Five Seattle Startups

Seattle – land of IT, rain, coffee, and now legalized cannabis.  It can be a dreary place, yes, but so many companies seem to have taken off from there.  Lest we forget, Starbucks had its beginnings as a coffee shop in Seattle, and if it’s not the prime example of a successful startup venture, then you clearly have some other definition of success.  So if you’re in the Seattle area, thinking about your latest idea, sit back with your espresso shot and bong, reassured that this is the perfect environment for startups ( in addition to moss and Douglass firs). . .  Anyway, here is a list of five startups with their roots in Seattle, aside from Starbucks.

Eatfindr

Having an allergy causes problems if you want to eat out, problems which get compounded when you have multiple allergies.  And if you have other dietary requirements, it just adds to the headache.  Eatfindr is an app which can be of great use to you, if you have dietary concerns. The app allows you to find restaurants in your area which can cater to specific needs, such as gluten-free or dairy-free options.  Eatfindr simplifies dining out for those with allergies or sensitivities, making it easier to find a restaurant which might cater to your needs.

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Dave

Washington legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2012, in addition to the existing medical marijuana laws.  As a result, Seattle has the potential to grow as a hub for cannabis-related technology, and there are a number of startups in this business.  One of these was Canary, which coordinated deliveries of cannabis for medical and recreational use, but that was forced to shut down due to some legal technicalities regarding deliveries of the herb.  However, the founders essentially merged their app with another company, and Dave came out of this.  Basically, the app allows users to find local dispensaries and browse their selection, place an order, and then go and pick it up without waiting in line.  Dave allows you to see product descriptions and photographs, shop timings, and prices, from the convenience of your mobile.  And once you’ve placed your order, simply head to the dispensary that you had chosen, directly go to the counter (Dave eliminates the need to wait in line), pay, and retrieve your order.  It’s that simple.

OfferUp

Humans have stuff – unless you happen to be a Buddhist monk, you probably have a lot of possessions, and it’s fairly likely that you don’t want some of them any more.  Maybe you want to renounce the world, and give up all of them.  Or perhaps you’re looking to buy something nearby.  OfferUp allows users to take a photograph of the item that they want to sell, and instantly circulate it to people nearby.  Thus you end up reducing the likelihood of no-shows, as well as know who you’re dealing with.

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MoonTango

Most women menstruate.  MoonTango takes away the inconvenience of going to the drugstore suddenly when that happens, relieving women of the need to go and shop for personal care products.  Basically, you tell MoonTango what personal care products that you regularly use (deodorants, shampoo, sanitary pads, etc), and how often you regularly buy them.  Based on this, MoonTango comes up with a monthly shopping basket for you, and sends them as a package to you in the mail.  In addition to the usual monthly items, MoonTango throws in random freebies every month to surprise you, and you can customize the contents, “tossing-in” things on a one-time basis.  Shipping is free for the first two orders, and all orders after that over $20 have free shipping.  MoonTango works best if you coordinate the dates based on your monthly cycle, and schedule your package to arrive every 28 days.  This way, you’ll get your package before your next cycle, which is usually shipped to arrive several days in advance.  Users can also change the delivery dates at any time.

Coin Beyond

Have bitcoins?  Want to use them for real-world transactions, but facing the problem of businesses not accepting them for in person purchases?  Coin Beyond seeks to change that, seeking to make bitcoins function as a debit card, but without the transaction fees accrued by conventional credit and debit cards.  Coin Beyond provides individual users with a bitcoin debit card, and merchants with a mobile POS card-reader.  This makes it possible to use bitcoins for purchasing your daily coffee, and furthers the idea that bitcoins can be used for real transactions, without being an inconvenience to consumers or businesses.  In fact, Coin Beyond’s mission is to make bitcoin an accepted currency, outside of the realm of online purchases.  Coin Beyond also allows users to purchase and sell bitcoins, as well as make money transfers, without any of the additional fees accrued by more traditional means of transaction.

Third & Loom

Couture is normally prohibitively expensive for the average consumer.  Third & Loom wants to bring couture to a wider audience, making designer couture accessible whilst remaining socially conscious and environmentally responsible.  Third & Loom does this by circumventing more conventional channels, designing and producing their products in-house, and engaging with customers more directly.  And thus, they offer high-quality garments at a price much lower than the market average.  But that’s not all – through Lookbook, Third & Loom seeks to bring together social media and high fashion.  Lookbook allows users to share their fashions and visions with their privately-invited network of friends, and it’s free of ads.

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