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Public Startup Ideas

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SITU is building a messaging app to help people connect with their local government. It’s meant to make government more approachable and transparent to the public.

3,112

This is a startup that uses a mobile app and a camera to find street-level recycled products and sell them to the public. They started with old library books and DVDs, but are now selling all sorts of things.

138

A SaaS platform to help companies quickly build and manage apps using public and private cloud. The company is currently cash-flow positive with over 100 paying customers.

103

A company that’s trying to solve the problem of how to get information from a decentralized public database like Ethereum to a centralized database.

102

An AI-based machine learning project to help identify specific threats to the public water supply in a specific area.

99

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.

99

This company is building a better way to help people get around crowded cities by providing real-time information on public transit options.

97

A startup that makes it easier for medical professionals and public health workers to track and share data about outbreaks

96

A startup that is building a platform for training teachers in the US public school system. The startup wants to make school more attractive and profitable.

96

A platform for managing publications, which focus on business and science-related content. The company has raised a total of $50 million, including a $22 million Series C in August 2017.

94

A mobile app that helps people find nearby parking as they drive for their carpools, ride-hailing, or public transit.

92

A startup that helps e-commerce businesses expand globally. The company says it has helped over 1,000 merchants expand into more than 60 new countries. The company has already launched its first product, a global e-commerce marketplace, to the public and has launched in six countries.

92

A startup that sells physical books and online courses to help people with public speaking

91

A startup that lets people write to their local news outlets and broadcast their thoughts and ideas to the public, akin to what the Snapchat Discover platform does for millennials. The twist, of course, is that these broadcasts are live and recorded.

91

A platform for online tutoring with a focus on helping teachers and parents out of school. Tutor-to-tutor videos are on-demand, and the startup is also working on a way to make the private video chats public and shareable.

90

A startup that enables a group of people to share their carpools and public transportation with one another. It’s a bit of a meta application in that the startup is building an app to help companies integrate carpooling into their business models.

89

A startup that creates a way to share useful content from a company’s public site with potential customers.

89

A way to use the public API of a company to send out notifications about its products.

88

A company that is building a platform to help people get involved in public policy and political engagement.

85

A startup that wants to repurpose drones to help monitor traffic patterns and street corners for the police, fire department and other public safety agencies.

85

A platform for law enforcement to send crime alerts to the public

83

A small team that wants to build a decentralized, public-blockchain-based accounting system that’s easy to use for small businesses in emerging markets.

83

A startup that wants to help users make more money by selling their excess household items to the public.

83

A digital health platform that provides a much better, more complete view of a person’s health. The company has been in stealth mode for a couple of years and is now publicly launching.

82

A startup focused on offering a new way for people to get around. The company is focused on making public transit faster, more reliable, and more accessible, and it wants to do that by buying out bus companies and running them as its own private transportation network.

82

A mobile app for public health professionals to “ensure all patients are treated in the right place at the right time”

81

This startup is using the goodness of Twitter to build up a public database of “interesting” places to eat, with a focus on those that are “off the beaten path”.

79

A company that offers free, unlimited public Wi-Fi

79

A network of public and private buses that connect to each other and to bike lanes, helping commuters get where they need to go.

78

A startup that sells a tool for creating videos that are designed to be shown on screens in public

77

A food delivery app that has a rewards program. The app is currently in private beta with the public beta expected in 2020.

77

An encrypted messaging app, “built for the public sphere”

77

A startup that is a directory of certified public accountants

76

A startup that promises to improve the reliability of your WiFi, by giving you a constant connection to the internet even when you’re in an area with weak signals. The idea is pretty simple — by bouncing a signal off of a cell tower, the startup is able to provide a stronger signal to the device. At the moment, it’s in a sort of alpha stage — the company will be launching a Kickstarter in early 2016 to help fund a smartphone app, which will then be released for the general public.

76

A venture-backed accelerator that prepares social-media influencers to launch their own online ventures, helping them manage their social-media buzz and their brand and how they interact with the public.

75

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.

72

Plans to allow folks to leave their cars at home and get around on public transport in cities

72

A company that makes using real estate listings data more accessible to the public.

71

The company is an online pharmacy, with a twist. They are creating a marketplace where doctors can sell pharmaceuticals to the public, and the public can buy these drugs directly from doctors.

69

A tech company that makes digital services for the public health sector. They’re focused on getting government agencies to talk to each other.

68

A publicly traded company that provides a platform for people to make money from their photos and videos by selling them on their platform.

68

A startup that aims to help make the case for Medicare-for-all. The company is building a platform to help explain the economic case for Medicare-for-all to the general public.

68

A digital payments platform for small business owners that enables them to take payments in person, over email, or via mobile. It’s currently in private beta but plans to launch publicly next year.

67

A startup that aims to host livestreamed public discussions about important issues.

66

A startup for public safety and first responders, that informs decision-makers when there’s a threat or emergency.

64

A startup that builds a software platform that lets users track public transit and payment transactions from their computer.

