For startups vying for funding and a share of the lucrative tech market, innovation is just as important as mass appeal.
It’s not possible to become the next Facebook, Apple, or Microsoft without pushing boundaries and making us question what is possible.
From a company attempting to bring the Space Age to the masses, to one that’s harnessing the power of gaming for recruitment purposes, these 7 startups are changing the tech conversation and leading the charge for innovation.
Recommended reading: Why Should Startups Attend Tech Events?
Silicon Valley remains synonymous with tech innovation and is a hotbed of startup activity. Judging by the ambition of Axiom Space, the sky is just the beginning — not the limit.
Billing themselves as a “privately owned successor to the International Space Station,” their plan is to build a commercial space station which will enable the development of new drugs and materials which can’t be created on earth (termed “on-orbit research” and “on-orbit manufacturing”).
Their ambition doesn’t stop there: as from 2021, they are also harnessing the desire for space tourism by taking bookings for stays on the world’s first space hotel.
Here is a clear example of there being no limit to what is possible through tech and innovation. It’s no longer enough to just think big, you have to think in terms of the infinite universe.
Zero Mass Water
With shows such as Blue Planet having a palpable effect on our behaviour and desire to curb our wasteful ways, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of startups are seeing the value in harnessing this desire to be kinder to our environment.
Arizona-based startup, Zero Mass Water, have designed a super absorbent material which is able to collect up to five litres of drinkable water a day.
The company have a mission to make drinking water an unlimited resource and their solar-powered technology, known as SOURCE, is able to create drinking water from just sunlight and air – it’s already in use in Jordan and Mexico.
Philanthropic reasons drive this company’s ethos – where such needs exist, technology will always follow.
Not everyone can magic water out of thin air or help the masses fulfil their ambitions of space travel, but we should all share the ambition of inspiring future tech heroes. That’s exactly what the students from Northwestern University are aiming to do with their startup, Codemoji.
Many of the most useful ideas come from those on the ground, which is why college startups (we’re looking at you Facebook) often prove so successful. Simply put, Codemoji helps students to learn the fundamentals of coding using emojis. By removing elements such as typing it makes this crucial skill set even more accessible (and fun).
In allowing children to create their own websites and animations in a more enjoyable way, this startup is sowing the tech seeds for the next generation.
Again, there’s a clear ethos at the heart of this startup which only adds to its appeal. If your tech startup can engage and inspire the next generation of tech heros, then it’s likely to grab attention.
Those hours spent on FIFA and Call of Duty might have been time well spent after all. Scoutible have created a game-based hiring platform which uses immersive mobile games to determine the right candidate for the right job.
Just 20 minutes of gameplay allows prospective employers to measure traits such as risk aversion, grit, work ethic, and empathy in order to simplify the hiring procedure.
It’s claimed that this approach is 2x better than job interviews, 3x better than work experience, and 4x better than education in selecting the right hire.
With those statistics it’s hard to argue with what this startup have created…and it also sounds a lot more enjoyable than having a formal chat in a stuffy office too.
By applying the principles of gaming to a real commercial issue, this startup has hit the jackpot. It raises an interesting question: how else might gaming be leveraged in the business world?
For instance, could we see customized marketing emails sent based on gaming data? ‘You beat level 12 without being spotted! Celebrate sneakiness with 10% off a pair of our camo sneakers.’
Given that email automation startups such as Moosend are already making sophisticated email triggering easy to implement, it isn’t all that implausible.
We’re happy to bring you another feel good example and highlight the groundbreaking work being done by startup TerraBlue XT.
Healthcare and technological innovation make great bedfellows and here is another case in point. Inspired by her son’s epilepsy, Indian entrepreneur Rajlakshmi Borthakur has created a smart glove which is able to predict, manage, and detect different disorders with the ambition of making specialty healthcare accessible in the remotest parts of her country.
The gloves are embedded with sensors that can track vitals such as blood pressure, heart rate and pulse, these then feed an AI-driven software solution which offers support for doctors. It’s predicted that that it could make life easier for the 50 million epilepsy sufferers in the world. Once again, a startup changing the world through tech.
Rajlakshmi Borthakur isn’t the only inventor whose motherly instincts have informed their business ventures, with Melissa Gersin’s Tranquilo Mat a wonderful example of how helping children can inspire the tech world. What you can take from their stories is that a personal narrative will always drive conversations, especially when coupled with innovative tech and a desire to make the world a better place.
Remember how we all felt like we’d enter the sci-fi future when we started using our thumbprints to unlock our phone screens? Be prepared to be blown away all over again! B-Secur makes an individual’s heartbeat the connection between them and their device.
Described as “the next generation in biometric authentication”, the function not only moves the world one step further away from the need for passwords, it also, more importantly, is able to provide health and wellness insights using heartbeat data.
B-Secur is also one of 37 companies that have been selected for the Upscale Programme from Tech City UK in 2018 — which provides workshops, mentoring, and other support.
Fitness tracking continues to be a hot topic of conversation in the tech world. It won’t be long before such technology is shared between patients and medical professional to everyone’s benefit.
With bases in both Dublin and London, Circle is a company that wants to change and innovate the way in which people make and receive payments. Essentially, they’re removing boundaries like banks and borders, allowing anyone who uses their app to send money like a text message.
Secure and efficient payment processing is the bedrock of business and Circle have been smart to make this the foundation of their impressive tech proposition.
And we’re not the only ones to be wowed by Circle, with the startup already managing to raise 140 million dollars from investors such as Goldman Sachs and Breyer Capital.
The ever-growing world of commerce is driven by a desire for increased efficiency and transparency, and the startups that are making this happen will continue to thrive.
These startups all have innovation and ethos in common. What makes them stand out isn’t just their innovative use of technology, but the way in which they use tech to push boundaries and start new narratives.
If you have an idea that could change the conversation around tech, take inspiration from these startups and start your own business today.
Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, you’ll find articles that look at developments in the online and technological worlds, along with commentary on social media and content marketing. She is a passionate supporter of startups.