In April of 2018, Rivers Agile attended the Invent Penn State Venture and IP Conference in State College, Pennsylvania – a curated showcase of capital-seeking startups and emerging Penn State technologies. The 2017 inaugural conference showcased over 70 startup ventures representing high growth and emerging markets including Advanced Manufacturing, IT, Energy, Biotechnology, Healthcare, B2B and B2C, among others. The 2018 conference was an even bigger draw highlighting over 80 startup ventures primed for investment. Our team was thrilled to network with some inspired trailblazers demonstrating their spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. As a follow-up to the two-day event, the Rivers Agile team was impressed by the exciting and innovative IP coming out of Penn State’s research enterprise. Here are the top entrepreneurial technology trends that the Rivers Agile team identified:

  • Trend #1: Wearables and medical diagnostic innovations are continuing to grow.
    Some of the most compelling entrepreneurial ideas witnessed came from the category of wearable and medical diagnostic technology. Innovations for common diagnostic procedures is not aimed at replacing modern medicine, but at transforming healthcare by being a complement to a practice or health system. At the forefront of rapid growth, applications that enable instant access to electronic health records or the ability to remotely diagnose or monitor a patient (whether human- or animal-kind in the agricultural sphere) are standing out. Productivity, safety, and health procedure cost reduction are resulting in higher adoption rates for these types of applications – and there is still so much potential left to explore, especially now that FitBit and Google are showing a greater interest. Recently, the two companies formed a partnership and are looking to boost the growth of the wearables market.
  • Trend #2: There’s a greater focus on the potential of Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics.
    Entrepreneurs are only beginning to unlock the potential of predictive analytics or technology to anticipate events based on historical data. Understanding data using predictive analytics is helping to empower businesses and organizations in their decision-making process. With access to data on-demand, anytime and anywhere, innovators have the ability to program machines to understand patterns and predict the impacts of outcomes in real time. Predictive analytics pulls together a variety of statistical techniques (predictive modelling, machine learning, data mining), looks at current and historical data and uses that input to inform decisions for the future. While its potential in healthcare and finance might be apparent, there are plenty of untapped verticals, like transportation, where predictive analytics is proving beneficial, like suggesting driver behaviors to maximize fuel efficiency and allowing headquarters to discover, mitigate, and quite possibly eliminate driver safety risks.
  • Trend #3: The opportunities for entrepreneurial technologies are becoming more robust.
    Entrepreneurs have more possible funding paths than ever – it’s truly a credit to Invent Penn State for finding such clear investment potential in these focused and curated entrepreneurs. Specifically, the Venture Connection portion of the conference helps investors discover promising capital-seeking ventures by meeting with groups of well-screened entrepreneurs categorized by capital needs, industry and other key criteria. Conferences like this are great examples of the opportunities open to entrepreneurs to really pitch their ideas and get vital feedback from investors who can discuss their respective funds and investment strategies.

And only in its second year, the Venture and IP Conference highlights the efforts of Invent Penn State to spur economic development, job creation and student career success. The entrepreneurship-focused academic programs, business startup training and incubation, funding for commercialization, and university-community collaborations help to overcome the challenging process of turning research discoveries into valuable products and services. Rivers Agile is proud to sponsor events like these and offers a special thank you to Invent Penn State for hosting a conference where we were able to witness firsthand the innovation that can benefit Pennsylvanians and humankind.

If you are an entrepreneur or an investor and find yourself looking for a partner to roadmap your MVP, or if you’re further along and ready to engineer your idea into software, contact Rivers Agile. We specialize in the full scope of product development, meaning we collaborate on the agile lifecycle of strategy, design, software development and quality assurance. And we have the ability to jump in at any stage of a project to help you – Contact Us today.