Five new business ideas

July 18, 2022 09:44
Photo: RTHK

In the face of a sluggish global economy, Hong Kong also experiences a slowdown, but this may offer a golden opportunity to start a business. The cost of starting a business has decreased, which together with various government subsidies, and increased public’s use of the internet have helped to create new business opportunities. Recently, I came across a few entrepreneurial ideas in CB Insights, a market intelligence company, I would like to share some with you.

The first two are related to children, and the third one targets on enterprises:

1) One-stop children development platform

Children have resumed in-person classes, at the same time, many parents are planning how to make good use of the summer vacation in August, either travel overseas, or stay in Hong Kong depending on the quarantine policy.

The one-stop children development platform, like TripAdviser for kids, helps parents to plan summer vacation, it contains parents’ and children’s feedback and evaluation of activities held by different organisations, and let you filter by:

• Topic/theme — academic, sports, fun, religious, etc.
• Type — sleepaway vs. day, virtual vs. in-person
• Cost

Besides, the platform can be extended to include year round extracurricular activities and tutoring to maintain a stable service throughout the year. Currently, there are societies in Hong Kong organising children's activities, but they rarely manage their database of parents and children effectively. They do not plan the activities as a whole like a travel agency’s website in handling air ticket, hotel, catering and tourist attractions. In fact, from kindergarten to university, apart from various learning and development needs, there are a lot of business opportunities.

2) AI diapers

The high-performance diapers are super absorbent, they are designed to be more comfortable and easier to clean up, they can sense when a baby is about to go, thus assisting in potty training. Most importantly, the diapers can take the excretions and predict illness through AI analysis.

Parents lose their minds when spending on their baby, especially on anything that gives the baby an edge in the early development stage. This AI diaper is expected to be expensive, but super parents will surely rush to follow the trend.

3) Group buying marketplace for B2B software

Hong Kong consumers have long enjoyed the benefits of reduced price in group purchase. If a startup also aggregates demand from SMEs looking for software, such as customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence (BI) for business analysis, marketing automation (e.g., sending welcome or service reminder emails, birthday or anniversary messages, customer surveys), and cloud storage, it can then connect that demand to the supply side (vendors), and negotiates reduced rates and better terms on behalf of the customers in exchange for aggregate demand.

4) Automatic meeting notes for internal meetings

While there are many startups that now do Zoom call transcription, this startup summarises key points, to-dos, and individual follow-ups in internal meetings, and auto-sends the transcripts to participants. Most software only targets meeting scheduling and facilitation, this new service ensures internal discussions are recorded after a meeting.

5) Startup executive search platform

When a startup develops to a certain scale, it will need to recruit managers with operating experience. This headhunting platform not only allows search by industry, but it also lists out the candidates’ past working experience (E.g who has taken a company to a particular scale, who has been involved in an IPO), specific functions at jobs (E.g people with product management or marketing experience), or locations of work (E.g. people with experience working in Shanghai).

It would be even better if the scope of the search could include more high level candidates for positions as important as directors.

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Adjunct Professor, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering; Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences; and Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong