Seven start-up companies to watch

This blog post is a simple list of startup companies that do something interesting and that I am following to see how they will develop. I recommend potential investors to follow these as well. I do not predict anything about their future value. Nor do I make any recommendations what you should do with your money: I do not know how they will develop, that is what makes them interesting. I limited this list to seven companies: I know more but they will have to wait for a later blog post.

The list consists of companies and teams that I like and wish well, and has been chosen with diversity in mind: some but not all of them I invested in, some of them I know personally, some are in Amsterdam or Utrecht. My implicit message here is that I do not know how to pick sure winners. What I recommend as a strategy instead is to spread your investments, look at ideas from different sources and embrace diversity.

Here they are, in no particular order

  • Infotron. This company, led by Felienne Hermans, is interesting because it is more closely grounded in science than other companies. Felienne, while being CEO, is also working on her doctorate and has published quite a lot of papers behind the spreadsheet wizardry of Infotron.
  • Favour.it. I met this company at a Utrecht startup weekend, where they came to build on their idea and also strengthen their team. They are soon to launch their beta. What they do is let you recommend things, anything, to other people.
  • VideoAvatars. I do not know the team behind this company, but I saw the video presentation at the Rockstart demo event, and it just looked good. They were in Amsterdam for the Rockstart program, but have chosen Asia as one of their core markets.
  • Ideedock is a hard company to assess. Their idea is simple, but that means more competition once they get traction. Their idea is to ask employees of companies for their ideas.
  • Health care startup Promedas. This company is serious about innovating in health care through the use of IT. They should be applauded for their efforts since it is much harder to start in this domain. However the potential impact on society will be much bigger when they succeed. BTW: if you are interested in health care innovations, also check the Alan Turing Institute Almere.
  • Software for Wiskunde Onderwijs (SoWiSO) My first investment via Otterloo Ventures. What makes them interesting is that a new course ‘rekenen’ will be introduced in Dutch schools and sowiso is well positioned to take a share of this new market.
  • Appracadabra – These people make Apps. Their company and way of working is very oldfashioned in a good way. They make children’s apps that stand out because they are original, safe for small children and with proper artwork. By all means buy one of their apps and keep them going, and contact me or business contact Jochem if you want to know if this is an investment opportunity. There Apps are apple-only, unfortunately.

My second implicit message with this list is that I want your input. As you can see I know a few interesting companies, but I am positive there are many companies that I am not aware of. Please leave your suggestions in the comments for other and me to read. Or contact me directly if you are en entrepreneur with an interesting company that I should feature on this blog.

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