Every successful startup begins with a unique idea, an eager entrepreneur, and an available market. Identifying the right idea for your business is the first step to getting your company up and running, but with so many options, it’s tough to know where to look first. You don’t need to stress though, we’ve developed this list of the 113 best startup ideas to help you make money in 2021.
113 Best Startup Ideas
1. App Development
If you’ve got a great idea for an app and the skill set to make it happen, app development can prove to be a lucrative and rewarding endeavor. Be sure to do a little research to make sure your idea hasn’t already been developed and that there is a potential market for it before looking for investors.
Learn more about starting an app startup from the founder of Realworld!
Also Recommended: Check out our full list of the best startup ideas for tech entrepreneurs.
2. Online Coach
Online coaches offer personalized support for clients that need a helping hand to accomplish their goals. The beauty of an online coaching startup: there are limitless possibilities for the type of coaching you can do. From time management and productivity support to coaching people through tough breakups — there is likely a market for your coaching abilities. You just have to find it!
Recommended: Check out our full list of online startup ideas.
3. Online Courses
A special skill and the desire to teach it to other people is all you need for an online courses startup. Are you fluent in a foreign language? Do you have a background in social media marketing? Are you a talented photographer? If you have a depth of knowledge in a specific field or an impressive skill set, starting an online course is a great way to put your talents to work. Make it your own by developing a curriculum that is unique to you with assignments and objectives that will keep your students engaged.
Ecommerce startups require stellar virtual sales tactics, a dedication to marketing, and the ability to successfully curate items for a targeted audience. The first step is to identify a market that either isn’t supersaturated or is overlooking a demographic. Alternatively, if you have a product you are interested in selling, you can advertise your creation by using the same tactics.
Recommended: Check out our full list of ecommerce startup ideas.
Are you super enthusiastic about a niche topic that you love talking about to anyone who will listen? Then podcasting might be the perfect startup idea for you! Podcasting is the ideal venture for people who are passionate about a specific topic and want to spend their time sharing information about it. With more and more podcasters popping up every day, the time to plant your flag as an expert in your field of interest is now.
6. AI Startup
Artificial intelligence (AI) has increasingly become intertwined with our reality; starting an AI company can put you at the forefront of this growing industry. With many startups creating AI technology to meet this increasing demand, your idea needs to be unique and effective. To come up with a marketable AI product, consider problems that companies and individuals need solutions for, and you can create the AI company to solve them.
See our interview with AI startup Linguix!
7. VR Startup
A Virtual Reality (VR) company typically falls into one of three categories: selling VR products, creating a VR experience, and VR consulting or other community-centered startup models. A great place to start is to look at the interests of your community and the VR companies that are already established in your area. For example, if there aren’t any VR experiences in your area, it may be a great opportunity to introduce a VR escape room or gaming arcade.
8. Subscription Box
Skilled curators and marketers with a passion for a specific industry, why haven’t you started a subscription box startup yet? With 18.5 million subscription box shoppers in the US, the sky's the limit for this startup idea. The key to making a successful subscription box startup is identifying popular products that people cycle through monthly and the businesses that are popular within that target market.
9. Meal Delivery Service
A huge amount of money is spent every year on meal delivery services by people who are either too busy to cook or simply don’t want to do it. Now with people unable to dine out as frequently, that number is bound to rise. A meal delivery service startup is perfect for entrepreneurs who are great cooks and want to share their talents with the world — one delivery at a time. Elevate the idea by creating delicious meals catered to the most popular diets of the moment such as the keto diet.
Recommended: Check out our full list of the best startup ideas for food lovers.
10. Pet Products
One thing many pet parents share is a love for spoiling their furry friends. Whether your pet product is practical, such as foldable cat carriers, or for pleasure, such as high-end dog treats, there is most likely a market of pet owners looking to buy new and innovative products like yours.
11. Ebook Writing
Writing ebooks is a cost-effective startup idea because it doesn’t require your books to go to print and allows you to easily publish them on your own by selling them directly to your readers. Additionally, with people staying home more than ever, an easily accessible ebook is a much-needed alternative. Ebooks are easily sold on platforms such as Amazon, or by developing your own website and implementing an effective marketing strategy.
Starting a blog isn’t just a way to share your thoughts and passions with the world; it can be a lucrative startup that appeals to a community of like-minded people. This startup idea typically requires the entrepreneur to be a savvy writer, proficient photographer, and skilled content creator. If you are up to the challenge, make this business your own by capitalizing on your personal skills and interests to build a platform that is authentically you.
13. Social Media Influencer
Being a social media influencer means that you are your brand, and why not? You are great! To be a social media influencer, you need to be outgoing, likeable, and committed to creating content that is aesthetically pleasing and engaging. Most importantly, you need a niche that will draw in followers, preferably one that is authentic to you and your interests. Since this industry is saturated with aspiring influencers, you will also need to develop strong marketing skills to engage followers and set your brand apart.
