The motivation to create new products — and start companies that will make those products — come from a variety of places. Some entrepreneurs are interested in making processes more efficient. Some are looking for ways to save people money. Some are hoping they can save the world. Whatever the motivation, entrepreneurs inspire with their creative way of taking a problem and finding a solution.
In an effort to find the most innovative new companies, Startup Open,a competition that searches for startups with the greatest growth potential, chose 50 companiesto compete for the opportunity to present their business plans to experienced entrepreneurs, and gain insight from the experts.
The two winners were announced on Nov. 14as the kickoff event to "Global Entrepreneur Week."Kavita Shukla, founder of Fenugreen, a company that works to reduce food spoilage during transportation, will be heading to Liverpool, England, in March 2012 to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. Jason Ethier, founder of Dynamo Micropower, developed a proprietary ultra-micro turbine architecture; he will receive a year of mentoring from Redbox founding members and serial entrepreneurs Michael DeLazzer and Biju Kulathak.
Here is a sampling of the 50 competitors, representing a range of ideas from around the world. "These 50 companies represent the best and brightest of today's entrepreneurs — and they hold the key to spurring economic revival and sustained growth," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, which sponsors Global Entrepreneur Week. "We hope that recognizing these promising startups will inspire other aspiring entrepreneurs to take chances and start new ventures."
So, what are some promising new startups this year? Click ahead for a selection from Startup Open's list.
By Patricia Orsini
Posted 14 November 2011
Entrepreneur: Jeremy Ellens
Ellens Technologies develops veterinary mobile applications for the iPhone, iPad, and iTouch, including an application that assists veterinarians in diagnosing small animals by starting with a symptom and ruling out causes while moving towards the problem. By making this information available on a smartphone or tablet device, diagnoses can be made more quickly.
Entrepreneurs: Larry Zana, Sam Rothstein
ChroKnow brings speed to the development of controlled-release medications and other microencapsulated products using patent-pending algorithms and proprietary software.
ChroKnow’s business model is to form strategic partnerships with emerging pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Entrepreneur: Jody Presti
With JobOn, job seekers record responses to common interview questions. JobOn saves their “First Impression,” which job hunters use to apply for positions. JobOn lists all opportunities in an applicant’s neighborhood. Hiring managers can log in to their computer, watch as many “First Impressions” as they like, and contact applicants on their schedule.
Entrepreneur: Daniel Odio
San Francisco, California
According to research, user engagement dwindles to a measly 1 percent 90 days after an app is downloaded. With Socialize, an app becomes social, not solitary, giving people more incentive to use apps. More than 1,400 apps currently feature Socialize’s social functionality thanks to AppMakr, a do-it-yourself app-creation platform owned by Socialize. AppMakr boasts more than 4,000 apps in the marketplace.
Entrepreneur: Richard Hardin
Flight Hub is a plug-and-play avionics signal-routing platform with the capability to diagnose instrument accuracy and functionality in aircraft instrument panels. The company says it streamlines instrumentation refit process, reduces aircraft downtime, and increases aircraft utilization.
Entrepreneur: Angela Newnam
Knock out! makes panties that use patented NO TRACE technology to create high-tech fabric. The NO TRACE technology imbeds cotton with the performance features of wicking, quick-drying, and odor-absorption, while maintaining the natural softness, breathability, and comfort of cotton.
Entrepreneur: Ed Martinez
San Francisco, California
Giggo is a social commerce company that enables brands and businesses to reach customers via games. Brands and businesses can use Giggo’s social commerce platform to set up games within advertising campaigns, using entertainment to reach consumers.
Entrepreneur: Joe James
Columbia, South Carolina
ATP-SC is the production operations subsidiary of Agri-Tech Producers, which specialize in a technology that creates a clean and renewable coal alternative, liquid fuels, and water-resistant plastics, among other products. ATP is also building machines for sale to others and to use in its subsidiaries' processing plants.
Entrepreneur: David Metoyer
reNature takes a unique and critical role in propelling society toward a more sustainable model by closing the loop on the nutrient cycle and reducing landfill waste. reNature shifts industrial waste-management practices to a process that preserves valuable nutrients typically burned off or buried by traditional practices. reNature technology presents a distributed waste-disposal model that can turn around waste 10 times faster than existing methods. The end-product will be sold directly to farmers, introducing strong competition in fertilizer markets. In addition to the benefits, reNature’s technology can add to large-scale agricultural production, and the renewed focus on purchasing locally grown produce provides an additional market incentive for reNature's technology.
reNature also creates permanent local jobs within the markets and municipalities it serves.
Entrepreneur: Kavita Shukla
Fenugreen is bringing to market an all-natural material that addresses the global challenge of food spoilage. Fenugreen is a formula made of botanical extracts that can extends shelf life of perishables such as fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese and seafood by inhibiting bacterial/fungal growth as well as enzymes that cause food breakdown. It has about 75 percent the effectiveness of refrigeration without associated energy or infrastructure costs.
Entrepreneur: Leonard Fishman
Pledge4Good, unlike other online fundraising platforms, aims to make donating to charity fun, casual, and more social, according to the company. The business allows users to tie donations to everyday achievements and leverage social media to invite friends to match a pledge.
When users achieve their goals, they check-in through the company's mobile app or website, their achievements are broadcast to their social networks, and all corresponding donations are effected. Pledge4Good is part of the University of Pennsylvania's startup accelerator and the company is expected to launch in the coming weeks.
Entrepreneur: Amit Maimon
New York City, New York
Socrative helps teachers engage students through a series of educational exercises and games, through tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Socrative makes it easy for teachers to gear materials to their students’ ability. It also creates visual representation of results, giving teachers quick access to assessments of students’ progress.
Entrepreneur: Narcisse Mbunzama Lokwa
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mobile Agribusiness is an application that delivers information (weather, crop pricing, available land, etc.) and skills (how to use fertilizer, how to plant crops, etc.) to Congolese farmers, helping them to improve their productivity, and connect them to available markets through computers, mobile phones, and tablets.
Entrepreneur: Karen Freer
Brooklyn, New York
Free Bread will manufacture fresh, gluten-free rolls in four varieties: Sourdough Cream Cheese, Jalepeno Cheddar and Buttermilk, Millet Oat and Flax, and Cranberry Pepita Sunflower Seed. Free Bread will distribute these rolls to coffee shops and food purveyors around New York City, making fresh, gluten-free bread available to people who've never before been able to enjoy it.
Entrepreneur: Aaon Aycock
Sugar Hill, Georgia
CubeVibe provides on-demand employee engagement software for companies, so they can improve performance with clear goals and real-time feedback. The company combines performance data with employee sentiment to provide a clear view of employee engagement company-wide.