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10 Interesting Startups to Watch Out For This Year

10 Interesting Startups to Watch Out For This Year

Startups have amassed huge popularity in the past decade. Everyone dreams of launching a startup on their own. A mindboggling 100 million startups are launched annually, according to figures in the GEM Global Report.

The majority of them perish without having any impact. Only a few make it to the coveted upper echelons of the business world. Here are 10 very interesting startups to look forward to in 2016.

1. Brigade

1

    Founded by Sean Parker (cofounder of Napster) and Matt Mahan, Brigade aims to encourage users to understand civic issues and seek reform.

    The mission of the company, according to Mahan, is “to empower people in their civic life and to have influence over the direction their society goes in by having them articulate and identify where they stand on issues, uncover alignment with friends, get organized into groups of like-minded people and ultimately act collectively to shape the policies that affect their lives.”

    Last November, the company launched interactive ballot guides in San Francisco and Manchester, New Hampshire to educate voters about ballot initiatives and candidates.

    With the presidential battle heating up for this year’s ultimate showdown in November, this political app will definitely garner more users.

    2. Operator

    2

      Gone are the days of traditional shopping when we used to hop from one store to another, painfully searching for things to buy. Thanks to plenty of well designed e-commerce sites and business apps, we can shop easily from our own homes.

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      However, online shopping can still be tedious because of the overwhelming amount of options it offers. The Operator app intends to take the painful part out of your shopping.

      You simply text what you need to find and within no time a person begins working on your request to present you the best options.

      Started by Uber cofounder Garrett Camp and former Zynga executive Robin Chan, this app is currently only available for the iPhone.

      3. Nextbit

      3

        The Nextbit Robin, dubbed the only cloud-first smartphone, is one of the most awaited phones of this year. The phone garnered an astonishing $1.3 million in 30 days from its Kickstarter campaign.

        Robin comes with: a 5.2-inch 1080p touchscreen, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808 chipset at the helm, 3GB of RAM, a 13 MP rear camera with face detection, autofocus and dual-LED flash; a 5 MP selfie snapper, a USB Type-C port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth; NFC, GPS, and a 2,680 mAh battery.

        What makes it different than other smartphones in the market is that it backs everything into the cloud. With the purchase of this smartphone, you get 32 GB built-in storage and an additional 100 GB of cloud storage.

        When the internal memory starts filling up, the phone uploads your inactive data, apps and media to the cloud, and deletes them from your phone. So, when you need this inactive stuff, you can easily get it back.

        Nextbit is the brainchild of Tom Moss, former head of Android business development, and Mike Chan, former head of Android power management.

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        4. Distrokid

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          Last August, the hip hop group Jack & Jack hit No. 12 on Billboard Top 200, the first time for an indie music group. On top of that, they kept 100% of their sales and streaming royalties.

          This was made possible by Distrokid – a music distribution service started by entrepreneur Philip Kaplan. Artists who want to sell music on platforms like iTunes need to be signed by a record label, or go through a distributor like Distrokid. It allows you to get your music to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and 100+ other stores.

          For a small fee of $19.99, Distrokid allows you to upload unlimited albums and songs for a year. Furthermore, it takes no royalties on the sales you have made. Thus, it is very useful for indie artists without a record label who want to get their music to listeners.

          5. Magic Leap

          5

            Augmented reality has caught the attention of the world for some time. Unlike virtual reality which replaces the real world with simulated one, in augmented reality, computer generated images are layered on top of the real world.

            Magic Leap, founded by Rony Abovitz, is one promising startup working in the field of augmented reality. It recently raised $793.5 million in new funding in what might be the largest “C” round in Internet history.

            Magic Leap may not have made any product available for public consumption, but it definitely has plenty of resources to usher us into an era of augmented reality in the near future.

            6. 3Scan

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            6

              3Scan has undertaken the task of revolutionizing the field of anatomic pathology by changing the way doctors, biotech companies and researchers study tissue. The company has transferred the task of analyzing cells and tissues from analog to digital technology.

              3Scan uses its patented “Knife Edge Scanning Microscope” (KESM) to generate 2D and 3D models of tissues. 3Scan’s technology is very effective in applications requiring high throughput of a large volume of samples. It also provides data processing software to model 3D tissue reconstructions, provide interactive image views and apply quantitative analytics.

              7. Zeek

              7

                What do you do when you get a gift card that you are unlikely to use? You’ll probably keep it, hoping it might come of use someday. Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could just get cash in exchange for the card? The founders of Zeek thought so.

                Zeek is a mobile and web based platform that allows users to sell their gift vouchers for cash. In addition, it allows you to purchase, at a discount, gift cards to stores from which you are more likely to buy.

                The market for unused gift cards is huge. It is estimated that around $450 million worth of gift cards go unredeemed each year in the U.K. alone. Zeek intends to penetrate this market and expand its service to other European countries in near future.

