Nanotechnology has matured to the point where it provides exquisite solutions to key challenges across medicine and biology, as seen in the success of delivery nanovectors for COVID-19vaccines1. Among these nanotechnologies, nanoneedles — vertical arrays of high aspect-ratio nanomaterials — have emerged as a simple, controllable and powerful tool to efficiently access cells with minimalperturbation2. Nanoneedles are rapidly emerging as competitive solutions forsensing3, and offer a path to transforming gene and cell therapies4,5. Realizing the transformative potential of nanoneedles is a work in progress. In this Comment, we discuss the burgeoning advances and strong commercial activities of nanoneedle technology through the eyes of leading researchers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists — all of them major players in the evolution of a viable nanoneedle technology for sensing and clinical use.