Success for any specific startup (even a competitor) is always a good thing for the wider startup community. Why? Because it grows the size of the pie for all of us. The more praise and success stories seen and publicised from our sector, the more benefits will flow. The benefits include easier access to funding, greater media interest in new ventures, more support from government, and most importantly, greater trust from potential new customers
So, let’s make sure 2014 sees even more cross promotion and support for fellow entrepreneurs and new business ventures. With that said, let’s look at three startups that stood out for us last year.
2013 was a huge year for Hailo, the app that is redefining the taxi industry. Here’s how they describe their service: “Use Hailo to hail a taxi with just two taps. No more arm flailing, trying your luck with cab roulette. Automatically pay with your credit or debit card. No hidden fees, and we accept cash, too. Hailo works with licensed and trustworthy taxi drivers, and approves each driver individually.” We love Hailo because they solve a problem (well, a few actually) and just make life easier. We liked the fact that Hailo were one of the only businesses to survive reputation intact from this BBC report.
Trustev is another emerging startup that hugely impressed us in 2013. With high profile fraud cases and frequent news bulletins about the elusive Edward Snowden, 2013 was dominated by data and identity security issues. This surely helped Trustev expand their customer base with their real-time online identity verification process that eliminates fraud from e-commerce transactions.
For any tech startup, finding great programmers will always be a challenge. That’s why we love what Coderdojo are doing – they run an open source, volunteer led, global movement of free coding clubs for young people. Their achievements have been outstanding with over 200 registered ‘dojos’ training over 6,450 attendees in more than 20 counties worldwide.
Hailo, Trustev, and Coderdojo should all be recognised for the great work they’ve done in finding a problem and then producing a bold solution to really shake things up. We know just how hard it can be to reach and sustain this kind of success – CurrencyFair’s competitors are the big banks so, believe us, we know what’s involved!
Some of the many other companies we’ll be watching and supporting this year include:
- Wattics – Perfectly positioned in a time of rising energy costs, Wattics helps any type of businesses save money by reducing their energy costs using simple software;
- KeyMe – Unfortunately they’re only operating in New York but we can’t wait for them to expand as we’re all likely to be locked out at some inopportune time;
- Popsnap – A fun, helpful app which lets you order high quality photo prints direct from your iPhone for delivery anywhere in the world;
- Uber – Could this be the new Hailo for local transport?
- Coursera – We love what they’re doing – they partner with top universities around the world to offer courses online for anyone to take for free; and
- Udemy – They curate some very cool short courses, particularly in the tech arena.
Remember, the accomplishments of these companies make it easier for all of us so let’s continue to spread the word.
Brett Meyers is founder and CEO of CurrencyFair.
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