2012 was an interesting year for Entrepreneurs with many former startups going public to mixed results. Former industry and entrepreneurial darlings such as Facebook, Groupon and Zynga all went public in 2012 and all had their stocks battered and their business models brought under the questioning and scrutiny that comes with publicly traded companies.
In addition to companies going public, there were a host of successful entrepreneurial startups that included Twitter, Evernote, and Spotify that continued to grow and have yet to go public. What is the next group of entrepreneurial startups going to look like? Here are the top 3 tech entrepreneurs to watch for in 2013.
The founding team of entrepreneurs behind this company includes Mark Bowles, Drew Spaventa, Eric Rosser, John A. Beane, and Robert Genthert. The award-winning San Diego start-up known for its commitment to the environment and its innovative “ATM’s” that repurchase and recycle consumer electronic devices has recognized the fact that millions of new consumer phones and electronics are purchased every year. Rather than have these devices end up in landfills, ecoATM provides cash back incentives for people to turn them in and, in turn, recycles the products.
Considering the rate at which phones and device technology is being upgraded and the potential environmental impact of some of the harmful components of these devices, ecoATM has certainly positioned itself in a niche. Look for this company to explode in 2013.
The company co-founded by Michael Crandell and Thorsten von Eicken has recognized the explosion in cloud computing and the corner that some companies are painting themselves in by developing proprietary software and code for their cloud infrastructure. According to their website, “RightScale cloud management enables organizations to easily deploy and manage business-critical applications across public, private, and hybrid clouds.”
Companies continue to downsize their IT infrastructure in an attempt to reduce operating costs. This trend is likely to continue well into 2013 and beyond as cloud computing grows. RightScale seems well positioned to take advantage of that trend.
Shopkick is a mobile app created by Cyriac Roeding, Jeff Sellinger, and Aaron Emigh. The company’s app, launched in 2009, is now one of the most popular shopping apps available. More than 3.5 million people have tried it, accessing rewards in more than 7,000 stores across the United States. Rather than rely on mailings, emailed coupons and rewards cards, the app allows stores to provide users with the ability to accumulate and redeem rewards right from their smartphones.
Since founding shopkick in 2009 and launching the mobile app in August of 2010, the app has gained a passionate following with over 3 million people having used the app, and the company says that every month thousands more join.
Look for all 3 of these companies to break out in 2013 as they are well positioned to take advantage of market and technology trends in 2013. Mobile devices, cloud computing and mobile apps with shopper discounts are not going away anytime soon. It will be interesting to see if and when these companies go public with their stock and how they would be received. Private investors have certainly been receptive to all 3 startups.