14. Job Board
With most workers looking for jobs online, it's a great time to start a job board site to connect eligible employees with available job opportunities. An online job board startup is essentially a platform for employers to list job openings and interested candidates to apply or inquire further. Draw in users for your website by catering to a specific industry or innovating the job search process.
15. Dating Website
Be the matchmaker for an entire group of people by starting your own dating website. To develop a successful dating app that offers a unique experience for users, come up with a competitive edge that sets your app apart from the most popular ones like Tinder and Match.com. Plus, ensure your site is user friendly and creates an environment where user’s relationship goals can be met.
See our interview with dating app startup So Syncd!
16. Food Truck
The benefits of starting a food truck rather than a full-service restaurant are cost and flexibility. Additionally, with less access to indoor dining options, a food truck provides dining options without the cost of an inoperable dining area. With a food truck startup, you are able to take your business where the customers are instead of working to draw them to your concrete location.
17. Makeup Business
A makeup business creates beauty products to sell through a distributor, independent contractors, or in stores. Depending on your skill level, you can create your own products or work with a manufacturer to make your products come to life. Creating a makeup business that will stand out from the competition requires creating products that appeal to a new demographic or offer a fresh take on classic beauty products.
18. AR Startup
An augmented reality (AR) company can create any type of product(s) that allows the user to virtually alter their physical surroundings. AR can be used for interactive games or as a real-world tool to reimagine different spaces such as buildings or rooms. Doing market research about existing AR products will help you create a product that can be played, or used in new, inventive ways.
19. Video Game Creation
Whether you have the skills to create a video game on your own or hire someone to develop your idea collaboratively, with over $43 billion spent on video games in 2018, this startup has the opportunity for huge success. It’s important to create an idea for a game that is innovative and offers players a unique experience.
20. YouTube Channel
Every day, millions of people take to YouTube for entertainment or to learn a new skill. Starting a YouTube channel provides you with a platform to muse, share, or educate your audience about your area of expertise. The best part of starting your own YouTube channel is you need very little outside of a niche, engaging personality, and a way to make/edit videos. Once you’ve grown your subscriber count, you can start raking in the money from advertisements.
21. Jewelry Startup
Are you a crafter with an eye for trends? If so, starting a jewelry business could be the perfect startup for you. The first step is to figure out the type of jewelry you are going to sell: fine jewelry or trendy, fashion jewelry. Fine jewelry requires more skill and initial capital investment, but the payoff can be quite a bit larger than with fashion jewelry which costs less to make but is typically sold for far less. This market is fairly saturated so coming up with a memorable, unique design is key.
22. Board Game Creation
The earliest known board games are 5,000 years old so it’s safe to assume that this industry has a long history of success. However, it also means there have been many board games in existence, so creating a definitive game is crucial to the success of this startup idea. The best way to start is to put your game idea to the test; play your game, fine-tuning until your game is ready to sell.
23. Party Game Creation
Nothing creates a festive atmosphere, quite like a good party game to break the ice. One of the most important first steps to creating your own party game is to come up with an idea that isn’t like any other which means doing substantial market research. Make this business 2021-friendly (and a little more unique) by offering a version that can be played over video conferencing apps.
24. Clothing Line
Stylish, creative, textile-lovers — this one's for you! Starting your own clothing line can be done even without sewing skills; all you need are some designs and the help of a seamstress or tailor to create samples. Using deadstock fabrics, designing eye-catching silhouettes, or focusing on sustainability are a few ideas to make this startup idea your own.
25. Coworking Space
With more and more people working remotely, there is a growing demand for places that remote workers can use as their communal workspace. Many coworking spaces provide refreshments, rentable conference rooms, and complimentary internet access to customers who lease their desk each month.
26. Vacation Rentals
A vacation rentals startup can consist of either managing vacation rentals for others or renting out your own properties to travelers. This is an especially lucrative startup if you live in an area with high tourism or an attraction such as a nearby beach. Elevate this startup idea by providing an experience for your guests that will result in positive reviews to draw more visitors such as complimentary food or tour of local attractions.
27. Furniture Company
Did you know that IKEA started as a used-furniture store in a small village in Sweden? The furniture giant’s story is a great example of the growth potential for a furniture company startup. This venture could consist of you designing and building your own furniture or curating a collection of furniture to sell from other makers.
See our interview with interior design startup Pabio!
28. Sunglasses Line
We all know that sunglasses are not only a stylish statement but a necessary one for eye protection as well. Designing your own sunglasses line can be about fashion or functionality, depending on your preferred focus. You can create a more niche business model by creating glasses with a specific function or intention such as a sport, or lifestyle brand.
