7 Hot Startups
“We’re trapped in a world before later on,” laments New York alternative music duo They Might Be Giants, pointing out a problem with the future: it never seems to get here. But the truth is that we’re always on the cusp of the future, and it’s happening today because small business startups are making it happen.
Need convincing? Here are 7 hot startups that are paving the way for the world of the future, and doing it with good backing with loans for startup businesses.
What It Is: The startup business Blue Apron is one of the most exciting dinner kit delivery services out there. All you do is order a meal kit and all the ingredients are delivered to you, ready to cook. It includes vegetables, spices, meats, and grains, all in accordance with the menu item you select.
What It Will Become: Although Blue Apron is the cheapest dinner kit maker on the market, they’re still charging $9.99 per person per meal. That price will have to come down before this is a serious competitor to hitting the grocery store on the way home. In the future, though, you’ll likely just program in your menu, and the computer will select all the ingredients. It will also keep track of what you have on hand, schedule in leftovers, and divvy up ingredients to optimize your budget. Oh, and it will all be delivered by pneumatic tube.
What It Is: Flightcar is the next step in the car sharing culture. The premise is simple. Some people often arrive at the airport needing a car, while others often arrive at the airport and leave their car: why not bring these two people together? While you’re away on vacation, Flightcar rents your car out to someone who needs it.
What It Will Become: In the future, none of us will need to own cars. Most of us don’t use our car for more than an hour or so a day. Advanced computing (and maybe self-driving cars) will keep track of the location of all cars so that whenever you need a car, there’s one for you. You may have to walk a few blocks (or it will drive to you).
What It Is: ClearView Audio debuted its new technology with Clio, a transparent speaker. The tiny base unit causes the clear acrylic glass membrane to vibrate, delivering “room-filling” sound while blending into the background. It’s Bluetooth-connected to your iPod, iPad, or other device, so it just needs a wire for power supply.
What It Will Become: Why waste resources on something dedicated only to music? Why can’t windows do double-duty as speakers? Right now, the membrane is anchored on only one end, but in the future we’ll be able to make our windows vibrate even though they’re secure on all four sides. Or our walls. Or our ceiling. Talk about room-filling sound!
What It Is: Bounce Imaging’s product is small, inexpensive, throwable sensors that first-responders can toss into a room to see what’s happening before entering.
What It Will Become: First, they’ll become smaller and more resilient. Right now, the sensors are about the size of a baseball, but they’ll be the size of a golf ball soon. Eventually, they’ll become self-propelled, like the spiders in Minority Report.
What It Is: One of many start-ups that are trying to make Bitcoin more accessible. Somebody is going to take this or another purely digital currency and make it so accessible you won’t need any other currency. You can take your pick, but Circle has some great seed money ($9 million).
What It Will Become: Having our money guaranteed by a country makes less and less sense the more global and virtual our economy becomes. We need a universal exchangeable currency that everyone will accept and use the way we currently use dollars, yen, baht, and others.
What It Is: A company that builds and launches tiny satellites to get space imaging of any place you want. They sell their imaging services to scientists and businesses. Their goal is to own the largest fleet of imaging satellites and deliver the information in a completely open way.
What It Will Become: Eventually everyone will have access to realtime satellite imagery. This will remove the advantage that major players have in many areas of competition, from armed conflict to agriculture. By eliminating the huge pay-to-play barrier for satellite imagery, Planet Labs will give every startup the ability to compete on the big stage.
What It Is: If Blue Apron just makes you think about how cumbersome and annoying it is to have to prepare your food, maybe the Ambro future will appeal more to you. Ambro is a small Finnish company that offers an organic, liquid-based diet that provides all your daily nutrition requirements in a dish you can prepare in two minutes.
What It Will Become: What more do you want? All your food in a glass, prepared in just two minutes? I suppose it might be combined with Three-Course Dinner Chewing Gum, so that when you drink it it tastes like an appetizer, main dish, and finishes sweet like dessert. But that’s putting a pretty fine point on it.
Don’t Like This Future? Make Your Own!
If you think that these hot startups are missing an essential part of the future, now is the time for you to step in and contribute with a startup business of your own. What part of the future do you want to bring here now?