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by @levelsio



Instead Startup Ideas



11 months ago

The founders of this startup are trying to create a new kind of credit card that can be used across multiple merchants, instead of different cards for different merchants.

152
1 year ago

A credit card for the underbanked. It eschews traditional bank systems and instead relies on direct deposit.

119
1 year ago

A startup that’s building a business platform for people who want to monetize their own social media content and make money instead of just getting paid to post it.

108
1 year ago

A new way for companies to pay employees, using a rewards-based system with no cash transfers. The company instead creates a digital savings account for employees, allowing them to track their earnings and also cashing out the money when they leave.

106
1 year ago

A mobile app that helps a person use a credit card that does not have a magnetic stripe. Instead, it uses a special card reader that reads the information on the card, and sends it to the app.

106
1 year ago

A platform for pharmaceuticals that wants to be the Uber for drug distribution. Instead of having to find a distributor, the startup wants to connect patients directly with pharmacies that can provide them with medicines.

104
1 year ago

A startup that promises to be the next Uber for the taxi industry. Instead of incentivizing drivers by paying them directly, they’ll pay the driver’s customer base.

103
11 months ago

A new type of restaurant that delivers meals, but instead of ordering food online, you get to pick it up at a store. The app will be available in the next few months.

103
1 year ago

Slack is a project management and chat platform for teams and groups. Slack builds software as a service (SaaS) products, which are web-based applications that companies or organizations can use instead of having to install or maintain software on their own computer.

98
1 year ago

A new kind of payment system that allows taxi owners to compete with Uber and Lyft. Instead of needing to call a dispatcher, riders can hail a cab in real-time and pay directly through the app.

98
1 year ago

A startup that wants to make it easier for businesses to build their own online store. Instead of a lengthy process of building an e-commerce site themselves, the startup will make it easy for a business to buy in to a pre-built site.

98
1 year ago

A startup that wants to help businesses create video marketing content inside of a Slack channel instead of a separate app or website.

97
1 year ago

A remote-work solution for business partners and freelancers, letting them work from anywhere. It’s a sort of “Uber for freelancers”, and is based on the idea that most clients don’t want to hire someone for a long-term gig, but instead need someone to tackle a project for a few days or a week at a time.

96
1 year ago

A startup that wants to take the friction out of the process of purchasing a home. Instead of going through a bank, you can do all the paperwork online.

96
11 months ago

A startup that wants to solve the “capital management” problem for enterprise software startups. Instead of companies managing all of their own financial resources, they plan to provide a service that helps startups manage their capital, paying for those resources as needed.

96
1 year ago

A startup that wants to build a “pay it forward” model, where people volunteer to pay for others’ purchases in the name of “paying it forward”. It’s a bit like the Amazon Dash, but with the automatic donation of the $5 to the cashier instead of the Amazon account.

94
1 year ago

A startup that wants to bring a similar UI to the world of online banking, except that instead of generic banks, the startup offers a wide array of financial products.

94
1 year ago

A tool to help people use their spare screen space for apps, instead of always having to share with a partner or family member.

94
1 year ago

A tool for software designers to create new apps in minutes instead of days.

92
1 year ago

This startup is building a way to help farmers market their products without the hassle of selling via a big, impersonal store. Instead, farmers can have a more intimate and less expensive selling experience when selling directly to the consumer.

90
1 year ago

A company that helps online retailers “persuade” a customer to buy from them instead of their competitors. It uses algorithms to determine where the customer is in the buying cycle, and tailors a message to the customer so that they’ll click through to their website.

88
1 year ago

Unbounce isn’t selling directly to customers, but instead to small agencies and marketers that want to hire them to do their advertising.

88
1 year ago

A tool to make choosing a car insurance a little easier. Instead of filling out forms, traditional agents have a choice to make a few basic questions.

88
1 year ago

In theory, this company can help retailers build better loyalty programs for their customers. Instead of rewarding customers with discounts and other perks, this startup says it can help retailers build loyalty programs that allow customers to earn rewards and discounts based on how often they visit the store.

86
1 year ago

A startup that is building a platform for mobile phone companies and carriers to provide their services on the open web and in mobile applications, instead of requiring people to download an app.

85
1 year ago

A software tool that lets companies own and manage the cloud infrastructure they buy, instead of relying on vendors.

85
1 year ago

It’s a “smart” alarm clock that can only be used once, so it only has to wake up once. The company also has a “smart” alarm clock that can only be used once, but it also has a mute button. The company also has another alarm clock that can be used instead.

84
1 year ago

A new way to book travel. Instead of booking a flight, the travel planning app lets users plan their trip route and pick the times they want to travel.

