Fresh Thinking Hub

Thinking about starting a business? Get ready to start seriously shaking things up.

You know what? Starting a business isn’t easy. There’s a mountain of hoops to jump through, and even when you do get your foot in the door, you still need a little bit of luck to get things moving – which it has to be said, is far from ideal.

Yet the thing is, here in the UK, there are some industries which offer the savvy minded amongst us an easy way in. Why? Because, put simply, they’re stuck in the dark ages. Inefficient and characterised by dissatisfied customers, they’re in need of a serious shake up. And let’s face it, you can probably think of a few already.

These industries are the ones which we think are ripe for disruption. They’re in serious need of innovative businesses to come in and offer something different. A better alternative. Not sure what we’re talking about? We talking about the likes of Uber changing the face of the taxi industry and the likes of Deliveroo redefining takeaway services. So, where are these hidden opportunities? 2017 is already shaping up to be a year of big changes, so we’ve picked out four industries where we think the change can’t come soon enough.

First things first, real estate.

Buying a property is a headache – and that’s an understatement to say the least. Confusing, time consuming and infamous for having endless hidden costs, there’s undoubtedly potential for savvy businesses to iron out the process. Because, let’s be honest, should buying a property really be this hard? Luckily, there are some businesses out there who are already getting the ball rolling.

Leading the charge is Purple Bricks. A UK real estate start-up who offer an online-only alternative to classic property sales, they give customers the ability to oversee every step of their property transaction and, wait for it, charge just one fixed fee. Unheard of, right? Unsurprisingly, it’s proving popular. Purplebricks are the fastest growing estate agent in UK, showing that a straightforward approach to property sales is just what the industry needs right now.

Next up, it’s construction.


Unless you work in construction, you’re probably not too hot on the latest construction industry updates. Yet, no matter if you’re clued-up or clueless when it comes to construction, you might have twigged that some of our infrastructure here in the UK is in need of updating. And by some, we actually mean a lot.

According to the experts, it’s not going so well for the construction industry right now. Under pressure to provide affordable housing and a lack of funding for big projects, the aging workforce is somewhat overstretched. So, what’s the solution? Well, there’s certainly a few construction start-ups who seem to have the answer.

Proving once again that technology is the answer to most of our problems these days, Construction Automation Inc. is taking onsite construction to the next level. Robots (yes, actual robots) design 3D print structures and work alongside construction workers, increasing productivity and reducing construction time. You can’t deny it’s pretty impressive. And, with all this technology becoming more mainstream, let’s just say we’re rather excited to see what other construction start-ups start springing up this year.

Also not quite on the money, healthcare.


As the headlines never fail to remind us, the NHS probably isn’t quite as efficient as it should be. And, as you might expect, there are already a few businesses trying to capitalise on it.

So, who are they? First up is Andiamo - a company that uses 3D scanning and printing to produce customised orthotics for children. Which basically means that they prevent children developing disabilities or help to modify existing skeletal issues. Which, you have to admit, is pretty great. Most importantly, however, these orthotics can be made in 48 hours. Compared to the current average wait of 13 weeks, the technology really is a no brainer.

Next, we’re taking a look at Babylon. An online private healthcare service, Babylon ingeniously uses artificial intelligence to support their team of doctors. With virtual GP appointments and reduced wait times for in-person appointments on the cards, it’s not hard to see Babylon really taking off in 2017.

And last, but certainly not least, energy.

The pressure to go green is on. Although, not everyone seems to have noticed. Despite the UK committing to reducing their carbon emissions, our energy sector is still very much dependant on fossil fuels. And guess what - green tech start-ups are springing up in response.

The scope for green technology is vast. All industries need to be more eco-friendly, which is great news for those getting into green tech. And with the likes of electric car charging company, POD Point and food waste reduction app, Olio, already making headway, it looks like the green revolution may be about to gain a little more traction this year.

So, there you have it. Tell us, which industries do you think are ripe for disruption in 2017? Let us know via Twitter!

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