What Are The 5 Hottest Emerging Industries In 2015?

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 Frpm: investopedia.com | By Kristina Zucchi, CFA | July 30, 2015

The combination of technological advances, new regulations, and a strengthening economy has, in the past, created some of the best opportunities for new enterprise. Today, the atmosphere again seems ripe for new industries to emerge and grow. The United States seems to have recovered from the great financial crisis and is boasting high employment and a growing economy. These five industries are poised to have a breakout year in 2015.

Five for 2015
  1. Medical Marijuana. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 and since then some 15 other states have followed suit. According to Convergex Group, medical marijuana generated $350 million in revenue in 2014 and will see 20 percent growth 2015. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. As more states move to legalize medical marijuana, this historically underground industry will be able to operate, and profit, in the open. Early movers in the industry will have significant advantages. Some estimate a sharp rise in revenue as more states legalize medical marijuana, possibly creating a $18- to $20-billion sector in the next five to six years. (For more on this topic see Want To Make Money In Marijuana? Read This First)
  2. Wellness. While America continues to face historic levels of obesity, it is also in the midst of a health and wellness craze, particularly in its urban centers. Pedestrians can be seen rushing around in expensive, branded athletic apparel and most cities boast a growing number of fitness studios, yoga centers, and health food stores. Yet despite this rising trend, there is no real national or large regional player in the fitness and yoga center space. There appears to be a huge opportunity for players to come into this market and create a national brand of fitness or yoga centers. It is estimated the yoga market alone is worth approximately $10 billion today and is unbelievably mostly made up of small, independent studios. (See Profit and Cost Centers in the Wellness Industry)
  3. Gamification Services. Sales teams, particularly those that engage in inside sales (sales accomplished over the phone or online versus in person) need ways to measure effectiveness and elicit motivation. Gamification uses software with game elements to motivate sellers and create a competitive yet fun atmosphere. Programs also provide real-time metrics on the effectiveness and effort put forth by the sales team. In fact, the services are so desirable that global research firm Gartner believes that by the end of 2015, "more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes.”
  4. 3D Printing. The process and technology of printing in three dimensions instead of two will be a game changer for many industries, but most obviously, for manufacturing. Three-dimensional printers work by successively layering materials and then fusing those layers together in a a process called additive manufacturing. While it has taken some time for this technology to catch on and have meaningful adoption, the growth is expected to explode. A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers concluded that 67 percent of surveyed manufacturers are currently implementing 3D printing and an additional 25 percent have future adoption plans. Technology research firm Canalysestimates the global market for 3D printing services and materials was $3.8 billion in 2014 and will be $16.2 billion by 2018, resulting in a compound annual growth rate of 45.7 percent. The United States, based on estimates by IBISWorld, a publisher of business intelligence and industry research, has about a 47 percent market share with a projected compound annual growth rate of 15.7 percent in the next three years. (For more, read The State of 3D Printing in 2015)
  5. Telemedicine. Telemedicine is often confused with healthcare information technology (IT). In fact, the two are quite different. Healthcare IT often refers to electronic medical records. Telemedicine is the actual delivery of clinical services remotely using technology such as video chats, email, or other technologies, especially those delivered by smartphones or wireless devices. Experts say telemedicine has the potential to improve patient health status by increasing access to medical care and providing real-time responses all at lowered costs. Telemedicine includes many possibilities. For example, about 1 million Americans use remote cardiac monitoring, so doctors can receive data related to their vitals to monitor them real time. Over half of U.S. hospitals already use telemedicine in some capacity.
The Bottom Line
Technological developments and regulatory changes have created growing new industries like gamification, 3D printing, telemedicine, and medical marijuana. Lifestyle trends, like a new focus on wellness, are also creating opportunities. These industries are expected to grow as consumers demands more innovative ways of receiving services and accomplishing tasks.

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