New York and Silicon Valley are known as popular startup hubs, but there are other US cities that have become home to cool and successful tech companies too.
We’ve compiled a list of 24 of the hottest startups in cities across the US, with a focus on companies growing in flyover states. To do so, we spoke with investors and members on the tech scene.
Though our list includes some big names, it also features fledgling startups, some of which you may not have heard of yet.
Bumble, like Tinder, uses profile swiping to match singles in the same town. But on Bumble women make the first move, and men who receive a match have 24 hours to respond before the match disappears. When same-sex couples get matched on the app, either party can make the first move.
Bumble launched eight months ago, and it's approaching 1 million downloads. The app has over 5 million conversations started by women, over 1 billion swipes, and 15% week-over-week growth.
Where it's from: Austin, Texas
Founders: Whitney Wolfe
Funding: none announced
What it is: If you want to meet someone you don't know via LinkedIn, there's no good way to do it. So two data scientists who met at Stanford, Alex Devkar and Paul McReynolds, founded Conspire to help you get introduced to anyone you want to meet.
Conspire uses your email account as the basis for a game of Six Degrees of Separation. Sign up, and it analyses your email. Then enter the name of the person you want to search and it finds someone in your contact list to introduce you, examining that person's social-media connections. It may even find multiple people to help introduce you. Then it will recommend the best choice.
Conspire uses a smart algorithm to figure things out like the multiple email addresses of the same person. The founders say it operates at 95% accuracy.
Where it's from: Boulder, Colorado
Founders: Paul McReynolds, Alex Devkar
Funding: $US3.5 million from TechStars, Tahoma Ventures
When you buy a product from Cotopaxi, it has a specific cause attached to it. The company wants its customers to feel a connection with the causes they choose to support through their purchases.
'If you buy the Inca backpack, you're giving one week of tutoring to a child in an orphanage in Bolivia,' CEO Davis Smith explained to TechCrunch. 'If you buy the Sambaya fleece, you're giving one cancer treatment to a woman in Senegal. If you buy the Cambodia water bottle, you're giving six months of clean water to someone in Cambodia.'
Where it's from:Salt Lake City, Utah
Founders: CJ Whittaker, Stephan Jacob, Davis Smith
Funding: $US9.5 million from Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Brand Foundry Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Jeff Kearl, Josh James, New Enterprise Associates, Peterson Ventures, Kickstart Seed Fund, SherpaCapital, Tekton Ventures
What it is: Sometimes a great business idea isn't the result of years of planning, a lifelong dream, or a magical flash of insight. It's about seeing a trend and jumping on it.
That's what happened with Apu Gupta, cofounder and CEO of Curalate, which provides advanced image analytics for social networks like Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram, with clients like Gap and Ogilvy.
Gupta pivoted Curalate from his original startup idea, called Storably -- an Airbnb for parking and storage. Now, Curalate does pixel-level analysis to understand why images do well, building algorithms to consume and interpret 30 million images a day.
Where it's from: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Founders: Nick Shiftan, Apu Gupta
Funding: $US12.4 million from New Enterprise Associates, First Round, MentorTech Ventures, Vayner/RSE
What it is: If you need help moving your heavy stuff, Dolly has you covered. The startup beta-tested in Chicago last year before launching in December. Using Dolly's website or app, you can post what services you need done -- things like moving a heavy couch or an entire apartment full of stuff -- and then wait for one of Dolly's 'Helpers' to respond.
Dolly's drivers are background-checked and use their own vehicles for moving. Dolly's pricing comes from the app's algorithm, which suggests a cost based on factors like how many items you're moving and how far you're moving. CEO Mike Howell told the Chicago Tribune that Dolly is intended to help people move without having to ask friends or rely on moving companies and services like U-Haul.
Dolly's closest competitor is likely TaskRabbit, a startup that lets you outsource jobs (like moving) to people nearby. Right now, Dolly is available only in Chicago and Seattle.
Where it's from: Seattle, Washington
Founders: Kelby Hawn, Jason Norris, Michael Howell, Chad Wittman
Funding: $US1.7 million
What it is: Founded by YouTuber Casey Neistat, Beme wants to be the simplest way for you to share video with friends by completely cutting out all of the editing and sharing options that social networks like Snapchat and Instagram have.
