May 23, 2018

The best new businesses

For many hopeful entrepreneurs, the inspiration to start a new business can come from almost anywhere – whether it’s a sudden inspiration for a revolutionary product, a desire to make the world a better place, a simple profit motive, the reasons are as varied as businesses themselves.

Whatever the reason behind a new venture, there is always plenty to be learned from success stories who have stood apart from the business world in providing something new. Here are some of the best that were launched last year.

Hungryroot

Founded in April 2015 by Groupon founder and Top Chef contestant Ben McKean, Hungryroot is a food delivery company that specialises in delivering healthy, pre-packaged meals containing 80% vegetables.

Starting out serving noodles made out of beetroot, carrot, sweet potato and swede, each served with delicious sauces from a variety of cuisines, within a month the Mississippi-based company of 25 had sold 10,000 meals – an enormous amount, given the crowded nature of the ready meal sector.

Using new technologies such as modified atmosphere packaging – a packing innovation that means the meals stay fresh for two weeks – the company is riding high on its emotional impact: proving that vegetables can be truly appetising, not merely ingested for their nutrients.

Gogoro

Created by a number of ex-HTC employees, Gogoro is a truly 21st century transport company, offering customers the chance to purchase an electric scooter than can be quickly charged through the use of replaceable batteries charged at stations throughout a city. These two physical systems then tie into an app that allows users to see how charged their vehicles are and where they can find local charging stations.

Currently operating over 140 charging stations in and around Taipei, Taiwan, Gogoro is taking off, currently looking for the next world city to host its low-energy, clean transport system. The company’s OPEN Initiative allows interested individuals to host their businesses as charging stations, or nominate their city to be the next city to see expansion – a truly grassroots, technological approach that’s proving popular among environmentally-conscious individuals.

Periscope

It’s always a telling sign if a company is bought before it’s even launched, and that’s exactly what happened to Periscope when it was bought by Twitter in February 2015. One month later, the innovative live-streaming application was launched to a fanfare, with users loving the ability to stream footage to literally anyone, who could then watch the stream back at a later date.

The application has been a huge success, offering a novel service while proving that when an idea is defining enough, attracting investors is an incredibly easy task.

Amazing business ideas can sprout up from anywhere, but as the above show, to grow massively in a short space of time, the offering must be technologically sharp, unusual, and able to elicit emotional responses in the public.

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