Five Most Disruptive Startups!

15th Jul 2012
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There are tons of startups, but few are industry changers. Some entrepreneurs are working to completely transform the way we travel, pay for things, listen to music, and share news. All they had were ideas. Crazy ideas. And all they attempt to do is disrupt the world with them. Yes, simple it is.We at StudentStory put out an investigative eye for such disruptors, and here's what we found!

1) Makerbot: Makerbot is disrupting the printing and manufacturing industries. Instead of printing on paper, you'll be able to print actual things.

Industry it's Disrupting: Printing and manufacturing

Concept: Print anything in 3D

Founder: Bre Pettis

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Why it's disruptive: Right now, most of the things you can print on MakerBot look like plastic toys. And that's pretty cool -- instead of having to buy your kids figurines, you'll be able to print them out. But MakerBot's technology has even bigger potential. Imagine your door knob breaking, and needing a new one. Instead of going to the store you can print one at home instead. That's where MakerBot is headed.

2)   Kickstarter is changing the retail and finance industries. It lets anyone invest in anything, and it encourages pre-orders.

Company: Kickstarter

Industry it's Disrupting: Finance and retail

Concept: Have an idea? Put it on Kickstarter and the community can decide to financially support it.

Founder: Perry Chen

Why it's disruptive: Kickstarter is changing the way businesses are financed and launched. Before Kickstarter, entrepreneurs had to bootstrap or seek funding before testing the idea in the community. It cost a lot of money and was a very risky process.

Kickstarter lets the community validate business concepts in their infancy, sometimes before a prototype is even made. Pebble, the most funded Kickstarter project yet, raised more than $10 million on Kickstarter in pre-orders. No money was wasted on inventory that wouldn't sell.

3)   uBeam wants to change the way we charge devices. It uses ultrasonic waves to charge phones and computers wirelessly from one source.

Company: uBeam

Industry it's Disrupting: Electronics

Concept: Charge multiple devices wirelessly from a single source via ultrasonic waves

Founder: Meredith Perry

Location: New York, NY

Why it's disruptive: It's a pain to bring chargers everywhere you lug a computer or phone. It's also a pain that one charger doesn't work for everything. A solution like PowerMat is cool, but the devices still have to be touching the pad.

uBeam is working on a solution that can charge multiple devices from a single, wireless source. The current prototype only works with products that are in close proximity, but Perry wants to make a product that can be put on the ceiling of a room and charge every device in it. WOW!


4) ZocDoc is changing the way we book appointments and find doctors

Company: ZocDoc

Industry it's Disrupting: Medical

Concept: Book last-minute doctor appointments in your neighborhood

Founders: Nick Ganju, Cyrus Massoumi, Oliver Kharraz

Location: New York, NY

Why it's disruptive: ZocDoc makes booking doctor appointments, from dentists to dermatologists, free and easy.

Before ZocDoc, you had to call days or weeks in advance to book an appointment and ask friends to recommend physicians. Now you can do that from ZocDoc's app.

ZocDoc has on-boarded tons of doctors in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa and Washington DC.


5) Dwolla is getting rid of credit card fees -- and credit cards -- altogether

Company: Dwolla

Industry it's Disrupting: Payments/Credit Cards

Concept: Pay someone any amount of money instantly; no percentage is taken by fees. Dwolla charges 25 cents per transaction over $10; transactions under $10 are free.

Founder: Ben Milne

Location: Des Moine, Iowa

Why it's disruptive: A lot of startups are working on mobile payments around credit cards. But Dwolla is trying to create a new payment method that's credit card (and credit card fee) free.

Dwolla links directly to users' bank accounts and only transfers as much money as you have in there, so users can't go into debt. It only charges 25 cents per transaction over $10; anything smaller, like a coffee at a store that accepts Dwolla, is free for the vendor.

Imagine never having to deal with minimum payment amounts at small restaurants again. And, if you're a small business, imagine not losing a big chunk of change to Visa or MasterCard. That's what Dwolla's working to solve.

- Madalsa Singh

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