Some entrepreneurs are interested in making processes more efficient. Others are looking for ways to save people money. Still others are hoping they can save the world. Whatever their motivation, entrepreneurs have the ability to inspire others with their creative way of taking a problem and finding a solution.
In an effort to find the most innovative new companies, Startup Open, an annual competition, invites 50 companies to vie for the opportunity to present their business plans to experienced entrepreneurs, and gain insight from the experts.
"Young companies need encouragement and recognition at the earliest stages. They are emerging heroes who will eventually generate jobs and economic growth for their communities," said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week Startup Open.
Here is a sampling of the 50 competitors, representing a range of ideas from around the world. The winners will be announced on Nov. 12 as the kickoff event to the "Global Entrepreneurship Week" Congress in March 2013.
So, what are some promising new startups this year? Click ahead for a selection from Startup Open's list.
Posted 9 November 2012
Entrepreneur: Martin Romero
Bonuu! is an online loyalty system for small and medium businesses. It replaces traditional discount cards, which can't be customized and aren't sufficiently sticky, with a unique customer rewards program that reflects the culture of small and medium companies.
Entrepreneur: Junaid Kalmadi
Charlie is a mobile app that arms users with important information about a user's contacts just when it's needed. The website, www.trycharlie.com, is in beta.
Entrepreneur: Daniel Ponce
CityHeroes believes in better citizens, committed companies and safer cities. The organization tackles the problem of public and private safety — or the lack of it. Combining web/mobile and hardware technologies, CityHeroes connects people with their closest circle of friends, colleagues and communities to report and solve daily issues and threatening situations. Based on people's behavior, CityHeroes create a collaborative culture between people allowing them to face a problem before it scales — saving money, time and lives.
Entrepreneur: Matt Villarreal
CleanNG's mission is to increase fuel range and efficiency of natural-gas and hydrogen vehicle fuel systems. The company's first product is the MagmaCel Fuel Storage System, a next generation, liner-less composite pressure vessel for onboard storage of natural gas and hydrogen fuels. The MagmaCel reduces the weight and size of the fuel storage system while increasing storage capacity.
Entrepreneur: Shahab Kavaini
CoFoundersLab is an online matching system connecting entrepreneurs who are looking to join a startup or who are seeking business partner to join them. Think eHarmony™ for entrepreneurs.
On their site, you can search for co-founders in a particular city, or post a profile to be discovered by entrepreneurs who could turn out to be a perfect match. CoFoundersLab also organizes free, in-person networking events that take place every other month across the United States. The organization has teamed with the top startup brands in each market.
Co-FoundersLab's blog provides insight and advice to help people find their business partner, set up a partnership in an equitable fashion, and ensure that the partnership lasts.
Entrepreneur: Kamil Nabong
Dropifi provides a replacement for "contact us" buttons with a smart widget that allows companies to better analyze incoming messages, discover the real personalities and emotions behind messages and re-channel them to the right persons in their organizations based on business rules they set.
Entrepreneur: Wouter Kneepkens
Favour.it provides users a platform to publish, share and find their favorite on- and offline entertainment, as well as those of their friends and experts. Through Favour.it, users discover cool stuff and make sure they're never short of books to read, movies to see or games to play.
Entrepreneur: Alfred Shaffir
Folloyu increases online sales conversion rates and mobile presence by enabling website visitors to transfer and continue their session on another device (i.e. start playing a game on your PC then switch to smartphone to the same spot in the game).
Entrepreneur: Mathew Georghio
GoVenture World is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) that enables thousands or millions of players around the world to play the game simultaneously, competing and collaborating with each other in a global business competition.
GoVenture World is virtual, but the entrepreneurship experience is real. The objective of the game is to build a successful business, as defined by revenue, profitability, market share, brand value, stock price and more. To build a successful business, one must compete with businesses for resources and market share, while collaborating with other businesses to manufacture, acquire and sell products or services.
Players can choose to start manufacturing or retail businesses, or can be lawyers, protecting intellectual property and mediating disputes, or marketers, helping companies promote their products and services. And they can be investors, providing debt or equity financing to other businesses, or purchasing stock on the GoVenture World stock exchange.
Entrepreneur: Holland Wood
Ikehu Natural is developing a software platform for electric utilities that includes a cloud-based service that gives electric utilities the ability to offer airline miles as an incentive for responsible energy use. Ikehu is also developing a free mobile app for consumers.
Entrepreneur: Erin Cullen
New Jersey, USA
Jebbit, Inc. is an interactive website that creates an alternative platform for advertising to college students. The company is based on being the most effective and efficient resource available to those who create advertisements and those who are viewing them.
Entrepreneur: Pavel Cherkashin
Kuznech invented technology to find similar images among the billions on the web by using visual context rather than text meta data. This technology e-commerce applications (searching for similar products), social networking (finding new friends with similar visual interests) and a wide range of other general search applications.