84
1 year ago

A tool for tracking and analyzing an employee’s travel (could be useful for HR to track which employees are spending all their time flying somewhere instead of working).

83
1 year ago

A “digital concierge” that helps users personalize their own homes. Instead of searching around for different products, users can ask their digital concierge to come up with ideas and send them to the user.

82
1 year ago

The company operates in a similar fashion to Uber, but instead of driving people around, it takes shoppers to retailers. Shoppers use the app to locate stores and their location, then use the app to walk into shops and purchase items.

80
1 year ago

A startup that gives away stock instead of cash to startups when they want to accelerate their growth.

80
1 year ago

A hardware startup that’s building a way for software to run on physical products, such as a keyboard or a mouse, instead of being software-only. The startup wants to create a device that can connect to a computer and transform a physical object into a fully-functional computer.

79
1 year ago

The startup is building a service that they describe as “the Uber of air travel”. It replaces the “front-end” that users deal with when they book a flight and instead of a travel agent, will connect them directly with an itinerary.

79
1 year 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.

78
11 months ago

A white-label company that sells customer data to insurance companies, but the startup says the data it offers is less than what a company buying data from a broker would pay for. Instead of buying a person’s data from a broker, Vitality starts with a person’s data from 3rd party sources and helps them create a profile.

76
1 year ago

A startup that uses text messaging to help people who are sick or at risk of infection simply call in and connect with a nurse or other professional for a chat, instead of having to go to the doctor’s office.

75
1 year ago

This company is building a chat-based social network for enthusiasts that aims to allow users to share their experiences and advice with each other, like Reddit or Quora. It’s a spin on the social media platform idea: instead of frequent posts from celebrities, the goal is to get your friends to post about their experiences and thoughts.

75
1 year ago

A startup that helps you create customized “sampler packs” of music. The startup wants to build an algorithm that lets users produce personalized mixes, or albums, without the need to upload music. Instead, users create a “profile” of songs and artists they like, and the system then chooses other songs the user likes and creates an album, including tracklists. The service is currently free, with plans starting at $5 per month for premium features.

74
1 year ago

A distributed team management system that moves employees to a new team instead of firing them.

73
1 year ago

A crowdfunding website with a different twist. Currently popular in the UK, the platform allows users to use online loans for funding instead of just credit cards.

71
1 year ago

A mobile app that focuses on the experience of the user, instead of the device.

70
1 year ago

A credit card that rewards its customers for giving back to the community. Instead of paying a flat fee for the credit card, customers are charged based on the number of points they earn for charitable donations.

69
1 year ago

A startup for freelance writers, editors, and translators. The startup is in its pre-launch phase, but has already sold $3,000 worth of services. It’s not a traditional marketplace, instead relying on a closed community of writers and translators who are all working on the same project.

67
1 year ago

Some of the ideas listed in this section are not considered to be ideas per se but instead products in development.

60
1 year ago

A startup that helps businesses market to high school students, instead of relying on the university market.

56
1 year ago

A new way to book tickets online. Instead of booking through a travel agency or airline, the startup plans to make it easy to book and pay for your tickets through the app.

55
1 year ago

 A funding platform where a company can take a “drip” approach to fundraising, instead of a full-on “spray”. It allows a company to get funding without all the hassle of pitching, negotiating, and offering equity, while still getting the full equity portion.

54
10 months ago

A company that makes an app for ride sharing that gives riders pay-per-mile pricing instead of the traditional per-mile pricing.

54
1 year ago

This startup is building an app that enables workers to schedule tasks via a mobile app instead of an email. They’re currently working on a version for freelance workers, but they’ve also written a book on how to run your business without a web presence.

47
5 months ago

This mobile payments company is building the technology that allows companies to collect payments on their apps through Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or other mobile payment options, instead of sending out checks or cash.

47
7 months ago

A way of paying for services with cryptocurrency instead of fiat.

44
1 year ago

Y Combinator is not a startup accelerator in the traditional sense, as it does not provide capital, mentorship, or other startup-specific services. Instead, Y Combinator provides seed funding and office space for startups that have already been bootstrapped for over a year and a half. Y Combinator has five cohorts a year, each of which lasts for 14 weeks. Participants are required to pay for their own flights and housing, which are taken care of by Y Combinator.

42
9 months ago

Instead of having to manually create and manage your own social media pages, this startup is building a single platform for all your different social media accounts.

42
1 year ago

This startup is building software for businesses to keep track of their expensive items, which they can then take to their local jeweler instead of paying a check out fee. They also plan to expand to offer an app that allows customers to track the location of their purchases, so they can get a full refund if the item is lost or stolen.

41
10 months ago

A financial app for students that helps colleges accept payments directly from a student’s bank account, instead of charging fees or taking checks.