29. Smart Accessories Startup
User experience is the name of the game when you’re developing a smart accessories startup. The first step is to identify a common problem that your accessory could solve or a way that a device user’s experience could be enhanced. Next, develop a prototype, and test its usability; once you’re satisfied with your smart accessories performance, your startup is ready to be born.
30. Watch Startup
Watches are a timeless, useful accessory that has the potential to appeal to a variety of audiences. If you have an idea for a stylish, or functional, watch with a memorable design, starting a watch business is a great startup idea for you. Alternatively, an eye for quality, style, and function can transform this business into an ecommerce destination for a curated selection of watches.
31. Beverage Startup
If you have a great drink recipe or an idea for a special ingredient or function that will entice customers, start a beverage company! A competitive edge in this industry is well-designed packaging that is catered to a target demographic and, of course, a delicious beverage inside. If you’re more of a connoisseur of beverages, a beverage distribution company is another lucrative startup idea that can be focused on a specific type of beverage such as beer, soda, or wine.
32. Snack Company
Do you have a go-to homemade snack that you know other people would love as well? If so, take your tasty treats to the next level by starting a snack company. Consumers are always looking for delicious new snack options with special ingredients or a twist on a classic snack. Growing your audience can be done by going to farmers' markets or local events and letting people try your delicious new snack!
33. Coffee Business
Coffee startups offer a wide variety of possibilities; whether you want to start your own coffee roasting business or operate a mobile coffee cart, the options are endless. What you’ll need to focus on starting out is the type of coffee business that excels in your area, the quality of your products, and the amount of training you’ll need to successfully start the business. Additionally, you’ll need to create a business model that is flexible enough to withstand changes or health requirements in the hospitality industry.
Check out our interview with cold brew startup Bizzy Coffee!
34. Candy Startup
Appeal to the sweet tooths of the world by starting a candy business. A candy company startup is a great startup idea for people with a culinary background or the time and willingness to learn. Creating delicious candy recipes that will sell means you’ll need to think outside the box with new flavors, textures, or quality of ingredients to take your concoctions to the next level.
35. Review Website
If you’re like most people, you probably use reviews to decide which businesses to support or which products to buy. Review websites are a potentially lucrative startup because they give consumers the information they need to know to make informed decisions about where to spend their money. Research shows that 82% of people read online reviews for local businesses. By creating a review site, you can absorb a portion of that site traffic and make money.
36. Reusable Grocery Bags
Sustainability is at the forefront of many people’s minds these days; with more and more people looking for alternatives to wasteful plastic grocery bags, there is a good-sized market for a reusable grocery bag business. A couple of ways to make this startup idea your own are to create more functional bags (thermal capabilities, pockets, waterproof material, etc.) or design your bags to target a specific audience by identifying trends.
Recommended: Check out our full list of the best startup ideas for green entrepreneurs.
37. Hygiene Products
From deodorant to body wash, an inventive and appealing take on the hygiene products people use every day is important if you want to enter this growing market. Getting to know the market is the first step. For example, the growing demand for “clean” hygiene products or products made without harmful chemicals could be a selling point for your products if they fall into this category.
38. Social Media Platform
With more and more people looking for a different social media platform to connect on, it may be the perfect opportunity to start a social media platform of your own. Deciding the premise of your platform starts by identifying a form of connection that isn’t being used on major social media platforms, or a group of people/specific lifestyle that isn’t being catered to.
Check out our interview with social media startup Privee!
39. Robotics Startup
If you have the skill or network contacts to build robotics, starting a robotics company has the opportunity to be lucrative and rewarding. Before designing and building your robotics company, it is important to do sufficient research into the needs and wants of your customers. Building robotics is an expensive endeavor, therefore, the financial health of your startup is dependent on developing a product that will effectively appeal to your customer base.
40. Cybersecurity Startup
We use technology for almost everything. From online banking to streaming services, everywhere our personal information is saved needs cybersecurity to ensure our protection. Starting a cybersecurity company offers customers the protection they need and can result in a lucrative startup business. Stand out from your competitors by offering exceptional services and features such as a cybersecurity assistant that communicates with clients about their online safety.
Check out our interview with cybersecurity startup AaDya Security!
There are many startup ideas under the umbrella of telecommunications such as cellular networks, home security, and television networks, to name a few. Establishing the right telecommunications startup idea for you is dependent on the demand and your experience level. For example, a home security telecommunications company is a potentially profitable startup but only if you can successfully build the trust of homeowners and offer them features they can’t get elsewhere.
42. Ridesharing Startup
Ridesharing is extremely popular, especially in cities, making this a potentially lucrative startup idea. However, in order to reach success in this industry, you’ll have to compete with the companies that consumers already trust by offering a unique and enticing experience such as luxury cars, cheaper rates, or other benefits.
Check out our interview with ridesharing startup Rally OurBus!
