Numerous studies have shown that Austin is one of the hottest places in the country to launch a startup. Not only is the city brimming with youthful tech talent, we’re also significantly less expensive than Silicon Valley or New York City, and the taxes are lower here than in California or New York. That makes for a very appealing value proposition for any founder weighing their options for their next venture.
With so many new companies coming out of Austin, it can be hard to keep track of the fast-moving startup scene in Austin. That in mind, here’s seven Austin startups that are totally disrupting their respective industries right now, setting an awesome example of how to do it right in the Silicon Hills.
AppSumo is a daily deals site that focuses specifically on digital goods, such as apps, ebooks, learning courses, and software-as-an-service packages. Since they don’t have to deal with physical good costs like shipping, the profit margins are substantially higher than they are for a traditional daily deals business. That’s good for the customer too: you’ll often find deals for 75 percent off or more.
Getting a car rental at the airport often involves headaches, whether paperwork-induced or by the sheer amount of time you have to wait. That’s where Silvercar comes in, which seeks to eliminate lines, counters, paperwork, and all the other annoyances of traditional car rental agencies. They have an easy mobile app and a dedicated concierge service that gets you a fully-loaded silver Audi A4, ready for pickup at the airport.
Sparefoot is the world’s biggest marketplace for self storage units. You can find and then book a storage unit without ever having to call someone. They currently have the largest inventory in the states, with a network of more than 9,000 facilities, including mom-and-pop shops and publicly-traded REITs.
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TabbedOut is bringing mobile payments to the hospitality industry. Their point-of-sale integrations lets shop keepers easily accept mobile payments, record customer history, and seamlessly distribute this to management. One interesting feature they have is that servers are guaranteed a default gratuity from every TabbedOut customer.
BeatBox Beverages was created to completely redefine boxed-wine. The founders wanted to create a better drinking experience, and not to have to sacrifice that just because the wine comes in a box. They’ve designed their BeatBox wines around music — think of it as a 5L liquid speaker.
Favor is a mobile app that lets you have whatever you want, delivered right to your doorstep in under an hour. It’s essentially a marketplace that connects customers to drivers, who will go pick up whether you desire, whether it’s a late-night junk food run or the latest video game release. You communicate with your runner via text messaging.
Burpy is a same-day grocery delivery service that uses a secret shopper to preferred local retailers to find the items you want. Their mobile and web apps are easy to use but seamless in how they connect customers to the right products. In their system of proxy shopping, the customer can communicate with the shopper as frequently or be as hands-off as they like. Burpy is creating a smart offline/online customer shopping experience.