Restarting The Startups: Tech Market Flooded With Opportunity
Industry insiders seem to agree: the next five years of technology growth will evolve at a more rapid and scalable pace than the previous decade. Considering the first generation iPhone hit the market just nine years ago, that’s a pretty bold forecast.
That’s why the tech startup market is flooded, with entrepreneurs, investors, and career-long IT folks alike looking to get a piece of the pie. And that’s why it’s important for the current enterprise industry to embrace the changing market.
“Brick and mortar enterprises need to align themselves with tech startups,” said Tony DeAscentis, CEO of Ving!, an enterprise app that harnesses company data to track efficiency and productivity. “Startups can complete a project or bring something to market in a fraction of the time an enterprise can and save on cost. Larger companies need to move employees from one project to another, reallocate resources, and so on. It could take months and even years to get anything new accomplished.”
That’s where initiatives like The Batchery come into play; organizations that match investors to startups who collaborate to push assets out the incubation phase and into the real world. And the faster that can be accomplished, the better.
“There’s a desire for investors to be part of this innovation economy,” said Jeff Wallace, President of The Batchery, a startup incubator in California. “People are wondering, ‘How do I participate in this innovation economy,’ and ‘how do we replicate Silicon Valley?’”
Like DeAscentis, Wallace believes innovation in the coming years will blow away what’s happened in the past 10 years, and that productivity comes from the startup market. “The time it takes for something to have massive impact will get shorter and shorter; time is getting compressed. We’ll be left behind if we don’t get on board,” he said.
The movement is happening at lightning speed, DeAscentis believes. The number of tech startups has exploded, and people are developing apps and software for everything under the sun. The market has gone from a handful of great ideas to thousands of them.
And that's not a bad thing.
“It forces more innovation, more thinking outside the box,” DeAscentis continued. “We’ll always have tech startups, but the next wave of innovation is coming.”
Show Me The Money
Of course starting anything costs money, and while technological innovation can be done for a fraction of the cost today compared to 20 years ago, funds are still needed to bring a product from idea to implementation.
“This is an enormously competitive market for startups to go find money,” said DeAscentis. “It’s extremely difficult to do; no one’s throwing money at anyone.”
Now on his third startup company, DeAscentis cautioned newcomers to be smart about where money is coming from and whom to ask for investments by developing criterion before accepting funds. Startups need to examine where their own needs are, and “do the people with money fill those holes,” he questioned.
That’s where accelerators like The Batchery are changing the process in the startup market, according to CEO Kal Deutsch.
The organization, Deutsch said, helps startups with legal, accounting, and even cloud services help, among other facilities. “At that point, the startup is getting the assistance it needs, and it’s basically up to the brilliance of the entrepreneur to take the product as far as it can go.”
While Deutsche believes proper execution of funding is paramount for startups to keep the forward momentum, his partner Wallace believes there could be an exception to the rule.
Wallace referred to an investor who asked him for advice about a particular startup that was having trouble completing a funding round, therefor would not go forward with presenting a product demo at an upcoming event. “While the funding round wasn’t complete, I could see value in the product, and that the demo would be a huge success and possibly bring in more investors,” Wallace said. “We have to consider the transactional value versus the lifetime value in certain situations.”
So where do we go from here? Rather, where is the market going and what should we expect out of the startup world?
There seems to be a consensus among the investors and entrepreneurs inside the industry.
“Mobile is mature,” Deutsch said. “It’s effectively expected. Mobile is the oxygen in the room; you better already have it or you won’t exist. But how can we move it forward?”
Entrepreneurs seem to have become agnostic toward the direction of their creation, Deutsch said, not worrying one way or the other if it should be geared as an enterprise sale or a consumer play. The focus seems to be in both spaces, he said, but many startups are following the money, wherever that may be.
Analyzing data and using it to enhance technology is taking center stage, Deutsche said, which folds into the direction Wallace believes the market is going. “AI, machine learning, AR and VR, along with big data – it’s all going to grow in the next five years,” Wallace said. “Look at PokemonGo, for example; I think AR is going to explode, and it’s going to change a lot of where we are and what we do.
“We’re going to get to a point where the capabilities will remove the human component out of the process, but still let a person have the final say,” Wallace continued. “It’s going to have a dramatic impact.”
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