My list of startups to die for!

I am myself one of those people that can browse for hours in search for interesting companies. I sometimes get so hooked up that I loose track of time completely. What attracts me the most is the perseverance that the founders must have had to make such businesses work. And then there’s their missions, the change they hope to bring in this world, their products, services, how cool their teams are, or the interesting things they blog about. I get a great deal of daydreaming, ideas, imaginative projects, all covered in the powerful feeling I will one day be an entrepreneur myself. Yep, I just wrote that.

I find out about them through websites like Mashable, The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and many alike, or through magazines like Kinfolk and Frankie. Sometimes is just a Facebook post and I am trapped. My agenda has some names scribbled here and there, my browser’s reading list saves home pages of different startups, but today I decided to keep them all in one list (alphabetical order, for that matter) and to share it with whoever is under the startup magic spell.

This list is incomplete, and I will return to it whenever I will make a new discovery. Stay tuned and allow yourself to be inspired!

Ace & Tate: is an eyewear frames design company, that offers it’s customers the luxury of buying quality frames manufactured in Italy at fair prices. The affordable prices and cool designs allow customers match their frames to the fast changing fashion trends, without having to take a loan from the bank (if you know what I mean). If you wear glasses, you’ll understand my excitement. Founded 2013, HQ Amsterdam, NL

ADX: is a collaborative makerspace where members can share workshop facilities, tools, co-working space, and learn new skills by hanging out with designers, teachers, makers and experts. Founded 2011, based in Portland, OR

Behance: it’s an online platform where creatives can showcase their work and share it world wide to gain exposure, and where companies can explore the work and access talent on a global scale. Founded 2006, HQ New York, NY

Cole + Parker: it’s a socks producing company, with a twist. Cole+Parker produces very trendy socks that not only make it’s customers look good, but 20% of their earnings also support entrepreneurs and small businesses around the world.  Founded 2013, HQ New York, NY

Enstitute: is a USA non-profit organisation that provides young adults with one year, full-time apprenticeships at high growth startups, small businesses, and corporations around the states to prepare them for the 21st century workforce and accelerate their career. It gained my heart from the first second! Founded 2012, HQ: New York, NY

frog design: is a global product strategy, design and innovation consultancy company, that combines research, strategy, technology, and design to create products and services. Mind-blowing things are happening there. Founded 1969, HQ: San Francisco, CA

Fueled: builds mobile apps, website and the entire brand image if needed for start-ups and big-name companies. They also created a cool shared workplace in Manhattan, called Fueled Collective. Founded in 2011, HQ New York, NY

Global Good Fund: makes a 15-months leadership development program for social entrepreneurs possible. The social innovator needs to pass a 360 behaviour-based leadership assessment process at the beginning, and then receives a personalised development plan to be implemented with the support of an executive coach. Founded 2012, HQ Arlington, VA

Javelin: is an enterprise software firm that helps companies determine whether a business idea is worth implementing by using two products: “QuickMVP” is a simple tool that helps entrepreneurs quickly identify the potential of a new idea, and “Lean Startup Machine” is a 3-day bootcamp to help you start a successful new business. Founded 2010, HQ New York, NY

Kidaptive: is an innovative education and technology company dedicated to empowering children, parents, and educators through powerful adaptive learning tools. By enabling personalised learning for each child, Kidaptive aims to increase engagement, optimize learning, and improve outcomes for kids worldwide. Founded 2011, HQ Mountain View, CA

Kiva: it’s an online lending platform that allow people to lend money via Internet to low-income entrepreneurs and student in 86 countries around the world. Check out their loan model and how everything works, I guarantee you’ll fall in love! Founded 2005, HQ San Francisco, CA

SoapBox: is selling soap bars, liquor soap and body wash, and for every purchase, they donate a soap bar, a month of fresh water or a month of vitamins to people in developing countries. How could anyone not love SoapBar and their mission?! Founded 2010, HQ Alexandria, VA

Square: an online POS System and App that tracks your sales in real time, emails personalised receipts to your eco-friendly customers, manages inventory, and gives you a glimpse on how your business is doing by using easy-to-understand charts and graphs. Founded 2009, HQ San Francisco, CA

Thumbtack: is a consumer service for finding and hiring local professionals for their personal projects: anything from a DJ, florist, tutor, painter, personal trainer to massage expert, accountant or bodyguard. It allows service providers and consumers to find each other and negotiate jobs online. Founded 2009, HQ San Francisco, CA

UpWork (former Elance – oDesk): is an online platform where freelancers and businesses connect and collaborate independently. If you are a designer, photographer, translator or any other independent professional, UpWork can help you land projects at different small or big companies. Founded 2003, Campbell, CA

UserVoice: gathers customer feedback from social media, web reviews etc. in multiple forms and combines it with user analytics helping businesses get a better understanding of their customers and implement better user engagement programs. Founded 2008, HQ San Francisco, CA

Zenefits: offers online HR services like payroll, benefits, compliance, health insurance, and integrated HR software useful for reporting, on-boarding, time tracking, etc. And it’s free. Yup, correct: FREE! now tell me, how can anyone pass by this company without remembering it? Founded in 2013, HQ San Francisco, CA

Do you have any preferred startups that inspire you? You are welcome to drop me a line in the comment box below!

Until next time, dare to play with your ideas!

Yours truly,

Ana

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