Technology is changing the fabric of our society and an ever-increasing rate. Skeptical? Just watch a film from 2002 and take a look at the type of phones people were carrying around. There was no YouTube, no Facebook and most people were still sending SMS.
Technology is a strange thing. If you’d told somebody back in 2002 what living in 2017 would be like, they would have told you it was magical thinking. Home robot assistant, supercomputers in the palm of your hands, self-driving cars on the road: it would have all been too much.
But what made all that progress possible? The answer is entrepreneurs who had a vision. What will the world be like in 15 years’ time? That will depend on the decisions of entrepreneurs today. Here are some of the most exciting tech start-ups to keep an eye on this year.
What’s the job of a tech entrepreneur? To disrupt the rich and give to the poor, according to Robinhood. The idea of the company is to make it easier for the average person to buy stocks and shares on their phone. Their app is just one of a wave of fintech apps that are transforming the stodgy world of finance into a lean, mean economic machine. The company says that its app takes a lot of the hassle and the mystery out of stock trading and offers tutorials which are perfect for getting Millennials, one of the most financially illiterate generations in history, into the market.
We’ve had companies that help sell the last few seats on air plane flights for a long time. But now a company called Gametime wants to do the same for other events. The company is helping to make it easy to find last-minute seats for concerts, sports matches and entertainment, all through an app. The company is already worth more than $50 million and is trending higher, attracting a dizzying amount of interest from investors and venture capitalists.
You’ve no doubt heard about the fact that Amazon is trialing a drone delivery service to take goods the final mile from its depots to customers. Well, Zipline is doing something similar. But instead of ferrying DVDs and books, Zipline’s drones will be transporting life-saving medical supplies to get help to the sick and injured as quickly as possible.
At the moment, the company sees Zipline being used in rural Africa where the distances to the nearest medical facilities are long and the infrastructure poor. By flying through the air, Zipline’s drones avoid all the usual problems with accessing patients by car or on foot while also getting medical help to them faster.
There are plenty of dollar stores on main street, but comparatively few online, despite their profitability. Now a company called Hollar is setting up its own online dollar store where it says people can buy cheap, quality goods online. Currently, the dollar store market is worth more than $50 billion in the US and Hollar is growing at more than 50 percent per month through online sales.