41
4 months ago

helps companies “explore the digital possibilities” of their products and services. Instead of helping businesses discover new markets, the startup wants to help them find new products to sell.

41
10 months ago

A tool that helps users create their own custom-built fonts with the company’s custom font editor. The startup aims to remove the need to have a designer build fonts for an application or website by allowing users to build their own instead.

40
2 months ago

A product that helps employees keep track of their expenses and support their company instead of losing money to waste.

40
1 year ago

A peer-to-peer marketplace and online marketplace for exclusively selling used goods. The company wants to bring a new way to buy and sell things, but it’s not quite a marketplace. Instead, it’s a service that connects buyers with sellers, and a platform where sellers can share their goods.

38
1 year ago

A startup for freelancers to sell their services. It’s a bit like Upwork, but instead of freelancers posting projects, it’s employers hiring freelancers.

38
9 months ago

A new way of paying artists, based on a kind of marketplace model. The major difference is that the company doesn’t take any commission from the artists. The startup instead takes a 30% cut as a fee for the use of the platform.

38
4 months ago

A new way of paying for groceries. Instead of swiping a credit card, shoppers use their phones to scan a QR code for payment and a receipt.

36
7 months ago

A company that makes a product called “Flex”, a flexible structural material that can be used to build buildings instead of using steel beams.

30
7 months ago

A company that makes a tool to help companies get their payroll done faster. The platform is based on the idea of a traditional monthly payroll cycle, but instead of hiring a payroll company to handle things, companies can outsource it to a company like Payroll Master, which runs the payroll for them for a monthly fee.

30
7 months ago

A new kind of online marketplace for buying and selling used cars. Instead of going to a dealer, it's a platform where people can bid on cars and sellers can list them on the site.

30
1 month ago

This startup is building a messaging app that won’t let you send a group text message, but will instead send you a notification on your phone and let you respond via an in-app message. It’s an attempt to develop more effective messaging and improve how people deal with notifications.

30
10 months ago

It’s similar to an Instagram filter app, but instead of changing your appearance, it changes the tone of your photos.

28
8 months ago

A startup that provides a platform for companies to pay employees via a monthly subscription instead of a one-time salary.

28
6 months ago

A startup that wants to reverse the trend of technology companies closing manufacturing facilities in the US, and instead bring manufacturing back to the US.

28
5 months ago

This company offers a service that helps businesses skip the expensive installation and setup work of virtualization and server management, and instead offer managed service options.

28
5 months ago

A cloud-based scheduling system for medical offices. The startup wants to take over scheduling for doctors, with a platform that lets doctors manage their schedules by path instead of by time.

28
5 months ago

A home Wi-Fi router with an app to manage it. The startup wants to provide a way to manage home routers with an app instead of the current manual process.

28
4 months ago

A new way of making yogurt. Instead of a starter culture, they grow the yogurt with probiotics.

28
8 months ago

A startup that helps businesses sell on Amazon. Instead of having to set up an Amazon seller’s account, the startup takes care of the legal, accounting, and shipping details.

27
7 months ago

A startup that wants to deliver service-oriented photo printing. Instead of printing, they are printing 3D models or scans of objects you’ve shot with your phone.

27
5 months ago

A company that makes clothes that are made from yarn instead of cotton to help save the environment.

27
1 month ago

A food delivery app that departs from the usual model, charging for delivery to non-customers. Instead of waiting for a customer to order, you can order from a restaurant from the app and have it delivered. The startup is currently in the pilot phase.

27
8 months ago

A startup that allows users to “pay” with their face instead of their phone number.

26
5 months ago

A startup that helps businesses automate the process of reaching out to customers and prospects. Instead of using a “cold call”, which is risky and has a 50% failure rate, companies use a “warm call” that is more successful and costs less.

25
3 months ago

This startup is exploring a new way to send money to friends and family. Instead of using traditional bank transfer, they’re using a virtual currency they call Ven. It’s made of a built-in electronic payment system that’s easy to use, and they say they can send Ven without fees.

25
6 months ago

A health insurance startup that is building a fraud detection platform. The company is building a fraud detection engine that will alert customers if their account is being fraudulently accessed, instead of the fraud being detected by fraud detection systems in the insurance company.

24
5 months ago

A company that uses AI to detect when someone is using the internet to pay for things with their credit cards. They’re currently in the pilot phase and plan to use the results to help other companies get customers to sign up for their products instead of stealing their data.

24
7 months ago

A cloud-based platform that allows families and businesses to forgo forking over large sums of money on software subscriptions and instead just pay for the software they use.

23
7 months ago

A company that makes a product called a “pill stop” which is a pill dispenser for people with bad backs, designed to make it easier to take pills by placing them in a container instead of a cup.

