As the Great Resignation is in full swing, some people skip the job search altogether and get into entrepreneurship. A recording 1.4 million Americans filed for business start-ups in September 2021 alone, according to an analysis of census data by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG). In October, more than $ 54 billion has been invested in more than 2,000 companies around the world. Some the hottest sectors? Well-being, finances and real estate technology (aka proptech).
As Helaine Knapp, founder and CEO of fitness startup CityRow, says Fast business, âI think we have to be ready for anything in 2022.â As such, we brought in Knapp and other experts to uncover this year’s trends.
The hybrid is here to stay
Events, in particular, may never be the same. That’s a good thing for Alon Alroy, co-founder and CMO of the Bizzaboo event platform, who is betting that the future will be hybrid.
âThe future will be a matter of flexibility and choice,â says Alroy. âThere will be big in-person events, there will be small in-person events, but each of these new ways of coming together will now also have a virtual component. And that creates a lot of room for innovation.
He’s not the only one who sees the benefits of a hybrid business. Knapp of CityRow believes entrepreneurs are better off when it comes to raising capital than ever before. “[There] will probably be a lot more remote fundraising, a lot more remote trading, which has a lot of benefits. If you choose to see them and be able to get the most out of every card given to you, even if it’s something you weren’t prepared for. I think that’s what’s going to separate the good guys from the great entrepreneurs in 2022, âKnapp says.
Crypto, blockchain and codeless technology will continue to disrupt traditional business models
However, the digital space isn’t just about fundraising or hosting events. Neil Sequeira, co-founder and partner of Defy venture capital, believes disruption is coming for traditional businesses. “You will see the crypto Challenge [decentralized finance] blockchain companies are opening up more business models in traditional markets that are already disturbed, Sequeira said.
It means room for innovation. As fintech and codeless technology becomes more accessible, finance, insurance, and other legacy businesses will experience increased competition. Small business owners and startups will be able to use these tools to overcome inefficiencies and challenge more established businesses.
âThe foundation was built for people to do this, but what will the windows and doors look like and the type of applications that will run on that foundation? This is where there are still a lot of places to invest, âsays Sequeira.
Focus on environment, social and governance (ESG)
2022 will bring a renewal focus on environmental, social and governance impacts enterprises. For Sequeira, this means a âfocus on climate sustainability, where the ingredients come from. . . where the products are created and the impact they have on the world, âhe says. But it doesn’t stop with consumers and the products they buy. This trend is also taking root among employees, the younger generations wanting their employer’s values ââto match theirs.
âIt is extremely important to them that they work somewhere where the impact of what they do on the world is considered. And that’s a change from many generations in the past, âsays Sequeira.
Darren Bechtel, Founder and CEO of Brick and Mortar Ventures, knows the importance of ESG but is concerned about the reality of the investment landscape. “I’m afraid it’s used a bit more of a buzzword, and there’s a lot of money being spent just to tick boxes,” he says. âI think there are companies that lack truly scalable and sustainable business models that have been successful in raising funds,â Bechtel adds, but warns that there could be a âlittle calculation dayâ. He explains that it can be similar to what we saw in the early days of construction drones. âThese general investors all thought it was the best thing since sliced ââbread. And there was just massive evaluations and massive rounds, and then just a field of corpses and recaps, âBechtel explains. âI was worried that this would happen. ”
Sink or swim for real estate
As technology becomes a fixture of everyday life, it’s time for real estate to catch up. Brendan Wallace, co-founder and managing partner of investment firm Fifth Wall, sees 2022 as a year of huge, secular growth in real estate and proptech. Despite making up about 13% of U.S. GDP and one of the largest categories of assets and loans, real estate has been one of the slowest industries to embrace new technology, Wallace says.
He believes the real estate industry is divided between organizations that embrace change and technology and those that don’t. âI think that means the biggest, most technologically advanced, frankly, most sustainable real estate organizations are going to grow and evolve,â Wallace said. These will likely reap the benefits of size, cost of capital and efficiency, he says.
More flexibility and customization for all
Whether it’s fundraising techniques, events, exercise methods, education, or jobs, 2022 will bring an abundance of options for individuals and businesses. Finding out what works best for you will be the goal. To do this, Knapp says executives need to take the pulse of their industry and be prepared to help shape their future.
âThat’s what we do at CityRow with our true omnichannel,â says Knapp, âto really connect with consumers in the two fastest growing verticals of fitness. For Knapp, that means providing physical studio space and expanding digital home training options.
In a recent report, Fast business Senior Editor Liz Segran spoke to tech entrepreneur Melissa Bridgeford about Wizard Commerce, a new platform she co-founded. Scheduled to launch in 2022, it will allow consumers to text a brand, discuss products, and ultimately purchase items through a secure website that also records payment information. âThe fact that text-based conversational commerce is so popular in Asia suggests that it could take off here as well,â Bridgeford said. “And we believe the time has come for American consumers to try this new approach to shopping.”
Sequeira de Defy observes, âWe had this foundation of a shift in distribution, both on the crypto and blockchain side, but also on the workplace and people side. For example, Defy works with GajiGesa, a financial technology company designed for Indonesian unbanked workers. Instead of allowing them to fall victim to predatory lenders with high interest rates, GajiGesa allows workers to withdraw their earned wages immediately. They now work with more than 120 companies in various industries and claim that over 80% of their clients no longer use informal lenders.
âThink back to the past two years,â Sequeira continues. âEvery board meeting has Zoom, but what will make that experience better? He assimilates an application such as videoconferencing on the second floor of a new house. “But if you look at the house, well, there is so much more than that, there are paintings on the walls. This is where he sees a lot of room for compelling innovation and potential improvements.
The pandemic has changed the way we live, work and socialize. Everyone from grandparents to college students has become proficient at navigating digital spaces and the new normal. As businesses begin to reopen, this will not change, but will continue to evolve. And the world of entrepreneurship will follow. Sequeira muses, “And how do you take that to make it a really beautiful place to live? ”