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Alternative Startup Ideas



1 year ago

In addition to making new sodas, this startup is looking to take on the soda industry as a whole by introducing healthier alternatives to soda, such as carbonated teas and fruit-flavored water.

216
1 year ago

A company that’s a Slack alternative, designed to be more intuitive and user friendly.

164
2 years ago

A startup that helps hospitals find cheaper alternatives to the expensive equipment they use in the ER.

151
2 years ago

Builds an alternative to the traditional car buying process.

140
2 years ago

A startup that wants to provide an alternative to the major companies that offer access to credit cards.

137
2 years ago

A lightweight alternative to a Mac, PC, or laptop on which you can perform any kind of computational work

135
2 years ago

A startup that provides a “free and sustainable” alternative to plastic bags

134
2 years ago

This company is building an alternative to the social networks that people use to connect with others. Rather than posting updates about yourself, you can post updates about other people.

130
2 years ago

A company that offers a low-cost alternative to dental work for low-income people in the US.

127
2 years ago

Builds and delivers smart meters for solar farms in India. The startup claims that it’s the lowest cost alternative to utility-scale solar.

127
2 years ago

A tool for modeling and simulating the physical behavior of interaction with a product, with a focus on wearables. The startups aims to allow customers to model wearables in a way that’s more intuitive than the current alternatives

121
2 years ago

A company aiming to expand the college degree market by making an alternative to the traditional college experience.

121
2 years ago

One of several startups that are building alternative work schedules that let people swap out their hours for the week. They all basically pair an employer with a local worker who can come in for extra hours in exchange for a small fee or a flat rate.

120
2 years ago

Notify is a data entry platform used by companies like Facebook, Slack, and Etsy. The startup is building an email-based alternative, so companies don’t have to rely on their help desk.

120
2 years ago

The company has begun to experiment with a plan to bring a $10/month subscription service to consumers that would provide a weekly Amazon Prime-like service to customers. The company could be an alternative to people who don’t like Amazon Prime’s current offerings.

119
2 years ago

A more affordable alternative to the Fitbit fitness tracker.

119
2 years ago

A startup that is building an alternative repository to Airbnb for people to find rentable resources This includes everything from homes to lawn mowers, from the startup’s own website

118
1 year ago

An enterprise-focused Slack alternative, with focus on teams that need to collaborate. The company has also been expanding into other areas like marketing, design, engineering, and other business functions.

117
2 years ago

A startup that provides a service to help people with their immigration paperwork (basically lawyer) A startup that provides an alternative to Airbnb for people to rent out their homes (which they are not living in)

116
2 years ago

A new kind of payments solution that’s an alternative to a bank account.

116
1 year ago

A group of friends who are building a kind of alternative to LinkedIn, with more emphasis on connections and less emphasis on the algorithm.

116
2 years ago

A mini-storage startup that rents out small lockers, intended to be a more affordable alternative to larger storage units.

113
2 years ago

A startup that wants to build a platform for alternative medicine, like homeopathy.

111
2 years ago

Recruiting software for the travel industry and alternative work arrangements.

110
2 years ago

The startup is building an alternative to the traditional paycheck. The company gets paid by employers, and in turn, pays employees in cryptocurrency.

109
2 years ago

A startup that helps users find the closest public school or charter school that’s right for their family. It’s meant to bridge the gap between traditional public schools and new alternative school systems like charters.

109
2 years ago

An on-demand marketplace for your home, pitched as a more effective, more satisfying alternative to Airbnb.

108
2 years ago

A startup that provides a service to help people find less expensive alternatives to their cable package

107
2 years ago

A platform that helps companies track and manage their employees' spending. It's a more transparent alternative to the likes of Mint, but also one that has to be paid for by the company that uses it.

106
2 years ago

A company hoping to make it easier for companies to own and manage their IP, bringing a digital licensing alternative to the enterprise. The company is based in NYC, has raised $1.5 million, and is looking to use the funding to expand.

104
9 months ago

A digital alternative to a courier service that provides delivery within a few hours.

103
2 years ago

A news aggregator that’s meant to be a more effective alternative to Flipboard, and a way to get the latest news in your email inbox. The startup has raised millions of dollars and has over 10 million users, it says.

100
2 years ago

a mobile payments system for India. The startup is pitching itself as a cheaper alternative to the likes of Google Wallet and Paytm.

