2013 vs 2014: Early Stage Startups

With January now upon us, it’s time for the obligatory start of the year post reflecting on the past year and making predictions for the year to come. I’ll be doing this over a series of blog posts.

NB: This won’t be a comprehensive list. It will only focus on some areas I’m interested in.

NB2: The posts will also be heavily biased based on the startups and founders I’ve been exposed to and like i.e. I’ve made no real effort to scour the startup landscape and to provide some sort of unbiased list of perceived excellence.

EARLY STAGE STARTUPS

With all of the new activity in the startup space it was really hard to narrow down the startups I really liked last year and, subsequently, startups I like for 2014. But I think I’ve found a couple. Apologies to all those I don’t include below. There were far too many good startups and founders to name individually and far too many I don’t know to create a comprehensive list – so I’ve decided to go with exemplars instead.

2013 – My Favourite Startup…

I really like Vero and they were my favourite early stage startup of 2013. I really like the founders. I really like their model, their content strategy and the value they add to businesses of all sizes. Let’s ignore the 1300% growth rates for the year – I think numbers like that off a small base are a distraction from what they’re actually achieving. It really is a great example of the type of team and business I’d love to see more of out of Australia

2014 – My picks for startups that will be standouts

I may be biased (actually, I’m incredibly biased) but PS12 teams Adbidx and Tinybeans have been sleepers and will have breakout years in 2014.

TinyBeans was the only Aussie app named amongst BigCommerce co-founder Mitch Harper’s apps of 2013 and is about to marry its awesome product (spoken as an active user) with some great news on the business side.

Re: AdbidX – the team has some world leading facial recognition IP that uses a completely novel approach to the problem and has developed strong industry partnerships that will help solve the distribution problem.

Again, a great example of teams that have been busy building great products and the foundations of great businesses and should be seeing the rewards of that soon.

Now your turn…

OK – I get it…your startup, or your mate’s startup or a startup you know deserved to be named here instead of the ones I’ve put forward. I really am interested to hear what people thought were the best early stage startups of 2013 and which startups will have breakout years in 2014 – mostly because I’m sure that there are some great startups I don’t know about.

Feel free to add your thoughts / opinions etc. in the comments

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