Lots of different fields, from medicine to marketing and tech to leisure, are poised to achieve breakthroughs and revolutions next year. Starting a business is always a risk but pursuing one of these promising sectors will improve your odds.

Beauty Tech

The integration of technology and the beauty business is creating an opportunity for startups to innovate both the products consumers buy and how they buy them. The industry is getting a makeover, with new offerings like “camera-ready” cosmetics that look great in photos and items that are highly customised for individual consumers.

Major players: L.A.-based Seed Beauty has raised two wildly popular and trendy cosmetic companies that primarily sell online: Colourpop and Kylie Cosmetics, launched by the youngest member of the Kardashian-Jenner family. Meanwhile, Glossier has made a name for itself selling items that promote a “barely there” makeup look.

eSports

eSports turns online gaming into a spectator sport. It mimics the experience of watching a professional sporting event, except instead of watching a physical event, spectators watch video gamers compete against each other. The eSports trend has become so widespread in recent years that games can often be viewed at an organized arena event. As with traditional sports, these games are broken down into competitive leagues and tournaments. A business that is estimated to be worth almost $1.5 billion by 2020, with some players that are already competing for prize pools of up to $24 million.

Major players: Riot Games is one of the biggest names in eSports. It released the widely popular game League of Legends nearly a decade ago, but more than 100 million gamers still play it every month. Interactive entertainment company Activation Blizzard, which makes the beloved Overwatch game, is also a heavyweight in the industry.

Influencer Agents

Think of Jerry Maguire, if, instead of athletes, he represented Instagram stars. Influencer agents negotiate deals for prominent individuals seeking to turn their loyal followings on social media into cash.

Major players: Talent agency WME IMG is one of the big players in the industry, representing actors, musicians, and directors. Creative Artists Agency LLC also works with high-profile entertainers, as well as athletes.

Alternative Protein Food Products

Does the idea of biting into a juicy hamburger make your mouth water? Of course, for years you have been able to get one without any meat in it. But thanks to improving technology, alternative-protein foods are making an ever-bigger splash in the food world. Whether it’s a vegan milk substitute made from peas, cricket protein, or meat-like products made from plants, customers have more options for their nutritional needs than ever.

Major players: Impossible Foods, known for its bleeding meatless burger, is one of the popular brands in the industry. Beyond Meat, which makes plant-based sausages, burgers, and chicken dishes, has also gotten traction with consumers.

Virtual Reality

Is virtual reality the next frontier of tech? Lots of people think so, and there’s a good reason for that. VR equipment has only been available to mainstream consumers since 2015, but during that time, it’s seen a massive increase in popularity – VR headsets have become some of the most coveted wish-list items for gamers, among other tech enthusiasts. Virtual reality is an open-ended field with tons of potential, so it’s hard to predict exactly which industries will be affected by the coming VR boom. It has obvious appeal for gamers, but it also has potential applications in therapy, job training, education, digital marketing, and safety testing. And while the high price tag of VR/AR technology means it’s still out of reach for many consumers, that’s going to change over the next few years. Will people eventually swap their smartphones for headsets? Time will tell.

Major players: The Oculus Rift is one of the best-known VR headsets available on the market. The PC-tethered headset is capable of offering highly immersive and realistic VR experiences. This year, Oculus launched a new product – Oculus Go – which will allow people to experience virtual reality without the need for a computer.

Drones

Drones started out as military technology, and they’re still primarily used for military and security applications. But as drones become both more sophisticated and more affordable, we can expect to see plenty of other industries hop on the drone bandwagon. These gadgets have potential applications in areas like construction, firefighting, agriculture, and cinematography. They can be used to remotely view wildfires and flooded areas, inspect crops efficiently, and even deliver packages. And, of course, as drones get cheaper, more and more consumers are buying them as toys.

Major players: DJI is one of the top consumer drone manufacturers, known mainly for their Phantom series. Zipline is one of the biggest startups using drones to provide medical equipment and services to remote areas. They recently partnered with the government of Rwanda to deliver blood and other much needed supplies to rural villages.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin really exploded in 2017, along with the rest of the cryptocurrency economy. As the industry continues to gain popularity you can bet that companies will be hiring. Even big companies like Microsoft are looking to add blockchain specialists to their ranks. Watch this space.

Major players: Of the more than 1500 cryptocurrencies currently available in the market, Bitcoin is the leading with a market cap of more than $171 billion. Bitcoin cash, the offshoot of the original Bitcoin, which launched in the summer of 2017, has already soared to become one of the most traded cryptocurrencies.

Conclusion:

Many of these topics – and more – will be covered at this year’s World CEO Forum in Dubai. It’s your hub for all the latest news and trends from people with real-life experience and knowledge, as well as a series of interviews with leaders from various industries. Covering everything from Expo 2020 and its numerous business opportunities, to international business trends and more, captivating presentations will provide actionable takeaways to enhance your business.

If you’re a C-level executive, and haven’t already booked your space, you can do so here. We look forward to welcoming you.

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