We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.
We are publishing the second part of the article on what ideas for innovative projects are the most profitable in 2021.
We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.
In the first part of the article, we figured out what a startup is, how to distinguish it from a “non-startup”, learned what types of startup projects exist and got acquainted with the most famous Russian and foreign startups.
The second part of the article will give you the answer to the question: "How to create your own startup?"
Launching your startup is basically science. One of the best classifications came from a serial entrepreneur Lauren Bass and the author of Hacking Growth, Morgan Brown
Stage 1. Problem/Solution Fit
What’s happening here: At this stage, the founder (team) determines the problem that their startup will solve, and then finds out how much it really matters to users with the help of custdev.
Duration: 1-3 weeks.
Investment: As a rule, no one invests in the idea, but in rare cases this stage corresponds to the stage of Pre-seed investment.
Stage 2: Creating an MVP
What’s happening here: The startup team creates a minimum viable version of the product in order to test the real demand for the product and how it works in realistic conditions. Often at this stage the team changes the concept.
Duration: 1- 4 weeks.
Investment: At this stage, seed investments are possible. Entrepreneurs raise them for finishing and checking the MVP (if we are talking about a complex high-tech product). But investors are much more willing to give funds after a successful MVP verification.
Stage 3. Confirming Product Market Fit
What’s happening here: At this stage, the task is to find the optimal market offer, get and keep the first paying users, and show stable growth. This step confirms the viability of the product. This is where many startups find themselves in the "valley of death" when they have profits, but there is no explosive growth that will take them to the next level.
Duration: A few months to several years.
Investment: During this entire period, a startup operates on Seed-investments that it can receive from various sources. If the product survives and shows growth, then serious A, B and C round funding will begin.
Stage 4. Scaling
What’s happening here: A startup is growing rapidly, gaining new customers and capturing the market. It is at this moment that investments are very important to support growth.
Duration: 1-5 years.
Investment: rounds A, B, C and so on as needed.
Stage 5. Maturity
What’s happening here: The growth of a startup is slowing down, it is becoming a confident powerful business company. Its next goal is to become a public company (have an IPO) or be merged with / acquired by a larger company.
Duration: a few years
Investment: Going public / being bought by a larger company is a time when investors return their investment with interest.
Come up with an idea. It is best to find an idea that you share, the one that excites and drives you, so it will motivate you in difficult times. A good question to ask yourself is "Am I ready to deal with this product for the next 5 years"?
Check demand. Communication with users provides invaluable feedback, which will not only help you see whether the problem really exists, but also provide the most important information: what solutions already exist, what are their disadvantages, why it is important for users. This stage is the skeleton of the future MVP.
Gather a team. In theory, you can do everything up to the MVP stage alone, but it's always better to work in a team. The team will provide expertise, help cover up the weaknesses of the entrepreneur and simply add motivation, because it is difficult for one person to force themselves to act in conditions of uncertainty. It is a well-known fact that when evaluating a startup, investors look not so much at the idea but at the team!
Create an MVP. It is better not to spend a lot of time and effort at this stage: it is highly likely that it will have to be repeated more than once in search of the optimal Product Market Fit. Now there are many tools (aggregators, website builders, no-code tools) that allow you to test a key function quickly and with little money.
Find Product Market Fit. This is a long and difficult stage, the success of which depends not only on hard work, but also on the wisdom of the founders. You need not only to find the first customers, but also to create an offer that will ensure a constant increasing sales growth.
Find investors At the stage when the product is growing, whether it survives or dies depends on the investment.
Develop a product. The founder is increasingly becoming a manager. They hire employees, lead a team, communicate with partners and are responsible for strategic development.
So where to look for a startup idea? Promising niches are those where high user interest is combined with the ability to create new technology and make money. Let's talk about 10 such niches. By the way, Wired published the list of 100 hottest startups in Europe in 2021, and most of them work in these niches, so we’ll mention them as examples.
Online tools. The pandemic has launched a trend of transitioning business to online, moving away from offices, classic meetings and events. Tools that help companies get things done in VR without sacrificing efficiency are highly valued. These can be useful chatbots, communication services, solutions for document management and work on projects online.
Example: Teemyco, a virtual office that replicates real office spaces.
Dating services. There is an increasing demand for targeted dating services that offer options based on character traits, field of work and other parameters of a person. Such services generally help you find friends and soulmates, not the love of your life.
Example: Panion, a startup that finds a community and interesting interlocutors.
Mobile games. The market is huge here, because almost everyone has a smartphone.
Example: Popcore, mobile puzzle games. The company has raised investments of € 4.5 million, their application has over 400 million downloads.
Healthy lifestyle. Online workouts, calorie counting, healthy eating - all of these are of interest to people in 2021 like never before.
Example: Crisp, online supermarket for organic products
Delivery. During the pandemic, the niche is becoming more and more in demand, and local players within one city / region are competing with the giants.
Example: Buymie, food delivery.
VR. VR technology is in great demand, its importance will only grow, and the niche is completely new. There is a lot to roam here: from the transfer of shops and museums to VR to the development of special equipment.
Example: Varjo, a startup that produces VR headsets.
Microlearning. People have less and less free time, and the need for constant learning is increasing. Companies that can help you learn more efficiently and faster will be in high demand in the coming decades.
Example: Learnlife, open educational ecosystem.
Subscription services. Subscription business model is suitable for a variety of services, from shipping toy boxes to medical services.
Example: Barkyn, a startup that allows you to subscribe to pet grooming.
Ecology. Any startup that helps implement a sustainable approach will be in great demand in the b2b space.
Example: Planetly, a startup that develops special software that allows companies to manage and reduce their carbon footprint.
Services for gamers. Gamers are a large, motivated and solvent audience, and there will be more of them every year.
Example: Leetify, an analytical service that helps gamers improve their gaming skills.
There are many promising ideas around, you just need to be patient, find a good team and give it a try. And chances are you’ll be the founder of the next unicorn in one of these niches!