43. Kitchen Supplies
There are two routes to take when starting a kitchen supplies startup: creating your own unique kitchen supplies or curating a collection of kitchen supplies from other makers. Either way, determining the market you’re targeting is essential to choosing materials, design, and brands to source from. Make your business stand out by creating or sourcing unusual kitchen supplies that streamline or elevate the cooking experience.
See our interview with cookware startup Chef Avenue!
44. Cleaning Products
Alternative cleaning products have grown rapidly into a billion-dollar industry with more expected growth in the future. Specifically, natural cleaning products that are easier to make on a small scale and don’t require the use of potentially harmful chemicals continue to grow in popularity. Using unique scents, exceptional cleaning power, and eye-catching packaging can help set your cleaning product startup apart from the competition.
45. Telehealth Service
The transition to telehealth services in lieu of traditional doctor visits has opened up the market for telehealth startups to find success. A telehealth service needs to have top-tier cybersecurity features as well as a streamlined user-experience for health professionals and patients alike. To excel in this field, your telehealth service will need to offer unique tools, such as a streamlined interface or enhanced communication features, for patients and healthcare workers to easily communicate.
46. Autonomous Transportation
Autonomous transportation, otherwise known as self-driving cars, are a market that is emerging in cities around the US. Specifically, autonomous vehicle apps are on the rise. By developing an autonomous vehicle app of your own, your startup might be able to pull into the forefront of this emerging market.
47. Photography Startup
Photography is a potentially lucrative and creative startup idea that requires little startup money. One key to a successful photography business is to understand what clients want and deliver to their needs. This means diversifying your portfolio with different cameras, angles, and settings to show clients your ability to capture the most important moments of their lives.
48. Art Business
This is a business that works for both artists and curators, depending on the business model. Innovate your art business by offering a variety of products adorned with your art such as bags, phone cases, or tapestries. Additionally, curating art to sell to interested buyers online or in a gallery setting can be profitable depending on your location and customer base.
Fintech, or financial technologies, serve as tools to reimagine traditional finance techniques, making investing and financial decisions easier than ever before. This startup offers a lot of potential for entrepreneurs who have a creative idea to make finances and investing more attainable. For example, apps that hold users accountable for reaching their savings goals or successfully putting aside their funds to invest in stocks are popular examples of fintech startups.
50. Custom Treehouses
Many of us have positive experiences of playing in treehouses as kids. If you have carpentry skills, you could be delivering these experiences to kids today by starting a custom treehouse business. Fine-tune your skills to be able to provide unique options, such as climbing walls or levels, to the structures that will make your creations stand out.
51. Custom Tiny Houses
An increasingly popular market for folks looking to downsize, custom tiny houses provide unique, affordable housing, and you could be the one providing them! Basic contractor experience is definitely ideal, and to set your tiny homes apart, you should have a good eye for design and functionality to produce the tiny home of your customers’ dreams.
52. Smart Home Technology
Smart home technology is an increasingly popular market. With 39% of households owning smart speakers and the same percentage planning to purchase portable smartphone chargers, there is a growing demand for these products. Smart home products are largely about convenience; therefore, it’s a good idea for smart home technology startups to focus on creating products that make a customer’s life easier.
53. Marketplace Website
Become the platform your community uses to sell and exchange goods and services by creating a marketplace website startup. Elevate the startup idea by prioritizing user experience and safety protocols. The key to a successful marketplace website is to create a positive experience for users that makes buying and selling items seamless and safe.
54. Clean Energy Startup
It’s no secret that clean energy is growing in both popularity and necessity. A clean energy startup can be either a product or service that takes a green approach to produce energy such as electricity-generating bicycles or solar paneling. Developing concepts and executing your business idea will require either knowledge of clean energy or the support of someone who has this knowledge.
55. Project Management Startup
Organization and management skills aren’t everyone’s specialty. If you thrive in this role, starting a project management startup could be a great fit. Project management startups can offer their services as a consultant for businesses, or create a product that businesses can use to effectively manage their own projects such as a productivity app.
56. Streaming Service
With 62% of adults subscribing to streaming services in the US, streaming services of all kinds are drawing in large numbers of subscribers that you could be tapping into. If you are a skilled curator for a genre of music, film, or other media, a streaming service startup that centers around a niche market can be a great way to appeal to a demographic whose needs aren’t being met.
57. Crowdfunding Platform
Crowdfunding platforms are a useful tool for entrepreneurs, charitable causes, and individuals to raise money and reach their financial goals. To create a successful crowdfunding platform that is able to compete with other trusted platforms, you’ll need to create a unique idea or function that sets your platform apart. This could be a network of investors, advertisement opportunities, or specified crowdfunding topics such as real estate.
Recommended: Check out our full list of best startup ideas for social entrepreneurs.
