Jump-Starting a Startup in 2013

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The startup environment has a tendency to change at an incredible rate. What’s hot today may not be very lucrative in the near future. In spite of high failure rates, entrepreneurs continue to put their bright ideas into action – especially those in the tech industry. In 2013, it looks like travel agencies, social network game developers, and online shoe salesmen are facing some of the biggest projected growth rates. Translation services, television and home theater installation teams, IT security consultants, and virtual data rooms are also expected to do rather well.

The year’s hottest new startups include Treehouse, a site that offers affordable tech education for the common people, and Pocket, an application that allows users to save anything they find on the Net for later perusal on any device. Storenvy, a site that allows creative users to hawk their wares to online shoppers, is also expected to enjoy plenty of success.

Not every hot new startup is selling something: Branch encourages intelligent discourse between users and Medium was founded upon the principle that civilization moves forward when people share bright ideas and experiences.

Of course, what appears bright today may not be so shiny in the future. The once highly praised social network Hashable went down in flames in summer 2012, and iPhone photo-sharing app Color went out of business in winter of 2012. Then again, there is room for success; Diaspora, the social network where users own their own data, raised 20 times its Kickstarter goal and is still going strong.

Creating a startup is a risky business; even successful entrepreneurs face a 70 percent failure rate when they initiate a second venture. For first-timers, the odds of success are only 18 percent. When an previously failed entrepreneur begins a new venture, odds of success are 20 percent.

According to the Census Bureau, around 45 percent of new establishments and 43 percent of new firms survive after five years. In the beginning stages, Twitter – whose success is now undeniable – was given a mere 46 percent chance at success by the Wall Street Journal in 2009.

Luckily for entrepreneurs, failure doesn’t have to spell financial ruin. They can turn to venture capital groups or angel investors for the funds they need to get their bright ideas off the ground.

Start Me Up: What's Hot in the World of Startups

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