How it works: Videos on Beme are no more than four seconds long, and you're unable to see what you share before you post it. The way Beme shoots video on the iPhone is unique. The app taps into a sensor on the iPhone called a proximity sensor, which is next to the camera on the front of your iPhone.
It's the sensor that detects how close the iPhone is to your body, and when it's covered and Beme is open, the app starts shooting video.
Where it's from: New York, New York
Founders: Casey Neistat
Funding: $US2 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Vayner/RSE
What it is: Companies like Facebook, Eventbrite, Yelp, and Etsy rely on Duo Security for its two-factor authentication and security services. Duo Security makes user accounts safer and easier to access. Duo Security's two-step sign-in system makes users use a second factor -- usually in the form of a smartphone or a tablet -- to verify their identities.
Even if an unauthorised third party, like a hacker, were to get access to your username and password, Duo Security's cloud-based, two-step verification means the bad guys can't get into your accounts. The company raised a new round of funding from Google Ventures and Benchmark earlier this year to help organisations protect themselves from stolen employee credentials.
Where it's from: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Founders: Dug Song, Jon Oberheide
Funding: $US49 million from Redpoint Ventures, Benchmark, Google Ventures, Radar Partners, True Ventures, Resonant Venture Partners
What it is: Dwolla is a startup that makes it easy and cheap for businesses to collect payments. It's free to send money with Dwolla -- you aren't charged a percentage, like credit-card companies or PayPal.
'Ultimately we're trying to build the next Visa, not the next PayPal,' CEO Ben Milne told Business Insider. 'We're building a human network based on how we think the future of payments will work. The current model needs to be blown up.'
Dwolla lets you send money to anyone who has a Dwolla ID, an email address, or a phone number. You can also set up recurring payment and mass-payment options. In addition to catering to people, Dwolla has services for nonprofits and businesses, letting a company have higher transaction limits and next-day transfers.
Where it's from:Des Moines, Iowa
Founders: Ben Milne, Shane Neuerburg
Funding: $US32.5 million from CME Group, Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, Village Ventures, Thrive Capital, Paige Craig, SeventySix Capital
What it is: There's a new way to edit genes, and companies want to use it to treat disease.
Editas Medicine, a startup based in Cambridge and founded in November 2013, wants to eventually use the technology to treat disease by coming up with therapies that can modify faulty disease-causing genes.
For example, researchers could use the technology to replace a disease-causing mutated gene with a healthy one. This new technology -- known as CRISPR-Cas9 -- would be a huge boon to the medical community. It could allow scientists to home in on a particular, potentially faulty gene and swap it out with another, potentially healthy one.
Where it's from:Cambridge, Massachusetts
Founders: J. Keith Joung, George Church, Jennifer A. Doudna, Feng Zhang
Funding: $US210 million from Alexandria Venture, Boris Nikolic, Casdin Capital, Deerfield, EcoR1 Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Flagship Ventures, Google Ventures, Jennison Associates, Khosla Ventures, Omega Funds, Polaris Partners, T. Rowe Price Associates, Third Rock Ventures, Viking Global Investors
What it is: ExpenseBot wants to help you track your expenses and get reimbursed as fast as possible. When you sign up with ExpenseBot, the company collects your credit-card transactions and allows you to capture and track your receipts on its mobile app. ExpenseBot reads your receipts, matches them with your credit-card charges, and determines automatically which of your purchases are eligible for reimbursement from your employer.
The company then creates a smart expense report for you. It integrates with your phone, email, calendar, and credit card to learn your spending habits and track expenses.
Where it's from: Cleveland, Ohio
Founders: John Siladie, Ed Buchholz
Funding: $US1.1 million from Dave Carlson, Drummond Road Capital, eonCapital, Hatch Partners, LLC, Morris Wheeler, Jeremie Berrebi, Kima Ventures, LaunchHouse
What it is: Favour founders Ben Doherty and Zac Maurais are best friends who met in high school while working as pizza-delivery guys. They wanted a way to order delivery from any other store or restaurant but didn't know how to make it happen, so they bought a 'Coding for Dummies' book, physically sliced it up with a knife, and got to studying it.
