The pandemic was and is a driver of unprecedented market opportunities for startup founders. As tough as 2020 was, it shook several industries to the core, forcing them to change in order to stay relevant and grow.
As the economy recovers, the founders of the startups are faced with a sea of opportunities. Here are four key 2020 market changes that can help you build a startup that will thrive in 2021.
1. Greater acceptance of digital channels by customers
According to Mckinsey, significantly more people use digital channels today than a little less than a year ago. As an entrepreneur developing technology-based products and services in 2021, this radical change in consumer behavior means a bigger market, more tech-friendly shoppers, and it goes without saying the importance of leveraging technology and digital channels to serve customers, regardless of the industry or the business model.
Nowadays, a company’s ability to use digital channels is plan B as well as plan A.
2. Remote hiring and work became the norm
At the height of the pandemic, over 40% of workers in the US were working from home, and CEOs expect 36% of their employees to work remotely by January 2022. According to a Deloitte survey, 60% of C-suite executives were also found that their work conversion goals for 2021 and beyond are to use new combinations of technology and people to achieve new or different work results.
This workplace redesign is primarily driven by remote hiring, remote working and collaboration. With businesses constantly changing the way they work from home, nearly 100 new or improved digital collaboration products had been launched by August 2020 to meet the growing needs of consumers and businesses.
Before the pandemic, companies were looking for remote work and collaboration solutions, albeit slowly. The pandemic forced companies to adopt a remote work culture almost overnight, and to do so they had to use startup products that specialize in remote workplace management.
Although many existing technologies made collaboration easier, there is still a need for solutions that can make collaboration more intense when working remotely and less forcing the overall experience. We live in a world where it has become possible to build and run a billion dollar company entirely from a distance. Any hardworking entrepreneur around the world today can remotely build a thriving business.
3. Accelerated investment in AI and machine learning
The introduction of AI in the workplace has become a driving force in shaping the future of work. While 58% of organizations use AI to improve consistency and quality of work, only 26% are currently using AI to improve productivity. Since product development and service operations optimization are the most common use cases of AI, the scope for new startups in AI and machine learning startups is immense.
Large companies that do not have in-house AI development skills are looking for solutions outside. Real estate, healthcare, e-commerce, retail, fintech, entertainment, supply chain and logistics are sectors that are aggressively looking for AI solutions that can create value. There’s no better time than now to build an AI startup that delivers the value that multiple industries desire.
4. Sustainability is becoming a critical business concern
Companies that are run from an ecological, governance and social point of view have been attracting the interest of investors for some time. In 2020, the investor spectrum expanded, and investments in sustainable assets, both private and institutional, soared from $ 12 trillion in 2018 to $ 17.1 trillion, a whopping 42% growth. The positive sentiment of investors towards sustainable business is further strengthened by the support of the government and the increasing interest of consumers.
Startups in 2021 have an immense opportunity in the field of climate tech. Mobility, transportation, food, agriculture, land use and energy are dominant sectors with scope for growth for net-zero transition businesses. The demand and supply gap remains large and the urgency of sustainable solutions is imminent.
In summary, it can be said that today’s world needs problem solvers and will reward them. It’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur.