Starting up in a Crisis: What Are the Top Startup Trends of 2021

What do Burger King, CNN, Uber and Airbnb all have in common? They were all founded during an economic crisis.

Burger King flipped its first patty in 1953 when the US was in the depths of a recession, while CNN started its news broadcasts in 1980 when US inflation hit almost 15%. 

Both Uber and Airbnb set up business during the global financial crisis of 2007-09.

While 2021 is off to a rocky start, the economic hardship bought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the business landscape with new technologies, evolving customer demands, and societal shifts. These innovations are paving the way for new business opportunities to emerge and for entrepreneurs to reap the benefits that these changes have to offer. 

All eyes are on the startups now: so without further ado, let’s see which startup trends are set to make waves in the year ahead.

The Rise of Remote Wellness

Did you struggle to get your hands on home gym equipment at the start of lockdown? Well, you weren’t alone. The rise and subsequent sell-out of fitness equipment experienced last year was just the tipping point, with eBay reportedly experiencing an increase of around 1,500% in the sales of dumbells and weight plates compared to 2019.

If there’s one thing the coronavirus showed society as a whole, it’s that many of the ways we thought to take care of ourselves (going to the gym, going to the grocery store, etc.) can, in some way, also be done at home. Consumer demand for new health products and services that people can access without leaving their living rooms is creating fertile ground for innovations to break into the market. Watch this space.

The No-Code Boom

While 20 years ago creating a webshop required serious programming knowledge, today, everyone can create one with the help of no-code web apps. Software as a service (SaaS) has long been a proven business model, and it won’t be any different in 2021. 

There are already a bunch of startups coming out of the no-code movement, focusing on apps that allow people with no programming or developing background to create a webshop, automate workflows or design web content. This move is not only convenient because of the lowered barriers to realising ideas, but also due to the growing shortage of programmers.

Learning on Demand

As many parents are aware, online education gained a whole new meaning during 2020. Almost all schools shifted to online classes, creating a massive opportunity in the education market. Startups and organisations can take advantage of the growing demand for online education. If your business is going in this direction, consider taking online education seriously in 2021. The demand for remote schooling, courses, and classes will continue to grow.

Robotic Delivery

Using robots has always been a thing, but with COVID-19, the use of robots has increased to minimise human contact. Grocery delivery robots, which are already being trialled by a couple of firms in China, can reduce the need for people to be physically at a supermarket to get groceries. 

Furthermore, some COVID-19 patients have had robots delivering their meals and medication. With these successful implementations, demand for robotic delivery is only likely to increase and see a higher take-up rate in 2021 — and machines could take over more manual tasks.

The Acceleration of eCommerce

eCommerce is quickly establishing itself as the best and easiest way to launch a product or business. Many consumers have turned to eCommerce to make contactless purchases, spurring the need to have better and more effective eCommerce systems in place. From a testing point of view, it’s much more effective to engage and gather feedback from customers online than from a brick-and-mortar type of business. For startups looking to make their mark, focusing on digital efforts will be pivotal in 2021.

Author Bio

Rajesh Velayuthasamy is a business author and Managing Director/co-founder of Mint Formations — a highly successful and established international business services firm. Having previously worked at global brands, including Forbes and Panasonic, Rajesh founded Mint Formations to help entrepreneurs and start-ups to launch, scale and succeed.

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