Every year come Fall, tech and innovation actors from around the world converge in Lisbon and then Helsinki for two unmissable rendez-vous: Web Summit and Slush. Alongside VivaTech in Paris and CES in Las Vegas, these tech fairs bring together global entrepreneurs, investors, executives, and researchers to showcase and discuss the latest trends and innovations in fields extending from cryptocurrencies to biodiversity to remote work.
The LVMH Open Innovation department attended both to understand the opportunities that would be taking center stage in 2023 and scout out the next best startups. Here are our three key takeaways.
- Web3 is (still) a major focal point for companies. Despite ongoing macroeconomic challenges, scams, and speculation, faith in the advent of a decentralized, blockchain-based internet remains strong. Many of the startups present offered solutions for transitioning from Web 2.0 to 3.0, and the extension of brand content into the metaverse is trending more than ever. As James Vincent, founder and CEO of FNDR and a former partner of Steve Jobs, put it during his talk: “Web3 does not yet have a great story. [That’s why] we need new models for building understanding.”
- Soft skills are a cornerstone of innovation. For the past few years, employee experience has centered around wellness at work; today, the new tenet is soft skill management. This was reflected by the presence of startups like Trimoji, a platform that provides companies with a holistic evaluation of candidates based on certified personality tests. More than just a trend, this emphasis signals that companies are now thinking about growth and innovation as the result of creative and critical thinking skills, rather than purely technical ones.
- Greentech is everywhere. From plant-generated electricity to digital wardrobes, sustainability is the watchword for startups all over the world. Plant-e is developing a fuel cell that produces energy from the interaction between roots and soil bacteria. Save Your Wardrobe offers consumers a full ecosystem of services to help them “reconnect” with the clothes they already own. OceanSafe is creating a new polymer from biodegradable and compostable alternatives. “When they zig, do zag”, suggested Tony Faddell, designer of the Apple iPod, reminding us that crisis are often the best times to innovate. Indeed, the silver lining of climate change may be that in 2023, we’re more determined than ever to solve it.