Technology 11 min read

10 Innovative Tech Startups to Watch out for in 2021

annmariephotography /

annmariephotography /

Main Tech Startups Takeaways:

  • The term startup describes any company that’s in its first state of operations.
  • Successful tech startups sells a product or service that customers are willing and able to buy.
  • Companies that are just launching begin with a small test market.
  • The best startups are usually based on disruptive ideas.
  • It’s essential for new companies to engage their target communities.
  • Some innovative tech startups to watch out for include INK, Ohmconnect, Kaia Health, to name a few.

We’ve seen several innovative technologies from tech startups in the last few years. And that’s partly due to recent advancements in the field of artificial intelligence.

According to Statista, funding for AI startups worldwide amounted to $24 billion in 2019 — a tenfold increase from 2013. This post will consider the top tech startups to look out for in the coming year.

While some of these companies introduced new products or services, others have delivered existing technologies in new ways. First, let’s consider an obvious question.

What is a Startup?

The term startup describes any company that’s in its first state of operations. It involves one or more entrepreneurs developing a product or service that they believe to be in demand. Since startup companies begin with limited revenue and high costs, they usually require capital from various sources. Such sources usually include bank loans, government grants, business incubators, and venture capitalists.

When you hear the phrase tech startup, one thing that probably comes to your mind is a dingy basement in Silicon Valley. And that’s not surprising. At $1.6 trillion, the United States remains the largest tech market in the world.

However, a startup’s success extends beyond mere location. Here are some characteristics of the best tech startups.

What are the Best Startups

Tech startup image shows a five people with laptops sitting around a table.
Annie Spratt/

The best startups share similar characteristics. For example, they exhaustively research product-market fit and take feedback seriously. Along with selling relevant products or services, the best startups also build engaged communities. What’s more, the best startups are based on disruptive ideas — changing the status quo in an existing marketplace.

Here’s a breakdown of the qualities that are common amongst successful tech startups.

1. Sells Products That Consumers Want

Every successful startup sells a product or service that customers are willing and able to buy. In other words, a perfect product-market fit is vital for a favorable outcome.

While the definition of product-market fit seems pretty straightforward, many startups struggle with it.

According to a CBI report, the primary reason startups fail is because they misread the market demand. In fact, 42 percent of failed startups attributed their failure to a bad market fit.

On the other hand, successful startups perform detailed market research. What’s more, they’re willing to adjust an initial concept or idea — in response to research — as it rolls out.

Figuring out the product-market fit creates a better foundation for success.

2. Starts with a Small Test Market

The most successful startups begin with a small test market. After finding that a product or service appeals to a large market, the clear choice might be to take it all at once. But that could be a massive mistake.

“That signifies that you haven’t defined categories correctly,” said PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. “And you’re going to be dealing with too much competition in one way or another.”

Furthermore, reports suggest that over 70 percent of businesses fail due to premature scaling. Meanwhile, successful companies start small and fine-tune their process as they grow.

For example, Mark Zuckerberg initially launched Facebook in Havard, followed by other Ivy League schools. The platform eventually expanded to become the biggest social media platform in the world.

3. Based on Disruptive Ideas

The most successful startups — especially in the tech industry — are based on disruptive ideas.

A Harvard Business School professor, Clayton Christensen, coined the phrase disruptive technology.” It means changing the status quo and upending the current market to deliver massive returns.

With that said, the factors that make a company disruptive is subjective. For one, disruptive ideas vary based on the space that a company occupies. It also depends on what the startup hopes to achieve.

Besides increasing returns, a disruptive idea should delight your customers and irritate competitors simultaneously.

4. Takes Feedback Seriously

One essential quality of successful startups is their ability to adjust to feedback.

Whether it’s from investors, advisors, or customers, the top startup companies extract value from feedback. They then use these responses to improve their product, service, or business model.

It’s no wonder that mentored startups grow over three times faster and raise seven times more money.

The savviest founders develop relationships with mentors to learn from their successes and mistakes. What’s more, relying on these advisors early on helps founders focus on critical things.

5. Builds Engaged Communities

Unlike most established companies, successful startup companies usually think beyond acquiring new customers. Instead, they work towards building and engaging a community.

For example, Product Hunt managed to build a massive online following by engaging its users on Twitter.

Luckily, several other forums for building an engaged community exist besides social media. These include online forums and messaging apps such as Slack. It’s a convenient tool for engaging with the prospect directly.

After considering the qualities of startup companies, let’s jump straight into the subject.

Ten Tech Startups to Watch out for in 2021

Image shows two hands and two computers on a table.
Free-Photos /

Here are the ten innovative tech startups to watch out for in the coming year in no specific order.

1. INK

INK is a content technology company that focuses on ways to optimize content performance on search engines.

The company hopes to create a world where “storytellers can take control of their search destiny.” So, it developed an SEO writing platform called INK that offers just that — control of search engine visibility.

INK‘s writing editor contains a list of tasks to help optimize your content for search engines. What’s more, the software also tells you how much more likely you are to rank if you complete these tasks.

It’s no wonder that INK was nominated for the best search software tool category in the 2020 U.S. Search Awards. Similarly, the software platform was a 2020 Content Marketing Awards finalist.

The company was founded by Michael Umansky, Alexander De Ridder, and Gary Hayman.

2. SoLo Funds

SoLo Funds Inc is a technology-oriented financial platform that started with a simple mission. And that’s to provide quick access to lower interest rate loans that are under $1,000.