97
2 years ago

This is an alternative to the standard subscription model for software. Instead of buying software and only using it, it allows companies to buy access to the software for a set number of uses over a year, and then the software is deactivated once the period is up.

95
2 years ago

A Slack alternative for companies that have a lot of teams.

95
2 years ago

It’s not uncommon for someone to wake up with a hangover, but it’s often a hassle to find something to drink that doesn’t taste gross. The startup wants to make sure there is always a drinkable alternative to the morning-after-party staple, water.

91
2 years ago

BridgeCoin is a cryptocurrency-based lending platform that is “an alternative to the traditional banking system.”

87
2 years ago

A digital alternative for physical notes and calendars. The startup says it’s a better way to organize and share calendars with family and friends. They charge $5 per month for a calendar with unlimited notes.

86
1 year ago

A startup that wants to use blockchain technology to create an alternative to Wall Street. The company wants to connect investors with funds and manage risk.

86
2 years ago

Only 1% of all workers in the US have their overtime legally included in their paychecks. This startup wants to be the alternative. They’re building a mobile app that tracks time and automatically computes overtime pay.

84
2 years ago

A health insurance alternative for young adults. It’s a $1 per month plan that is affordable and has low out of pocket costs for patients.

84
1 year ago

A tool for freelancers that allows them to create invoices with no upfront cost or monthly subscription. The startup is looking to be a cheaper alternative to Upwork and Freelancer.

83
1 year ago

A startup that wants to help people find and use better alternatives to plastic bags, by helping them make shopping lists in their phone’s email. The startup has only been live for a week, but is already seeing a 30% conversion rate.

83
1 year ago

A provider of video and live streaming services for the enterprise, aiming to be a low-cost alternative to traditional video production.

83
1 year ago

This startup is building a digital bank account in India. The founders say it’s a simpler, cheaper alternative to the physical ATM cards found in most cities.

82
1 year ago

Walnut Ventures is building a digital banking alternative that is designed to be a bank for the unbanked.

81
2 years ago

This startup wants to offer a cheaper alternative to the costly, time-consuming process of renting a car, and make it easy for car buyers to find the right car for their needs.

80
2 years ago

This company is building a “truly independent” alternative to Google News. It looks at all the news sources on the web and aggregates them into a single stream, eliminating the need for users to manually visit all their sources.

79
2 years ago

A startup that builds a homegrown alternative to the likes of Instagram, PicsArt, and Snapchat

79
2 years ago

This is a credit card processing startup that is aiming to offer a cheaper alternative for small businesses.

78
16 days ago

 An online platform that helps users build and manage a team of freelancers, with the company itself acting only as a middle-man. It’s a more sustainable alternative to traditional freelancing platforms like Upwork, and the company wants to use its own experience to help other companies build their own.

78
2 years ago

A startup that will make it easier for companies to take their vacation time. Founders say it’s designed to be a more affordable alternative to the likes of Voyageur, which charges $50 for the service and $99 per person.

74
1 year ago

A B2B company that aims to offer an alternative to payroll services that is based around the value employees bring to companies.

73
1 year ago

A program for graduating students to match them with jobs and internships, pitching itself as an alternative to unpaid internships.

69
1 year ago

A group of startups that wants to build a more flexible alternative to the more common SaaS model. The startups want to build tools that let people customize their solutions into “custom apps” that can be sold to customers directly.

66
5 months ago

Seeking to bring alternative dispute resolution to the legal industry, the startup helps companies to hire arbitrators and mediators in a way that they say is faster, cheaper, and more transparent than traditional law firms.

64
3 months ago

An AI-powered alternative to SMS, which promises to be “a next-generation messaging client that’s faster, cheaper and more secure”.

63
8 months ago

A way to get monthly market quotes from a few different sources, pitched as an alternative to the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.

62
1 year ago

A startup that’s building a text-based payments platform for the people of the developing world. The company offers an alternative to Venmo for users in countries like Kenya, Nigeria, and India.

60
1 year ago

A startup for restaurant workers that allows them to pick up shifts from other employees on the app, serving as an alternative to hiring.

57
1 year ago

An alternative to credit cards for startups, based out of Spain.

57
12 days ago

This startup wants to be an alternative to the SEC. It wants to be a way to invest in private companies with SEC-approved funds.

57
1 year ago

This company wants to build a platform for sharing and trading solar power. It’s an open source alternative to solar exchange markets.