58. Translation Startup
Speaking a foreign language is a skill that can afford many opportunities, one of them being the opportunity to start a translation business. Translators are needed in several circumstances such as facilitating communication between businesses in different countries. You don’t need to stop at just working as a translator yourself; upgrade this startup idea by creating a translator agency and hiring other translators to work on a variety of projects in-person or virtually.
59. Website Development
Every small business should have a website; however, many entrepreneurs are too busy to dedicate themselves to developing an effective website for their business. A website development startup can either directly assist customers in developing their website or give them easy access to the tools they need to set up their website in a snap. To make your website development startup stand out, get creative by designing unique templates, features, and easy-to-use editing tools.
60. Software Development
A software development startup is responsible for creating, distributing, and maintaining the programs that businesses use every day. This industry is experiencing exciting growth with annual revenue of $238 billion per year and an annual growth rate of 3.9%, which means this startup idea holds a tremendous amount of opportunity for entrepreneurs.
See our interview with software startup Mixtroz!
61. SEO Services
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential tool for online marketing. However, to achieve a successful SEO service, you need to dedicate time and effort to creating content and staying on top of changes in search trends. Starting an SEO services startup offers customers an opportunity to cash in on this powerful internet marketing tool without spending too much of their own. To create a successful SEO services startup, you will need a deep understanding of SEO tactics and the software to do effective research.
62. Video Production
The first step in starting a successful video production company is to build your portfolio. Your portfolio serves as an example for potential customers to get an idea of your filming style and capability. Developing strong filming skills, networking, and investing in quality equipment for both editing and filming are crucial to launching this type of startup.
63. Tech Consulting
We can’t all be experts at troubleshooting technology issues when they arise, that’s why tech consulting is a potentially lucrative startup idea. The first step to starting a tech consulting business is to establish the type of consulting your business offers. For example, your business could offer consulting services for businesses looking to better understand how to use information technology (IT) to make more educated business decisions.
64. Cloud Technology
With more people working from home than ever, cloud technology is more important than ever. To start a cloud technology startup, you’ll need both hardware (a server) as well as software (a hosting control panel). Second to this, you’ll need an effective marketing strategy that works to build the trust of customers who will depend on your services to ensure their data is safe and protected.
Chatbots offer a point of contact for customers to better navigate websites and troubleshoot problems. A chatbot startup’s success is largely dependent on the product’s capabilities and customer appeal. Using natural language, giving your bots personality, and the ability to work well within the platform to effectively answer customer questions is essential to the success of this startup.
66. Drone Startup
Today, drones are used for everything from recreation, to commercial photography. A drone company holds opportunities for entrepreneurs, but to get started, you’ll need to do an FAA-approved aeronautical training program to get a Remote Pilot Certificate before you can begin developing and selling your drones. Once you’re ready to design your drones, keep the demands of your customers in mind to create a marketable, unique product that will appeal to drone enthusiasts.
67. Search Engine Creation
More and more people are looking for a different search engine experience, making the creation of a search engine a potentially lucrative venture. Make your search engine stand out by offering unique features such as advanced privacy settings, an algorithm that prioritizes different sources of information, or more in-depth search tools.
68. Niche Website
Become the platform for like-minded people to gather or source information by developing a niche website that is laser-focused to appeal to a targeted audience. To start, research potential niche topics that will generate high site traffic, and find related keywords to drive SEO. Then, develop a unique, well-designed website loaded with focused content to appeal to your target audience.
69. Social Media Consulting
Social media is one of the most powerful tools available to businesses today. If you’re a social media connoisseur with proficient marketing skills, you are most likely a great candidate for a social media consulting startup. To get this business off the ground, work to grow a few social media accounts to build your portfolio and fine-tune your skills. Additionally, harnessing your branding abilities to represent the personality of your brand is essential to a great social media consulting startup.
70. Web Design
The creative counterpart to web development, web design startups focus solely on creating an aesthetically pleasing, well-branded website for businesses and individuals. With a litany of web design services available, your startup needs to stand out from the competition. The best way to create a unique web design startup is to establish a trademark design style and learn advanced design techniques that will take your finished web designs to the next level.
71. Logo Design
A business’s logo is used in everything from their packaging to their website design; therefore, a well-made logo is essential. Your logo design startup could supply this demand with design experience and marketing skills. Alternatively, to provide a quick and easy option for businesses, consider developing an online logo design generator.
72. Business Consulting
Business consulting can mean a few different things depending on your specialty. For example, if you’re skilled at marketing or business development, either of these fields could be the type of business consulting your startup offers. By establishing your specialty, you are able to better serve the needs of your customers and provide exceptional services every time.
73. Health and Wellness Startup
Health and wellness businesses are growing rapidly in demand. From supplements to holistic food coaching, there are many avenues to take when developing a health and wellness business. Narrowing your specialty down is important; however, researching ingredients and practices are vital to success in this industry. Make this business your own by developing an effective, personalized product that appeals to this specialized market.
