The Startup Ecosystem is ever-evolving.
As an industry based on innovation, trends come and go quickly and often. However, it is worthwhile when running a Startup Program to pay close attention to where the bulk of innovation is taking place. On the one hand, staying up to date with trends can help you stay relevant and competitive. On the other hand, mindlessly following the latest tendencies without considering how they fit in with your goals can be counterproductive and leave you lost with no direction.
To help you find your footing within these options we ask, what are the biggest trends right now within the Startup ecosystem? What are the trends of the future? and, most importantly, How can you decide which trends are worth following and which is better to just let go past? In this article, we are going to explore all these questions and explain how Founderhood can help you make the best out of your decisions.
First things first, you must determine whether you want your Program to be industry agnostic or sector-specific.
This answer can help you narrow options when it comes to trends. What does this mean for your program? Well, if you decide to make selections in your scouting process based on a theme, for instance, AC75 accelerator bases their program on the silver economy, this completely changes the way you can look at trends. When engaged in a sector of the industry you will be less inclined to run in the opposite direction following the hottest thing right now. Additionally, it can allow you to explore, possibly through partnerships, new markets in which what you are focusing on might be more relevant or more "trendy".
Hence, in this scenario, you may find yourself more looking for a market to fit the trend you have selected than looking for a trend within your local market. Looking further into the Pros and Cons of each option we can set them out. A sector-agnostic Program offers the possibility to cover more ground and perhaps be more explorative though you can increasingly struggle to pick the right firms. Choosing a running theme for your startups will give you a smaller pool to choose from but it can help you better focus your efforts to solve a problem and make your selections easier.
Regardless, What exactly are those trends you should or should not be following?
Even if you choose to remain industry agnostic, there are probably some theses or technology inflections you like and want to follow. Within the current trends, ML and AI are some of the most prominent lines of development. Across all industries, ML Ops can be used as a technology in several different ways, whether it be to support financial decisions or to improve the health tech industry making it a key technology moving forward.
Enis Hulli from 500 Istanbul is about this: "We try to loop at these as macro trends and be able to identify which industries will be able to adapt fast." It goes without saying then, that a majority of innovation has now, for a while, been moving towards forms of technology and to the online world rather than to a specific industry. Followingly, moving online may be another possibility to follow trends positively and increase your investment options. Lastly, to ensure you stay up to date, why not let founders dictate innovation? Keeping a close look at great founders, and what they are doing, can show where big trends are.
Overall, if you do not have an initial thesis, consider building it around your investments instead. Do not be afraid to follow true innovation and focus on good founders. Trends are a reflection of the moves of the industry and where most people are focusing their efforts. Keep your business ethics by your side and look for those who share your culture, then see how trends can fit in with you and not how you can fit into trends.
Whatever founders you choose in the end, Founderhood is the tool that will help set you aside and maximize the positive effect you can have on founders so they can be at the forefront of trends. Want to know more? visit www.thefounderhood.com to listen to the full interview with Enis Hulli find us at the Startup Programs Masters Podcast.
How can different ventures in the Startup ecosystem work together? How to find common ground and Founderhood as a shared language
What is the perfect duration of my program? Choosing the right number of batches and the optimal length while staying flexible.