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Five Ideas For Starting a New Online Business in 2017

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The internet is the modern entrepreneurial petri dish from which great ideas can come to life.

And with e-commerce sales boasting a 15.6% growth rate in 2016, it’s clear that if you’re not already doing business online, now may be the time to start.

Today’s infographic from Distributel details five online business archetypes that are worth knowing for anyone looking to launch side hustle in 2017.

Five online businesses to start this year

Five Businesses, Five Personalities

As the infographic shows, there is a business type for every online entrepreneur.

Some would prefer to make online business their full-time job, while others may want a side hustle that helps monetize their impressive social media presence or creative abilities.

Which of the five business types suits you?

1. The Expert
Sometimes it’s an idea, rather than a product, that will captivate the marketplace. The expert’s e-commerce strategy is to capitalize on that winning idea, distributing it from a tiny seed, like an e-book or a newsletter, and growing it into a much larger media enterprise. Media mavens like Gary Vaynerchuk have proven the power of this expansion-oriented style of online commerce.

2. The Creative
Whether you’re handy with needle and thread or a 3D printer, e-commerce is the world’s biggest craft fair. The vanguard of the DIY e-commerce movement is represented by services like Etsy and Fiverr, where unique DIY ideas and highly-varied skill sets can be marketed to a global audience. Etsy alone sold $667 million worth of handcrafted goods produced by its army of sole proprietor vendors in 2016.

3. The Social Butterfly
Partnering with others is the driving force behind one of the most social forms of online commerce: affiliate marketing. Simply put, blogs and social media influencers promote sponsored products in return for a commission on sales that are referred through their site. According to research by Rakuten Marketing, affiliate marketing is expected to grow into a $6.8 billion industry by 2020.

4. The Market Trailblazer
Online commerce also often allows an entrepreneur to partner with a larger distributor or wholesaler to become a storefront. This allows web entrepreneurs to open up new markets for existing products, and to conduct high volumes of business without having to manage a huge inventory and overhead.

5. The Optimizer
Though online businesses have low overhead and are easy to start, they are not without risk. The Optimizer knows this, and makes it their business to lower that risk and improve their profitability. Once you’ve started turning an e-commerce idea into an optimal, well-oiled machine, it’s equally important to use the right metrics to measure your progress and iterate toward greater successes.

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Ranked: The Top Startup Cities Around the World

Here are the global startup ecosystem rankings, highlighting the scale and maturity of major tech hubs worldwide.

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This bar chart shows the top startup ecosystems in the world in 2024.

The Top Startup Cities Around the World

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

A richly connected network of founders, venture capital firms, and tech talent are some of the key ingredients driving a startup ecosystem.

As engines of growth, these tech clusters are evolving on a global scale. While the world’s leading startup cities are concentrated in America, several ecosystems, such as Beijing and Seoul, are growing in prominence as countries focus on technological advancement to spur innovation.

This graphic shows the best startup cities worldwide, based on data from Pitchbook.

The Global Startup Ecosystem Rankings

To determine the rankings, each city was analyzed based on the scale and maturity of their startup ecosystem over a six-year period ending in the second quarter of 2023.

Among the inputs analyzed and used to calculate the overall development score were fundraising activity, venture capital deals, and exit value:

RankCityDevelopment ScoreCapital RaisedDeal CountExit Value
1🇺🇸 San Francisco90$427.6B19,898$766.3B
2🇺🇸 New York76$179.9B13,594$171.7B
3🇨🇳 Beijing76$161.2B8,835$279.2B
4🇨🇳 Shanghai73$130.3B7,422$186.8B
5🇺🇸 Los Angeles71$144.6B9,781$181.4B
6🇺🇸 Boston70$117.0B6,044$172.8B
7🇬🇧 London64$99.0B11,533$71.9B
8🇨🇳 Shenzhen63$46.4B5,020$66.3B
9🇰🇷 Seoul61$31.1B6,196$71.0B
10🇯🇵 Tokyo60$26.2B5,590$28.0B
11🇨🇳 Hangzhou59$50.7B3,361$88.7B
12🇺🇸 Washington D.C.55$43.7B2,706$28.2B
13🇺🇸 Seattle54$31.7B2,693$35.6B
14🇸🇬 Singapore52$45.7B4,507$38.0B
15🇺🇸 San Diego52$33.5B2,023$44.7B
16🇺🇸 Austin52$26.4B2,636$22.9B
17🇨🇳 Guangzhou52$24.7B1,700$24.0B
18🇮🇱 Tel Aviv51$21.0B1,936$32.2B
19🇺🇸 Denver51$26.8B2,489$29.9B
20🇩🇪 Berlin50$31.2B2,469$15.9B

San Francisco dominates the pack, with $427.6 billion in capital raised over the six-year period.

Despite a challenging funding environment, nearly 20,000 deals closed, highlighting its outsized role in launching tech startups. Both OpenAI and rival Anthropic are headquartered in the city, thanks to its broad pool of tech talent and venture capital firms. Overall, 11,812 startups were based in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2023, equal to about 20% of startups in America.

Falling next in line is New York City, which raised $179.9 billion over the same time period. Crypto firm Gemini and machine learning company, Hugging Face, are two examples of startups based in the city.

As the top-ranking hub outside of America, Beijing is home to TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, which is one of the most valuable private companies in the world.

In recent years, much of the startup funding in China is being driven by government-backed funds. In particular, these funds are focusing heavily on “hard tech” such as semiconductor-makers and electric vehicle companies that align with the government’s strategic long-term goals.

Another leading tech hub, Singapore, has the highest venture capital funding per capita worldwide. In 2023, this was equal to an impressive $1,060 in venture funding per person. By comparison, venture funding was $345 per person in the U.S., the second-highest globally.

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