Y Combinator Hints at Future Trends

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Incubators provide new businesses with money and other forms of support.

Y Combinator just announced that it will reward 63 new companies with some initial funding. Y Combinator helps new entrepreneurs fund their work through its unique incubator structure. Incubators not only award funds for promising companies but sometimes provide hands-on guidance and physical office space. The idea is to give different types of support while a company is getting up to speed. All this support comes with disadvantages that you won’t find trying to get a traditional loan. Incubators tend to have extremely low acceptance rates (3% rate at Y Combinator) and only fund specific industries.

Small business owners can get some hints of future trends by seeing what kind of companies received funding. Whether it’s new software or innovative apps, check out how these companies stood out from the competition and how their work could affect the future of small business.

ZigFu: ZigFu specializes in selling motion-based devises for games that rely on physical action- think Microsoft Kinect’s dancing games. ZigFu sells similar motion-based tools as apps in its online store.

Future Effects:  Small businesses in the gaming and app industry need to consider adding motion to their games. Movement in games is an exciting development that can help sell a well-known concept, like dancing, to more people. Users might even use it instead of going to the gym if the game is physically demanding enough!

Munch On Me: This new deal site increases customers without costing restaurants too much money. It limits deals to specific items, rather than all the items on the menu. This means no more cheapskates redeeming coupons with unlimited restrictions to get free items, which is more common with large deal sites like Groupon.  Munch On Me’s customer testimonials praise the benefits of working with the restaurant –focused site.

Future Effects: Anyone who depends on deals to get new customers and advertise their business has to stay up-to-date with new deal sites. With its rapidly increasing revenue and growth in different markets, this site could also have similar or better terms for restaurant owners than big competitors like Groupon. TechCrunch thinks it manages deals better than Groupon and it hasn’t been around nearly as long. See the retailer terms for yourself to decide if this deal site will help your sales without costing you too much.

Interviewstreet: This company acts as technical recruiter/testing center for programmers. Hiring managers use Interviewstreet to administer tests for interviewees. Potential programmers test their skills and the result is a verification of programming skills. Interviewing programmers isn’t easy, especially if you don’t have a technical background. Given how important they are to many businesses, especially those in technical fields like software, testing and hiring the right person with this kind of service is a great idea.

Future Effects: More programmers than you think exaggerate their technical capabilities. The service is a smart way to fill in knowledge gaps by testing crucial information for potential programming employees. Before you hire the wrong person, try the free trial to find better programming candidates.


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