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Starting up in a Tech Start-up: A Solid Start for a Graduate?

By Mark Hanson on 19-04-2018

Boom and bust are the words most associated with what has – arguably unfairly – been labelled tech bubbles. With many companies going bust at the end of the dot-com boom, this industry has been perceived as a risky one for start-up companies to get involved in. Indeed, even those companies who manage to hit the big time have found themselves vulnerable to being hit by an inability to keep up with those fresh young competitors who make themselves the next big thing. Just take a look at Yahoo! Mail and the once popular MySpace as evidence of that. 

However, for those who are not put off by this slightly turbulent past, there are lots of good opportunities for graduates to take advantage of in the tech sector. It doesn't take much searching to find examples of companies where almost overnight growth and money-making success became a lucrative reality, although it has to be said that even giants like Amazon took a long time to the kind of financial success they enjoy now.


What this shows is that even the biggest and best companies can be made to look vulnerable, but those who are brave can achieve impressive rewards. In fact, perhaps it is this element of risk that helps to lure many into working in a tech start-up in the first place and explains why new companies in this area excite graduates looking to get in on the ground floor before becoming major players. After all, we all know how Mark Zuckerberg managed to start earning his fortune from Facebook from the depths of his college room!

With dreams stemming from the tech world unlikely to stop being widespread any time soon, here are some different potential areas of exciting focus for start-ups, which should allow you to focus your energies in a world of opportunity that has seen a record amount of such companies launching in the UK. Let's look at some areas where new, tech-forward startups have been making waves.

Cryptocurrency and the world of Bitcoin

If you haven't heard about bitcoins, you probably don't want to start thinking about working in a technology start-up company. However, hearing the headlines about how individuals who chose to invest early on in the Bitcoin revolution made millions is one thing, but understanding exactly how cryptocurrencies work is another.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of bitcoins is the way that the block chain technology requires 'mining' to release bitcoins. This rather unglamorous and resource-heavy aspect of the technology is likely to be an area that many tech start-ups don’t fancy taking on. However, it can’t be denied that there are opportunities for money-making here. Helping to create the technology that can enable mining to occur quicker would be of great value to those interested in taking part in mining, as speed is key. In this respect, working on products associated with the mining element of Bitcoin could well be an exciting way to get involved in one of the buzz technologies of 2018.

Online meal Kits

We live in an age where people are pretty picky about what they eat and far fewer people are happy to come home to freezer food, but that doesn’t change the fact that in 2018, many of us are time-poor and struggle to get to the supermarket to buy the ingredients that they want to cook with. 

To step up to this challenge, we have seen a range of companies take on the food kit market, including specialist regional producers like Born & Bred, who look to promote Yorkshire-focused food, and bigger companies with a wider focus like Hello Fresh and Gousto. Whether these companies will succeed in the long run or not is another matter but there is no doubt that they are shaking up the food market dramatically and causing supermarkets to change, something evidenced by the fact that Waitrose have joined the growing list of companies now offering meal kits online. 

In this example also lies a lesson for start-ups; you can find a niche to excel in, but then all too often one of the big boys can steam-roller in before you know it to take over.

The world of Shoes

While you might imagine most people involved with start-up tech firms need to have a degree of geekery about them in order to succeed, there are some companies proving that this doesn't have to be the case. One of these companies is listed as one of the top tech start-ups to watch in 2018 and is currently followed by the editors of Vogue. That company is Rothy's.

Of course, this idea of making environmentally-friendly shoes might have already been taken, but the world of fashion and using 3D printing in the world of clothing and design is something that is about to explode, potentially creating a huge amount of opportunities for those who are able to get into this niche early.

For anyone graduating and unable to get a job at Rothy's, it might be worth looking to the UK to see if similar options are starting over here so that you can get involved in a technology sector that really is likely to hit the headlines and make a lot of money in 2018 and beyond. 

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