12 Industries to Keep An Eye On

12 Industries to Keep An Eye On

As technology evolves and startups jump on these advancements, a few industries are fundamentally changing. And as these industries push forward, they create even greater advancements of their tech.

Curious what market sector is most likely to be disrupted in the next few years, we asked a group of startup founders the following question:

“What industry do you believe is going to have the biggest advancements in technology in the next five years, and why?”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

Big Data

“There’s no doubt in my mind given the trends we’ve already seen that big data will be huge in the future. What I mean is that companies will have better access to big data, instead of drowning in it with little options for accessing all that it has to offer. I’m confident we’ll see better ROI on enterprise datasets which will allow us to tackle entirely new business problems.” ~ Rob Fulton, Exponential Black


“Aging baby boomers, increased regulation and expanding access to healthcare — all of these factors mean that we’ll need to find new and better ways of managing medical systems. Healthcare will be one of the first industries to make full use of artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, virtual reality, predictive analytics and the Internet of things.” ~ Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work

3D Printing

“Some businesses won’t need to carry a single piece of sellable inventory. Everything will be manufactured “just-in-time” as it is ordered. I recently heard that Amazon was building 3D factories next to their distribution centers specifically for this purpose. It’s wonderful.” ~ Justin Boggs, ZeeBerry.com

Commercial Real Estate

“The commercial real estate industry is ripe for technology companies. Companies like Zillow have shown what technology can do for residential real estate. In the next five years, tech companies have big opportunities in CRE focus areas like commercial lending, commercial listing services and commercial real estate property management.” ~ Brett FarmiloeMarkitors

Virtual Reality

“Virtual reality is going to be bigger than mobile and apps. Many startups are already seeking magnificent traction. Our entire way of learning, communicating and how we experience our existence with one another is going to take 3D form with virtual reality. Also, people won’t care what model phone you have — it’ll be what goggles you wear.” ~ Beck BambergerBAM Communications


“Batteries are something that every person uses on a daily basis. This is a technology that is ripe for innovation. Hundreds of companies, universities and individuals are working on this. In the next five years it will advance faster than any other technology.” ~ John RamptonDue

Clothing Manufacturing

“With the advent of ‘victimless leather,’ which has grown out of immortalized cell lines cultured and formed into a living layer of tissue, advances in science will allow factories to grow leather goods. This will change how we cultivate leather (less cruelly) and allow us to revolutionize the entire clothing manufacture process; similar to how 3D printing has changed the game.” ~ Cody McLainSupportNinja


“The finance industry — specifically banking, lending and investing — are going to change dramatically in the next five years. Companies like Wealthfront, Betterment, Lending Club and AngelList are starting to transform the way finance is conducted, and we will only see more dramatic change coming up.” ~Randy Rayess, VenturePact


“Retail is one of the industries that is going to benefit from major technology advancements over the coming years. From digital storefronts to shoppable windows, and from interactive fitting rooms to innovative new shopping apps, the way we buy products we love is transforming thanks to technology. Every step of the retail process is being made more efficient, fun or engaging due to technology.” ~Doreen BlochPoshly Inc.


“Marketing is going to become even more powerful. As phones and social media become more ingrained in peoples’ lives, I can see marketing following suit. It might be common to find yourself buying ads for apps on phones based on peoples’ location — down to the storefront they’re near. This type of extreme targeting in advertising is going to revolutionize how people use their storefronts to compete.” ~ Kumar AroraAroridex, Ltd.


“I believe we need to engineer new technologies to help them HOW to learn, not WHAT to learn. Our school systems have focused on WHAT for centuries. Likewise, we see too many educational technologies focus on the WHAT as well (i.e., pushing content rather than new idea generation). WHAT technologies are great for producing factory workers, but for creatives and innovators, we need to focus more on HOW to learn.” Education Futures founder John Moravec

Connected Hardware

“The Internet of things represents the next wave of innovation. With hardware getting easier to make and the increasing need for everything to be connected, we have only witnessed the tip of the iceberg in this movement.” ~ Ivan Matkovic, Spendgo

3D Printer Photo via Shutterstock


The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

5 Reactions
  1. 3D printing is something that is hitting a tipping point in regards to affordability. Whereas the printers used to cost thousands, now they’re only a few hundred dollars. This accessibility will drive adoption and the more people experimenting with them, the more we’ll see practical, affordable innovation in the space. Considering how expensive manufacturing and prototyping can be, this is very big.

  2. I would say that CNC technology generally is a technology to keep an eye on. 3D printing for me is just a (very) small part of CNC technology…

  3. I agree, these are industries that are undergoing transformation in the digital age. There will be winners and losers but hopefully the consumer will be the biggest winner.

    • Virtual reality is a growing industry. It is not yet refined but once you are one of the first to get in, you have the chance of being the biggest company.

  4. I am excited for what’s to come for the world of virtual reality. I have been reading lots of articles about it and how it is going to be the next big thing in 2016. As a gamer, I would love to see how this dream has come true.