Some entrepreneurs are drawn to the New New Thing; they hunger for a first-mover advantage. To them we say, best of luck. Others want to enter a promising industry early on, but with some evidence that the industry actually exists and has room for new players. To them we say, welcome.

Our annual look at the best industries for starting a business is based on a range of research, interviews, and scouting reports. We’ve identified a cross section of businesses that call for a variety of skills, from technological expertise to retailing savvy to, above all, the ability to innovate. Think of these industries not as New New but as Hot Hot. They are up and running but still very much in their early days. If you have the right skills and focus, you have plenty of opportunity not only to jump on the bandwagon but to call the tune.