An early iteration of their app was intended just to let college kids at Cal Poly order beer and burritos at the push of a button. But today, Favour serves retailers and restaurants that don't already have delivery service. When you place an order via Favour's iOS or Android app, you'll get your food or groceries delivered to you within an hour.
It's different from Seamless, Caviar, Munchery, or any of the other startups catering to food delivery because it focuses on restaurants that don't already have a delivery system. Delivery fees are $US6 in addition to 5% of the cost of your order.
Where it's from:Austin, Texas
Founders: Ben Doherty, Chris Labasky, Zac Maurais
Funding: $US16.9 million from Bill Boebel, Chuck Gordon, Mario Feghali, Pat Matthews, Silverton Partners, Tim Draper, S3 Ventures
What it is: Washington, DC-based FiscalNote has a tool that the company says can predict the outcome of policies proposed by Congress and state legislatures. According to FiscalNote, its artificial intelligence and data-mining software is 94% accurate.
Tim Hwang, the company's cofounder and CEO, volunteered on President Obama's presidential campaign in 2008. The company's board of advisers include DC heavyweights like retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Alec Ross, who was once Hillary Clinton's senior advisor.
FiscalNote's clients include Planned Parenthood, the Republican and Democratic governors associations, Lyft, and Uber. Its early investors include Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang and Mark Cuban.
Where it's from: Washington, DC
Founders: Jonathan Chen, Gerald Yao, Tim Hwang
Funding: $US18.2 million from Renren Inc., Middleland Capital, Visionnaire Ventures, 645 Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Enspire Capital, Fresh VC, Green Visor Capital, New Enterprise Associates, QueensBridge Venture Partners, Winklevoss Capital, First Round, Mark Cuban, Plug & Play Ventures, University of Maryland
What it is: Founded in 2011, GoodRx is an online prescription drug price-comparison tool. It lets you type in the name of the drug you were prescribed, enter your area code, and compare the cost of the same prescription across the closest pharmacies.
It attacks the No. 1 reason many Americans don't take their medications -- cost -- by finding cheaper places to get them. GoodRx collects prices and discounts from pharmacies nationwide every week to keep prices current.
Where it's from: Los Angeles, California
Founders: Trevor Bezdek, Scott Marlette, Doug Hirsch
Funding: $US1.5 million from Founders Fund, Highland Capital Partners, Upfront Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, SV Angel, Mike Ovitz, and Dawn Lepore
What it is: Founded by former CEO of Quidsi, Marc Lore, Jet is on a mission to take on Amazon. Jet has raised $US225 million at a $US600 million valuation -- the most equity funding ever raised in the first 12 months by a US commerce company.
Jet uses a Costco-like model: Instead of making money on individual product sales, it reels in cash through its $US50 annual membership fee. It intends to keep its prices low through a dynamic pricing model that adjusts order costs in real time according to factors like how many ordered products are in the same warehouse, or the distance an order has to travel for delivery.
Only one month into its public launch, Jet is looking to raise a boatload of more money, at a valuation to the tune of $US2 billion, according to Fortune.
Where it's from: Hoboken, New Jersey
Founders: Marc Lore
Funding: $US220 million from High Peaks Venture Partners, MentorTech Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates
What it is: If you're a recent grad looking for a job in tech, Koru wants to help you. The startup offers a four-week intensive business program to recent graduates to help them land jobs at tech companies. The skills students learn vary -- there's social-media training, Google Analytics, a guide for giving good presentations, and more.
Students get a chance to work inside a company like Zillow or Amazon to get hands-on tech experience. The startup says 85% of Koru grads get hired right out of the program. For now, Koru's programs are in San Francisco, Seattle, and Boston, though the company also offers a mixed in-person/online version of its course.
'There is a clear and massive need for an efficient talent marketplace in today's job market where employer expectations for entry-level hires are increasing while pathways for graduates are less and less clear,' Kristen Hamilton, Koru cofounder and CEO, told TechCrunch.
