Snapshot: 10 Start-Ups to Love
I’m looking forward to the Start-Up Fair on February 1st for the chance to learn more about smaller companies that are making a real impact in their field. After working at a start-up last summer, I got to see why an internship or entry-level job at a start-up is awesome: because your voice tangibly influences the direction of the company. Here’s a list of ten start-ups I think you should look out for at the upcoming fair:
What it is: Formlabs is disrupting the 3D printing industry with the first truly high-resolution, low-cost desktop 3D printer that works out of the box: the Form 1. It enables designers and makers to create 3D forms by simply hitting the print button.
Fun fact: Launched in September 2012, the Form 1 was the most successful technology Kickstarter project of all time!
What it is: Wanderu is the first of its kind single-point ground travel search that helps consumer quickly and easily find and book inter-city buses and trains between any two points in the country.
Fun fact: Wanderu is a Mass Challenge Finalist, and the founder was one of BusinessWeek’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25.
What it is: SimpleTuition helps college students and their families save up to 20% on the cost of college with a student loan search and comparison engine, a vast textbook marketplace, and a new rewards program that pays down your student loans once you graduate.
Fun fact: Since its launch in 2006, SimpleTuition has helped more than 10 million families; they’ve been featured in leading publications such as The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek.
What it is: Venmo transforms payments into personal, fun communications experiences. The app helps users send money through their web, iPhone and Android platforms. They will be rolling out their first merchant-focused product early 2013.
Fun fact: Venmo was recently acquired by Braintree, a company that helps online businesses process credit card payments.
What it is: UbiCare is an award-winning electronic communication solutions company. Their research-based content and innovative technology enhance and streamline how organizations connect with and care for target populations, resulting in improved outcomes.
Rightside Shirts: www.rightsideshirts.org
What it is: A nonprofit t-shirt company that aims to raise money for art programs in public elementary and middle schools, and to increase creativity among youths. Their t-shirt designs come from elementary and middle school students, and the profits fund the art program at the designer’s school.
Fun fact: Rightside Shirts prints at least one design from each participating school, and those designs are printed exactly as they were rendered.
What it is: CommonBond provides lower cost, fixed-rate student loans to graduate students by sourcing capital from alumni and individual investors who earn a competitive financial return.
Fun fact: Beginning in January, CommonBond is now distributing $2.5 million of alumni investments to about 50 Wharton M.B.A. students and graduates to use in place of traditional loans or to refinance existing student debt.
What it is: Built by a hardcore team, Crashlytics is an elegant solution to a big data problem. The company finds the “needle in the haystack” to debug apps, even by finding the exact line of code that causes an app to crash.
Fun fact: Less than a year after launching, Crashlytics won the MITX Innovation Award in June 2012, which is a competition that celebrates the innovations powering the future of marketing and revolutionizing the way people work and play.
Endless Mobile: endlessm.com
What it is: Endless Mobile is developing software to connect the disconnected—to bring access to health, education, and livelihood to more people in developing countries. They are developing a platform to give computers to the next billion people in the developing world, not by donating them or lowering costs, but by empowering their mobile phones.
Fun fact: Endless Mobile is a for-profit company and offers competitive pay.
Gift Plum: www.giftplum.com
What it is: GiftPlum.com solves the gift-giving problem by combining a proprietary recommendation engine, a database of stylish blogger-recommended products, and a frictionless user interface, to provide custom gift recommendations for any occasion.
Fun fact: GiftPlum customizes gift searches by asking the user: “Picture life as one big store…In which aisle would we find your giftee?”
Julia Eger, ’14
For more information about the Start-Up Fair (and a complete list of participating organizations), click here.