13 Tech Startups from Detroit You Need to Know About in 2016

by Michael Boyadjian 9,916 views1

From the American auto industry to the greatest hits of Motown, Detroit’s accolades and merits are steeped in the city’s rich heritage and track record for innovation.

With such a long and fascinating history, Detroit has certainly seen its share of ups and downs. These 13 tech startups are bringing some much-needed disruption to the Motor City.

13. 20 Questions

Source: 20questions.com.

20 Questions is bringing it back to the old school with a modern touch. You don’t have to wait for road trips or parties to play this classic game—just download the app and play with real people whenever and wherever.

12. CribSpot

Source: cribspot.
Source: cribspot.com.

For college/university students, finding off-campus housing is a perennial pain. This company alleviates that pain with a crowdsourced map of potential locations, eliminating the typical house-to-house hunting and watching for rental signs.

11. Fetchnotes

Source: blog.fetchnotes.com.

Cloud-based collaboration is ubiquitous in this day and age; this offerings allows users to work together on tasks more effectively. With Fetchnotes, users can take notes and organize them with hashtags—sharing is accomplished by using the @ sign to designate a username, email address, or phone number. Recipients don’t even need the app to receive notes.

10. Alfa Jango

Source: alfajango.
Source: alfajango.com.

This startup is in the business of helping other startups become, well, startups! Alfa Jango offers technical guidance, development, branding, and design services to startups just getting off the ground. Alfa Jango is just a stone’s throw from downtown Detroit in neighboring Ann Arbor, Michigan.

9. Green Lancer

Source: greenlancer.com
Source: greenlancer.com.

The green energy revolution is here, and this tech startup is certainly a part of the movement. GreenLancer facilitates the adoption of solar energy by helping improve standardization and automation, broadening the network and reduce costs for installers.

8. Selocial

Source: blog.selocial.com.
Source: blog.selocial.com.

How can you make social media even more social? Selocial claims to have developed the answer with this offering. Featured at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016, this startup offers a way to both combine your favorite moments from photos and add music from Soundcloud—include text and hashtags—to create so-called “Selomixes” for publishing/sharing to your friends on social media.

7. Duo Security

Source: duo.com.
Source: duo.com.

This Anne Arbor/Detroit-area tech startup specializes in security solutions for keeping your data and IT assets safe. Duo’s leading two-factor authentication solution prevents security compromises by requiring not only the traditional username/password combination for authentication, but also a verification prompt pushed to the user’s mobile device.

6. Tome

Source: tomesoftware.com
Source: tomesoftware.com.

Tome works with clients such as local heavyweight Ford Motor Company to produce hardware and software solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT). With wearables and other connected consumer technologies becoming more popular, this tech startup innovators is positioned to become an IoT industry leader.

5. Detroit Labs

Source: detroitlabs.com.
Source: detroitlabs.com.

No list of Motown startups is complete without mentioning this tech sphere tiger. Detroit Labs makes apps. All kinds of apps. With a string of high profile clients and a track record of successes, this startup has become one of the preeminent app development shops in Detroit.

4. Are You a Human

Source: areyouahuman.com.
Source: areyouahuman.com.

A question asked since the early days of bots on the Internet, Are You A Human is reclaiming the web for humans. This company claims to hold the key to humanhood with its Verified Human Whitelist™, allowing anyone to verify that real humans are indeed distributing ads, web content, or services in question.

3. Ambassador

Source: getambassador.com.
Source: getambassador.com.

This startup in Metro Detroit creates referral software that enables companies to automatically manage and reward customers and affiliates for promoting their brands.

2. iRule


Source: getirule.com.
Source: getirule.com.

With all of our entertainment box tops, gadgets, and security devices, managing electronics has become a cumbersome affair. Enter iRule—a company that turns your Android/iOS device into a universal remote. No more collecting and losing plastic bricks or hunting for batteries to revive a dead controller.

1. foodjunky

Source: foodjunky.com.
Source: foodjunky.com.

This startup makes getting good eats into your mouth faster and more convenient. Foodjunky is a platform for online food ordering and catering services and has partnered with more than 7,000 restaurants in 250+ markets.

Keep a close eye on these rising tech stars as they emerge on the global stage—right from the doorstep of the Big Three. The products and solutions being developed in the region just might put the Motor City back on the map again as a center for American technological innovation.



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