56
10 months ago

A free online calendar that syncs across all devices. It’s a digital alternative to paper calendars, and uses a scoring system to keep track of upcoming events.

55
10 months ago

The world’s first ad-free news app, designed to be a more ethical and trustworthy alternative to services like Facebook, Google and Twitter.

55
6 months ago

A Slack alternative that’s built on the idea of “removing the friction from work”.

52
1 year ago

An alternative to the pay-per-click model of web advertising that’s based on a subscription model rather than a pay-per-click scheme. It’s pitching itself as a way for both marketers and consumers to get the information they want.

51
7 months ago

A platform that helps users buy and sell rental properties on a peer-to-peer basis. It’s an alternative to traditional real estate listings sites where users browse and search for rentals through a portal.

51
1 year ago

A ride-sharing service that uses algorithms to match drivers with customers, as an alternative to the taxi companies that dominate the market. The drivers are paid when they’re matched with customers with a ride, and the startup is profitable.

50
1 year ago

This is a wearable for women that helps them track the menstrual cycle. The company aims to create a cheaper alternative to other wearable products.

49
10 months ago

A remote employee scheduling and communication tool, serving as an alternative to Slack and Hipchat.

48
1 year ago

A millennial-focused startup that wants to create a locally-sourced and craft beer-friendly alternative to “traditional” craft beers. LocalBev will work directly with a brewer to create a unique beer style, with each batch brewed on an on-site system.

47
1 year ago

Zulberry is a mobile payments and commerce platform aimed at growing business in emerging markets. The company wants to become a more effective digital alternative to cash.

46
1 year ago

A platform that helps people in developing economies get around the inefficiencies of the current financial system. Its founders say that their platform is “an order of magnitude cheaper” than other existing alternatives.

46
1 year ago

A startup that’s working on an alternative to the taxi app. Instead of calling a car to come pick you up, you call your car. The startup is working on an app that lets you call the car using a phone app, rather than having to use your phone.

46
5 months ago

A social network for artists. The startup aims to be “an alternative to other social media platforms,” by offering a platform where artists can connect with fans and fellow artists, while also selling artwork.

46
1 year ago

A smart suit that monitors a cyclist’s body and sounds an alert if the cyclist is having a heart attack. Geekster’s founders say that it’s a much cheaper alternative to an electrocardiogram, and only takes a few seconds to measure a person’s heart rate.

45
1 year ago

A “library of points of interest” that allows users to search a 3D Spatio-temporal map, which they can then mark as favorites. The startup says their “points of interest” are more than just “coffee shops, restaurants and art galleries” and that their map will be “a more inclusive, relevant and vivid alternative to Google Maps”.

45
1 year ago

This startup offers an alternative to the traditional lockbox for data centers. It’s a tamper-resistant container that can be set to be unlocked by a single person, making it easier to ensure that data is secure.

43
1 year ago

This startup looks to build a more flexible, less expensive alternative to traditional DNS (domain name server) services (think Cloudflare.)

43
1 year ago

A startup that wants nothing more than to help consumers get their hands on a healthier, more sustainable, more convenient alternative to bottled water.

43
1 year ago

Building an alternative to the standard ERP software package for small business, one that is faster, cheaper, and easier to use.

42
11 months ago

A startup that's offering an alternative to a traditional 401(k) plan. It’s a “savings account for a millennial” that lets people take out cash for specific purposes.

42
9 months ago

A digital alternative to the gym membership that offers fitness classes and events tailored to the individual.

40
2 months ago

A HealthKit alternative for health records on iOS.

40
10 months ago

A keylogger for Macs. It’s a little bit less annoying than the alternative.

39
9 months ago

An “organization of organizations” that claims to offer an alternative to traditional venture capital, with a focus on helping founders bring their products to market.

39
22 days ago

A less expensive alternative to Uber's surge pricing, the startup's product is a flat rate based on demand.

39
2 years ago

Idea: This startup is building an alternative to Paypal for international money transfers, with a focus on Mark Zuckerberg’s favorite country, India.

38
5 months ago

A startup that helps investors raise money. It’s an alternative to traditional seed funding networks.

38
1 year ago

A digital signboard for photos and text that the startup hopes will be an easier alternative to using a wall or attic. The business is currently in beta and is looking to raise a Series A round.

37
11 months ago

A digital alternative to the physical world for worker training, meant to allow companies to become more efficient by paying their employees to work at home.

