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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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              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

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                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

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                  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

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                      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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                      Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                      How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

                      How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

                      Taking your work to the next level means setting and keeping career goals. A career goal is a targeted objective that explains what you want your ultimate profession to be.

                      Defining career goals is a critical step to achieving success. You need to know where you’re going in order to get there. Knowing what your career goals are isn’t just important for you–it’s important for potential employers too. The relationship between an employer and an employee works best when your goals for the future and their goals align. Saying, “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll do anything,” makes you seem indecisive, and opens you up to taking on ill-fitting tasks that won’t lead you to your dream life.

                      Career goal templates’ one-size-fits-all approach won’t consider your unique goals and experiences. They won’t help you stand out, and they may not reflect your full potential.

                      In this article, I’ll help you to define your career goals with SMART goal framework, and will provide you with a list of examples goals for work and career.

                      How to Define Your Career Goal with SMART

                      Instead of relying on a generalized framework to explain your vision, use a tried-and-true goal-setting model. SMART is an acronym for “Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic with Timelines.”[1] The SMART framework demystifies goals by breaking them into smaller steps.

                      Helpful hints when setting SMART career goals:

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                      • Start with short-term goals first. Work on your short-term goals, and then progress the long-term interests.[2] Short-term goals are those things which take 1-3 years to complete. Long-term goals take 3-5 years to do. As you succeed in your short-term goals, that success should feed into accomplishing your long-term goals.
                      • Be specific, but don’t overdo it. You need to define your career goals, but if you make them too specific, then they become unattainable. Instead of saying, “I want to be the next CEO of Apple, where I’ll create a billion-dollar product,” try something like, “My goal is to be the CEO of a successful company.”
                      • Get clear on how you’re going to reach your goals. You should be able to explain the actions you’ll take to advance your career. If you can’t explain the steps, then you need to break your goal down into more manageable chunks.
                      • Don’t be self-centered. Your work should not only help you advance, but it should also support the goals of your employer. If your goals differ too much, then it might be a sign that the job you’ve taken isn’t a good fit.

                      If you want to learn more about setting SMART Goals, watch the video below to learn how you can set SMART career goals.

                      After you’re clear on how to set SMART goals, you can use this framework to tackle other aspects of your work. For instance, you might set SMART goals to improve your performance review, look for a new job, or shift your focus to a different career.

                      We’ll cover examples of ways to use SMART goals to meet short-term career goals in the next section.

                      Why You Need an Individual Development Plan

                      Setting goals is one part of the larger formula for success. You may know what you want to do, but you also have to figure out what skills you have, what you lack, and where your greatest strengths and weaknesses are.

                      One of the best ways to understand your capabilities is by using the Science Careers Individual Development Plan skills assessment. It’s free, and all you need to do is register an account and take a few assessments.

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                      These assessments will help you determine if your career goals are realistic. You’ll come away with a better understanding of your unique talents and skill-sets. You may decide to change some of your career goals or alter your timeline based on what you learn.

                      40 Examples of Goals for Work & Career

                      All this talk of goal-setting and self-assessment may sound great in theory, but perhaps you need some inspiration to figure out what your goals should be.

                      For Changing a Job

                      1. Attend more networking events and make new contacts.
                      2. Achieve a promotion to __________ position.
                      3. Get a raise.
                      4. Plan and take a vacation this year.
                      5. Agree to take on new responsibilities.
                      6. Develop meaningful relationships with your coworkers and clients.
                      7. Ask for feedback on a regular basis.
                      8. Learn how to say, “No,” when you are asked to take on too much.
                      9. Delegate tasks that you no longer need to be responsible for.
                      10. Strive to be in a leadership role in __ number of years.

                      For Switching Career Path

                      1. Pick up and learn a new skill.
                      2. Find a mentor.
                      3. Become a volunteer in the field that interests you.
                      4. Commit to getting training or going back to school.
                      5. Read the most recent books related to your field.
                      6. Decide whether you are happy with your work-life balance and make changes if necessary. [3]
                      7. Plan what steps you need to take to change careers.[4]
                      8. Compile a list of people who could be character references or submit recommendations.
                      9. Commit to making __ number of new contacts in the field this year.
                      10. Create a financial plan.