63

This startup aims to “make data science a core competency for all public and private enterprises”, offering software and infrastructure.

63

A company that’s building a technology platform to help the public sector figure out the best way to use technology when it comes to delivering public services.

63

A startup that helps users find and pay for public transportation in the UK, and lets them know when their bus or train is on schedule, and lets them track where they are on their route.

62

A startup is building a platform to organize and share photos and video of food. They’re already organizing the food into a public database.

62

A startup that helps you find and use the best public transit to get to your destination.

61

A new way to make small investments in companies via a traditional stock exchange, where a fund manager buys shares in a private company and sells them to public investors. A good example of a startup that is trying to bring the benefits of high-frequency trading to a more traditional model.

58

A for-profit company that wants to create a social network for “sponsored content” where brands pay to influence public opinion.

57

A user-generated marketplace for project management tools, allowing companies to sell them to the public

57

This startup offers a platform to help companies and organizations collaborate on content, from making public records to organizing conferences. Its founders describe it as a “LinkedIn for events”.

57

An “API for the public sector,” offering a portal for payments, project management, and services.

56

A tool that curates content from a user’s favorite publications, including news and lifestyle

56

A startup that offers a student loan refinancing service specifically for those in the public sector.

55

OpenPlans is a software company that helps people find a new home to buy, using data from real estate brokers and public records. They’ve raised over $5 million to date, and are now focused on building a platform for other developers to build on.

53

A company that makes it easy for anyone to get online in the Philippines. The startup partners with telecoms to provide Internet in areas where it’s not a priority, and has also partnered with the government to provide WiFi in the streets and public areas.

49

A startup that allows you to get access to a private concierge while you’re in a public place. The app wants to make it easier for people to get private help when they need it.

47

A web-based service that aggregates and provides access to public data about real estate, letting people search for information and data about everything from price and listing inventory, to property tax rates and construction information.

45

A tool to help members of the public report issues with the Metrorail system.

43

A notification system for public safety, allowing first responders and hospitals to be notified when someone tries to harm themselves or someone else.

43

An API that provides access to public transportation data in real time.

42

A platform that helps companies host events, with a large focus on live events. It has a marketplace through which businesses can advertise their events, custom event tickets, and sell tickets to the public. Three big clients include LinkedIn, Twitter, and Visa.

39

"A startup for public transportation from bike-share to ride-share to carpooling."

39

The company is creating a platform for companies that want to take advantage of their networks of publicists, leading to more effective, more affordable marketing.

36

A software platform that stores and shares your memories in a private, secure and public-facing format.

36

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.

34

A platform that brings together investment opportunities from the public markets to the private markets, and vice versa.

32

A startup for scheduling social events, with an “invite only” feature that makes it more exclusive than a public event.

32

A company that wants to make it easier for public companies to raise money from private investors.

31

A 2 person startup that’s building a smart phone app that helps people speak in public and reduce their anxiety.

30

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.

29

A solution for companies to provide real-time expense tracking and invoicing from anywhere in the world. The company is currently charging for the early access of its beta, but plans to launch publicly in early 2019.

23

This startup is building a way to protect the public from fake news, by offering a service that will check and verify which news stories you see on Facebook.

23

A startup that wants to build a software-as-a-service platform for public radio stations.

20

A tool for creating and distributing your own live stream video. Ideas are from developers, and are developed via a “discovery pipeline”, where a public vote decides which one of the new ideas will be built.

17

An AI-driven tool for helping banks detect fraud and other financial crimes, and for the public sector to visualize and understand their finances and data.

15

A company that helps developers build apps for the iPhone. The startup already has 7 clients, including the Obama campaign, and plans to go public in the first quarter of 2020.

14

The company is now offering a free version of its software that handles data collection to help the public understand the safety of local honey.

14

A wireless network for Internet of Things devices in public places

14

A startup that helps companies create content in the form of paywalls, with a service that allows companies to make their own sites for paid content. Currently they are partnering with major publications to create content for their site.

14

 A startup aiming to compete with Uber drivers by letting the public order rides the same way they order food.

13

A startup that helps you find the best way to get from point A to B via public transportation or carpooling.

10

A startup that wants to help people who work in public health figure out how to evaluate different vaccines.

10

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

10

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.

10

A decentralized prediction market, looking to use the power of the blockchain to bring more transparency to public wagers. The startup already has a partnership with the NBA to use data on player performance to create more stable markets.

10

A self-driving, electric vehicle startup. The startup is building an autonomous electric vehicle that can be used in public transit. The cars are currently in beta.

9

Idea: Data-driven software for prosecutors and public defenders that aims to reduce incarceration and recidivism

-1

Idea: A “smart” version of a public restroom

-1

Idea: Public Relations for the Non-Profit Sector

-1

Idea: A startup that helps people with mobility issues navigate the world. It’s a website that aggregates all the information you might need to find a public restroom or get to a destination nearby

-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