Entrepreneur: Gayathri Santhanam
Kwickeye is a virtual wishlist with a social twist. The Kwickadd tool adds any item from any website to a wishlist. Friends and family instantly see what is added and can keep an eye on the products to surprise recipients on special occasions, making giving and receiving gifts easy and fun. The company's initial target market is moms with younger kids, who are constantly looking for gifts for the endless round of birthday parties.
Entrepreneur: Tessa Davis
Learnmed provides affordable, quality, online exam revision resources for junior doctors in Australia. Teaching resources take the form of webcasts for each topic within a course. For example, the first course is on image interpretation for the pediatric exams. Doctors pay a subscription for a year's access and then are able to stream the webcasts (around 20 webcasts per course).
All profits will be channeled into running pediatric first aid training with the Aboriginal community (a project which is supported by Aboriginal Medical Services) to help close the gap and improve the high rates of mortality through injury within this population. The program will start with one specific revision course — pediatrics.
Entrepreneur: David Vortman
Lumos brings affordable energy to 1.5 billion people in the off-grid world by providing a home power station in a box, allowing users to purchase electricity on demand using their mobile phone.
Entrepreneur: Robyn Spoto
The MamaBear App is a tool to tame parental anxiety when children are exploring the world without parents. The app allows parents to set up social media alerts, letting them know when their children make new friends online, are tagged in photos or use inappropriate language; driving alerts notify parents when their children exceed a set speed limit; and location alerts notify parents when their children leave school early or arrive late, visit locations deemed off-limits or leave a place their children were dropped-off. Or, parents can breathe a sigh of relief simply seeing where their children are at any moment.
Entrepreneur: Carly Giammona
North Carolina, USA
Mefiver creates denim looks without any indigo dyes or garment distressing procedures, using a fraction of the water, chemistry, waste and energy. Harnessing sustainable textile, apparel and design technologies, Mefiver has developed a process that aims to revolutionize the denim manufacturing process and rejuvenate the American textile industry.
Entrepreneur: Assaf Murkes
Neomatix offers tire monitoring solutions for drivers and vehicle fleets.
Entrepreneur: Kuzie Nhakaniso
PlaceKnow.com seeks to be a meeting place for everyone to see and inform each other of locations they like or places they come from. The mission is to present an easy-to-use, informative and entertaining pictorial atlas of the world. PlaceKnow.com provides its users with the opportunity to make new friends, comment, and share the best things to do within a location. Since its inception four months ago, users have uploaded more than 300,000 photographs from approximately 1,500 locations around world.
Entrepreneur: Perihan AbouZeid
Qabila capitalizes on crowdsourcing and digital media to provide clients with cost-effective content that reaches their target audience. Qabila guarantees that a client's message reaches the target audience effectively, by studying the audience behavior and adopting a crowdsourcing model that actively interacts and engages the audience to better understand them.
Entrepreneur: Garrett Lauringson
Quest.to helps users organize lists and benefit from the knowledge of interactive communities sharing their experiences. Users can also discover new activities based on personal context.
Entrepreneur: Michael Bergman
REPP creates verified profiles, owned by the individual, to share with people met through commerce, dating or networking sites. REPP provides identity and photo verification along with background checks that users verify. REPP profiles are embedded and shared, and users can request others provide their REPP profile.
Entrepreneur: Christian Del Rosso
Selfloops is a fitness tracking platform for athletes and sport enthusiasts. Linking sensors, it analyzes the most important metrics during training or a race to allow people to improve their performance. The service is being tested with the Italian National Cycling Federation and a pro Italian cycling team.
Entrepreneur: Ian Haet
The Startup Stock Exchange provides a fully regulated stock exchange for startups and small businesses to connect directly with global investors. The platform creates a liquid market where these businesses can sell ownership shares directly to the investors. Those shares then trade freely on the open market. StartupStockExchange.net beta launched in late June and has received more than 70 company listing applications from 15 countries and registered investors from 21 countries. Final regulatory licenses are being completed and live trading is scheduled to begin in late 2012.
Entrepreneur: Kimberlie Cerrone
Tiatros offers the first versatile, HIPAA-compliant health cloud that connects healthcare providers, patients and their families with real-time health data and complete patient records within a secure environment. Tiatros' cloud-based solution is distinguished from the enterprise-based solutions already in widespread use, connecting providers within a single enterprise, often providing only a patient portal.
On Tiatros, healthcare providers in different clinical settings work together as collaborative care teams whose treatment decisions are coordinated and evidence-based. Patients and their families participate much more actively in their healthcare. Patients' complete medical records are secured within the Tiatros health cloud in seconds, including file types that have always been difficult and expensive to share, such as MRIs and ultrasounds. Everything is available immediately, and can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, on any Internet-enabled device.
Entrepreneur: Chandra Jacobs
Tripchi is a mobile travel app for business travelers who want more out of their limited leisure time. Tripchi provides business travelers with things to do during those unanticipated and often awkward periods of down-time.