8 Markets Ripe for Innovation

With the oversaturation of many markets such as ridesharing and social media, many people often ask me which industries are exploding the most and offer the best routes for new innovation.

1. Alcohol

The beer industry is almost entirely controlled by two conglomerates, AB In-bev (Anheuser Busch) and Miller-Coors. The remainder of the market is split between Corona, Heineken, and craft breweries. What is different about the industry day than the industry a decade or two decades ago is that craft brew is on the rise whereas the big players are seeing overall declines. Craft brew may end up just being a hipster trend or it may be a total shift in the consumer demographics that favors choices and quality.

While making a craft brewery may be hard and would definitely require a chunk of startup money and education, businesses that appeal to this trend would be valuable. For example, craft brewery insurance is a new concept the insurance industry had not seen until just a few years ago.

2. Education

With increases in dropping out, taking gap years, traveling, and learning via alternate methods education is seeing a major face-lift to an industry that has changed little in the last century. If you were to describe the education journey, you would like describe a generic classroom with 20-30 kids in it for K-12 and then an arduous application process to get into the top college, which was founded over 100 years ago, for 4 years of pricey learning.

We now live in an era that understands the value of understanding systems, cultures, and trends. Gen Z (anyone born after 1998) knows that working is just as tangible of a learning method as the classroom. Most importantly, this era grasps the fact that people learn differently. Whether you aim to build an alt-school that focuses on international learning or an online classroom, education sits in an interesting place for growth and added value.

3. Marijuana

Whether or not I support the expansion of marijuana, it is pretty clear that within the next decade weed will be legalized in every state and the industry will become much more legitimate, legal, and larger than it is today. Some of the first marijuana stores in Colorado and Washington returned millions of dollars to their owners in just the first year. As this trend spreads across the U.S. new store owners, growers, distributers, and paraphernalia producers will see large growth in sales.

4. Virtual Reality
This one is pretty self-explanatory, as virtual reality becomes larger, markets in reality are replaced by markets in virtual reality. Understanding the pros and cons of VR markets will be crucial for this as certain things will of course be adopted faster than others.

5. Marketing and Market Research

If you looked to marketing and market research even just 20 years ago, you see extremely subjective and inefficient means of gathering data and extrapolating upon that data for decision making and marketing campaigns. Imagine a world without computers and data farms that can show you ads about the last thing you looked at on Amazon. While we have come far from this archaic time, we still have extremely far to go.

Survey data is some of the worst market research out there due to expense, inaccuracy, and subjectivity of processing. According to marketing expert Deep Patel, "yet even in this modern world, this and data mining remain two of the most used market research tools." He says throw this together with the growth of AdBlock and the entire market research and marketing markets are perfectly primed for a revamp. Success in this emerging market will rely on understanding people's innate behavior and values.

6. Investing

Apps such as Acorn and Robinhood have revolutionized trading in public equities. Similar applications could be used for all other facets of investing, such as real estate, venture capital, collectibles, etc. Platforms such as Slice Capital are leveraging the new legal regulations on venture capital investing, aiming to make crowdsourced investing a reality.

7. Manufacturing and Sourcing

One of the most challenging tasks for any company is finding the right manufacturing partner. Right now, most people turn to Alibaba, which is flooded with scams. To simplify the process of finding a manufacturer, Sourcify is launching. Sourcify is a startup that introduces you to the right manufacturer through their pre-vetted database. Instead of spending hundreds of hours trying to find a supplier, Sourcify asks you a few questions and within a week they'll find you the right manufacturer.

8. Real Estate
A key aspect to successful real estate agents is staying top of mind with their clients. For a agent, this means constantly staying in touch with your clients and finding innovative ways to connect with them. Dizzle, a startup based in San Diego, has streamlined the process for real estate agents to interact with customers. They develop white label real estate apps so agents can easily stay in touch with clients.