Some of The Best Startups of 2014
By Jason Nunnelly
This summer I watched Roland Ligtenberg
and Ian Heidt
to Robert Scoble
at his home in Half Moon Bay. After a quick “why I won’t like this,” he got down to peppering the two founders with curious and excited questions. We were mesmerized by what hinted to be a boring app.
Home repair and handyman markets seem crowded and uninteresting, and then this app perfectly delivers every part of the transaction. It is the better mousetrap of home repair. The sleek experience walks you through finding a professional, price shopping, hiring, ratings, scheduling, arrival tracking, even billing and payment. It’s the one stop shop for anything home repair, and will no doubt supplant virtually any other conduit to professional services where it’s available.
Crowdfunding may be the disruption space of 2014, with more than $55K raised on Kickstarter for potato salad, both mocking the trend and proving its worth, and new niche venues like CrowdedReality.com, a site that helps crowdfund reality television shows. So far, CrowdedReality fully funded Kung Fu Redemption, and the site includes projects like Curvy Girl Inc, a reality show about a lingerie shop for fat and fabulous women.
My favorite app find of the year is Moovit
. While in Washington DC, it helped me navigate from A to B, metro to walking without a glitch. They recently received a $50 million funding round, though they launched in 2011. Transportation tech just keeps getting better thanks in part to Israeli startups, which may be the startup story of the decade with companies like Waze
, and Fiverr.
Silicon Valley also benefits from Israeli exports like Or Arbel of Yo, the silly app of the year. Yo broke out when Robert Scoble posted to Facebook: “This is the stupidest, most addictive app I’ve ever seen in my life.”
We Yo’d for weeks. They raised $1.2 million. And, now it’s a growing and expanding platform.
Among home automation startups like Nest and Dropcam, Wattcost promises to give us smarter and more efficient homes, promising to save money on your power bill.