DIY is still in… Meet the DIY Pancreas
The signal: A few weeks ago, as the world was starting to take COVID-19 seriously, we wrote about DIY medical devices. At the time, it would have been difficult to predict where we are now — a place where millions of people are making their own masks, while open-source ventilator projects are surfacing everywhere (Exhibit A, B, C… the list goes on).
Biotech is top of mind for many people. Last week, ARCH Venture Partners raised $1.46B, while firms like ElevateBio, RemeGen, and Affinia Therapeutics also raised massive rounds. Their success is a reminder that not everything — even in the medical field — requires billions in funding.
In fact, there’s been evidence for over a decade that crowd-sourced, DIY-esque solutions can be even more effective. A 2007 study, for example, showed that one-third of scientific problems that were unsolvable by internal teams were overcome through the collective research of large groups of independent scientists, similar to the open-source model.
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Don’t press snooze on this opportunity: sleep supplements
The signal: As meditation becomes mainstream, people may be surprised to find that searches for sleep apps double their meditation counterpart. As people invest in getting a better night’s rest, there’s opportunity abound, including physical products like weighted blankets or premium PJs, supplements, popular insomnia drugs having their patents expire, companies paying their employees to sleep better, marketing for sleep specialists, or online sleep education (ex: sleep apnea test has 27k searches per month).
The alternative milk market is getting frothy
The signal: As more people wave goodbye to dairy, alternative milk is slowly taking over; it has already cornered 13% of the market. With the exception of soy milk, all of the alt-milks have been on the up, with some of the newer entrants including hemp milk and pea milk. Other alt-products are getting attention, including cashew cheese, with 18100 searches per month.
Capitalizing on the Airpods market, making more money than Shopify
The signal: Since killing the headphone jack, Apple has graced the world with AirPods, which did an estimated 60m units in 2019. That means AirPods alone are bringing in approx ~$10b in revenue, more than Twitter, Shopify, or Spotify, to name a few popular tech giants. Opportunity lies in Apple opening up SiriOS or the wave of iPhone accessories (including cases, cleaning kits, hooks, and keychains) which have shown “hockey stick” growth alongside their hardware predecessor.
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