                8. Luxe Valet

                8

                  Parking your vehicle can be tough and exhausting if you live in a city. Luxe Valet, founded in 2013 by Curtis Lee and Criag Martin, can relieve this problem for you.

                  This smartphone app-based service lets you call one of their valets when you need to park your vehicle. For a small fee, the company’s valet will take your car and park it in one of their parking lots. They will even get your car washed or refueled if you want them to do so.

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                  First started at San Francisco, Luxe Valet has expanded its service to seven major U.S. cities.

                  9. Mobcrush

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                    Mobile gaming has carved out a big share in the global gaming market. As more powerful phones get introduced, mobile games are becoming increasingly sophisticated. With this in mind, Royce Disney has come up with Mobcrush, a platform for live streaming of mobile games.

                    Mobcrush enables users to broadcast, watch and chat about games played and streamed in real-time. Similar PC based live streaming platforms, such as Twitch, were bought for almost $1 billion by Amazon last year. And, Mobcrush has shown potential as it has already raised $15 million from various investors.

                    10. Fuse

                    10

                      If you are an app designer or a developer, watch out for Fuse. Fuse is a UX tool suite that helps you create beautiful, smoothly animated user experience in native mobile apps. This app comes with visual tools that facilitate the collaboration between designers and developers.

                      It allows you to create, edit and preview your app in real-time on multiple devices simultaneously. Founded by a group of experienced designers, Fuse has received funding from Northzone and Alliance Ventures.

                      Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm9.staticflickr.com

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                      Nabin Paudyal

                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                      Last Updated on May 15, 2019

                      10 Most Successful Entrepreneurs and What We Can Learn from Them

                      10 Most Successful Entrepreneurs and What We Can Learn from Them

                      Apart from making crucial decisions for their own businesses, entrepreneurs innovate and grow their ideas. Albeit there being no cookie-cutter answer that fits everyone’s experiences, taking a look at some of the most successful entrepreneurs today, you might spot some similar traits and characteristics.

                      Starting and nurturing a business entails a great amount of hard work and commitment. However, for aspiring entrepreneurs who are prepared to dedicate themselves to their vision, here are 10 most successful entrepreneurs you can learn from:

                      1. Melanie Perkins: Know Your Worth and Keep Trying

                        Melanie Perkins founded Canva, a Sydney-based business valued at $1Billion having successfully raised a number of rounds of successful funding and boasting more than 10 Million users in 179 countries.[1]

                        She told BBC that one of the biggest challenges she faced getting into the business was talking about her company’s accomplishments when she first got to Silicon Valley. She attributed this difficulty to a cultural difference where Australians tend to ‘talk down’ their achievements and this would slow down her fundraising progress for a few years.

                        Despite hundreds of rejections, Melanie emerged three years later with a much clearer strategy and stronger investor pitch that prompted a series of fundraising rounds netting the company $82Million of funding in total.[2]

                        2. Bill Gates: Keep Learning and Exploring

                          If you don’t know Bill Gates, you likely know the company he founded – Microsoft.

                          Bill Gates’ story is a prime example of nurturing an idea that might seem out of this world but make sense in the future. One of the most successful entrepreneurs in history did not complete his degree at Harvard University to pursue a vision that the technology would soon become the future.

                          He told a white lie to Altair, saying that he had made a computer program for them, therefore pushing himself to create a system that would change modern history.

                          “The most important speed issue is convincing everyone that the company’s survival depends on moving as fast as possible.”

                          Gates’ success is built on self-improvement and the seeds of an idea.

                          3. Elon Musk: Never Stop Innovating

                            Traditional thinking suggests that in order to become a successful entrepreneur, one must focus in a single field or industry.

                            Elon Musk, however, breaks that rule.

                            Today, the multifaceted tech entrepreneur, investor, and engineer advocates for the diversification of skills and businesses by delving into various fields of interest.

                            When done right, skills in a single domain can be carried over then applied into contrasting industries to create something new the world might need. Musk owes his accomplishments to a constant thirst for knowledge.

                            Having birthed Tesla and a myriad of products across the arenas of aeronautics and software design, Musk continues to evolve as an entrepreneur and plans to innovate for the long haul.

                            4. Richard Branson: Develop People First

                              British entrepreneur Richard Branson founded Virgin Records in the early 1970s. Virgin Records has since grown into the Virgin Group, today responsible for over 400 companies.

                              The billionaire is strongly particular about working with a team that shares his core values and aspirations.

                              Branson believes that managing a business can become taxing, thus he acknowledges his employees for putting in the effort that they have.

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                              A good leader knows how to raise morale for positive productivity. Utilising emotional intelligence and compassion is a game changer in seeing results within a team.

                              Branson’s supports the idea of nurturing a positive work environment, with the belief that credentials must go hand-in-hand with an enthusiasm for work.

