Over 500,000 new startup companies are registered every year – in the UK alone. That’s a whole lot of cool new apps, services and gadgets to keep track of. So to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, we’re picking out the ones to watch.
Read on to find out all about the latest startups that will change your life – from new apps to crazy gadgets, tech and more…
The scoop: Humin is “an intuitive address book” – an app that stores your contacts according to the way you naturally think of them. It remembers and stores contacts according to context – for example how, when and where you met someone – so you’ll never have to struggle to recall the name of that important contact you wanted to get back to after last week’s networking event again.
Background: Humin was founded back in 2012 but was first released as a private beta app to the rich and famous – Richard Branson was among their early users.
Why we think they’re cool: Because it makes us look a damn sight better at remembering names than we actually are. Result.
Find out more and download the app at humin.com
The scoop: Deliveroo allows you to order takeaway from premium restaurants, including British high street favourites like Nandos, Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Gusto and Wagamamas as well as smaller independent restaurants (including some with Michelin stars). Unlike competitor JustEat, Deliveroo handles the delivery service for their restaurant partners, which has helped them snag some big names and higher-end eateries.
Background: Deliveroo founder and former City trader Will Yu came up with the idea after moving from New York to London and finding that he struggled to find a way to get decent food delivered to the office when he was working late.
Why we think they’re cool: Because we’re guilty of working late and ordering in to the office more often that we’d like to admit, too. And there’s only so much pizza you can eat.
Head to deliveroo.co.uk to check what’s on offer in your area and order your food.
The scoop: A bit like a wine club for beer lovers, Beer52 is a craft beer discovery club. Sign up and you’ll get 8 beers, a magazine and a snack delivered for £24 a month. And it won’t be just any beer – you’ll receive 8 different craft beers, all freshly brewed within 4-6 weeks of delivery and hand picked according to your preferences by beer experts. The perfect way to discover delicious and unique beers you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
Background: The idea for Beer52 came to founder and craft beer obsessive James Brown on an epic road trip from Edinburgh to Faro on the back of his dad’s Harley Davidson. Along the way, he stopped at tiny pubs and brewhouses and discovered a whole new world of beers he’d never heard of before. (Which is probably one of the best startup stories we’ve ever heard. Who said entrepreneurship isn’t glamorous?)
Why we think they’re cool: Because trying new things is good for the soul. And so is beer.
Start your subscription at Beer52.com
The scoop: Never queue for a drink or coffee again. Download Q App and you can pre-order and make your payment in advance at any of their partner venues, which include numerous London bars, coffee shops, theatres and fast food outlets. You’ll then receive a notification when your order is ready, and jump straight to the Q App ‘fast lane’ instead of joining the scrum at the bar to pick up your drinks.
Background: Q App was born when founder Serge Taborin decided smartphone technology could make buying drinks at football matches, train stations and crowded bars a less horrendous experience for customers and staff alike. High five.
Why we think they’re cool: Because life (and Friday nights) are too short to spend standing in queues.
The scoop: Improbable is a gaming studio that’s radically transforming online gaming as you know it. The London-based startup are promising to create an intelligent gaming world where every action has a universal consequence that is remembered – games where choices matter, and events aren’t forgotten or reset when a player goes back to the real world – all through simulated environments based on techniques used in high-frequency trading. The project has attracted an impressive wealth of talent including ex-Googlers, software engineers from Goldman Sachs and Cambridge grads, as well as £14m in funding from Andreesen Horowitz.
Background: Herman Narula – son of billionaire construction mogul Harpinder Singh Narula – set up the company with friends (including co-founder Rob Whitehead) after graduating in computer science from Cambridge Uni. Improbable’s first home was a converted barn where the guys ate, slept and worked – and in Narula’s own words, kicked off Improbable with “a level of audacity that was borderline insane”.
Why we think they’re cool: Not only are they transforming the gaming world, Improbable’s technology could be used in biology, urban planning, economics, defence, transportation and disease prevention in the future. Definitely ones to watch.
For more information, go to improbable.io
The scoop: JustPark take the stress out of parking by allowing you to pre-book a space on private or commercially owned land – dodging busy and overpriced car parks. So all you have to do is drive into your guaranteed space – no queuing, no following people around in the hope that they’re about to vacate a space, and best of all no road rage over the last space in the car park. Plus, booking with JustPark can work out up to 70% cheaper than paying for parking on the day. Result!
Background: JustPark raised £3.7m in the UK’s largest ever equity crowdfunding round and are also backed by BMW, who developed an in-car JustPark app. But it hasn’t been an easy road to success – the now high-flying company is the result of a whole lot of hard work by founder Anthony Eskinazi, who started out utterly broke, living and working from his parents’ attic and calling on family members to help with the company’s demands.
Why we think they’re cool: Because travelling and commuting can be stressful enough without battling for parking spaces.
Get involved at JustPark.com
The scoop: Conspire claims to help you meet anyone you want to get introduced to – like LinkedIn, but more useful. You don’t need to know someone who knows the person you want to meet. Instead, Conspire will use your email account to create six degrees of separation between the two of you via an algorithm. It’ll examine social media connections to help you find someone in your email list who can introduce you, and even suggest the best choice if there are a few potential introducers.
Background: Co-founders Alex Devkar and Paul McReynolds are both data scientists and met at Stanford University.
Why we think they’re cool: Contacts are good. But with this app, every existing contact becomes worth its weight in gold.
Sign up at Conspire.com