13 Trends Entrepreneurs Can Be Excited About

New trends for entrepreneurs are cropping up faster than ever before–or maybe we’re just hearing about them more now. Admittedly, some people don’t like trends. If you’re one of these types, it’s time to slip on a pair of eye shades.

Regardless of how you feel, trends are dramatically changing the way we live, work, play and give back. So here are 13 trends about which some really smart entrepreneurs here on IdeaMensch are excited. If you don’t recognize a trend within these trends, that’s because there isn’t one. These trends come from an incredibly diverse set of entrepreneurs, ranging from the CEO of one of the hottest marketing companies on earth to the founder of the Key For Hope Foundation.

13 Trends Entrepreneurs Can Be Excited About

1. Cloud gaming

“The growth of mobile and cloud gaming has me wild with anticipation,” says Elizabeth Boylan, co-founder of VectorBloom Technologies. “Inevitably I think these two movements will lead to virtual gaming rooms where gamers interact with 3-D holographic game play entertainment. I also see light shows for nightclubs and music festivals being driven by game technology.”

2. Empowerment

“I’m excited by all the positive quotes being circulated on Facebook/Twitter/blogs,” says Sean Stephenson, founder of Sean Stephenson Enterprises. “The more humanity is focused on empowerment, the better. I’m also happy that giving back to charity is seen as cool and trendy now.”

3. Microlending

“It’s great to see the trend of people loaning money to individuals around the world [through microlending organizations] in order to pay for their education or help them start businesses,” says Laura Pepper Wu, co-founder of 30 Day Books. “The two [organizations] I know about are Kiva and Vittana. I believe both have around a 99% repayment rate, and you can then re-invest that money in someone else. I find it mind-blowing that just a few hundred dollars–which you’re likely to get back–will help someone attend university/graduate school for two years and will then help them to support their whole family. Or it might get a business off the ground and go on to employ five people and support five families. It’s incredible!”

4. Digital sensors

“The spread of digital sensors, which have the potential to make nearly everything act smart, excites me,” says Bruce Kasanoff, author and business strategist. “They’re going to create more entrepreneurial opportunities than anyone can imagine. Just think: nearly everything around us has been ‘dumb,’ and now everything will be smart–your toaster, car, house, garden, desk and even dogs.”

5. Responsible fashion

“I’m looking toward the combination of fashion and socially responsible products,” says Tina Tangalakis, founder of Della. “I originally left the design world because there was something unsatisfying about it. I wanted to design, but I wanted my work to have a purpose. Now I have found a way to do meaningful work in my field, and fortunately, socially responsible consumerism has become a trend. Through businesses like Della, I hope to keep it the norm.”

6. Mobile devices

“I am excited about tablet/mobile devices being used more by businesses to help them be more efficient and not tied to desks,” says Andy Kallenbach, founder of FormZapper.

7. Social selling

“The entire planet has done a great job of building our networks through social media, and in my mind, the logical next step is to make things more commerce-driven,” says John McPheters, founder of CLDmkt. “Seeing how people will monetize their networks and garner more control over brands and consumers in general will be thrilling.”

8. Fun work environments

“I love the fact that ‘fun’ is the new ‘corporate,'” says Emily Gimmel, founder of GRACESHIP. “We are saying goodbye to so many traditional corporate-type businesses. No longer does my generation have to completely separate their personal and professional lives. Finally, many of us can be self-expressive while in the office and not have to worry about putting up a persona. We can have fun while making money. We live in a much more socially acceptable business environment.”

9. Crowdfunding

We are excited about digital media marketing and crowdfunding,” says Gaston Frydlewski, co-founder of HICKIES. “These trends are all about people getting closer to companies and directly helping them ‘Kickstarter’ new ideas and improve old ones. We are also excited about the trend of building good companies that will construct a new kind of society focused on leaving a positive impact on the world. Entrepreneurs now are more focused, more creative, and more tuned in with a new and more emotional society–and we want to be part of that.”

10. Financial independence

“My favorite trend is the fact that more and more people seem to be becoming freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent creatives,” says Corbett Barr, founder of Insanely Useful Media. “The world is a better place when people get to do work that makes them come alive and experience the benefits and fulfillment of being self-sufficient.”

11. Increased access to knowledge

“I am excited about the trend of less ignorance, thanks to universal access to knowledge, which will hopefully lead to more humanity,” says Ajaz Ahmed, founder and chairman of AKQA.

12. Curation

“All over the Internet, users are creating great experiences on platforms that allow them to curate their favorite content and generate their own personalized creations,” says Sagee Ben-Zedeff, CEO and co-founder of Serendip Media. “These creations are their means of self-expression and personal definition, and whether it’s done with images, music or texts, curation helps us handle the noise better and improve the signal-to-noise ratio of our digital consumption. It plays very well with the remix culture of which I am a big fan. It creates something new and valuable from existing works.”

13. Reusing scraps for good

“The idea of using scrap metal–specifically keys–for good has excited me more and more over the years,” says Ralph Greenberg, founder of The Key For Hope Foundation. “The fact that one donated key can contribute to stocking food pantries and feeding the hungry is truly amazing. The simplicity of the idea should make it possible for the eradication of hunger to be a reality one day. Keys are the next big thing. In the United States alone, millions of keys become obsolete each year, and are then lost or thrown away. By recycling these keys and welcoming your donations, we can help eradicate hunger.”

Are you an entrepreneur? If yes, what’s a trend that you’re excited about? Comment below.

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