In The Third Wave, Steve Case of AOL fame anticipates a new paradigm of innovation that will see the Internet breaking out of the confines of cyberspace. Ubiquitous connectivity and an increasing array of connected devices will herald an ‘Internet of Everything’ era that could radically transform all manner of of real-world activity.
Forward looking entrepreneurs will leverage these developments to create new services and business models that will disrupt everything from transportation and manufacturing, through farming and banking, to education and healthcare. However, these third-wave startups will face vastly different challenges than their second wave predecessors which were focused primarily on developing social media, e-commerce and mobile applications.
Third-wave innovators will have to overcome formidable hurdles as they take on heavy-weight incumbents in highly regulated industries. To succeed, entrepreneurs will have to be adept at forging strong industry partnerships and navigating government policies. They will also need a great deal of perseverance as third-wave solutions will typically require long gestation periods.
University incubators will play a critical role in this new era of technopreneurship. Leading universities can provide startups with access to critical resources, networks, talent and technologies needed to succeed in this new paradigm. At NUS Enterprise, we are constantly on the lookout for intrepid founders who are up to the challenge of riding the third wave.