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City Startup Ideas

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A startup that provides a marketplace for businesses to buy and sell excess freight capacity

268

A tool for choosing where to eat in a city.

224

A startup for city-dwellers to browse, buy and sell locally produced goods.

140

A startup that helps track and connect people who want to apply for jobs in a specific city, and allows them to see the job openings, apply and schedule interviews, get feedback on their applications, and communicate with recruiters. Available in the San Francisco Bay Area.

135

A new online service for monitoring food safety by connecting restaurants to their city’s local health department, so they can get regular reminders about things like food safety.

134

“Best of Philly” Awards by the Philadelphia City Paper:

126

A startup that provides a service where people who are visiting a new city can get a box of carefully selected items that will help them enjoy their stay

123

In 2018, the firm moved its headquarters from San Francisco to New York City.

115

The app acts as a digital wallet for your car, helping you use your phone to buy gas and get directions, and to pay for parking and tolls in the city.

113

A company that helps users schedule, organize, and share their ideas. The startup currently has a few dozen customers in New York City and San Francisco.

109

A startup that provides a service for people who have lost their job to find work in another city

108

In October 2014, The Wall Street Journal ranked the Philadelphia area as the top city in America for startups.

107

A web and mobile app that helps people learn which service providers offer the best deals on electricity, gas, and water.

105

A mobile app that helps people find the best and cheapest public transportation in their city. Called "Uber for Transportation", it's already in beta in New York and San Francisco.

105

A startup that provides a service for people who are visiting a new city, to help them get a feel for the local culture

104

The startup is an online marketplace for local services. Currently it’s focused on New York City.

103

A new company to help people make connections in a city, using a “social media platform for the community”

103

Starting as a maker of carbonated drinks with the tagline “For those who don’t have air,” this startup is building a new kind of Citrus Cloud, which will use the sun as a source of carbon dioxide to allow plants to grow in areas without electricity.

102

New York City’s drone delivery startup. The startup wants to get packages from warehouses to homes in a half hour.

102

A SaaS tool for finding and booking open-ended, immersive style tours in any city. The startup also offers a booking platform for short-term travelers and an app that lets you book tours in advance.

97

A shortcut to finding new restaurants in a given city

95

New York City-based startup that helps schools manage their online course catalogs and payments.

95

A conference in New York City on blockchain in the energy sector.

95

A digital platform for apartment hunters to compare various apartments in a specific city.

94

A company that creates a platform to help people find the best places to live in their city.

94

 A platform to help people pay for parking in a city using a smartphone.

94

A startup that sells a service that helps people who are visiting a new city find interesting things to do

90

A startup that helps people find a place to stay when they travel to a new city

90

A simple way to find and pay for parking in the city of Chicago

90

The team behind this startup wants to help you connect with people you know, but only if they’re in the same city.

90

A startup that lets users order and send takeout in New York City.

90

Two founders left YC to build a $10 per month service to help food delivery services become more cost effective and more like an on-demand service. It’s available in a few cities in the US, and it’s simple: a “geofenced” area with a few delivery zones that are cheaper than a full city block.

89

A startup that finds the best places to eat, shop, and stay in a new city.

89

THISWEEK.io is a news magazine that tells you what’s happening this week in your city.

89

A startup app that helps you put your Tesla car into “hybrid mode” so you can use it like a gas car in the city.

88

In June 2018, the Startup Genome Project released data on the 100 most active venture-backed startups in the world. Of the top 100 startups, 12 were based in the San Francisco Bay Area. That was more than any other single city in the world.

88

A startup that uses AI to identify what companies will be impacted by the city’s transportation-tech initiatives, so they can be more strategic in their expansion plans.

88

A platform for letting people work remotely from anywhere. Currently working with three companies, including one in New York City.

88

A data center with a 1 MW capacity for storing data and a network of 20,000 servers. It aims to help businesses and governments solve big problems with big data.

88

aims to aggregate all the deals and coupons for a given region or city. Users can search, compare, and subscribe to the best deals in their area, then get updates on new deals, or even unsubscribe.

