2. MobileQubes

Founders: Sean Carrigan (CEO), Jason Palmer (COO)
Launched: 2014
Headquarters: New Orleans
Funding: $2.25 million

MobileQubes co-founder and CEO Sean Carrigan (left) and Jason Palmer, COO
Source: MobileQubes
MobileQubes co-founder and CEO Sean Carrigan (left) and Jason Palmer, COO

Anyone with a smartphone knows the sheer panic and frustration that sets in when you're traveling and your phone battery is about to die. The founders of MobileQubes certainly did, so they decided to do something about it. They created a network of self-service kiosks where customers can rent portable battery packs to charge their mobile devices on the go. A "qube," or battery pack, costs $4.99 to rent and has to be returned to any MobileQubes kiosk within 24 hours. Customers also have the option to buy the battery pack for $44.99.

So far, the company has inked deals to have its kiosks in 15 cities, including New York, Boston, Miami and San Francisco. The battery-dispensing machines are located in train stations, airports, hotels and other high-traffic areas. In 2015 the New Orleans-based company signed a deal with Amtrak to have its kiosks at eight hubs on the East Coast, among the railway's most heavily trafficked stations.

There are more than 300 MobileQubes kiosks across the country, with more on the way. In January 2016 the company raised $1 million in financing from the NO/LA Angel Network, an investor group run by Mike Eckert, former CEO of The Weather Channel. The money was used to continue its expansion and hire additional employees.

Latest Special Reports

  • A globe-trotting look at the world of investing, from developed Europe and Asia trends to the least-traveled frontier markets.

  • Take an in-depth look at the world of modern medicine - examining the treatments, companies and people making a difference in the way we treat illness and injuries today, and laying the foundation for the medical treatments of tomorrow.

  • Watch investments

    Covering the full set of tools and strategies for long-term investors: How to take everyday market fluctuations in stride, and when to know it’s time to take action or protect against a major economic shifts.