When you think of startups and the United States, chances are you think of Silicon Valley. Whilst the valley, which we’ve mentioned in the past, is unquestionably a major hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, there are other areas to consider. Boston is the Home of MassChallenge, the worlds largest accelerator. New York is home to hundreds of startups, one of our favourites being Kickstarter. Chances are though, that you don’t automatically connect LA with startups. You would be wrong though, as there are many interesting startups in the region that you definitely need to know about and keep an eye on. Here are 4 of the most disruptive.
The elevator pitch: Acorns is an app that automatically invests your spare change.
Acorns is an app that you connect to your credit card. Each and every time you make a purchase for say $10.67, the Acorns app rounds that amount up to the nearest dollar and invests it for you in a diversified portfolio. This app is perfect for new investors that haven’t got a clue as to what they’re doing. It’s all an automatic process that works for you. The cost for all this goodness? A mere $1 per month as long as your account balance is under $5,000.
Acorns has already received serious funding ($32 million) so there are people out there that believe this idea can and will work. There really isn’t much risk here, other than spending $1 so check it out.
The elevator pitch: Burner is an app that allows you to create disposable phone numbers.
Burner is basically an app that allows you to create a temporary phone number, which you can use for any period of time you like and then burn once you don’t want to be contacted from it anymore. No need to give out fake numbers and keep messing with your caller I.D settings anymore for those problematic calls we all need to make from time to time. We all have people we need to contact but would rather they didn’t have our number. Now there is a solution. The startup has already raised $2 million in investments, so if they can keep their burn rate under control the future looks promising.
The elevator pitch: ZipRecruiter allows you to hire new employees without any hassle.
ZipRecruiter is a new job platform that allows small businesses to find and hire the right person quickly and easily. The employer simply posts a listing and it’s then shared on social media and popular sites such as glassdoor.com and monster.com. If you’d rather go fishing and actively look for your next employee rather than waiting for them to come to you, ZipRecruiter has your back. You can search through a massive database of well over 3.5 million job seekers. On the job seekers side, ZipRecruiter will offer recommended jobs on a daily basis based on your information, skills and settings. On average, since its launch in 2010, over 700,000 new jobs have been posted everyday! Of course, as with many social services these days, there is a clever algorithm that does its best to show both employers and job seekers what is most relevant for them.
ZipRecruiter has big money behind them. $63 million to be exact that was secured in late 2014.
The elevator pitch: GoodRX will find the cheapest pharmacy with your prescription medication.
GoodRX was founded in 2011, yet hasn’t made any big headlines. This app is basically your typical online price comparison tool, but with a catch. It compares drug prices. All you need to do is download the app, type in the name of the prescription drug you need and the app gets to work comparing prices within your vicinity. It will then show you a list of prices and locations. The app is constantly updated and will even let you know of specific discounts at various locations. You may discard this app as being nothing special, but medication can get very expensive. We have no doubt that more people are going to gain access to the medication they need thanks to this app.
The elevator pitch: Washio is the Uber of laundry, an on demand solution for your laundry needs.
On demand services seem to be the next big thing. Combine this new trend with a task most of us hate doing and you get Washio. A startup that will allow you to never do any laundry again. Washio has its own app from which you can seclude a convenient time to have your laundry picked up by a Washio ninja and they will have it back to you the next day. The average cost in the San Francisco area is about $1.60 per pound. The service is available in San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C and Boston with more locations coming soon. So if you dread doing you’re laundry you might be in luck if you happen to live in any of the above locations.
Feature image: Nathan @ Flickr