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Startup trends to watch in 2024

As the new year begins, the startup landscape transforms into something different. New technologies are emerging — they find uses in different niches and captivate investors and clients. Some of them are already adopted by many different businesses: automation tech, AI, Web3, and Big Data. If you’re a startup that uses these technologies, 2024 is bound to be exciting for you.

In this article, you’ll find out what the most important business trends are and get some app ideas for you to think about, while brainstorming your next project. You can take them as they are and create your own viable product or just implement them as one of the features for your project.

Reading time: 14 minutes

Table of contents

Key takeaways

    • In 2023, we highlighted 3 successful startups: a banking app Envelope, a cost comparison service CertainlyHealth, and an AI EdTech platform Flint.
    • There are 6 startup trends to keep in mind in 2024: AI, blockchain, Web3, AR and VR, Big Data, and business digitalization;
    • In this article, we talk about 10 app ideas to create in the future, among which are a tokenized real estate app, a climate app with a focus on sustainability, and an AI HR-secretary.

3 successful innovative startups of 2023

As the year draws to a close, let’s look at 3 startups that caught the attention of investors and accrued venture capital this year.

Envelope

It’s a banking and budgeting platform. Users can get access to their bank accounts via a virtual card, set special savings accounts, and track expenses. 

The main feature is the ability to set goals: you write down the amount you want to save and how much you’re willing to put away. The app calculates the rest. So far, the company has processed over $20M in transactions, so the app is definitely a success.

Envelope app

In the app, you can check your balance and see transactions you made

Certainly Health

It’s a platform that calculates costs of medical services. The user can input their insurance info and choose a healthcare provider within their budget. Once they’re satisfied, they book an appointment with the “price protection”. This means that even if insurance says the user owes more than they originally did, the company covers the difference. 

This service achieved great success — the company behind the app managed to raise $2.3M.

Certainly Health service

Choose a healthcare provider, your insurance carrier, and write down your address to find suitable services

Flint

It’s a tool that helps users create their own generative AI for educational purposes. Tutors design an AI to provide coding assignments, check homework, and review material before a quiz.

One of the differences between Flint and other generative AIs is data protection. This service doesn’t use chat data to train its models, so customers can rest assured knowing that their conversations are private and secure.

Flint app

Schools and universities can book a demo to find out how generative AI can change their tutors’ lessons

6 startup trends to watch out for in 2024

Here are 6 trends to keep in mind in the upcoming year:

AI

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is going to be even more widespread. We saw just how popular conventional AI tools can become: think generative AI like ChatGPT, Midjourney, etc. More small businesses are seeing a gap that can be filled by AI and AI-adjacent technologies.

AI apps

Now’s a good time to create an AI app tailored to specific business problems, especially if you’re new to the startup world

As for AI startups, their number is also growing. Entrepreneurs try to make solutions that offer benefits in specific business niches: e.g. healthcare-related AI chatbots, or predictive analytics tools in marketing. Now’s a good time to find a business niche, find a problem to solve, and provide small business owners with an AI app that’s helpful.

Blockchain

Since there are many misconceptions of what blockchain actually is and how it works, let’s briefly explain this concept here. A blockchain is a network that stores transaction data in blocks. It sends the info to network participants, or nodes, that verify transactions. After they approve the transaction, data blocks with it are added to a chain.

How blockchain works

The blockchain is extremely difficult to breach

While blockchain was overhyped before, the opinion is steadily changing. The tide will continue turning in 2024, so it’s a good time to capitalize on it. And since data breaches and leaks are becoming a larger concern among many companies, a blockchain solution could come in handy for a lot of businesses.

Web3

Web3 combines blockchain, cryptocurrency, and decentralization in a single infrastructure, which makes it safer than regular apps. When an app is decentralized, its data is distributed along multiple nodes. It’s not controlled by a single entity that can sell it for ad revenue. This ensures that nobody but you has your personal information. 

Web3 technologies

Web3’s main concern is safety, which is why it combines tech regarded as secure: blockchain, cryptocurrency, decentralization

As Web3’s growing in popularity, so does the number of companies well-versed in it. This trend is going to continue in 2024, so creating a startup or at least fleshing out its idea now is a good choice.

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VR and AR

With the introduction of Apple Vision Pro and other headsets in 2023, creating apps for AR/VR is going to be more in demand in the future. That includes VR and AR based apps in every business niche: gaming, education, healthcare, fitness, etc.

