Market Insights
AI Agents

A Call for Founders: 5 Core Sectors Ripe for Innovation

Dallas Price
June 20, 2024

Forum's Venture Studio brings together ambitious people, brilliant ideas, and capital to build the best B2B SaaS businesses in the world, from 0 to 1. In addition to capital and an idea, we provide founders with access to investor networks, fundraising support, and the resources needed to build transformational companies. Our model is designed to help you move faster, develop better insights, and build companies that have a higher success rate than startups built in any other way.

Over the past couple of months, we’ve done deep research into 5 core areas we want to build products in. We want to talk with domain experts who are interested in becoming founders and building solutions within these core areas. As a CEO, you’ll be leading the charge with a CTO, Designer, GTM, and validation experts by your side until your own team is hired. You’ll also have the support of recruitment, HR, legal, finance, and more to scale. If you’ve been wanting to take the founder leap, but haven't yet validated a product idea, or haven’t found a co-founder, this might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for!

Forum de-risks and accelerates the Founder path by:

  • Providing a vetted business idea and business model in a large market
  • The support of our experienced operating team - from business design, product development, growth, recruitment, legal and more
  • Executing a winning GTM strategy to get you to $50-100 ARR, and the right MVP to ensure early traction
  • A $250K USD investment, and an end-to-end fundraising playbook and network to raise your seed and Series A
  • A community full of mentors, peers, and leaders
  • $100K worth of business perks

Below are a number of B2B SaaS ideas that we are excited about building across multiple industry sectors including finance, real estate, manufacturing, highly regulated industries, and engineering. Within each concept, we break down the areas we are most interested in, plus the market opportunities that we see in each space. These opportunities address both the gaps in the market, plus the core needs and pain points of the customers in those sectors, which we believe can be addressed with technology-enabled solutions.

5 Core Areas We Want To Build In

AI and FIs

Financial Institutions (FIs) have complicated workflows and sensitive customer data which means out-of-the-box LLMs and Gen-AI tools won’t work for their needs. This means financial institutions will need specific tooling built for them where security and compliance are at the forefront of product design.

Plus, these FIs often lack the talent to quickly create new products. With tighter regulations and economic pressures, banks are cutting staff in key roles. This opens up an opportunity to build AI tools that integrate with workflows that are not a part of core competencies to speed up processes, cut costs, and boost efficiency.

FIs will want to keep core competencies like credit decisions and investment decisions in-house but are open to using tools to speed up non-essential processes that are needed within these FIs

Areas of interest

  • Bank Fraud Investigations: Banks handle millions of fraud investigations per year, and the process is notoriously slow and tedious. AI can streamline this by automating tasks like email communication, document reviews, and vendor interactions, significantly speeding up the entire process.
  • Account Transfers for Wealth Management Clients: When clients move their assets from one manager to another, the process is slow and cumbersome by design, reducing friction of moving assets is a competitive play making it difficult for wealth managers to bring on clients with existing relationships as switching costs are high. Workflow tooling and AI can streamline this process by automating the necessary paperwork, ensuring compliance, and speeding up the transfer of assets while offering transparency in the process for all parties.
  • Loan Origination: The focus here isn't on the credit decisioning but on the extensive paperwork and compliance checks involved. This process can be slow and prone to errors, delaying loan approvals. AI can automate the collection and processing of these documents, ensuring compliance and significantly speeding up the loan approval process.

The Evolving Market Of Real Estate

A recent groundbreaking settlement against the National Association of Realtors is set to change the rules on Realtor commissions. Previously, Realtors typically took a non-negotiable 3% success fee on home sales, but the lawsuit found this practice to be anti-competitive. Going forward, it will be easier for buyers to negotiate fees with their agents or even bypass agents altogether.

We’ve seen tons of competition in building AI Realtors but don’t see this as an initial wedge into the market. Instead, we see an opportunity to support Realtors who create new offerings like fixed-fee or lower-commission services. These services will focus on the basics like paperwork and showing the house.

When realtors are selling million-dollar homes at a 3% commission they don’t need highly efficient or streamlined processes. For each home, they could provide personalized support at every part of the process. However, realtors adopting new lower-cost high-volume models will need to become much more efficient and let technology and AI support the process. We see a massive opportunity to build the software that will enable realtors to offer these new services.

Reducing Downtime Of Key Equipment (Predictive Maintenance)

Downtime in critical systems, like healthcare, manufacturing, or aerospace, can be prohibitively expensive and bring operations to a halt. Advances in AI and the availability of comprehensive datasets now empower us to significantly improve predictive capabilities to help maintenance teams proactively work on equipment.

We’re looking to build products that help businesses not just react to, but prevent downtime, ensuring more stable, efficient, and cost-effective operations.

Areas of Interest:

  • Medical Devices: Enhancing reliability in hospital systems and patient-embedded medical devices.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Plants: Optimizing operations through predictive maintenance technologies.
  • Aerospace Systems: Improving safety and efficiency in aircraft and spacecraft operations through advanced diagnostics and predictive analytics.
  • Transportation Infrastructure: Enhancing the reliability and safety of rail, road, and maritime systems with AI-driven predictive maintenance.

Regulatory AI for X

Navigating the complex web of regulatory requirements and documentation is a major challenge for businesses across every highly regulated industry. We’re looking to build vertical-specific workflow tools that simplify and streamline the compliance processes that are legally required. These tools will reduce manual effort, audit issues and government penalties for non-compliance.

Areas of Interest:

  • Medicine and Life Sciences: Facilitating faster, compliant market entries for new drugs and medical devices.
  • Food and Beverage: Automating the documentation and approval processes for launching new products.
  • Construction: Enhancing efficiency in obtaining permits and meeting safety regulations.
  • Manufacturing: Simplifying setup processes for new factories with automated compliance checks.
  • Automotive: Ensuring seamless adherence to evolving international standards and safety regulations.

Chaos Engineering 

Site reliability is more critical yet also more challenging than ever. Chaos Engineering has emerged as a key method for developers to swiftly test potential cyber threats. By running these experiments, site reliability engineers can quickly identify vulnerabilities within their systems. Enterprises like Netflix and Twilio are already using this approach effectively. However, developers at mid-sized companies often lack the tools and processes to implement the Chaos Engineering methodology. 

While some automated tools for tasks like bug fixes or running pen tests are available, mid-sized companies need a balanced approach that combines AI automation + manually planning and running experiments. We're looking to create products that enable mid-sized companies to enhance their site reliability by integrating these advanced methodologies into their workflows.

Get in touch

If you’re interested in building with Forum please apply through the corresponding job description. If none of these areas fit what you’re working on, feel free to apply through the Forum Studio Founder job posting. Please highlight relevant experience and the area you’re most interested in. 

Job Postings

  1. AI for FIs
  2. Realtor Efficiency Tools
  3. Predictive Maintenance
  4. Regulatory AI
  5. Chaos Engineering


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