It’s no secret that Silicon Valley is a wellspring of new startups, year in and year out. Everything from FinTech to new vehicles, to learning apps for kids and mobile user interfaces, the region is a hotbed for the next hottest thing in technology.
So, grab some popcorn, take a seat, and pay attention. Today we are going to go over the coolest startups that we are excited to see in 2016. If our predictions are correct, a few of these companies are very well going to end up being the next big thing. Here are our list of the nine coolest Silicon Valley startups of 2016.
Another entrant into the service-on-demand trend but in an entirely different way, Honor provides caretakers for the elderly with customer and family member’s peace of mind as the company’s number one priority.
In 2016, having formerly hired caretakers as independent contractors, Honor changed to an employee system, offering competitive wages to its caretakers, and even stock options! A company that cares for its workers just as much as its clientele, Honor is top on our list after having won Best New Startup at this year’s Crunchies.
While you have maybe never heard of Chekr until this article, the startup is one of the most widely used apps for the service-on-demand (notice a trend here?) industry.
Chekr is already used by service-on-demand apps like Uber and GrubHub, performing thorough background checks with a lightning-fast response time, with the majority of results being delivered in under 24 hours.
Unlike Chekr, there is a decent chance that if you run a business with at least a couple employees, you have probably already heard of Slack. In the way that Salesforce introduced its “No Software” campaign, Slack can be thought of as the “No Email” guys.
An interoffice hybrid app equal parts Skype group-chat and file sharing, Slack is an example of how Silicon Valley’s innovation knows no bounds. Originally designed for personal use, Slack realized that their software had limitless applications once made available to the public.
While not marketed at everybody, After School is an app that caters to teenagers hungry to anonymously chat with and message their schoolmates. What’s most impressive of this startup is that they were previously unavailable in the Apple Store (for fear of the app used for teen bullying), yet after gaining users at a feverish pace, Apple had to cave and host the app.
After School is proof that if you know your target audience and the gaps that they’re looking to fill with activity, you can step in an immediately become successful.
Not to be misunderstood as simply Uber with vans, Chariot is looking to topple public transportation in major cities with private commute vehicles. The concept is as simple as it is democratic.
Users suggest routes and then vote on them. The most popular routes and times are regularly serviced by a Chariot professional driver. The service is already overwhelmingly popular in Silicon Valley and is looking to take on other major commuter cities as well.
If you can’t bet ‘em, join ‘em, or in HackerOne’s case, recruit ‘em! HackerOne has recently gained a reputation as one of the leading online-security companies because their method is to go right to the source: hackers. HackerOne employs an equipped team of hackers whose goal is to try their darndest to hack client’s websites and expose vulnerabilities.
According to HackerOne CTO Alex Rice, the “current state of the [digital] world is pretty terrible.” So, they employ the world’s best hackers to demonstrate security flaws for clients, and then fix them.
Send packages without ever leaving your house? That’s the theory behind using Shyp, who is gaining major traction in the service-on-demand sector. The brilliance of Shyp is in its simplicity for the user: they simply take a picture of the item and a courier shows up, the customer doesn’t even need to do any packing themselves! Last year, they even did away with entering addresses, with users now simply making a profile and requesting shipment when they want it.
Shyp is also looking to dominate the parcel industry by partnering with FedEx for air, but keeping their ground delivery in house, saving even more on costs and flexibility. As of this year, Shyp serves San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago, and shows no signs of slowing down.
We have all experienced it before: spotty wi-fi. Whether at home when you walk into the basement or garage, or at a cafe boasting free wi-fi, people are expecting consistent wireless connections wherever they go. This is where Eero steps in to save the day.
The startup provides electronic pods with a tiny footprint, using Bluetooth and mesh technology to broaden the availability of wi-fi wherever they are installed. Eero recommends three per average size home, one of which plugs into the modem and two that plug into wall sockets where wifi is lacking. Why didn’t anybody think of this before?!
Last, but not least, and on the top of many of 2016’s lists is Gigster, and guess what? It’s another service-for-hire concept! What makes Gigster so cool is that its “software eating software” design speeds up the process for customers, who are seeking freelance web designers and developers to get a great job done quickly.
Customers say plainly what they want done, and gigster finds the freelancer right for them. Simultaneously, Gigster incorporates AI to generate pre-written code based on keywords, which makes the job even easier for the freelancers, saving everyone time. Clever stuff!
Silicon Valley: still the hub of innovation
Our list for companies to look for becoming the biggest player this year proves two things.
1.) The misconception that “everything has already been done” is bogus (look at Eero)
2.) Silicon Valley is still Ground Zero for brilliant, revolutionary innovation, whether technological (Gigster) or a clever way to provide physical services (Chariot)
It would be wise for business executives and investors to get a hands-on experience in the region while the fire is still hot, and if you ask us, it’s only getting warmer.