See our interview with mental healthcare startup Circles!
74. Accounting Business
Are you good with numbers? Do you have a strong organizational instinct? An accounting business may be a great startup idea for you. Businesses typically require accounting services in order to manage finances and file taxes correctly to avoid audits. Whether you’re starting a standard accounting business or innovating the idea by developing an accounting app, this is a startup idea that is in demand and potentially lucrative.
75. Digital Marketing Startup
Digital marketing is a powerful and necessary tool for businesses today. By starting a digital marketing agency, you can help clients create an effective digital marketing strategy that appeals to their target audience. To make your digital marketing stand out to prospective clients, find your niche, and do your research to ensure you are on top of the most effective strategies to help your specific client base. Success in this field is dependent on results clients can see, so be prepared to reassess your strategies to ensure your business can provide substantial growth for its clients.
76. Freelance Writing
Writing of every kind is in demand. From copywriting to technical writing, a freelance writing startup can provide clients with the talent they need to accomplish their business goals. Whether you are a writer yourself or plan to develop a freelance writing platform that serves as a hub for writers and clients to connect, this industry offers a variety of opportunities.
77. Handcrafted Products
The demand for handcrafted products continues to grow. If you’re a maker with the desire to sell your products, or an excellent curator of fine handmade products, this is a startup idea worth considering. To excel in a market loaded with talented creators, do your research about up-and-coming trends to put your startup at the forefront and develop products that appeal to a popular market.
78. Independent Reporting
The rise of social media networks has given way to an increase in the demand for independent reporters. Whether the reporting is via live streaming news events or writing articles on current affairs, with the population looking for different ways to get their news — independent reporting startups have the opportunity to create a successful and impactful business.
79. Customer Experience Management
Customer experience management (sometimes referred to as CEM or CXM) extends beyond the realm of customer information management. With this type of tech startup, you provide management, sales, marketing, and customer service for businesses all on one platform. A unique take on this startup is required to take on existing services such as additional features and services that set your business apart.
80. Virtual Assistant
You don’t have to be in an office to help businesses and fellow entrepreneurs get organized. A virtual assistant startup is a great business idea for organized, task-oriented individuals. If this sounds like you, it is easy to get started by utilizing sites that can help you find work you’re interested in. Get a competitive edge by diversifying your skill set to make yourself eligible for a litany of job opportunities.
If you like the idea of an ecommerce startup but don’t have the room to store items to sell, dropshipping could be the perfect solution. Dropshipping startups simply take customer’s orders online, but instead of filling orders themselves, they are sent to a third-party retailer for fulfillment. Essentially, your startup consists of customer experience management, marketing, and curating items for your dropshipping business.
82. Delivery Service
With more people staying home than ever, the demand for delivery services continues to grow. Whether it’s delivering packages, groceries, or take-out food — the appealing convenience of delivery services has grown this industry exponentially in recent years. To stand out from the competition, consider creating a delivery service startup that gives customers access to a unique type of product or streamlines the business model to give customers a new delivery experience.
83. Cleaning Startup
With sanitation and cleanliness at the forefront of everyone's mind during the past year, cleaning businesses are more popular than ever. With a cleaning business startup, you can typically charge between $40-$50 per cleaner, per hour making this a very lucrative business model. Better yet, overhead is extremely low for this business with the ongoing expenses being transportation, labor, and cleaning products.
84. Tech Support
If you are the person that friends, coworkers, and family call when they are having a technical issue — a tech support startup may be the perfect profitable startup idea for you. The most important step in starting this kind of business is to develop an effective marketing strategy. Tech support is a competitive industry that will require a little extra marketing effort to make your startup stand out. However, the benefit of this startup is that the overhead costs are practically zero which means you stand to make a great deal of profit.
85. Pet Services
Pet parents want the best for their furry companions which makes the odds of a pet services startup being profitable higher than many others. For example, independent pet-sitting business owners report making up to $57,000 a year with little overhead costs. More good news, pet services can be anything from grooming to dog-walking depending on the space you have available and your skillset. The biggest challenge when starting a pet service startup is marketing to build trust with pet owners that will choose you to take care of their furry family members.
A microlending business loans small amounts of money to people who cannot qualify for loans through other institutions. Normally, this startup charges a fairly high interest rate to its customers to mitigate risk if the borrower defaults on their loan. In underserved areas, microlending businesses can help provide communities with opportunities to introduce much-needed resources to their local communities.
87. Ethical Online Marketplace
With more people at home than ever, the convenience of shopping online has grown in popularity. However, this doesn’t mean that the marketplaces available are providing products that are ethically sourced, made, or sold. That’s where you come in! An online ethical marketplace provides a platform for ethically made goods to be found and purchased by interested consumers.
