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Water, Time and Space as 'New Currencies' in Europe

We present best practices of UK startups in 2016 and European consumer trends


Bloomberg has published its Business Innovators 2016 guide - a list of just over 50 British companies, all of which illustrate the strength and breadth of the U.K. startup community. The unranked list features companies from a wide variety of sectors, ranging from biotech (Open Bionics), energy (Heat Genius) and marketing (Boldmind), to cybersecurity (Darktrace), finance (Funding Circle) and edge sciences (Cambridge Quantum Computing). Companies were chosen based on their proven inventiveness, their ability to challenge the way the U.K. conducts business, and for evidence of strong local or global demand for their ideas. Among the key debates was discussion about the importance of a startup remaining locally-focussed, or whether it is a good plan to entertain global ambition from day one.

"There's a real school of thought of globalization and taking everything big as quickly as possible," said Lisa Smorsarski, one of the judges and the founder and editor of Stylist magazine. "But there are smaller trends as well about localization and serving communities in an exceptional way." (, 2016).

European Consumer Trends

In order to better understand in which sphere to concentrate your efforts, we also recommend looking through a research published by Mintel, 2016. The research explores European consumer trends, indicating that more people are renting or sharing homes with family members, creating a space-pressed culture of transience and ‘non ownership’. Buy-to-let (BTL) has been a major factor, with the number of rental properties in the UK increasing by 2.5 million between 2000 and 2012, compared with an increase of just 400,000 for owner-occupied properties. As a matter of fact, 47% of UK consumers currently rent the home they live in (Mintel, 2016).

In addition, squeezing household trend is also observed throughout Europe. Thus, there will be increase of sharing economy solutions that seek to maximise the usage and availability of temporary, transient space for storage, parking, working and sleeping.

As time and space continue to develop as ‘new currencies’, we are going to see a slew of new businesses seeking to hire out homes, parking and storage spaces, as well as deliver to consumers within the hour. These issues also require smarter, smaller product packaging. Indeed, some 21% of UK consumers prefer small packs because they take up less storage space.

On the other hand, the businesses that may tackle water problem will hugely benefit. The market will certainly see more concentrates in beverages, including coffee, and seasonings, as well as water-sourcing product alternatives like Spain’s Boqueron beer brewed with seawater. In Finland, Elovena Oat Flakes claim to require no irrigation and are processed with steam, so that very little waste water is produced. Thus, new and existing businesses should consider using technologies for innovations in agriculture and water generation. This will supply consumers and lend brands a progressive, favourable edge.

No matter which sphere you decide to enter MikyNiky Consulting is here to assist you, advice you and support you throughout your growth. We wish you good luck and are looking forward to help you achieve your business goals.


Sources:, (2016). These Are the Most Innovative U.K. Startups to Watch in 2016. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Feb. 2016]., (2016). Product Images - Herman Miller. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Feb. 2016]., (2016). European Consumer Trends 2016: Download Your Copy Now| [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Feb. 2016].


Liana Khutsiyan, MSc in Applied Corporate Brand Management