88

A startup in the hospitality industry that helps people do business travel (IE A startup that helps people find a place to stay when they travel to a different city for business)

87

A startup that aims to take the power out of microgrids and put it into the hands of consumers. The startup is working on a battery pack with solar panels that can be installed on the rooftops of homes and offices and be used to supply electricity for a certain period of time, much like a powerbank.

87

A platform that shows you the cheapest electricity rates in your area, saving you money.

87

A social network for people to share and discover what’s new in their city.

87

A startup that makes a sensor that attaches to the outside of buildings and measures the humidity and temperature for every room. The startup is currently working with a handful of commercial buildings across New York City.

86

A video food delivery service. The startup is planning to launch in Mexico City in the fourth quarter.

86

A new company that aims to make it easy for people to get to know each other in a new city and find a place to live, quickly.

85

A company that helps users find and book lodging for a unique event in a city. Right now, you can book a flight, but you can also book a hotel for a one-night stay or a week.

85

A startup that makes it fun for anyone to submit a link to a site they’ve created, have it reviewed by real people, and feature on the site. They’re currently working with a few sites, like the website for an artsy bar in New York City.

85

A startup that helps international entrepreneurs network with each other in their city

84

A platform for people who want a green source of electricity (like rooftop solar)

84

With the help of a $500,000 grant from the New York City Economic Development Corporation the company is building an app that lets companies share the same schedule in one place, regardless of whether they’re centralized or distributed.

84

A blockchain startup that verifies the authenticity of luxury handbags

83

A startup that allows you to create an “Airbnb for Food”, allowing you to find and discover local restaurants that also allow you to book tables in advance. The company says it has already helped to book a hundred tables in New York City.

83

This startup is building a better way to find local services. The company is taking a data-driven approach to finding services for residents in a given city and helping them find what they are looking for.

82

A startup that helps people who live in the city get things they need from the country (IE I live in the city but need a goat to sacrifice, hire someone to go out into the country and find me a goat

81

New York - New York City is home to the largest financial district in the world, but the cost of living for interns in this area is so high that it’s difficult for companies to entice young talent to stay. This startup, known as Give, wants to make it easier for companies to hire interns.

81

A Boston-based startup that wants to take on Slack. The startup is creating a full-fledged chat platform that they say can go head to head with Slack. The company, which has raised $2.5 million and has no product yet, is based in the city’s Innovation District.

81

A startup that provides research and analysis to companies that want to do business with the city government

79

A startup that’s building a location-based search engine for restaurants, highlighting the cuisine of a city via an interactive map.

79

This startup is building a social network for people to share their favorite places in their city, the things they like about them, and maybe even buy things from them.

79

A platform meant to make it easier for city governments to build and manage their own smart cities.

79

The company has a fleet of self-driving delivery vans that can deliver anything from groceries to dry cleaning to furniture. The startup has 100 drivers in its first city of Los Angeles and plans to expand to other cities in the US and abroad.

78

a startup that wants to help you find an electrician or plumber from a group of local pros. All you have to do is plug in the city and zip code.

78

A startup that helps people who are visiting a new city know what the best restaurants are to eat at

77

A weather app that shows the color-coded forecast for the next 2, 3, or 4 days for your city, added to your iPhone’s weather app. This startup is in the space currently, but differs in that it recently launched as a standalone iOS app.

77

"Idea" is a series of articles that provide a comprehensive overview of the startup scene in a given area. The goal is to highlight the most interesting and unique startups in a given city.

77

Another startup looking to challenge the status quo of the food delivery space. Olo wants to deliver a food service experience with a focus on healthy eating and delivery. It’s currently focused on New York City.

76

A city-level tool to let governments track environmental health and pollution using sensors, analytics, and mobile-based data. The startup has the backing of the mayor of Chicago and the EPA.

76

A startup that lets you buy, organize, and sell artwork from artists around the world, with the option of searching for art by artist or subject. ArtGen is based in New York City.

75

A resource for finding the best yoga classes and teachers in a particular city. The company also wants to develop a global directory of yoga studios.

75

A real estate startup in New York City that’s looking to help people and companies find a space in the city. They’re focused on the New York City market.

74

A way to pay for parking and city transit in order to reduce traffic and keep cities green.