With that in mind, the Los Angeles-based tech startup launched an iOS lending exchange called SoLo that connects lenders and borrowers.

Thanks to its cutting-edge tech, SoLo can assess individuals’ creditworthiness that traditional financial institutions may have overlooked. The software leverages several data points and a machine learning process to determine borrowers.

SoLo Funds has tons of great reviews and recognitions, including the 2020 Startup of the Year award. The company’s founders are Jarrel Carter, Rodney Williams, Taylor Bruno, and Travis Holoway.

3. Ohmconnect

OhmConnect, Inc is a San Francisco-based tech startup that provides energy management solutions via smart meter analytics.

In 2014, three people — Cadir Lee, Matt Duesterberg, and Curtis Tongue — with different work experiences united on a single purpose. They wanted to tackle the challenge of long-term sustainable energy.

So, the trio developed OhmConnect, a way to gamify energy savings.

Users can sign up and hook Ohmconnect into their Wi-Fi thermostats, electric cars, and other smart devices. That way, the system can automatically recommend when to save energy.

Users that participate can sell their energy reductions into the markets as an additional generation. According to reports, average savings are around $100 per year. The company reportedly paid over $300,000 to its California users.

Although the Ohmconnect is relatively young, it has caught on with over 100,000 users already. We’re curious to see how the company grows in the coming year.

4. Attestiv

Attestiv is an information technology company that verifies the authenticity of digital media and data.

Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, spotting deep fakes is more challenging than ever. So, it becomes necessary to devise a solution that could discern a stored asset’s authenticity.

And that’s what Attestiv does. The company uses AI and blockchain technology to assure the authenticity of digital media. That way, it could help organizations with fraud prevention and detection.

Shortly after raising $2 million seed, Attestiv teamed up with another blockchain firm, Algorand, to fight insurance fraud.

Attestiv is currently enjoying several recognitions. And that includes the 2020 Insurtech 100 for its tech innovation within the insurance market.

5. Kaia Health

Kaia Health is a digital therapeutics startup seeking to provide affordable and effective relief to chronic disease patients. These include back pain and COPD.

To achieve this goal, the company leveraged technologies such as artificial intelligence and computer vision. It also works alongside medical personnel to offer interdisciplinary treatments via its app.

In other words, Kaia Health provides quick access to non-pharmacological therapies at a low cost.

Like the other startups on this list, Kaia Health is a relatively new company — founded in 2016. However, it has already enrolled more than 400,000 users in its digital therapy program.

What’s more, the company has total funding of $48 million.

6. Emoty.AI

Emoty.AI is a Turkish tech startup that focuses on emotion detection solutions. It uses deep learning techniques to analyze specific physiological data, such as:

  • Eye-tracking
  • Microexpressions
  • Pose detection
  • Stress analysis
  • Pupil analysis, among others.

Emoty.AI uses its emotion detection technology to provide market research solutions. For example, cinema production and UX testing companies can benefit from behavior analysis.

The company has only existed for about a year. However, it’s one of the innovative tech startups that are revolutionizing their sector.

7. is a fintech company that offers an innovative way to make online purchases without sharing personal information.

The startup allows anyone to generate virtual and disposable payment card numbers for free. That way, users won’t have to share their personal information with online vendors or payment platforms.

As you may have guessed, the idea is quite popular.

In fact, has reportedly issued over five million virtual card numbers within the last three years, and that’s not surprising. The service helps users avoid issues arising from e-commerce security breaches. recently announced that it had raised $10.2 million in a Series A fundraise.

8. Xbird

Xbird is a Berlin-based medical artificial intelligence company that provides software solutions in the healthcare sector.

Founded in 2015, this German startup uses AI-powered healthcare to personalize therapies for better results. That involves analyzing data from smartphones and wearables to predict and prevent health risks.

At the moment, Xbird is focusing on diabetes therapy. The company uses its algorithm to prevent hypoglycemia in diabetes patients by recording their behavior and lifestyle.

Xbird currently has two investors.

9. AirGarage

AirGarage offers an all-in-one app for both parking space owners and customers.

The startup began with the goal of providing technologically advanced parking solutions and services. So, it developed a smartphone app that covers the requirements for managing a parking spot in an area.

These include visitor registration, enforcement, payment collection, and customer support, to name a few.

AirGarage has raised a $2 million fund from both angel investors and venture capitalists. Also, the company currently manages parking lots across 22 states in the United States and Canada.

10. Jeenie

Jeenie provides an on-demand American Sign Language Interpreter to users that have hearing difficulties.

A quick look at the language service world would reveal its expensive fees. According to the company’s CEO and co-founder, Kirsten Brecht Baker, in-person translators charge between $90 to $125 per hour.

That’s where Jeenie comes in. It’s a mobile platform that connects users to video calls with a live HIPAA-trained medical interpreter for in-person patient communication. And it costs as little as $1 per minute or less.

Like SoLo Funds, Jeenie also won the Startup of the Year award.

Wrapping Up

There you have it — our innovative tech startup list for the coming year.

There’s no denying that several other tech startups are innovating every day. While we can only fit ten companies in this post, the tech startup list doesn’t have to end.

Please share any other innovative tech companies that should be on our list. And if you’re just launching your business, don’t hesitate to tell us about your project.

If it’s compelling enough, we could make room for one more tech startup on our list.

Read More: 7 AI Marketing Tools To Help You Get A Competitive Edge

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