                              5. Jeff Bezos: A Relentless Focus on Customer Satisfaction

                                Having founded Amazon, Jeff Bezos is known to be one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs. The e-commerce pioneer fixates himself on angry customers with the belief that a business’s loopholes are found in the experiences of unsatisfied customers.

                                For the 8th year in a row, customers have ranked Amazon as the number one in customer service (according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index).

                                While numerous companies ignore unhappy customers, Bezos found success in learning from reviews and surveys. By focusing on customer service, Amazon shows they care, both for their customers and for rising above their competitors.

                                While praise and recognition are signs that a business is accelerating, criticism is an opportunity to improve a product or a service.

                                6. Mark Zuckerberg: Start Small, Think Big

                                  Valued at over 55 billion dollars today, Mark Zuckerberg built the first version of what would become a social networking giant in his Harvard University dorm room. As one of the world’s youngest entrepreneurs, Zuckerberg undoubtedly took countless calculated risks to get his brilliant idea to its current status with 2.38 billion active monthly users.

                                  “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.”

                                  He’s always daring to explore with a fearless mindset.

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                                  The young tech entrepreneur never shied away from innovating outside of the box. Soon after Facebook became a hit to users and advertisers, big corporations took interest in buying Facebook from Zuckerberg.

                                  However, he took the risk and decided to stay with his creation. Turning down billions of dollars offered by Yahoo CEO, Terry Semel, he envisioned turning his brainchild into something much bigger than what it already was then.

                                  7. Steve Jobs: Live Your Own Dreams

                                    Steve Jobs lived a rocky path all his life and an aspect of which is a tumultuous career.

                                    The founder of Apple endorsed his beliefs on the temporality of life and limitations of time. He preached about the importance of working on the very legacies people wish to leave behind, an achievement he’s undoubtedly etched into the the archives of human history.

                                    Never one to hide under someone’s shadow, Jobs did not live by anybody else’s principles so he formed his own. He tirelessly dedicated himself to building a unique brand of products that became the benchmark for contemporary technology.

                                    After his highs and lows through his brief battle with cancer, Jobs concludes with yet another lesson to takeaway from his remarkable life. “No matter how much money you have, even the richest man can’t buy time.”

                                    8. Warren Buffett: Balance is Essential to Success

                                      Despite being the third wealthiest person in the world, Warrant Buffett sported a frugal lifestyle for most of his life.

                                      After buying a house in Omaha, Nebraska for just above 31,000 dollars, he has lived there since 1958. As a leading investor and a founder at Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett believes in setting aside an amount to save and spend only on necessities.

                                      With a long term goal as a top priority in mind always, treating oneself can be sustainable once in a while. He advices to save money by deciding first and foremost what aspects to scrimp on and what aspects to splurge on to ensure a happy and balanced lifestyle.

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                                      9. Jack Ma: Never Give up

                                        On every journey to success, everybody stumbles and arrives at roadblocks. Some more than most, like Jack Ma, who survived countless rejections and failures only to get back up and brave every storm.

                                        Ma is the founder of multinational technology conglomerate Alibaba Group. Despite being rejected to Harvard after every one of his 10 applications, Ma was never defeated.

                                        His grit and tenacity is a fine testament to the fact that grades do not determine a future. While qualifications on paper are important, the development of skills and an attitude is just as helpful in making a recipe for success.

                                        Despite finding himself in the verge of bankruptcy in the 1990s, Jack Ma possessed the resilience to put one foot in front of the other until he finally made it. “It’s important to have patience,” he says.

                                        10. Tan Min Liang: Passion Can Pay Off

                                          Tan Min Liang is the founder of the leading high-performance gaming hardware, Razer. Always on the look out for new opportunities to connect and scale his business, Tan has been bold in making many of his life’s decisions.

                                          Having deviated from a traditional path set by a family that consists of doctors and lawyers, Tan was to find his life’s work and passion while gaming with his older brother.

                                          The idea was simple: there were so many games out there to play, however, there were hardly any gaming equipment to match this.

                                          So he dropped out of law and began going a different direction, into creating solutions in the gaming industry. At the start of 2019, Tan wrote to tech luminary Elon Musk to which Musk’s reply suggested of a joint venture between two of the most successful entrepreneurs today.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          In today’s cutthroat world, the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is a long and arduous process trailed with ups and downs. A valuable lesson that a good hand of entrepreneurs would love to convey to aspiring entrepreneurs is to keep the spirit of innovation and to explore uncharted waters.

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                                          Learning from experience and failure is one direction to a desired end goal. Exhibiting the same dedication and grit so many entrepreneurs have through their unexpected careers – today’s budding visionaries ought to hang on their dreams and leave room for improvement along the way.

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                                          Featured photo credit: Patrick Tomasso via unsplash.com

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