Texas holds a lot of records, such as the biggest airport, the most parking lots, and of course the biggest state in the contiguous U.S. But is it about to add the best lineup of startups to that list?
They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and when it comes to entrepreneurs whipping up some of the most impressive small businesses in the country, the state doesn’t disappoint. From ambitious graduates looking to enter the job market to angel investors on the prowl for the next big thing, heading to the border might be a smart move.
Here are six impressive Texas startups to keep an eye on in 2014:
1. Cointerra: Based in Austin, this Bitcoin-centric company is dubbed a “world-class semiconductor engineering company which designs and produces state of the art cryptocurrency ASIC processors and systems.” Using advanced architectures, methodologies and vertical integration, it delivers mining solutions for this growing currency at lightning speed. Its mission? Become the most-trusted option for Bitcoin transactions.
2. WP Engine: You’ve probably heard of WordPress, if not used it. It’s the most user-friendly platform to build blogs and/or websites (but still has a learning curve). Also based in Austin, WP Engine does all the heavy lifting for you, allowing customers to select from a la carte options to get their online presence up and running on WordPress. However, it’s the company's “heartfelt passion to make their customers successful” that really sets them apart.
3. Think Stripes: With more and more marketing budgets shifting away from traditional media and toward branded content, it’s no surprise that content marketing agencies are popping up like crazy to meet the growing demand. What is surprising is one of the country’s fastest growing content-marketing agencies hailing from none other than Lone Star State -- Dallas to be exact.
Related: Texas: The Big Mama of Brands
Think Stripes is an agency that prides itself on creating content “made for humans,” rather than -- as they so delicately put it -- “content that looks like it came out of a robot’s arse.” Them is fightin’ words, but Think Stripes has the reputation and client-base to back it up (ever heard of Salesforce?). The team there call themselves professional wooers, and when you see their work, I think you’ll agree.
4. Houston Makerspace: Have a dream of creating furniture, want to take a class on cabinetry, or need a garage to take care of your classic-car restoration? Real estate is a prime resource, and many in the creative and mechanical fields simply don’t have that luxury -- until now. Houston Makerspace secured $10,000 in late 2013 as part of a crowdfunding endeavor and just opened its doors to the public. You can take relevant classes in your industry or simply rent the space and tools you need to get the job done.
5. Seniors in Touch: Located in Friendswood, the motto “keeping families connected” is the foundation of this startup dedicated to linking seniors in care facilities to their loved ones. Using patented technology, seniors are equipped with very user-friendly touchscreen communication devices that take absolutely any learning curves or fuss out of staying connected. Photosharing and even taking selfies, email, and journaling are truly made simple.
6. Hurl: You can find the creators of this app in Houston, helping make video sharing easier by linking the app to any screen with an internet connection. Turning any screen into a jukebox was the goal of this startup, founded by two friends who knew video was the hottest content of the future but also realized it was a hassle at best. Enter Hurl to solve the problem.
This is just a teaser of the innovativeness coming out of Texas. The sky really is the limit when you’re in the Lone Star State.
Do you know of any Texas-based startups we should have on our radar? Let us know in the comments section below.