You may have seen Inc.'s Best Industries for Starting a Business report. Friday, the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs published a report titled "The Search for Creative Destruction," which profiles the firm's own version of an industry hot-list. Here are some of these disruptive trends that may catch your attention.
1. Alternative Capital. No, this doesn't mean crowd-funding. Re-insurers--or firms that insure the insurers--are in trouble, Goldnman's Michael Nannizzi reports. That means the time is ripe for "third-party investors [who] evaluate [property-catastrophe] returns in the context of their overall portfolio and are willing to accept lower returns than the traditional reinsurers" to bust in on a $300 billion insurance market, he writes.
2. Natural Gas. Natural gas is still in the early stages of general adoption, according to Jerry Revich and Ravi Gill of Goldman Sachs. But the industry's potential for growth looks good, they say. Though natural gas engines currently comprise 3 percent of truck engines, Revich and Gill predict that penetration will rise to 10 or 15 percent by 2020--allowing investors to capitalize on "niche truck and bus applications."
3. Software Defined Networking (SDN). "Cloud computing has wreaked havoc on the traditional PC-centric hardware and software model," write Goldman's Simona Jankowski and Kent Schofield. Next, the cloud model is likely to disrupt digital networking, the analysts say. The size of the market: $51 billion. But the actual numbers on SDN itself are unclear. "Offsetting the likely declines and commoditization of the hardware, we expect to see the emergence of a new networking software segment, though it is too early to size it given we’re still in the stage of nascent start-up activity," Jankowski and Schofield conclude.
4. 3D Printing. What makes 3D printing so special--besides the fact that it allows users to print anything from machine parts to gun parts--is the medium's customizable nature, says Goldman's Cristina Colon. 3D printing currently makes up a $2.2 billion market--with forecasts for a compound annual growth rate of 23 percent, writes Colon. But there's something else to consider: "The 3D printing industry operates within the design-to-manufacture value chain, which by some estimates is a $30 billion opportunity," she says.
5. Big Data. Social networks, blogs, email platforms and web browsers are all generating humongous quantities of data, and it needs to be stored somewhere, according to Goldman's Greg Dunham. That's great news for the companies that currently make up Big Data's $11 billion market. And there's even better news for entrepreneurs still hoping to break in: The industry has a projected compound annual growth of 32 percent over the next five years.
6. Cancer Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy drugs work differently than those used in chemotherapy or targeted therapy by stimulating the body's immune system to enhance or restore a natural attack on cancer cells. In addition to the obvious medical benefits, Goldman analysts expect the new drugs to tap into a multi-billion dollar market.