibly replace chicken in the kitchen in the nearest future, being its one-to-one analogue. Its eco-friendliness/ethics (no harm to animals, health and the planet as a whole) can change the global food industry and create even more interest among buyers.
Only in May 2021, the Qurczak factory replaced 633 chickens with a released product. The company is currently closing its first investment round. The startup announced that it will move to a new, larger production facility in 2021 and plans to expand its supply market.
Pharmeum is a blockchain platform that provides access to cheap digital healthcare in the whole world. The idea of the project is to improve the prescription drug dispensing process and the pharmaceutical supply chain for drugs. Pharmeum allows doctors, pharmacies, regulating institutions and patients to coexist in a single ecosystem. Equal access by physician and patient to medical history can prevent misuse of drugs or dosage.
By superimposing the current digital-analog hybrid system into an all-digital blockchain-based system, Pharmeum enables clinicians to reduce wasted effort and reduce the likelihood of misdiagnosis, treatment, and unnecessary prescriptions. This can be achieved by using tablets and laptops to collect and distribute medical records.
The Pharmeum roadmap highlights a strong reliance on technologies that, once achieved, can help predictive care by analysing patient history, disease and evolving treatment models, and provide validation of prescriptions and drug flows. The idea behind Pharmeum is to incorporate an artificial intelligence aspect that will process a patient’s medical history, family history, symptom information and other data to predict diagnoses in advance in case of illness. This simultaneously lowers costs and helps improve patient satisfaction and quality of life.
According to the British Medical Journal reports, 70% of drug-related treatment errors come only from the prescribing process. 80% of them can be reduced or eliminated with an efficient, digitized recipe system. Overall, medical error is the third leading cause of death, accounting for more than half of deaths and being ahead of cancer.
Lowering the expenses.
NHS (National Health Service of Great Britain) hospitals spend 25% of their budget on administrative tasks; and a potential cut in total costs by a quarter is a big motivation to use cutting edge technology. Globally, the United States spends 20% of all GDP on healthcare. Lowering costs in healthcare centres can lead to lower healthcare costs in all aspects. Also, according to Forbes, in 23% of cases, patients overpay for their medicine.
The technology, implemented into the Pharmeum blockchain, contains zero-knowledge proofs, prescription tokens, medical asset tokens, and PHRM tokens. Personally identifiable information (PII) will be stored off-chain, while non-PII will be stored on-chain for use with artificial intelligence.
PHRM tokens can be used to pay for medical care, doctor’s consultation, drugs, and other healthcare costs. Patients will receive PHRM tokens to share their health data with other healthcare organizations — a more common blockchain-based model used around the world.
Uncapped offers an alternative to traditional credit and equity financing for startup founders. The project was created in 2019 due to the founders’ personal disappointments associated with limited access to funding opportunities. Uncapped offers founders access to working capital from £1 000 to £1M for a fixed fee of 6%. In September 2020, the startup raised €21M to continue to support European entrepreneurs with better funding opportunities.
Mitto is a Spanish Fintech startup focused on sustainability and positioning itself as the choice for “conscious consumers”. The startup has already registered more than 185 000 users in Spain. Currently, they have received €1.8M investments, including the Spanish investor Athos Capital.
Every payment matters and defines the world we live in — says Marcos Cuevas, co-founder and CEO of Mitto.
The startup has identified three key issues preventing consumers from spending sustainably. These include a lack of alternatives, high prices, and a lack of awareness about the impact of shopping. Like a number of banks — Nordea, Bank of the West and the bunq app — Mitto offers insight into the relationship between CO2 growth and every user purchase.
Mitto also evaluates stability for each partner company. If a company receives an unstable rating, the app offers other sustainable alternatives to consumers. This leads to increased interest in startups due to the user’s choice of “green” companies as investment preferences. The more stable purchases a user makes, the more cashback they will receive. Rather than replacing users’ existing bank accounts, Mitto acts more like a payment card that sits on top of other systems.
Sustainable developing market
The sustainable development market is valued at $12T by 2030. And as it’s gaining popularity and growing steadily at 6% each year, Mitto wants to accelerate this growth.
Karma App is one of the most famous Swedish startups that develops and offers an app for minimizing food waste in grocery stores and restaurants. Karma has put food waste in the spotlight, which has raised global interest in this issue.
Since its launch in 2016, the startup has shown that food waste can be a big and exciting business. The Swedish company has partnered with restaurants that sell leftover food on the Karma app. For consumers, this is a win-win situation: they can collect meals from restaurants with a 50% discount, while restaurants, in the meantime, receive an additional stream of income.
Currently, the platform has more than 1 million users. At the beginning of 2021, they attracted investments of $16.7M and prevented more than 1200 tons of food waste. The company has launched their first international mission in London in 2018 and in France in 2019.
Since the launch, Karma’s founders have conducted huge researches, and after analysing the data, they realized the full extent of the food waste problem. The statistics are horrifying: a third of all food in the world is thrown away and as a result, a huge amount of energy is wasted. It is estimated that uneaten food accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which also contributes to the growing food crisis in the world. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the amount of food we throw away is enough to feed 2 billion people.
Food businesses can reap significant savings by being more attentive to what they throw away. Wasted food costs about $1.2T a year. If you take the random industry, that’s about 12 times the annual cost of the UK auto industry.
As a business driven by environmental goals, Karma is inevitably linked to its own impact on the planet.
Bioprinting allows the creation of living biological tissues by layering living cells and supporting biomolecules. Bioprinting can also be beneficial in drug development, as products can be tested on tissues rather than animals, leading to advanced results.
Prellis Biologics develops technologies for the 3D printing of artificial human tissues. Thanks to submicrometre printing, Prellis Biologics resolution can create individual cell layers and build tissue scaffolds for organs from the inside. The tissue chip is a robust 3D cell culture system.
3DBio is a company that produces biological drugs and bioprinting with a focus on regenerative medicine that creates living tissue to provide patient-specific tissue replacements designed and built specifically for them.
Outer space offers a unique environment for R&D startups, which makes this industry very exciting and new in the venture capital environment.
Space exploration improves and accelerates discoveries in a variety of fields, including industrial manufacturing, life sciences and agriculture. In biomedical research, for example, gravity induces homogeneous crystallization of proteins, which can facilitate the discovery and development of new drugs, as well as stimulate new and unusual discoveries in regenerative medicine.
Orbit Fab offers a ubiquitous supply of satellite fuel to the Earth orbit, expanding the operational potential of new and existing space vehicles and providing unprecedented business model flexibility for satellite owners. The future of satellites is no longer limited to the fuel, with the help of which they are launched.
What do startups need to test, validate, and develop similar innovative ideas? It is much more difficult to improve the process of selecting and implementing the best ideas. Just as data-driven solutions drive many aspects of a company, founders must use data to generate and test innovative ideas. Without an appraisal process, innovative ideas become short-sighted and fail to meet the long-term organizational goals of a startup.
Resources: How to Spot Business Ideas Worth Pursuing (entrepreneur.com), 70 Best Startups You Need to Watch Out for in 2021 (cloudways.com), 12 Tech Trends To Watch Closely In 2021 (cbinsights.com), 121 Best European Startups to Watch in 2021 | Seedtable, netpeak.net, Karma Uses App to Help EU and UK Restaurants Reduce Food Waste (businessinsider.com).