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Startup Business Ideas with Business Models and Action Plans

After spending nearly 8 years as a product manager for numerous small sized (startups) and large sized companies, I have come to the realization that I can not build every idea that comes to my mind. I have also come to realize that I am more interested in seeing that idea grow than for myself to be the one to grow it. 

What I am hoping to achieve with my writings below is to provide ideas for a startup, to share business models when applicable, and to share some action items that can be acted on, which in-return will allow me to see these ideas turn into reality. For you, it will be nearly a stepping stone for what you can accomplish, an inspiration, if you will. 

Before I begin, let’s establish a format. I will write each startup idea in the following structure:

The Format

The Idea: 

This section will clearly express what the idea hopes to accomplish.

Inspiration: 

This section will cover the “why” behind the idea and discuss the pain-points the idea aims to solve.

Business Model: 

This section will briefly outline revenue opportunities.

Action Plan: 

This section will list out any next steps to act on. 

My Experience (when applicable): 

If I have any relatable experience to share on the idea itself, this is where I will do it. 

I will use this section to link to each idea below, as this will eventually turn into a list of 100+ startup ideas. This will be an ongoing list, so bare with me as I add more to this over time. 

Startup Ideas: Index (Click on the links to skip down to the right section)

  1. Peer to Peer (p2p) office spaces – Marketplace
  2. Peer to Peer (p2p) living spaces – Marketplace 
  3. Peer to Peer (p2p) ATM (cash delivery) – Marketplace
  4. Muslim Friendly Accommodation Spaces – Marketplace 
  5. Content Publishing Site where users are investors and collaborators. – Marketplace 
  6. Peer to Peer (p2p) Crypto Miner Rentals – Marketplace & Crypto Currency
  7. Business to Business (b2b) Advertisement Network – Crypto Currency
  8. Helium Mining in new locations – Crypto Currency
  9. Startup (Non Publicly Traded 500 Companies) Index Fund – Investment 
  10. Startup Investor, Accelerator & Incubator – Agency
  11. Barter Points – Buy and Sell Tax Free – Marketplace 
  12. More Coming soon


Peer to Peer (p2p) office spaces – Marketplace

The Idea: 

Allow people from all around the world to list their unused spaces into office spaces for others.

Inspiration: 

I spend about 90% of my 9-5 hour work day inside my home-office. The spare bedroom in my house, my living room and my dining room is equipped with the same WiFi internet speed as my home-office and is not used at all during a work-day. 

My neighbor’s situation may not be the same. With a house full of family members, they may want to work from a quiet place, or they may seek a working environment that is close to their home, but not in their home. 

I call this idea, where Airbnb meets WeWork. This introduces a new income stream for renters, home owners and business owners that have any unused space with a decent internet connection and a place to comfortably work from. 

Business Model: 

  1. Host: Charge a listing fee on the platform.
  2. Guest & Host: Charge commission for every booking made on the platform.
  3. All users: Run ads on the site and monetize traffic on the website.

Action Plan: 

  1. Use a marketplace builder to create a simple website/app.
    1. You can use platforms like Sharetribe or JungleWorks.
    2. You can set up a WordPress website yourself and install a “marketplace” theme.
    3. You can have someone from Fiverr set up a website for you.
  2. Drive traffic to the site by running ads on Google Search or Social Media platforms.
  3. If you are getting hosts and guests to sign up, keep going, having active users is a currency of its own.
  4. If you are generating revenue, even if there is no profit, keep going, early stage users are advocates.
  5. If within 2 years you have not generated profit or revenue, re-evaluate. 

My Experience: 

I recently pivoted my startup, Startupbnb, to VVurk.com, which was created to achieve this exact same goal. After a year of seeing no strong results, I decided to stop investing more time into my own startups, and decided to start helping others with theirs. 



Peer to Peer (p2p) living spaces – Marketplace 

The Idea: 

Allow like-minded individuals to find accommodation with each other, short term or long term.

Inspiration: 

Imagine a world where you can select your roommates based on your interests? We spend a lot of time in our homes, and the impact of a toxic roommate is far too important to be left ignored.

As a product manager, I may want to live with fellow developers, so we can collaborate on ideas together and have fun doing so. Similarly, a music producer may prefer to live with a singer.

Being able to live with like-minded individuals can foster creativity and improve the quality of life at home.

Business Model: 

  • Host: Charge a listing fee on the platform.
  • Guest & Host: Charge commission for every booking made on the platform.
  • All users: Run ads on the site and monetize traffic on the website.