VR/AR use cases

There are many use cases for VR and AR, and their number is still growing

You can become one of the first entrepreneurs to create an app for the Apple Vision Pro with a solid UI/UX design. If you do that, you’ll be able to attract many more customers compared to other companies, because your startup will be among the first to work with this tech.

Big data and personalization

Right now, big data is used by major corporations to track user behavior and personalize marketing offers. Startups can help create special tools that are better at collecting and analyzing metrics and huge pools of data from all over the internet.

Big Data example

Big Data is going to be used even more often

You can leverage this trend and combine big data with automation and machine learning. This way, you can offer a unique tool that helps analyze data and make predictions about the customer and their behavior.

Business digitalization

Small businesses are slowly moving into the digital realm. While there are special tools that help with this transition, there’s not a lot of them. Also, some small businesses require more personalized apps, or tools that are specifically tailored to their niche. This makes digitalization difficult.

Business digitalization

More small businesses are trying to go digital. You can try creating a startup with a focus on this transition

You can create an app that’s designed to help with digitalization and automation in a specific niche: e.g. healthcare, law, and logistics. Not to mention that there are many things you can help with: digital marketing, inventory management, etc.

10 profitable startup ideas to keep in mind

We’ve compiled a list of some useful ideas to raise some venture capital with. Take these suggestions and try to make your own app based on them. Or use them as a starting point to create your own million dollar ideas in the future.

App idea General description
Customizable AI-based cybersecurity app for B2B An app that keeps track of individual cybersecurity needs of each business
AR/VR-based fitness and health app An app that helps get into fitness and stay healthy through portion control, form checks, etc.
Big data-based assistant for eCommerce businesses A helper that tailors product selection to unique users
Practical tokenized real estate investment app An app that allows users to invest in expensive property
AI-based HR-secretary app A tool that relieves the HR of some responsibilities and saves the company money
Customizable app for business digitalization and logistics An app for warehouse automation and other logistical issues
AI-based cloud computing A product that boosts efficiency of the web service and app
Decentralized app builder A tool that allows companies to create their own secure apps in the Web3 sphere
Personalized AR/VR-based content creation tool for SMEs in different niches An app that helps any person without experience to create content
Climate focused tech — carbon footprint tracker An app that allows clients or businesses to track their carbon output

1. Customizable AI-based cybersecurity app for B2B

Even now, there is a growing concern of data breaches and leaks among companies big and small. A cybersecurity app with a focus on sustainability can put these worries to rest. Here are some potential features you could include in your AI cybersecurity product:

Customizable security policies

No two companies are the same. When it comes to security requirements, choice of industries and internal protocols play a key role in security policy. A cookie cutter approach won’t work here, so making your app customizable will ensure it’s used by many different companies. 

🤔 How it works. Different industries have different compliance requirements. For example, healthcare companies must adhere to the HIPAA to safeguard patient data, while retail companies must comply with the PCI DSS protocol to protect private payment info. With an AI app, the business should be able to personalize it for their own use in order to avoid legal trouble.

Threat detection and prevention

The AI-powered app can utilize machine learning algorithms to detect and prevent a wide range of cyber threats, like: malware, phishing attacks, and insider threats. It can analyze incoming traffic and user behaviors to identify security risks in real-time.

🤔 How it works. For example, imagine your employee signs into their corporate account through the Amazon Fire Stick from a hotel in a different state. An AI-app can mark this activity as suspicious and prevent a possible breach of data.

2. AR/VR-based fitness and health app

Recently, new VR and AR technologies have emerged in the fitness industry with specific use-cases. Creating an AR-based app lets you take advantage of this tech, helps you get a foot in the door of the startup world, and receive a lot of customers. We’ve listed some potential features here:

Interactive tutorials and form-checks

AR can display exercise instructions in real-life, so users can self-correct on the go. And if you want to get actual fitness coaches, you can do that. They’ll guide users through a workout and provide feedback on form and technique. No access to a gym required.

🤔 How it works. It’s difficult to maintain proper form during solo workouts. Newbies in fitness almost always forget to breathe properly and keep good posture. An AR-app can show the exact way to train with good technique and alleviate issues. This can minimize unexpected pain during workouts, so there’s a better chance that users actually continue on their fitness journey.

Healthy portion tracker

With AR, users can superimpose planned meals onto their plate and get precise portions to achieve their fitness goals.

