Looking ahead at 2024

Some trends we're excited about

🦄 Our predictions for 2024

✍️ Notes from the Editors

3… 2… 1…


(checks clock) Somewhere in the world! Probably?

We hope you’re having a wonderful and restful holiday season. While we’ve been able to find more time to relax this holiday season, we’ve also been hard at work planning for the year ahead, and we’ve got a lot of exciting things planned.

Our first order of business for 2024—sharing the second part of our back-to-back holiday special edition newsletters. Today, we’ll be covering everything from our predictions for 2024 to our high-level direction for Unicorner. 

Many exciting announcements are coming soon, including opportunities to get involved with the Unicorner community in multiple ways.

We can’t wait to share more about these with you soon, so stay tuned. And if you haven’t already, make sure to follow us on social media to hear about these announcements first.

Until then, enjoy today’s New Year’s special edition!

- Arek and Ethan 🦄

Can someone fix our logo?

The most exciting industry

While AI is still the hottest topic right now, we envision a 2024 where automation becomes especially revolutionary, particularly in underutilized industries. For example, Bonsai Robotics and Orangewood are some companies we covered in 2023 that are built to specifically automate their niches. We’re thinking of a lot of cases in agriculture, logistics, warehouses, and manufacturing that can greatly benefit from more automation and AI where applicable.

Bonsai Robotics AI-powered agriculture optimizers

You can get arms like these for all your needs from Orangewood

Funding patterns

In general, funding has been on the decline, and this is what we anticipate will continue to be the case. Compared to previous years, we’re seeing a shift away from high-capital growth-stage companies hyper-focused on scaling and a move toward funding products that have a solid demonstration of traction and PMF in their earlier stages.

For reference, Square, Stripe, CreditKarma, NerdWallet, Uber, Airbnb, WhatsApp and Instagram were all founded during the 2008 recession.

In the short term, this means less money overall going into funding. However, it also indicates a higher likelihood of companies exiting due to more resilience in an even more difficult economy.

Economy for talent

While layoffs have largely slowed down since the end of 2022/early 2023, the surplus of senior tech talent has shifted the hiring market such that high experience is needed for traditionally less senior roles. On the bright side, many senior roles are still open and hiring across the board. We don’t anticipate this changing much in 2024.

At the same time, hiring is still down, especially for groups such as early career. Earlier this year, Arek’s post on LinkedIn for early-stage talent drew 6,000+ replies, a continued indicator that there are more candidates than roles for them to fill. If this is you, send us an email, as we’ve been working heavily on our talent pool behind the scenes to help as much as we can.

A mixed bag, but we’re optimistic.

The next breakthrough technology

Lately, we’ve been thinking a lot about quantum computing.

TL;DR: quantum computing makes use of the principles of quantum physics to consider every state of a program at once. Normal computers operate on 0s and 1s. Quantum computers operate on both. Wild, right?

Except quantum computing hasn’t been meaningfully scaled…yet. We had the opportunity to speak with Peter Shor last month, an important innovator in quantum computing and the person responsible for discovering the algorithm set to disrupt modern encryption methods. 

Peter Shor at UCLA in November. He presented an interesting poem about quantum computing.

According to him, we’re still 10-15 years out from quantum supremacy. But… that’s what was said about meaningful generative AI. So maybe we’re not that far out? This year alone saw massive updates in the world of quantum (Harvard made the first logical quantum computer, Google potentially once again proved quantum supremacy, and a computer with 1,000 quantum bits was built).

We’ll see!

Unicorner Wrapped

In case you missed it in our last email of the year, here are some stats we’d like to share with you from 2023:

  • Grew over three times in size from where we were in January

  • Had hundreds of thousands of email views

  • Ran our first event in San Francisco, and continued coffee chats in Los Angeles

  • Met with awesome founders, investors, students, and operators all year round 🙌

All of this has been an amazing journey—we’ve loved connecting with more of you around the world, and feel especially blessed to be able to bring so many people together.

In conclusion

In 2024, we’ll continue to focus on our mission of highlighting the next Unicorn startups and bringing anyone or any company in the startup space together.

At our core, we have always believed that there has been a need for the resources we provide. Given the growth we saw in 2023, we strongly believe that this is even more so the case today. We’ll be doubling down on everything we have for operators in this space to succeed (and if you haven’t seen what we have, check out our homepage).

We’re so excited for this coming year. We’re confident that we can continue to grow while making an impact. No matter when you joined us on this journey, we thank you for your continued support, and wish you a happy and prosperous 2024! 🚀

How are you spending 2024?

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Made with 💜 by the Unicorner team 🦄