                      For Getting a Promotion

                      1. Reduce business expenses by a certain percentage.
                      2. Stop micromanaging your team members.
                      3. Become a mentor.
                      4. Brainstorm ways that you could improve your productivity and efficiency at work
                      5. Seek a new training opportunity to address a weakness.[5]
                      6. Find a way to organize your work space.[6]
                      7. Seek feedback from a boss or trusted coworker every week/ month/ quarter.
                      8. Become a better communicator.
                      9. Find new ways to be a team player.
                      10. Learn how to reduce work hours without compromising productivity.

                      For Acing a Job Interview

                      1. Identify personal boundaries at work and know what you should do to make your day more productive and manageable.
                      2. Identify steps to create a professional image for yourself.
                      3. Go after the career of your dreams to find work that does not feel like a job.
                      4. Look for a place to pursue your interest and apply your knowledge and skills.
                      5. Find a new way to collaborate with experts in your field.
                      6. Identify opportunities to observe others working in the career you want.
                      7. Become more creative and break out of your comfort zone.
                      8. Ask to be trained more relevant skills for your work.
                      9. Ask for opportunities to explore the field and widen your horizon
                      10. Set your eye on a specific award at work and go for it.

                      Career Goal Setting FAQs

                      I’m sure you still have some questions about setting your own career goals, so here I’m listing out the most commonly asked questions about career goals.

                      1. What if I’m not sure what I want my career to be?

                      If you’re uncertain, be honest about it. Let the employer know as much as you know about what you want to do. Express your willingness to use your strengths to contribute to the company. When you take this approach, back up your claim with some examples.

                      If you’re not even sure where to begin with your career, check out this guide:

                      How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

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                      2. Is it okay to lie about my career goals?

                      Lying to potential employers is bound to end in disaster. In the interview, a lie can make you look foolish because you won’t know how to answer follow up questions.

                      Even if you think your career goal may not precisely align with the employer’s expectations for a long-term hire, be open and honest. There’s probably more common ground than they realize, and it’s up to you to bridge any gaps in expectations.

                      Being honest and explaining these connections shows your employer that you’ve put a lot of thought into this application. You aren’t just telling them what they want to hear.

                      3. Is it better to have an ambitious goal, or should I play it safe?

                      You should have a goal that challenges you, but SMART goals are always reasonable. If you put forth a goal that is way beyond your capabilities, you will seem naive. Making your goals too easy shows a lack of motivation.

                      Employers want new hires who are able to self-reflect and are willing to take on challenges.

                      4. Can I have several career goals?

                      It’s best to have one clearly-defined career goal and stick with it. (Of course, you can still have goals in other areas of your life.) Having a single career goal shows that you’re capable of focusing, and it shows that you like to accomplish what you set out to do.

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                      On the other hand, you might have multiple related career goals. This could mean that you have short-term goals that dovetail into your ultimate long-term career goal. You might also have several smaller goals that feed into a single purpose.

                      For example, if you want to become a lawyer, you might become a paralegal and attend law school at the same time. If you want to be a school administrator, you might have initial goals of being a classroom teacher and studying education policy. In both cases, these temporary jobs and the extra education help you reach your ultimate goal.

                      Summary

                      You’ll have to devote some time to setting career goals, but you’ll be so much more successful with some direction. Remember to:

                      • Set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, and Realistic with Timelines. When you set goals with these things in mind, you are likely to achieve the outcomes you want.
                      • Have short-term and long-term goals. Short-term career goals can be completed in 1-3 years, while long-term goals will take 3-5 years to finish. Your short-term goals should set you up to accomplish your long-term goals.
                      • Assess your capabilities by coming up with an Individual Development Plan. Knowing how to set goals won’t help you if you don’t know yourself. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are by taking some self-assessments.
                      • Choose goals that are appropriate to your ultimate aims. Your career goals should be relevant to one another. If they aren’t, then you may need to narrow your focus. Your goals should match the type of job that you want and the quality of life that you want to lead.
                      • Be clear about your goals with potential employers. Always be honest with potential employers about what you want to do with your life. If your goals differ from the company’s objectives, find a way bridge the gap between what you want for yourself and what your employer expects.

                      By doing goal-setting work now, you’ll be able to make conscious choices on your career path. You can always adjust your plan if things change for you, but the key is to give yourself a road map for success.

                      More Tips About Setting Work Goals

                      Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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