A major U.S. financial center second only to New York City, Charlotte is home to major banking institutions like Bank of America and Wells Fargo, as well as a growing community of innovative tech startups as well.
And with incubators and accelerators driving the local startup ecosystem—seeded by talent from UNC Charlotte—the city is fast becoming a leading center for startup innovation in the U.S. Here are 13 that top the list for 2016.
Passport is a collection of mobile/web apps designed to help streamline the transportation industry for users and officials. Parking, transit, citations, and permits are all covered—from paying for parking spots and bus tickets to purchasing permits, among others. Based in Charlotte, Passport is available for iOS/Android and works across the country.
fitRaise is a smart combination of the fundraiser and the walkathon. Organizations can use the website to create events; sponsors use it to pledge support—per mile, as well as per minimum and maximum donation caps. Event participants then use the app each time they exercise for the event—whether it be walking, running, or cycling—to calculate the distance. At the end of the event, the sponsors pay organizations for the total distance covered. fitRaise’s app is available for both iOS and Android.
ShomoLive connects venues, musicians, and fans on one easy-to-use platform. Venues can find and book artists for their shows/specials and musicians can find venues to perform at. Fans can keep track of their favorite artists: when tours start and when/where they are playing locally. ShomoLive also has a “Discover” feature to explore musicians, venues, and artists by genre.
PodKeeper is a new way to keep groups organized and communicating easily—ideal for families, sport teams, parent groups, and more. Users can make multiple pods, one for each group—within each pod, groups can send messages, keep a calendar that syncs with individuals’ emails, upload files to be viewed/filled out, and more.
Mango Technologies’ Mimri app downloads, saves, and shares memories as cards that can interacted with as such( e.g., swiped through and deleted). Unlike other social sharing apps, there are no likes or counts—only account holders can view numbers of followers and views.
TakeHome’s food ordering and delivery app features restaurants that don’t offer delivery otherwise, allowing users to choose from a larger selection of dining choices than competing services. The service is available on the web and for iOS/Android devices and covers restaurants in the Charlotte area only.
Fridayd simplifies job searches with its automated job matching platform. Once users select a plan and upload their resumes, the site goes to work identifying possible matches—by industry, level, role, and more—with feedback and adjustments from the user as needed. Though Fridayd doesn’t take care of all of the heavy lifting—applicants still need write their own cover letters—it certainly makes the process of finding a job significantly easier.
eMunching enables restaurants to build their own apps quickly—ideal for pushing specials and deals to customers/followers, accepting and managing reservations, promoting and marketing events, promoting non-peak times and new dishes, and more.
WeRx is a public forum for customers to post medication prices at various pharmacies. It aims to provide transparency around prescription medication purchases, as pharmacies usually cannot provide the price of a prescription without first filling it. WeRx is currently available as a web and iOS app.
Both a website and mobile app, VoteRockIt connects candidates, campaigns, and advocacy groups with voters and volunteers. It allows voters and participants to stay updated with speeches, ways to get involved, messaging, and more; managers and candidates can keep track of their supporters and reach out to them. VoteRockIt is also helpful for PACS, charities, and international organizations.
Giusto is an app that helps caterers and event planners plan out event attendees’ food and drink preferences in advance. Attendees use the iOS app to list their dietary restrictions and foods they do/not like. As information is added, caterers can see the consolidated data for planning ideal dishes or ingredients to use.
PalPrices is a budgeting app that helps travelers more accurately budget or prepare for vacation destinations—both within the U.S. and internationally. The website features a list of prices for various products and services: a pint of beer, a taxi ride, a hotel room—in several preferred cities, as well as accompanying infographics showing the cost of a weekend in different cities.
2ULaundry offers on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning services: customers simply sign up online, select the appropriate plan (e.g., per item/load, unlimited items/loads), and leave their laundry to be picked up. Items are then returned to the customer within one business day, folded and pressed. The company also offers garment repair, alterations, and even shoe shining/repair. 2ULaundry is currently available in the Charlotte area—from Mooresville to Fort Mill.
From more intelligent job searching to on-demand laundry services, these 13 Charlotte-based startups are poised to go head-to-head with the best and brightest from Silicon Valley. Be sure to keep an eye on these Queen City tech startups as they fine-tune their products/services and expand into other markets.