Financial technology and the Internet of Things will be among the hottest startup trends for this year, a survey shows.
Telenor Group surveyed technology buffs to better understand key startup trends for 2017 and the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in Asia. The survey was conducted over Facebook and LinkedIn with 215 respondents from Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand and other Asian countries.
Respondents were asked to share their views on the development of the Asian startup landscape. . Nearly half of them chose robotics as the most promising sector for 2017. With the number of industrial robots worldwide to increase to around 2.6 million by 2019 and automation becoming increasingly important across industries, robotics would indeed be a priority focus for businesses this year, the survey found.
With Asia leading the world in the race towards fully autonomous vehicles, with upcoming milestones like the launch of the first self-driving taxis in Singapore in August, 2017 might just be the year that self-driving cars break through.
In the other key trend forecast for this year, Internet of Things, it appears Asia’s entrepreneurs are well aware of the potential opportunities. Some 34 billion devices are expected to be connected to the internet by 2020 and nearly US$6 trillion is likely to be spent over the next five years in this sector.
The survey findings also shed light on what Asian entrepreneurs think it takes to succeed in the startup world.
More than a third of respondents believe cyber-security is their number one priority.
One in four of them admitted that a lack of business management skills and experience is a major obstacle. Access to expert guidance would be helpful, they said.
Some 16 per cent of respondents say they are hampered by public policy frameworks and environments that are not conducive to startups, while 14 per cent say that sustained funding across all stages of startup development would be important. Fewer than one in 10 were concerned by the challenge of expanding into other markets in the region.