88. Fair Trade Subscription Box
There are subscription boxes for everything these days. To lower costs, however, many businesses opt to sell products that the makers aren’t adequately compensated for. A fair trade subscription box startup provides the ease and excitement of a subscription box while introducing consumers to fairly traded, handcrafted products that they can feel good about purchasing.
89. EdTech Startup
With more schools adjusting to online teaching, an EdTech startup could give students an easier route to education. Whether it is for K-12 education or college-level students, the time to develop technology to enhance online learning is now.
Make this startup unique and socially responsible by doing your research on the problems schools face today with their eLearning software or equipment, and work to develop a product that smoothes the creases in online teaching.
Check out our interview with edtech startup Trashbots!
90. Community Garden
Community gardens are in high demand from city folks who want to put their green thumb to use. All you need is a plot of land and raised garden beds (depending on the quality of the soil) as well as some marketing strategies. Make your community garden stand out by offering gardening equipment, seeds, and other supplies your customers might need.
91. Eco-Friendly Bed-and-Breakfast
A sustainable bed and breakfast is a great idea for entrepreneurs with hospitality experience and rooms to spare. Making this classic business idea eco-friendly is as easy as changing your power source to something more sustainable, sourcing organic or locally grown ingredients, and furnishing your guests’ rooms with sustainable furniture.
92. Pet Shelter
Pet shelters, or animal rescues, provide a much-needed service — taking in abused or stray pets to find happier homes for them as well as keeping healthy animals from being euthanized. If you’re an animal lover, a pet shelter is an admirable startup idea to make a social impact on your city or community.
Bring the gift of reading to communities that don’t have the same access with a bookmobile. This startup idea can be easily made possible by soliciting donations of used books that you can deliver to underprivileged communities. For children especially, a bookmobile startup could provide the education and entertainment they deserve in an easy, accessible way.
94. Water Purification
Unfortunately, there are plenty of places in the US and across the globe that don't have access to safe, healthy drinking water. Your startup could be the answer to providing people with usable water. Whether you develop a portable water purification tool or an entire system for homes and businesses, this startup idea has the potential for high profits as well as a strong social impact.
95. Sustainable Clothing Line
Fashion is one of the most wasteful industries on the planet. If you’re thinking about starting a clothing line, consider making it a sustainable one! A sustainable clothing line can make an impact by creating thoughtful garments that are long-lasting and ethically made out of sustainable materials such as linen or hemp.
96. Charity App
Make philanthropy more accessible by creating a charity app. This could be an easy space to crowdfund for charities, make donations, or fulfill a need in your community. Since most adults have smartphones, a charity app startup can provide an easier way for charities to gain the funding and support they need in order to help the people who need it most.
97. Green Cleaning Products
With more information available about chemicals used in standard cleaning products, we know that green cleaning products are better for the environment and the consumer. A green cleaning products business creates a safe alternative to harsh chemicals and typically offers its products in eco-friendly packaging. Make your business stand out by offering refillable options, biodegradable packaging, and unique ingredients.
98. Green Beauty Products
Green or “clean” beauty products are increasing in popularity across the US as we learn more and more about the harmful effects of some ingredients in traditional beauty products. A green beauty product startup provides a better alternative, whether it’s clean skincare or cosmetics — the key is to create a product that is as effective as traditional products without the same damaging ingredients.
Got a green thumb? A greenhouse is a great way to grow and sell plants to consumers at farmers markets, grocery stores, and more. To make your products stand out from the competition, harness your skills to grow plants that are unique to the area or are trending in popularity such as microgreens.
100. Herb Farm
If you cook at home, you most likely use herbs every day. Herb farms are a terrific green startup idea because they provide a widely used product and, depending on your location, are typically easy to grow in large quantities.
Ensure you have enough space to grow, dry, and package your products. Additionally, you can make this startup idea a little more unique by offering u-pick or living herbs, so customers can buy fresh herbs to take home with them.
101. Energy Consulting Startup
With more and more people and businesses looking for ways to cut their energy usage or switch to a more sustainable power source, an energy consulting business has immense potential for profitability.
Essentially, you will go over your customers’ energy use and develop a plan to make it more sustainable and lower their energy usage. Having contacts that you can refer clients to for alternative energy sources, such as solar power, is a great way to elevate this startup idea.
102. Environmental Blog
If you could talk about environmental topics or share eco-friendly life swaps every day, consider starting an environmental blog! All you need is a website, proficient photography skills, and the ability to write and engage readers. To make your blog stand out, find your niche early on. Your blog will focus on the environment, but consider how you can narrow your focus further.
103. Organic Food Startup
If you know your way around a kitchen, concoct organic food products as your startup idea! The demand for organic alternatives to traditional products is growing every day. Start by recreating a favorite food, condiment, or spread using organic products — or developing a completely new recipe of your own. This type of startup typically gets its start at farmers markets and local grocery stores, so you’ll need to be able to dedicate time to sell your products in person.