37
4 months ago

A banking solution meant to offer a new alternative to the credit card. The company is co-founded by former players from Stripe, who say they’re “creating a banking brand that works for the modern consumer”.

37
24 days ago

A dropbox alternative for artists and creatives who want to collaborate on projects. The company is building out a digital community for sharing files and ad-free storage.

37
5 days ago

A company that wants to offer an alternative to the traditional way of buying insurance. Instead of taking a chance on a new product, people can buy a plan and get a better idea of what their costs would be.

37
1 year ago

A company that helps people pay their bills, offering a more simple and affordable alternative to the existing systems that charge users too much money for complex and unneeded features.

36
8 months ago

A Google Docs alternative that organizes documents chronologically, and lets you add notes or tags on the document.

36
5 months ago

A company selling semi-conductors that are lower-cost alternatives to silicon.

36
10 months ago

A credit card processor that works with large banks to offer startups and small businesses an alternative to credit cards.

35
1 year ago

An alternative to the more popular sharing apps like Snapchat, where people can share videos with friends, but also keep their messages private.

34
1 year ago

This “alternative” investing platform is working to give investors a way to use algorithms to help them determine which stocks will go up and which will go down, and their currency of choice.

34
7 months ago

This startup is a “smarter way of sending money”, replacing paper checks with digital payments. The startup is essentially a digital alternative to pre-paid gift cards.

34
11 months ago

A “private social network” with a “pay-what-you-can membership” that’s meant to be a more private and fiscally sustainable alternative to social media sites like Facebook. The company is growing quickly and currently has 30,000 members.

33
8 months ago

A GitHub alternative that will allow developers to host their code outside of GitHub's walled garden.

32
5 months ago

A tool that helps restaurants plan and manage their catering. It’s an alternative to the standard big-box caterer, which requires a big investment and a lot of custom work.

32
7 months ago

An alternative to traditional social network sites for content curation, letting users create and share “micro-content” in smaller, more digestible chunks.

31
7 months ago

A “portal” for alternative asset investors that helps them track their portfolios.

31
6 months ago

A platform for sellers and brands to grow on the Shopify platform by providing an alternative to the storefront that many sellers already use there.

31
5 months ago

An alternative to the email marketing industry, which is facing the threat of email overload. The company is building an email marketing solution that helps business send fewer but more targeted campaigns.

31
5 months ago

It’s a way of buying and selling that alternatives have failed to match: a company that is fully transparent about its workings, based on the idea that you should always be paid what you’re worth.

30
2 months ago

A startup that aims to bring a free, ad-free alternative to the world’s most popular lifestyle app, Tinder.

30
1 year ago

This startup is building a simple service for sending and receiving payments that are cheaper and faster than the traditional option. The startup is focused on being a cheaper and faster alternative for peer-to-peer payments in developing markets.

29
8 months ago

A company that provides an alternative to the traditional model of doctor’s visits. The startup wants to take the guesswork out of scheduling appointments and provide a seamless online experience.

29
5 months ago

A mobile-first payments alternative that focuses on micropayments. The startup aims to take a cut of each transaction and hopes to revolutionize the way small businesses pay for goods and services.

29
8 months ago

This startup is building a service to help people create their own “satellite” internet, connecting it to existing cellular networks. The founders of the startup say the service is a better alternative to the speeds of existing satellite broadband.

28
3 months ago

Rides, a ridesharing company that focuses on providing a cheaper and friendlier alternative to Uber and Lyft. The company was founded on an idea that the majority of people want ridesharing but don’t want to pay the higher prices of Uber and Lyft. Rides is currently operating in Atlanta, GA, with plans to expand to other cities.

28
5 months ago

A platform for startups that want to bring their products to life through hardware. It’s meant to be a cheaper alternative to other prototyping and hardware startups, by linking to their own manufacturing partners.

27
6 months ago

The company has a new product that lets small businesses use the same tools as larger companies to set up a storefront. The product is meant to be a more accessible alternative to the Shopify platform.

26
6 months ago

Google’s self-driving cars aren’t ready for the public yet, but that hasn’t stopped some people from building their own. The startup, which is based in San Francisco, is helping others build their own self-driving car kits in the hopes of creating a viable alternative to the Google car.

26
7 months ago

A cloud-based alternative to heavy-duty document management systems.