Action Plan: 

  • Use a marketplace builder to create a simple website/app.
    1. You can use platforms like Sharetribe or JungleWorks.
    2. You can set up a WordPress website yourself and install a “marketplace” theme.
    3. You can have someone from Fiverr set up a website for you.
  • Drive traffic to the site by running ads on Google Search or Social Media platforms.
  • If you are getting hosts and guests to sign up, keep going, having active users is a currency of its own.
  • If you are generating revenue, even if there is no profit, keep going, early stage users are advocates.
  • If within 2 years you have not generated profit or revenue, re-evaluate. 

My Experience: 

Back in 2015, I visited my first ever coliving space. I saw developers share the same house with designers, and they were able to collaborate and work on ideas, from home.

I launched Startupbnb, a marketplace to allow people to find like-minded roommates, and immediately saw a lot of interest from people. Within the first year, the platform had over 600 users, over 6000 spaces and more than 2000 monthly traffic.

I was not able to turn this into a profitable idea because my platform lacked an automatic way of handling payments, so I made the platform free to use.



Peer to Peer (p2p) ATM (cash delivery) – Marketplace

The Idea:

Allow people around you, who have cash, to deliver cash to you for a small tip. The Uber for ATMs.

Inspiration: 

The only way to get cash, when and where ever you may be, is to go to a bank or an ATM machine and request for cash. This entails spending money to commute to the location of the ATM or bank, and additional transaction fee to withdraw cash (sometimes).

Imagine if your neighbor had some cash laying around that they were happy to come over to your place and drop off the cash, in exchange for a small tip/fee. The convenience of being able to have cash delivered to you, simply does not exist as of today.

As a requester of the cash, you would simply pay via the app, which could integrate with any of your digital banks, wallets or credit/debit cards.

Business Model: 

  • Advertisement
  • Small commission for every exchange/delivery.
  • If crypto-currency is supported, then a higher exchange rate.

Action Plan: 

  1. Hire an app developer or bring them on as a cofounder
  2. Launch the app via app store or play store
  3. Run marketing to promote the app.
  4. Scale up the business.


Muslim Friendly Accommodation Spaces – Marketplace 

The Idea: 

Allow Muslims to find Muslim friendly accommodation. The Airbnb for Religious people.

Inspiration: 

As a Muslim, one of the biggest challenges that I face when looking for accommodation, if its for travel or for rental purposes, is not being able to find places that are clean for praying purposes, doesn’t involve sharing a fridge or plates that may have been used for non-halal (kosher) food, and the bathrooms missing the bidets or muslim showers as some may like to call it.

How nice would it be to find accommodation from/with those who follow the same religion? It would make a lot of muslims feel at peace in terms of what to expect from the place.

Business Model: 

  • Listing fee
  • Commission from bookings
  • Service fee
  • Advertisement

Action Plan: 

  • Use a marketplace builder to create a simple website/app.
    1. You can use platforms like Sharetribe or JungleWorks.
    2. You can set up a WordPress website yourself and install a “marketplace” theme.
    3. You can have someone from Fiverr set up a website for you.
  • Drive traffic to the site by running ads on Google Search or Social Media platforms.
  • If you are getting hosts and guests to sign up, keep going, having active users is a currency of its own.
  • If you are generating revenue, even if there is no profit, keep going, early stage users are advocates.
  • If within 2 years you have not generated profit or revenue, re-evaluate. 

My Experience: 

I started a Facebook Group called “Muslim Housing in NYC” and it now has over 14,000 active members who post listings for other Muslims, as well as people requesting for spaces.

There is a platform called Muzbnb, who is aiming to handle this exact same challenge.


Content Publishing Site where users are investors and collaborators. – Marketplace 

The Idea: 

Allow freelance writers to share their thoughts online and earn from readers that find value in it.

Inspiration: 

Content, of any form, is an asset. Any asset can provide value to those who seek it. Why is it that social media sites have user generated content, but when it comes to revenue, the user gets nothing?

By passing through some of the revenue generated due to the users activity, back to the user, this platform can grow together with its users, rather than leaving the users out of the benefit-pool.

Business Model: 

  • Advertisement
  • Blocked content accessible by membership

Action Plan: 

  1. Launch a content publishing platform
  2. Allow users to sign up and post content
  3. Measure how much each user is contributing towards your business’s revenue
  4. Share the revenue with the user based on a certain percentage.

My Experience: 

Trying to get Openiun to be such a platform. Work in progress.


Peer to Peer (p2p) Crypto Miner Rentals – Marketplace & Crypto Currency

The Idea: 

Allow users to rent miners from each other.

Inspiration: 

It is expensive to buy a miner, however, if renting a miner was an option, then a lot of people would want to rent it.

Imagine if 12 people decided to rent a miner for the entire year, and evenly keep the miner for 1 month per person, this would allow everyone to easily get into crypto mining and still be profitable.