74

A company that helps hot dog vendors in New York City sell their hot dogs by linking them to their Instagram accounts. It’s meant to make the process of selling hot dogs more efficient and profitable.

71

Jeeves is a service that lets people reserve rooms on Airbnb, post photos, and chat with hosts. It’s currently running in San Francisco and Los Angeles and has plans to expand to New York City, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

71

A physical marketplace for selling and renting used cars in New York City. The startup wants to build a “supermarket for second-hand cars” and focus on luxury cars.

71

A company that helps athletes and other team members make sense of their training data. The startup was founded in November and is currently available in San Francisco, New York City, and Boston.

70

This is an “ATM of the future” where you can quickly find the nearest cash machine and pay with your phone, with the machine having the capacity to be disassembled for easy travel.

69

The startup has built a software platform that gives brands the ability to create real-time webinars through web browsers or mobile applications. The company is based in New York City and is backed by a $3 million seed round from investors including 500 Startups, Forerunner Ventures, and Lerer Ventures.

69

A company that allows people to fly from city to city without ever having to catch a plane.

68

A simple solution that allows people to track and pay for their electricity, gas, and water bills. The company wants to make paying bills easier than it is today and aims to cut costs for customers as a result.

63

A tool that predicts which part of a city you might want to live or work in, based on what’s nearby.

63

A startup that wants to help cities build and deploy smart city solutions

63

A platform that allows people to see how their city compares to others in terms of access to safe drinking water and sanitation. It’s currently in beta and launching in San Francisco.

61

A startup that aims to help companies find the best talent for each job. They are based in New York City.

60

City-state management software company, enabling governments to be more dynamic, efficient, and effective. The startup was founded in May, and has over 50 clients nationwide.

60

A tech company that provides data on the city’s road network, and the people who drive them.

60

A company that aims to help people who don’t have money invest in mutual funds. It’s based in New York City.

58

A mobile app that helps people build a virtual reality experience while they walk around a city. Currently focusing on VR adoption in India.

58

A startup that helps people experience the city of their choice in VR. The startup has already helped a few dozen people experience the Amazon rainforest, and has plans to expand to other cities.

56

A startup that helps people find cheap flights to and from the city where they’re visiting. The company says it’s already been used by tens of thousands of customers who saved $1,000 on a flight.

56

A mobile app providing users with recommendations on where to eat in their city based on their location. The company says it processes over 20 million restaurant reviews every month.

54

A software company that helps businesses figure out how much they’re paying for electricity, and then sets up a cash flow model to ensure they’re using less electricity. The company has a database of over 1,000 utility companies that it uses to calculate the cost of electricity.

54

An employee-owned co-living space in the heart of New York City in which residents can rent private rooms for $1,000 a month with monthly fees of $200.

53

iaidigital is building a digital tool that helps cities better manage their streets and sidewalks. The startup’s software can take a photo of a pothole and instantly notify the city of the problem.

53

Derringer is a company that reduces the risk of email scams by providing a service that verifies authenticity of emails, using domain reputation.

51

 A micro-sanctuary for homeless pets in New York City. The startup aims to make it easy for people to adopt homeless pets while keeping them in a safe environment.

51

A startup for finding and sharing the best parties in your city

51

Combining the ease with which inter-city carpooling apps like UberPool and Lyft Line can be found with a new approach to making the rides more affordable, by adding a personal concierge to the ride to help with navigation, scheduling and other tasks.

50

A mobile app where people can donate money to artists or bands that they like. The startup is working with artists like N.E.R.D., KATY PERRY, and SEX AND THE CITY.

50

A platform for hiring and managing employees at the city level, connecting businesses to local workers, and also to city governments for help.

49

A startup that’s building a way for people to explore and explore a world of their own around their city. It lets you drop in for a day, look around, and get a sense of the neighborhood without having to physically travel to it.

49

This startup is working on a $10,000 electric bike aimed at the city commuter,

48

A startup that provides on-demand access to a local barista. The concept is similar to Uber Eats, except these “district kitchens” are meant to be in neighborhoods that don’t have their own cafes. The service is currently only available in one city, but plans to expand to others in the near future.

48

A payment system for small businesses in the Philippines, with a focus on remittance, based on a user’s location. The startup wants to target merchants with a high volume of transactions but low capacity, such as small shops and restaurants.

