The 2011 tech trends that stood out to me were startups addressing education, healthcare, ecommerce, distributed workforce and marketplaces. We saw vertically focused incubators pop up. The seed bubble and Series A crunch never materialized, despite the prognostication of VCs and bloggers. Startups led by Women founded grew significantly. We had a fair amount of VC backed IPOs (most haven’t performed well): Zynga, LinkedIn, Pandora, Groupon, Fusion-io, Cornerstone OnDemand, Zillow, Zipcar, Angie’s List, Jive, Demand Media.
Here is a list of newer trends I expect to see in 2012:
- Microsoft builds momentum with developers: Windows Phone and Kinect will draw the attention of developers
- Startups are going to disrupt the book and magazine industry by allowing anyone to write longer forum content without having to go through the typical route of being “approved/accepted” by traditional publishers
- Startups are going to focus on gaming and education applications for young children, two to six year olds
- Applications specifically made for enterprise workforce, mainly for those in the field
- We are going to see more startups addressing the security space
Despite the fact that there are a lot of incubators/accelerators and co-working facilities, we are going to see more of them come online. Although many pundits have been predicting a seed bubble for the past two years, I don’t see the level of funding for seed rounds diminishing in 2012. In addition, there is plenty of cash available for companies who have the product/traction and want to raise a Series A.