24
4 months ago

A company that’s building a blockchain-based alternative to the healthcare industry’s online health records.

24
4 months ago

A food-delivery startup that takes the hassle out of eating at home by delivering food prepared by local chefs — a much more inexpensive alternative to restaurants.

24
1 month ago

A platform for creating and managing alternative identities that can be used to “bypass” the increasingly strict requirements of some countries’ national ID cards. The startup is working with governments in countries like Brazil and Mexico, which have strict rules on what ID cards they accept and which they don’t.

24
3 months ago

A startup for professionals to sell their skills, providing an alternative to the freelance marketplace UpWork.

22
3 days ago

A company that allows merchants to get around the credit card processing fees they pay by offering alternative payment options to their customers.

22
5 months ago

A maker of personal protective equipment for people who work with hazardous chemicals. The startup aims to create a more affordable and accessible alternative to the typical high-end PPE.

21
4 months ago

Local competitor to the popular Groovebook alternative, which is also working on business analytics for travel.

21
2 years ago

Idea: Building a blockchain-based twitter alternative

20
3 months ago

This startup is trying to create an alternative to VC funding. Instead of taking a piece of equity, investors pay a fee that is locked in for the entire life of the company.

20
3 months ago

A company that provides professional, non-intrusive security service to protect privileged accounts. It’s a B2B business, with the CEO saying that it’s difficult to get security services for large companies. HotPass was started by former CIA and NSA employees to provide more secure alternatives to encryption.

20
2 months ago

A subscription-based system that lets you set up a party and invite people to attend. It’s a hotel alternative that’s supposed to be more social and fun.

20
2 months ago

A company that aims to build an alternative to the decision support software used by insurance companies.

19
7 months ago

This is a service for selling cheap tickets to events, it’s a cheaper alternative to Stubhub.

18
2 years ago

Idea: A startup that is building an AI-powered platform, intended as an alternative to the likes of Verint and others, meant to help call centers

17
3 months ago

An automated payment platform for companies that wants to build an alternative to PayPal for small businesses and startups.

16
2 months ago

A company that provides developers with a sponsor-driven alternative to funding. The company is currently building a platform that allows developers to build a product, have it tested by a community of backers, and have them kick in money to get the product to market.

16
1 month ago

A secure messaging app that offers end-to-end encryption. The company was founded in 2014 by a group of WhatsApp co-founders as an alternative to Facebook’s Messenger service.

16
1 month ago

A way to collect and analyze large amounts of data from communities across the U.S. and Canada. The startup’s app is an alternative to existing pollsters like SurveyMonkey and SurveyCaster, meant to make surveys easier to collect and analyze.

14
3 months ago

A startup, built with a focus on the working professional, that helps users find the lowest cost alternatives to their mass transit pass.

13
2 months ago

A startup that helps you get the most out of your commute. TransitHero tracks your commute and shows you where you should leave based on time and time of day. It then helps you find out how to get to your destination, with an app that shows you alternative routes and timetables.

12
2 months ago

A more secure alternative to Gmail, aimed at businesses and high-security users

12
2 years ago

Idea: This company has created a coffee substitute made from cassava root. It’s designed to be a water-soluble powder, and aims to be a healthier alternative to sugar-laden coffee.

11
2 years ago

Idea: A Salesforce alternative that offers easy integrations with Github, Bitbucket, and Slack

9
2 years ago

A startup that provides a directory of doctors who specialize in alternative medicine

8
3 months ago

A community-run Reddit alternative focused on community-driven journalism that can be read on any device. Contently is hoping to create a “lean-back version of the newsroom.”

8
2 years ago

Idea: A peer-to-peer lending marketplace The startup offers an alternative to traditional banks, which the founders say offer high interest rates, but often have hidden fees

5
2 years ago

A startup that provides an alternative to a hotel for people who are traveling

-1
2 years ago

A startup that provides a way for users to alert emergency services of their location This is meant to be used as an alternative to calling 911, which is often the default option for users in emergency

-1
2 years ago

Idea: An alternative to Adobe, focused on web performance

-1
2 years ago

Idea: A customizable webmail service, which aims to be a ‘safer’ alternative to Gmail. The startup has seen over $25,000 in monthly recurring revenue since launching in April 2019.

-1
2 years ago

A startup that provides a platform for creating custom photo edits for your social media posts. A nice alternative to Canva and other tools for creating social media images.

-1


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