13 Business Ideas Successful Entrepreneurs Wish They Thought Up Themselves

What is one business idea you wish you came up with yourself?

business idea
photo credit: pimthida

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Waterproof Shower Notepad

I had this idea, but never executed. Now it exists on Amazon. I get almost 100 percent of my best ideas in the shower, but I forget a huge percentage of them if I don’t write them down in time. I wanted to design a waterproof note-taking device that would record ideas before they were lost. Someone else beat me to it!

Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes

2. HubSpot

I’m beyond obsessed with HubSpot’s amazing marketing and sales tools. The inbound marketing software and sales management CRM are two of the most powerful, interesting things I’ve ever interfaced with. They’ve totally changed the way I think about analytics and business development, and they’re constantly improving with tools like the Sidekick email plugin.

Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

3. The Java Jacket

The coffee sleeve that is on every Starbucks cup is patented by a company called Java Jacket, and they sell well over 1 billion jackets per year.

Jon Cline, Rokit SEO

4. Bench

Bench is an online bookkeeping service. Despite being a CPA, I never found the time to do our accounting, as my focus was on building the business. It’s a known fact that the best startups are those that solve problems that the founders have experienced themselves and have the expertise to solve. As an accountant and technologist, I’d have loved to build a business like Bench.

Vishal Shah, NoPaperForms

5. Seamless

Most people order out for food at least some of the time, and many families do so regularly. I wish I had thought of a way to make it easier for people ordering delivery and restaurants to effortlessly connect. It’s a genius business model and a great example of facilitating an everyday transaction. There’s also a huge potential for overseas expansion to Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Jared Brown, Hubstaff

6. Coinstar

They solved a simple, offline problem (an alternative to cashing loose change) that affected nearly 100 percent of the population — to such a degree that the U.S. Mint essentially partnered with them.

Sam Saxton, Salter Spiral Stair and Mylen Stairs

7. Square

Square has revolutionized the credit card processing industry. Prior to Square, if you were running a small business, there were a slew of steps associated with being approved and prepared to handle credit card transactions. With the introduction of Square, practically any business can be on board, allowing one to keep up with many larger competitors to an extent.

Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

8. Snapchat

We love the idea of market pull — and there may be no better example than Snapchat. It would be great to see the amount of fruitless Google searches for “private messaging” prior to their launch. Snapchat truly answered a pent-up customer need, and more importantly, set the example for all of us on focusing on true market pull innovations, not simply pushing what’s convenient.

Aman Advani, Ministry of Supply

9. Acorns

Like most Millennials, I have a hard time saving money, let alone investing it to secure a strong financial future after retirement. Acorns is an app that invests money from everyday purchases on your debit card by rounding up each amount to the next dollar automatically. Whether you’re investment-savvy or not, this app is a step in the right direction for financial security.

Mark Krassner, Knee Walker Central

10. StoreDot

StoreDot has invented a solution to charge phone batteries fully within 30 seconds. I think this is going to change the world of mobile as we know it and has so many more applications. Wish I had come up with the technology know-how for this.

Ben Lang, Mapme

11. Yelp

Yelp is the exemplar of seamlessly connecting people with quality goods and services. Every time I explore a new city or even a new neighborhood in my area, I open up the Yelp app on my phone to discover what’s around me. Eating at top-rated restaurants and finding local hotspots has never been easier!

Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

12. Crowdfunding

Kickstarter, Indiegogo, you name it — I wish I’d come up with the idea to help people fund their dreams and causes they care about through the crowd. It’s an idea that has generated millions of dollars in financing, and it also has huge potential for expansion in emerging markets, especially Latin America and China.

Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

13. Evernote

I love this app. I’ve used notes in Outlook for years, but there are a lot of issues with sync, formatting, etc. Evernote allows me to add pictures, video, time and location, voice notes and just about anything to my notes. Plus I can organize it by notebook as well, such as Marketing, Finance, Personal, etc. I love this thing! The sync works perfectly, too.

Josh Sprague, Orange Mud