48

A company that is working with local governments to help them use the power of social media to bring transparency to city hall.

48

The company wants to help the city of London manage its parking meters with a system that’s less expensive and more efficient than London’s current system.

47

A way to build a “smart city” using AI and sensors, with the goal of reducing energy consumption and creating a better overall environment.

47

A company that combines the reach of Facebook, the functionality of Slack, and the simplicity of email. The startup is aiming at small businesses and enterprises that want a way to collaborate across teams to stay connected without spending a lot of time in the office. The company is currently in private beta.

46

A shopping app that brings product discovery, price and availability data to comparison shopping, with an emphasis on simplicity.

46

A platform that helps companies build their own “anchor stores” — the “experiences” that people want to do in a particular city. For example, a company like Amazon might want to open up a store in San Francisco, but they’re not the first company to do so. The startup builds out a list of all the other stores in the area, and allows companies to apply to open up a new one.

45

A ridesharing app that will pair people with drivers who have a car that can fit the rider’s luggage. The startup wants to make it easier for people to visit the city on vacation.

45

A startup that sells an innovative model of “waste-to-fuel” that turns waste into electricity.

44

A 4-person team has written an iOS app that lets people search and pay for tickets to, and receive discounts on, the city’s iconic public art installations.

42

A startup that helps businesses spend less on electricity costs by managing their energy usage (through usage monitoring and energy saving measures.)

41

A mobile loyalty program on the city’s streetcars. Citymapper has a small but active mobile app for iPhone and Android devices that is a map of the subway and bus system in London. The company is also building a loyalty program that rewards users for using it.

40

A ridesharing service based in New York City.

40

A company that tracks and lets users track their own electricity usage, to help them save on their monthly bill

39

iaidigital helps cities manage their streets and sidewalks. It uses the power of machine learning to automatically flag and alert city workers about potholes, graffiti, and other issues.

39

A startup that helps people find affordable housing in cities like New York City, Los Angeles, or San Francisco (and other cities too).

38

A company that helps you find the best restaurants in your city

38

A startup based in New York City building a “personal assistant” for the workplace.

37

Other notable startups in the city include:

37

The Startup is developing a toolkit for city governments looking to bring internet to poor places. The company is building it using the latest smartphones and is working with the government of Kenya.

35

Trying to make it easier to find a rental property in a city

35

A virtual assistant that works with your phone’s GPS and data to help you find and reserve a place to stay while in a new city.

34

A business that seeks to create the next generation of data reporting for agencies, which are tasked with crunching the numbers on everything from city budgets to loan applications.

34

VentureBeat is an American technology news and media company based in New York City. It was founded in 2009 as a print publication, and has since expanded to include a website and mobile apps, and became a venture-backed startup.

32

A meat delivery service for restaurants. The startup, which has raised a $500,000 seed round led by Khosla Ventures, is working with restaurants and chains to deliver lunch and dinner to customers in San Francisco, New York City, and Boulder, Colorado.

32

A health care startup in New York City that provides home care to seniors.

30

A way to find cheap, reliable electricity, with solar panels on the roof.

29

A startup that helps users find and share the best places to go within their city, then make reservations directly with the restaurant.

28

In August 2018, the company raised a $2.5 million seed round from Right Side Capital, and has since expanded to New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco.

28

A company working to connect “smart cities” around the world, hoping to connect smart devices and smart city infrastructure.

28

San Francisco-based startups, the city is famous for being “the capital of startups.” However, in recent years, the city has begun to lose its startup scene to other locales in the Bay Area, particularly Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco itself.

27

A Web3-enabled P2P marketplace to buy and sell electricity. The company has a white paper in development and a prototype.

26

A platform for drivers to find customers via chat. Currently operating in New York City.

26

A chat app that lets you order food at home and pay ahead of time. The startup has already worked with two restaurants in New York City to demonstrate the concept.

25

A food delivery service that uses a fleet of small delivery scooters to deliver food to busy city streets.

23

“From the outside, our team is probably the most diverse in the YC batch [of the past five years],” says cofounder Raman Harsh, an MIT alum. “There are no limits on race, ethnicity, religion, or gender.”