104. Green App
Do you have an idea for an app that can make a daily task a little more eco-friendly? If yes, consider starting a green app development startup. Most of us use apps every day to make errands and tasks easier, so why not use the same technology to make them a little more green?
If you don’t already have an idea in mind, start by considering everyday, widespread problems that could be solved or a daily activity that could be made more green by using an app, and run with your ideas.
See our interview with greentech startup Handprint!
105. AI/VR Lessons
Artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) are industries that will help shape our future. For this reason, a startup that provides lessons on how to use this technology is a needed service. This startup idea allows you to give back to your community by teaching people how to use AI or VR to potentially secure employment and open up opportunities.
Making this startup successful will depend on results and your teaching ability; however, it is also a good idea to connect with companies looking for skilled AI/VR users that you can refer your customers to after their lessons.
If you have a special skill or field of expertise, such as foreign language or mathematics, consider starting a tutoring business. Tutors are needed now more than ever with the transition to online learning across the globe. A tutoring startup provides services for students of all ages to strengthen their skills and expand their knowledge.
Recommended: Read our full list of the best startup ideas for education entrepreneurs.
107. Educational Toys
An educational or instructional toy store sells toys and games that are developed to educate, stimulate, and engage creativity for infants, children, and adults. The market for educational toys is vast and holds a lot of opportunities for new startups to succeed.
The best way to increase the likelihood of success is to offer a range of toys and materials that help with a variety of things, such as promoting creativity, lowering stress, and strengthening memory.
108. Online Library
With less access to public spaces, people looking for research or educational materials are unable to find cost-effective options for the tools they need. An online library startup provides a contact-free way for the community to access educational resources that they aren’t able to get in person. To create a unique online library startup, consider offering a wide range of materials for members to borrow and an easy platform to exchange books.
109. Educational App
If you’re like most people, you use apps every day. With online learning becoming the new normal, educational apps can help children and adults learn new skills, study, or even make learning easier. The key to making an educational app that will be a hit is to focus on usability and provide a solution for a widespread educational problem such as absorption of materials.
110. Educational Games
Make learning fun by creating or selling educational games. Children and students especially benefit from the absorption of material through educational games. Not to mention, they can create a more positive atmosphere for learning, which is invaluable. If you don’t have an idea for a new educational game, consider developing a marketplace for the sale of games instead.
111. Nutrition Startup
Nutrition is essential for living a healthy life, yet many people lack resources to understand how nutrition affects them or how to implement a healthier lifestyle. There are many ways to start a nutrition startup, such as being a holistic nutrition coach, food tracking apps, or creating ultra-nutritious foods.
The right nutrition startup idea begins with your skill set and interest. To find the best, most effective nutrition startup for you, look at what interests you and how you can use that to serve your community.
112. Homeschooling Products and Services
More parents than ever are homeschooling their children, which means the demand for homeschooling products and services has skyrocketed. For a startup like this to succeed and stand out from the competition, your products or services need to encourage effective absorption of topics while making homeschooling as easy as possible for busy parents without homeschooling experience. Consider developing a curriculum or tool that is unique and effective using your educational background.
113. Language Learning Startup
If you’ve learned a foreign language, you know it’s difficult, especially for adults. However, knowing a second language is not only a fun pastime, but it opens up job opportunities and helps people connect with other communities. A language learning startup can be any product or service that helps people learn a new language, such as an app, instructional website, or written guides.
To make your startup stand out, focus on making learning a new language fun for users so that they want to reach for your product or resources again and again.
Startup Ideas FAQ
What is a startup?
A startup is a company that’s business model prioritizes innovation. Rather than creating a product or service that is the standard, startups develop new and innovative solutions to change their industry.
What is the difference between a small business and a startup?
Small businesses tend to focus on sustainable, long-term growth while startups are typically industry disruptors, focused on innovating new products for rapid initial growth.
What makes for a great startup idea?
A great startup idea is creative, in-demand, and innovative. Most importantly, however, it has high growth and profitability potential.
What makes for a great entrepreneur?
The anatomy of a great entrepreneur is a collection of traits that everyone possesses; great entrepreneurs simply acknowledge and utilize these traits to propel their business forward. The five most important traits of a successful entrepreneur are passion, adaptability, observation, self-discipline, and self-assurance.
How do you come up with startup ideas?
There are a lot of tools at your disposal to help you come up with a great startup idea. To get started, try identifying the needs of the world, recognizing your passions, and conducting brainstorming sessions.
How do you know if a startup idea is right for you?
A startup idea is most likely right for you if it aligns with your interests, experience level, and the amount of startup capital you have. Additionally, where you’re located and the available market will play an important role in knowing whether your startup idea is worth pursuing.