2013 Top 10 Startups With Big-Time Potential


It’s that time of year again – when Tweets are fewer and far between, Facebook photos are all from holiday parties, and year in review articles are aplenty. This year’s Top 10 Startup list is similar to past years but with a twist – we’re still featuring the top 10 web startups, but included some obscure startups with big-time potential.

Making a list of the “top” new startups was challenging, the factors I considered are: potential market size, quality of the team, technology edge, business model and exit potential. I assigned each startup a score from 1-20 in each of the five factors, for a maximum score of 100.

The businesses are presented in no particular order.


Pocket was recently rebranded from Read It Later and is now a free service. Pocket (formerly Read It Later) was founded in 2007 by Nate Weiner to help people who discover an interesting article, video or web page, but don’t have time to view it. Once saved to Pocket, the list of content is visible on any device — phone, tablet or computer. It can be viewed while waiting in line, on the couch or during commutes or travel — even offline.

Pocket currently has over 4.5 million registered users and is integrated into over 300 apps including Flipboard, Twitter and Zite. It is available for major devices and platforms including iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Android, Google Chrome, and Firefox.


Tree house’s mission is to bring affordable technology education to people everywhere, Treehouse provides Web Design, Web Development and iOS education worldwide.


LoudBounce is a solution enabling websites to populate their site’s pages with products and content of third party merchants and retailers. LoudBounce integrates CMS, merchandising, reporting, payment & fulfillment with ‘graphical tools based on familiar platforms (Facebook, Google Apps and Microsoft Office.)


Storenvy allows merchants to create branded online storefronts. Their social marketplace allows storefronts to more effectively connect with new customers. The Storenvy Facebook app gives merchants a free store on their Facebook page.


Snapguide is a free iOS app and web service that provides easy to understand instructions for a wide array of topics including cooking, gardening, crafts, repairs, do-it-yourself projects, fashion tips, entertaining etc. Users create guides and share with friends on Twitter, Facebook and other social websites.


Gumroad, Inc. is an online service where users buy and sell digital goods such as design templates and source codes. Gumroad wants to democratize the ability to sell stuff online.


Branch looks to improve the discussion experience that may get lost with Twitter. Branch is in beta testing, so most people can only participate if invited by someone who has access. Discussions are invite-only.


Medium is a new online publishing platform from Obvious Corp. Obvious created Blogger, Odeo, and Twitter. Medium simplifies blogging, posting and building an audience; all posts are organized into “collections,” which are defined by a theme.


The company offers a paid-for subscription service via a browser-based interface where businesses can provide full menus, list their tables and receive notifications from customers ordering by an iPhone. Whilst the consumer-facing iPhone app is, of course, free.

The overall idea behind Storific is to make ordering in restaurants as frictionless as possible, reducing costs but also letting front of house staff concentrate more on customer service rather than purely ratcheting up orders.


Duolingo is a free language-learning website and crowdsourced text translation platform. Duolingo helps you learn languages with your friends while simultaneously contributing to translate real-world content from the Web.

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