Where it's from: Seattle, Washington
Founders: Josh Jarrett, Kristen Hamilton
Funding: $US12.6 million from Maveron, Arnold Capital, Battery Ventures, City Light Capital, First Round, Launch Angels, Trilogy Equity Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, QueensBridge Venture Partners
What it is: If you walk into a store in Boston, there's a good chance you'll see a sleek, white box near the checkout counter. That box is a QR-code scanner made by LevelUp, a Massachusetts-based startup that offers one of the cheapest ways for merchants to handle credit-card payments on the market.
LevelUp considers itself an advertising company masked as a payment company.
How it works: On the consumer end, you download the app and enter your credit-card information one time. LevelUp turns that credit-card information into a scannable QR code, which is accepted by 14,000 partnering stores. Rather than pulling out a card to pay, a customer opens the LevelUp app and places the QR code to the scanner and the transaction is complete. A study put together by Sweetgreen, a salad chain that uses LevelUp, showed paying with LevelUp takes seven seconds and it's faster than using a credit card.
Where it's from: Boston, Massachusetts
Founders: Seth Priebatsch
Funding: $US40 million from Bill Boebel, Chuck Gordon, Mario Feghali, Pat Matthews, Silverton Partners, Tim Draper, S3 Ventures
What it is: Luxe is an app that promises to help you with the annoying task of parking in cities. It works similar to other on-demand mobile apps: before you leave your house, you plug in the address of your destination. The app tracks you as you make your way there, and about 10 minutes before you arrive it matches you with a Luxe attendant.
Dressed in a bright blue jacket, your attendant meets you at your destination, hops into your car, and asks when you will need it back and whether you want the attendant to run your car through a car wash or to fill your tank up with gas. Then that person takes your car to one of several lots in the city that Luxe has struck up deals with.
The most surprising thing about the app is that it costs $US5 an hour, or $US15 a day. That is much less expensive than other services. A competitor in this same space, ValetAnywhere, charges $US6 an hour and up to $US42 a day.
Where it's from: San Francisco, CA
Founders: Craig Martin, Curtis Lee
Funding: $US25.5 million from Venrock, Kevin Colleran, Rick Marini, Rothenberg Ventures, Eniac Ventures, Data Collective, Slow Ventures, Foundation Capital, BoxGroup, Upfront Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, SherpaVentures, Google Ventures
What it is: When PillPack founder and CEO TJ Parker was a kid, he worked in his parents' mum-and-pop pharmacy in New Hampshire. This, he told Fortune, let him see customers' frustration for himself. 'We want to reimagine what end-to-end pharmacy experience is for customers,' he said.
PillPack, which Parker launched in 2014 with Brian Hoffer and Elliot Cohen, is an online pharmacy that ships prescriptions and over the counter drugs to its customers. It cuts down on human labour costs by using robots and machine learning to sort drugs into packets before shipping them.
Since launching in February 2014, PillPack says it's processed more than a million shipments.
Where it's from: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Founders: Brian Hoffer, Elliot Cohen, TJ Parker
Funding: $US62.8 million from CRV, Accel Partners, Atlas Venture, Menlo Ventures, SherpaCapital, Andy Palmer, David Tisch, High Line Venture Partners, Kevin Colleran, QueensBridge Venture Partners, Slow Ventures, BoxGroup, IDEO, Lucy McAllister, Lucy McQuilken, Sridhar Iyengar, Techstars, Walter Winshall, Zen Chu, Founder Collective
What it is: Uber cofounder Oscar Salazar -- a serial entrepreneur who has founded both a carpooling service and an 'Uber for healthcare' startup since leaving Uber -- now has a new venture, Purple, which lets you request an on-demand gas refill for your car.
Using Purple's app, you can schedule a gas delivery within one or three hours. You'll be notified when a professional is en route to come fill up your tank. You don't have to be around for the delivery, Purple says. All you have to do instead is leave your gas-tank door open for the Purple courier. Purple says it is compliant with safety measures from the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and local municipalities.
Where it's from: Los Angeles, California
Founders: Oscar Salazar
Funding: none announced
With its smart sprinkler system, Rachio wants to help you get a beautiful lawn without wasting water.