Portion tracker feature

The app takes the guesswork out of the equation, and the trainee is more likely to stick to healthy eating, because opening a camera app is easier than weighing food

🤔 How it works. A typical “healthy meal” would call for chicken breast, rice, and veggies. You could eyeball these foods or weigh them on a scale to hit your daily calorie intake. Or you can use an AR app, point the camera near your plate, and see an exact same plate with a portion already measured for a single meal.

3. Big data-based assistant for eCommerce businesses 

Imagine a storefront with an extensive catalog. In this case, you’ll have to go through thousands of different items of clothing, which makes choosing a suitable product difficult. AI can tailor suggestions for each user specifically. The main feature would look like this:

Personalized product recommendations

Big Data can provide specific customer preferences, purchase history, and web surfing behavior. The app collects this info and offers personalized shopping suggestions. Machine learning algorithms come into play to improve recommendation accuracy.

Recommendations feature

Thanks to customer feedback, the app can lend truly valuable help with choosing the things the customer needs

🤔 How it works. Let’s say you have a clothing store. A Big Data-assistant can figure out which style the customer likes the most and offer suggestions based on that. For example, if the customer searched for vintage clothes, they would see items from the late 1980’s. 

The assistant can also take other factors into account, like seasonal trends, and offer more personalized recommendations. So if it’s winter, the app would show a vintage puffer or a coat. And if it’s summer, the customer could take a look at some vintage polos or sunglasses.

4. Practical tokenized real-estate investment app

Although NFTs experienced a drop in usage, this doesn’t mean that it’s going to remain this way in 2024. Creating an app with tokens is a good idea, especially for newbies in the startup world. Here are some potential features of this exact app focused on real estate:

Fractional ownership tools

An app can make it easier to invest in expensive commodities like real estate. Investors get a physical token that acts as proof of ownership, and newbies become investors themselves and circumvent barriers to entry.

🤔 How it works. You can let users buy tokens that represent shares in specific properties: residential apartment complexes, commercial office buildings, and industrial garages. These tokens act just like any other investment asset — for example, they can depreciate or rise in value.

Fractional ownership feature

In the app, the user tracks how many shares they have and what exactly they invested in

Community forum

Add messaging boards, educational resources, and expert insights to draw your users in. They’ll share knowledge, engage in discussions, and learn valuable advice from industry experts or like-minded investors.

🤔 How it works. If you want to lure users with little experience in tokens or real estate investing, community forums can help. Having a feature where you can talk to other people makes the app feel more helpful. 

5. AI-based HR-secretary app

Try creating an app that selects the specialist from a pool of potential candidates. AI and machine learning algorithms can analyze applicants’ skills, while the company saves time and money involved in filling a vacancy. Look at features that’ll help you with app creation:

Automatic candidate screening

The app can assist HR in managing job postings, screening candidates, and scheduling interviews. This can be done with machine learning algorithms: they’ll automatically sort potential candidates with job requirements.

🤔 How it works. For example, imagine an app that takes resumes and scans them for keywords. This way, you can get rid of the bulk of candidates unfit for the position. At a surface level, these keywords can tell if the candidate is a match, or if they don’t have the required skills, so they don’t need to be considered further.

Chat-bot with essential HR information 

Integrate an AI-based chat-bot. They can provide real-time access to company policies, code of conduct, compliance regulations, and other documents.

Chat-bot feature example

The chat-bot helps users get the info they need and frees up time of HR to do other things, like managing corporate culture

🤔 How it works. Employees can talk to a chat bot to find out what benefits their job offers, how to file a paid leave, etc. They’ll get 24/7 access to important corporate info — and the HR can shift their attention to other things.

6. Customizable app for business digitalization and logistics

You can create a personal app for managers and other high-level executives to keep track of deliveries and other logistics-based endeavors. Here are two features to include in your own app:

Sorting through emails

AI can make it easier to sort through emails for transport management systems (TMS). In most companies with a big distribution network, shippers can receive up to 1000 emails a day that require manual data entry. They could use an app that will automate this part of their job.

🤔 How it works. Let’s say you have a carrier that gets up to 500 different documents via email: invoices, bills of landing, proofs of delivery, load fulfillment, etc. Different vendors may have their own style of documentation. Instead of memorizing one type and quickly picking out info, shippers have to read each new document from start to finish. After all that, they have to manually input data into the TMS. This is exhausting.