23

The startup’s goal is to build a $500 device that can be used to produce electricity from small amounts of water, such as rainwater.

22

A digital communications company based in New York City. Their software is designed to help companies interact with their employees via phone, email, or chat.

22

The startup is building a “mesh” of a microgrid. Microgrids are local electricity grids that can re-route power, and as such are an effective tool for disaster recovery.

21

A startup building a shared bike network in San Francisco. The company is looking to build a system that’s simple to use and ties back to the city’s existing Circulator bus system.

21

A tool that helps users manage their electricity usage with a dashboard.

21

Building a platform that lets users to buy and sell home goods via a marketplace. The startup has already secured a partnership with the Indigo chain of bookstores, and is looking to launch in New York City soon.

20

A low-cost, high-speed, high-capacity network for manufacturing. Each hub is designed to be small, modular, and scalable.

20

This list is not a comprehensive list of every startup in the region. We have excluded startups focused on a single vertical in a city, startups founded in a certain part of the world, and startups that are only based in one city.

20

A place for people to find events that work for them. You’ll see a map of the city and nearest parks. You can also add events to a “todo list” and have the map and todo list sync up.

19

A tool that lets you manage and schedule your home’s electricity consumption.

19

A company that helps teachers get better at teaching. The startup is currently in a pilot with a few hundred teachers in Philadelphia and New York City, and has been in Y Combinator since November. It aims to take out the headache of grading papers and lesson plans.

18

A tool to help people navigate an unfamiliar city in real time by overlaying maps to show their relative location on the map.

18

A startup that allows members to connect with others in their city and import their address book to find things to do, see what’s open and when, and share with friends and family.

18

Becoming a New York City taxi driver is a good way to make good money, but only if you have a clean record. The startup, which has a number of New York City employees, wants to make the process of getting a taxi license more efficient, and safer. They’ve gotten a lot of traction in New York City, and have promised a monthly income of $1,000.

17

This New York City startup is building a subscription service for the restaurant industry. The founders behind the company believe that the industry is plagued by high costs and a lack of execution.

17

This startup asks the question: “What if you could make your kitchen more efficient” If you want to save money on electricity, the company says, you could make your kitchen more efficient, cut down on your food waste, save time, and eat healthier.

17

A full-stack mobile app for local businesses with a focus on food and drink, designed for city living.

17

A digital agency that helps companies like Facebook, Google and Apple with communications needs in China. They launched around the same time as startups like Bird and Paper City.

17

Similar to the idea of saving money on your electric bill, but for water. This service connects people who live in the same building and have the same water account in the same city.

16

There are two ways to get around the city. The first is the conventional private vehicle. The second is a bicycle. EcoBike wants to connect users to their bicycles via apps, and provide a software platform to allow the bikes to talk to each other.

16

A free, public-access platform for planning and sharing ideas on how to make San Francisco a better city.

16

 A platform that incentivizes rental cars to offer free rides for people who don’t have cars. The startup is based out of New York City.

16

A startup that helps brands create their own mobile app using a service that lets them create apps for iOS, Android, and web platforms. It works with a variety of clients, including Sesame Street and the New York City Transit Authority.

16

A startup that allows users to find and book the cheapest flights to any city.

16

An online payday lender that offers short-term loans of $500 to $2,500 to customers who are struggling to get by. The company is currently in New York City - it is looking to expand to other cities.

16

A way to buy and sell real estate from your smartphone. It’s currently in talks with real estate companies and local governments to bring the startup to its first city.

16

The company wants to help marketers predict which city will see the most growth in mobile app usage. They’ve built a machine-learning algorithm that generates possible markets based on a number of factors, including population density and the amount of money spent on mobile devices.

15

A platform for managing and tracking the public records of a large group of users. It helps a school, a city hall, or a large organization keep track of its records.

14

A company that offers a service that allows the public to view details of the companies that supply their electricity. The app displays companies’ ethics and data from their websites and connects to their electricity suppliers through the cloud, giving people the ability to see how much they’re paying for electricity.

14

A platform that helps local governments keep track of who has the rights to land in their city.