What it is: Rachio is a smart sprinkler system that makes a $US249& controller called Iro, which lets you water your lawn from your phone. Iro is a WiFi-enabled device that turns your sprinklers on and off remotely and lets you schedule irrigation automatically, based on factors like water budgets, local weather, soil characteristics, and more.
Rachio wants you to be able to have a beautifully landscaped yard without wasting water or having to water your lawn yourself. Iro is powered through Rachio's cloud-based software. Users control it through Rachio's website or Rachio's iPhone and Android apps.
In November, Rachio announced it would be teaming up with Nest Labs, as part of Nest's 'Works with Nest' program for third-party developers. Other startups like Pebble and Dropcam are also partners.
Where it's from: Denver, Colorado
Founders: Franz Garsombke, Chris Klein, Matt Reisman
Funding: $US3.4 million from Galvanize Ventures, Jon Hallett, Jordan Mendell, Kevin Colleran, Miramar Venture Partners, Raino Zoller, SK Ventures, Slow Ventures, Urban.Us, FG Angels, Hany Nada, Jeff Richards
What it is: Vinli wants any car made from 1997 until now to be a smart car. To accomplish that, the connected-car startup has made a sensor that you can easily plug into a small diagnostic port on your car.
Once it's plugged in, you have access to a bunch of apps and diagnostic services as well as a WiFi hotspot you never could have otherwise in a non-smart car.
'We wanted to approach the aftermarket first because that's what will affect most of the cars on the road,' Vinli CEO Mark Haidar told BuzzFeed News. 'You plug Vinli into any car and you have a connected car. What we did was the sort of model (Google used for Chromecast). You plug it into anything and you have a smart TV.'
Where it's from: Dallas, Texas
Founders: Scott Harper, Mark Haidar
Funding: $US6.5 million from Samsung Ventures, Continental ITS, Cox Automotive, First Round, The Westly Group
What it is: When Jared and Brandon Rodman were kids, their mum worked in a dentist's office. 'There was a point in my life when I wanted to be a dentist. My mum is a dental hygienist. I've got a number of friends who are dentists,' Brandon told TechCrunch. 'I've always liked the dental industry. But I like business and software, and I didn't like the clinical side.'
The brothers' first startup was a call center for dentists, but then they realised there was more to be done. They pivoted their first company and created Weave, which is trying to fix customer service for dentists and doctors.
Weave allows these schedule-based businesses to integrate their customer relationship management software into phone calls and text messaging. For instance, when you call a dentist or doctor who uses Weave, the office knows who you are, and whether your family members need to schedule appointments.
Where it's from: Lehi, Utah
Founders: Clint Berry, Jared Rodman, Brandon Rodman
Funding: $US5 million from A Capital, Fuel Capital, FundersClub, Homebrew, Initialized Capital, SV Angel, Y Combinator
What it is: Wellinks is a wearable health-technology company that wants to help people whose treatment doesn't end when they leave their doctor's office. The New Haven-based startup, founded by Ellen Su, Levi DeLuke, and Sebastian Monzon, has created a medical device that provides real-time feedback and data for people who suffer from scoliosis.
Wellinks addresses an 'overlooked but important problem,' cofounder Sebastian Monzon says. Unlike other wearable health devices, Wellinks' device works by providing immediate feedback for doctors, patients, and parents. It records information about how long a back brace has been worn. Its goal is to reduce the number of surgeries performed on people with scoliosis. It's waiting to begin clinical trials.
Where it's from: New Haven, Connecticut
Founders: Sebastian Monzon, Ellen Su, Levi DeLuke
Funding: $US100,000 from Connecticut Innovations, YEI Innovation Fund
What it is: If you haven't already heard about it, Yik Yak is a gossip app taking high schools and college campuses by storm. It works by letting users post anything they want, anonymously.
All posts are collected into a feed that gets updated in real time. Feeds are location-based, so you can see only what people nearby are posting. But new updates to the app let you 'peek' at other communities, even if you're not nearby. Some schools have blocked the app.
Where it's from: Atlanta, Georgia
Founders: Tyler Droll, Brooks Buffington
Funding: $US73.5 million from Sequoia Capital, Tim Draper, Kevin Colleran, Azure Capital Partners, and DCM Ventures
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