A customized app analyzes the documents, picks out relevant data, and inputs it into the TMS itself.

Warehouse automation 

AI can help with inventory counting, processing product labels, and digitizing relevant documents. Also, you can implement predictive picking. It’s when AI algorithms check to see most commonly ordered items and ensure they’re packed and shipped first. 

🤔 How it works. Imagine you’re running an IKEA-like storefront a week before Christmas. The AI can determine that a coffee mug with ornaments is going to be popular in the coming days. To lower expenses and increase efficiency, the app automatically measures how much space the mugs are going to take in a box and splits certain mug orders into different packages.

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7. AI-based cloud computing

Try creating an AI-based app that monitors and perfects the overall performance of a product or an ecosystem. There’s a single in-demand feature we’d like to highlight:

Performance monitoring and optimization

Integrate predictive analytics tools to forecast workload and data usage. You can make it so the app knows what parts of the service should work extra hard or be shut down to ensure no downtime.

🤔 How it works. Imagine you have a service that people usually visit after 6 pm each day. An AI app could take this data and provide recommendations so that your servers work smoothly at all times.

8. Decentralized app builder

Make an app that simplifies crypto-based product creation for SMEs looking to get into the Metaverse. This way, you can help businesses ensure that their transactions are secure. Here are some features to keep in mind:

User interface builder

It’s likely that the target audience of your app will consist of product owners without experience in design and development. You can simplify prototype creation for them and get a lot of new customers with this feature alone.

User interface builder feature

Try making it so that there’s no interaction with coding at all. This way, creating a solid front-end of an app will be easy

🤔 How it works. A customer opens up an interface with readymade templates and design-elements. They drag-and-drop them in an order that creates a user-friendly decentralized app.

Blockchain integration

Because it’s a decentralized app building tool, it’s important to include different blockchain networks to choose from. You’ll get a wider reach this way.

🤔 How it works. The user selects a blockchain protocol they want to have in their app: Ethereum, EOS, Tron, etc. If they want to, they can make use of smart contracts. It’s a document with terms directly written into the code, so it’s enforced through a decentralized app automatically.

9. Personalized AR/VR-based content creation tool for SMEs in different niches

The demand for AR-based tech is going to increase. With this tech in mind, try creating an app that generates content for a specific business niche. You can take spheres like education, healthcare, marketing, or HR. Here are a couple of features to add:

AR Asset library

Provide access to an extensive catalog of different 3D models, textures, animations, and audio files. You can take the assets you need and create content yourself: e.g. get 3D graphics and design an Instagram post. Or if you’re working in education, you can create a short video for the classroom without spending a lot of time on editing or animating yourself.

AR asset library example

You can add a “search” feature and let your users find any object they want for their own AR content

🤔 How it works. Imagine you’re creating an AR-based numbers game for math class. With the asset library, you can look up 3D numbers, counting animations, and audio where the speaker reads numbers out loud. You don’t need to code or create 3D models and other designs from scratch.

Sharing feature

Let users download or send their finished content to others. They can showcase it to their coworkers or other people, or upload the content to a community within the app. This raises user engagement metrics and helps other potential clients find your product.

🤔 How it works. Let’s say a middle-school teacher created an interactive AR world map for their geography class. They can download it to use it in class without WiFi, or send it to a community of like minded teachers and get feedback.

10. Climate-focused tech — carbon footprint tracker

Green tech industry and its demand are expected to grow in 2024. People are more than ever interested in sustainability and individual responsibility regarding climate change. You can capitalize on this trend and create a carbon footprint tracker — an app that can be useful both for companies and personal use. Some features to keep in mind:

Data dashboard

Provide reports and graphs so the user sees just how much carbon they typically emit. You can categorize emissions by type of vehicle or vendor.

🤔 How it works. A company inputs, organizes, and stores emission data in the app. In turn, the app showcases if there’s any progress with maintaining eco-sustainability and gives advice on how to reduce the emissions.

Carbon footprint calculator

Let customers see how to offset the negative consequences of air pollution, energy, and CO2 emissions.

Carbon footprint app features

The interface could look something like this. It’s an app we’ve already worked on that also focuses on the carbon footprint

🤔 How it works. The user writes down the number of hours they spent on the road or in the air. Based on the time, the app calculates the emissions they’ve produced, and what can be done to offset them.

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