23
4 months ago

This startup is building a tool for talent acquisition. Instead of being on the phone with call centers, an employee can upload their resume, answer a few questions, and be matched with a hiring manager.

22
4 months ago

A startup for the hiring of independent contractors, who are currently forced to pay 70% of the FICA tax to the federal government. The startup wants to eliminate the tax on independent contractors, and instead pay the tax to the state.

22
7 months ago

A tool for crowdfunding on the blockchain, where the funds are held in a wallet, instead of a bank or payment processor, and can be transferred to multiple investors.

20
5 months ago

A startup that wants to move from the “iPhone to the iPhone”. Instead of building apps for the iPhone itself, they’re building specialized apps for all of the things you can do with an iPhone. For example, they recently launched an app that lets you control your Nest thermostat with your iPhone and use it as a webcam.

20
4 months ago

Our team is trying to disrupt the world of product development by creating a platform that allows startups to focus on great product ideas instead of building the product itself.

20
4 months 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.

20
4 months ago

This startup wants to make Snapchat contacts more useful. Instead of just sending a snap to a contact, you can send them a message and have them view it.

20
2 months ago

Instead of using a team of people to go and measure your house, the founders of Wallflower have created a system that helps you take photographs of the interior of your house that you can post to social media with just the push of a button.

20
6 months ago

A startup that aims to make it easier for small business owners to have a storefront presence on the internet. Instead of opening a website the company works with businesses to have a simple storefront integrated into their existing business.

19
3 months ago

A company that, instead of selling bikes and bike accessories, sells insurance for bikes and their accessories. The startup claims it has already signed up 100,000 customers in the UK.

18
1 month ago

A startup for showing you all of your favorite movies on YouTube. The idea here is to provide the functionality of a movie database, but in a more consumer-friendly way that caters to those who aren’t looking to start watching movies, but instead just want to know what movies are coming out that are worthwhile.

18
1 month ago

The startup has a new way to make a product that is more sustainable, less toxic, and less expensive. Instead of using the same old tools and materials,

18
1 month ago

“It’s an app that’s basically a search engine inside of an app. Instead of searching through Google, you search through an app.”

17
7 days ago

A personal fitness tracking app. The startup believes they can be the Uber of fitness tracking. Instead of having to choose between a gym membership or buying a fitness tracker, they want to make the process seamless.

17
4 months ago

This is a startup that allows companies to set up and manage their own online campaigns. Instead of creating an ad and selling it to an agency, you can create a campaign and sell it to a customer.

16
1 month ago

An API that allows users to request a product to be shipped to their home and picked up by someone who works for the company instead of being shipped to a customer’s home.

15
3 months ago

A platform for on-demand laser hair removal that uses infrared light instead of lasers, making it a more affordable option.

14
20 days ago

A company that assists small, local businesses obtain loans. The company doesn’t lend money itself, but instead works with other lenders to provide them with the data they need to be able to make their own loan decisions.

13
1 month ago

A B2B startup that helps “co-workers” communicate in writing instead of phone calls.

12
2 months ago

A startup that helps companies get paid faster by letting employees request payments from their companies instead of having to wait for checks to arrive.

11
2 months ago

A mobile app that allows people to rent out their homes instead of selling them.

9
3 days ago

“Find a product or service that fits your needs and create a custom experience in minutes instead of days or weeks.” The company will automatically match users with the best online seller or service.

4
1 year ago

A startup that provides a service where people can book a room to stay in for a night like AirBnb but instead of an entire house it’s just a room

-1
1 year ago

A startup that creates a service for helping people with their resume The startup helps people get their resume on the top of the pile instead of the bottom

-1
1 year ago

Idea: A new consumer-focused mobile payments app to replace credit cards The company aims to reduce friction by letting users buy things with their phone instead of having to pull out their wallet They want to replace everyone’s credit card information The startup has processed over $1MM in payments

-1
1 year ago

Idea: A mobile game that runs in-browser for the browser-based game streaming service The startup basically wants to make a mobile game but instead of building a native iOS or Android app, it can run inside the browser and be streamed to a phone

-1
1 year ago

Idea: This is a real estate startup that wants to help people find homes to rent. They’re looking to target people who’ve been priced out of the market and need to rent instead of buy. The startup’s pitch is that it’s better than Craigslist because it focuses on neighborhoods and can recommend specific apartments.

-1
1 year ago

A startup that allows you to transfer funds from a card (like a credit card or bank card) to a bank account using an API (application programming interface) instead of a physical card

-2
1 year ago

Idea: A new way to order a steak. Instead of receiving an entire side of beef, customers can order individual cuts to their specifications.

-2


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