Business Model: 

  • Buy miners and rent them out, charge a rental fee that helps recover miner cost and generate profit.
  • Charge a listing fee for those who are wanting to rent out their miners.

Action Plan: 

  1. Start a marketplace website with Sharetribe or JungleWorks.
  2. Promote the website and study the interest.
  3. If there is interest, keep it going.

The Idea: 

Allow businesses to run advertisement on each other’s websites through a point/reward based system.

Inspiration: 

Say business 1 sells plumbing equipment, and say that business 2 sells electric equipment, as of today, both these businesses have to go through ad serving platforms and spend a lot of money to find relevant sites to run ads on.

What if business 1 allowed business 2 to run ads on their website/location and in return, business 1 earned points/crypto-currency for the amount or duration of ads shown, and these points allowed them in return to show their adds on business 2’s website/location whenever needed?

This removes the need to spend money to run ads on relevant site and utilized a credit/reward based system.

Business Model: 

  • The platform can charge a fee for connecting relevant businesses to one another.
  • The platform can sell points to newly starting businesses who do not have any incentive to offer to larger businesses.

Action Plan: 

  1. Get started with a listing-based theme from WordPress
  2. If there is interest from other businesses, then invest in a developer to build the full end to end experience out.

My Experience: 

Currently I have not taken any steps to work on the idea, however, I did buy the domain name cryptotise.com so that I can look into this product idea in the future.


Helium Mining in new locations – Crypto Currency

The Idea: 

Find available locations for mining helium around the world.

Inspiration: 

It is somewhat easy and affordable to get a helium crypto currency miner, but it’s nearly impossible to find a place that doesn’t already have a helium miner, in order to maximize revenue via mining.

By building a platform that allows someone with a helium miner to find someone who lives in place with no other helium miners, to connect these 2 individuals and share the rewards generated via Helium mining.

Business Model: 

  • Charge a listing fee
  • Charge a commission for the introduction
  • Advertisement

Action Plan: 

  1. Get started with a marketplace website like Sharetribe
  2. Run promotions to see how users react, and if they sign up.
  3. Continue until business is profit generating.

Startup (Non Publicly Traded 500 Companies) Index Fund – Investment 

The Idea: 

Create a portfolio of investments made in non-publicly traded startups by utilizing platforms like WeFunder.

Inspiration: 

Most investors don’t know how to identify startups with great potential, so if a team of people who were well versed about the startup space started an index fund “like” investment portfolio by investing in startups via platforms like WeFunder and then passing the return from those investments onto other investors who invest in this group.

Business Model: 

  • Charge a management fee.

Action Plan: 

  1. Start investing in startups via WeFunder
  2. Document the distribution of the portfolio and share that.
  3. Create a campaign on WeFunder allowing other early stage investors to invest in you.
  4. Share the returns with your investors based on the returns from your portfolio.

Startup Investor, Accelerator & Incubator – Agency

The Idea: 

Earn from startup equity by investing in startups with your (your team’s) skills.

Inspiration: 

Not all great startup ideas or startup founders have the capital to invest in a team to grow their idea. Imagine if skilled workers dedicated part of their time and skills to under funded startups in exchange for equity, both parties would benefit.

Business Model: 

  • Equity in startup
  • Discounted payment for your services

Action Plan: 

  1. Find people with startup ideas around you who are willing to take you on as partners.
  2. Find like-minded people who are willing to dedicate a little bit of their time to turn the idea into a product.
  3. Establish a contract that outlines joint ownership over the startup.
  4. Grow the company and earn in form of shares or revenue.

My Experience: 

I started something similar, called it Project Lab X, but found myself in need of a team rather than a one-man show. The idea had potential but it lacked a structure and execution on my part.


Barter – Buy and Sell Tax Free – Marketplace 

The Idea: 

Allow users to exchange items for other items by other users.

Inspiration: 

Say I want to get rid of my computer so I can buy a phone. When I sell my computer, I now have to pay taxes on the income generated from the sale, and then I have to pay sales taxes when I buy a phone with that money. And say there is somebody else who wants to get rid of the exact same phone that I wanted to buy, in return for a computer.

Imagine a platform that simply allowed people to exchange their products or services without involving money.

Business Model: 

  • Advertisement

Action Plan: 

  1. Setup a marketplace like website via WordPress or Shopify
  2. Allow registered users to list their products and communicate with one another.
  3. Enable ads on the website and monetize traffic.

Upvote this article if you think this information was helpful. This will give me some feedback on whether or not this was valuable. If it is, I will continue to add more ideas to this very same article, so be sure to bookmark it and come back for inspiration.

– Qasim

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What do you think?