It seems as though startups are popping up by the minute. As intriguing as many of them sound, it’s hard to gauge which ones are beneficial for you.
You can probably find many articles describing a business or application, but it’s always great to hear a user’s experience.
Here are 5 startups that I have personally experienced and highly suggest:
There are only a select few individuals that can relax/nap/fall asleep with ease. For the rest of us, it is an ongoing battle to shut off the brain and take a snooze. Many times we need some assistance, whether that means falling asleep to the TV, reading a book till your eyes get heavy, or if you’re like me, sipping a glass of wine.
A few months ago, my roommate told me about this application called Headspace. Essentially Headspace offers 10 minute guided relaxation/meditation sessions. The first 10 sessions are free so users can decide if it’s for them or not.
Headspace is definitely for me. At $5.99/month (less than a glass of wine), I can listen to a new session whenever I please. The 10-minute sessions are guided by the voice of Andy Puddicombe, the founder of Headspace, who describes the application “A gym membership for the mind.”
If anyone was in Chicago on Super Bowl Sunday this year, you remember the beautiful 19-plus inches of snow we so graciously received. If you’re like me, your parking garage is the side streets. The streets that never get plowed. Ever. So here I found myself on Monday with no food and no way to get to the grocery store. I then decided to plug “grocery” into my app store to see the results and there it was: Instacart.
As a first time user, my delivery was free. The regular delivery fee is $3.99. Very reasonable. The application populated the nearby grocery stores and estimated delivery times. Once I chose my grocery store of choice, a list of available products populated with associated prices. If I did not see a product I needed, I was able to manually enter the item. The application also provides the option to allow substitutes. For example, it may ask, “If seedless cucumbers are out of stock, is a regular cucumber okay to substitute?” Once my grocery list was complete, I placed my order with a credit card. Within two hours, I had a week’s worth of groceries delivered to my front door!
Once in a while, we like to pamper ourselves. With Prettyquick, the process of indulging in beauty is simplified. By plugging in your zip code, the website populates all nearby participating salons. You can book appointments and pay ahead of time through the site.
Let’s say you want a massage. Instead of calling the salon or walking in and hoping they’re not too busy, Prettyquick calls the salon, books your appointment for you and emails you once your appointment is confirmed. By creating an account on the website, you’re able to add a credit card so your massage and tip are taken care ahead of time. This way, all you have to do is show up and enjoy!
I cannot count how many times I’ve bought a product at full price only to find out it went on sale a week later. Have you ever found a product you love but then had to research several stores online to find who has it in stock, in the color and size you need, at the right price? Resultly to the rescue!
With more than 20,000 retailers and 50 million products, Resultly has just about everything you’re looking for. Resultly lets users save searches and set alerts. For example, you love a specific dress but you want to wait till it’s on sale for a certain percentage off. Resultly allows you to set alerts so you’ll be notified when that product fits your criteria. If that’s not enough to spark your interest, Resultly brings top fashion gurus and bloggers to help buyers discover new products based on their search history. Talk about smart shopping!
Let’s say you go out to dinner and everything goes wonderfully – until you have to wait what seems like hours for the check. Reserve is a digital concierge service working to ease the dining experience for both diners and restaurants.
With Reserve, you’re able to make a reservation and upload your credit card information. This way when you’re done dining, there’s no need to wait for a check or pull out your handy tip calculator. Diners can focus on enjoying their dining experience, while restaurant staff can spend more time providing great service and less time running credit cards. In addition, Reserve emails diners after their experience with a copy of the bill and an option to share private feedback. Everyone wins!
What startups are you supporting this year?