13

A search engine that aims to provide a direct answer to the question “What is the best restaurant in this city”

13

A tool to help small businesses identify and actively manage their customers. The startup is already up and running in New York City.

13

A data science platform that helps companies understand their customers better with AI-based tools and AI-powered insights. The startup is based in New York City and is backed by Y Combinator and SV Angel.

12

A local news app that curates the best stories written about the neighborhood, city, state, or country you’re in.

11

Citymapper is a map app that helps people navigate cities around the world.

11

A platform to give users a “just in time” grocery delivery in a few minutes in a city where in many places a delivery can be a two hour wait.

11

Paylocity is building a tool that will help companies automate payments between companies. Their tool works with multiple companies, with plans starting at $10/month.

11

A platform to streamline the hiring process for contractors. The startup is working with the New York City government to build a platform for the city to hire construction contracts as efficiently as possible.

11

A startup that will let you see real-time data on the weather for the day in your city, in order to get ready faster.

10

A startup that lets people create profiles, connect with each other, and search for events in their city.

10

This startup is developing an app for people to find parking spots in the city. It relies on real estate data, and also uses images of parked cars to supplement the real estate data.

8

Idea: A startup that helps people who are new to a city find places to live. The startup is targeting international students, new workers and the like, and aims to partner with landlords to make a profit.

6

Using AI, this startup aims to make it easier for people to help their friends and family by text. The platform is currently running in beta in New York City for the time being.

6

A free app that helps people find good places to eat in a given city by rating and mapping the restaurants, and providing reviews by community members.

6

A mobile app that lets you search for local entrepreneurs in your city to connect with and request help.

6

A company that works with local governments and nonprofit organizations to help them get free, city-wide WiFi for their residents. They have funded and built their own network in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and expanded to New Orleans, Detroit, and Indianapolis.

3

A startup for people who are moving to a new city and need help finding new friends

-1

A startup that provides a service to help people get their pets set up in a new city

-1

A startup that provides a service for helping companies transition employees from one city to another

-1

A startup that specializes in helping people who are applying for a job in a different city

-1

A startup that provides people with a directory of all the furniture stores in their city so they can go out and buy furniture for their new place

-1

A startup that provides a service where you can rent a room from a stranger and stay in the city that you are visiting for a short period of time

-1

A startup that connects people who are looking to buy a property in another city with a realtor in that city

-1

A startup that provides people with a service for packing up their pets and shipping them to a different city

-1

A startup that provides a service for people who are moving to a new city and are looking to get a job there A startup that provides a service for people who are moving to a new city and are looking to get a

-1

A startup that gives people a guided tour of a city (I know there’s one for NYC, but there could be one for other cities)

-1

Idea: A startup that wants to connect travelers with locals The idea is to enable people to go on trips and connect with locals who can show them the top things to do in a given city

-1

Idea: A startup that reduces e-commerce fraud by analyzing images for authenticity

-1

Idea: A startup that connects consumers with local, sustainable food products The startup says it’s already working with over 50 local food producers, and has customers in New York City, San Francisco, and Montreal

-1

Idea: A fiber optic company that wants to build “the fastest network in history”. Their first city is Orlando, Florida.

-1

Idea: A startup that provides software for scheduling employees on factory floors, allowing them to match production capacity with demand and prevent under- or over-production of goods.

-1

Idea: A startup that’s trying to make it easier for urbanites to move around their city using a variety of transportation options, from public transit, to ridesharing, to walking.

-1

The event was held on a larger scale than any previous TechCrunch event. It had a venue capacity of 2,500 people, and received 2,200 applications to attend.

-1

Idea: A startup that makes a $500 software-as-a-service platform for managing storefronts. These give pop-up shops a chance to set up shop in a new city in a matter of hours.

-1

Idea: A community directory for short-term housing aimed at tourists and newcomers to a city. The startup is planning to expand to other cities in the future.

-1

A startup that provides a platform to connect visitors with locals who can show them around a city

-2

A startup that provides a service for people to use when they are going to a new city for business It helps them find places to go, things to do, and restaurants to eat at

-2

A startup that helps people move to a more expensive apartment in a city that is rapidly gentrifying

-3

A startup that helps people move more easily through the city

-11