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When the coronavirus pandemic led to stay-at-home orders all over the United States, many industries saw a sharp drop in revenue. Meanwhile, rather than suffering, other industries boomed. Home fitness gyms were suddenly sought by people who could no longer use their gym memberships, online games used for gatherings became a must-have commodity, and other start-ups were catapulted into stardom.


The 2020 start-up trends are unlike any other year because of how much our cultural surroundings shape them. The way humans live their lives has fundamentally changed this year, and so the industries humans prioritize have also changed. Researchers have been conducting surveys of investors and entrepreneurs across multiple industries to determine the impact the virus has had.


The three industries that are most lucrative right now are gaming, food, and fitness.


Many people can’t go to events or family gatherings right now, and online meetings sometimes don’t have the same feel. Because of this, people have been using online multiplayer games to gather in the same “virtual space” for events like weddings, holidays, birthdays, and graduations.


Gaming start-ups that have done the best this year tend to center around interactive virtual environments. With the cancellation of many sports leagues, e-sports have also become a big deal. Gaming is replacing social outings as the way that humans interact with each other, which means that it’s in high demand from people who wouldn’t have previously considered themselves “gamers.”


Tech-based fitness is the next group. The goal of many successful start-ups in this industry is to offer a combination of fitness and technology without the price point or bulkiness of a home gym. Cure.Fit is a health platform providing fitness classes and some primary healthcare options. A start-up called Hinge Health has released a fitness program for low back pain. Mirror is a technological fitness device that has a virtual trainer walk you through your exercises.


Food-based start-ups have also seen massive growth. Many people are ordering out or looking for alternatives to restaurants while staying indoors. The Impossible Foods start-up has spent the year growing strongly and rolling out new plant-based meat alternatives. Alternative meat has become increasingly popular due to its nutritional content and its lack of animal harm.