Startup watchers and mobile app developers will notice two themes running strong in this years 500 Startups batch.
First, the group is highly international, featuring startups from Hong Kong, Argentina, Vietnam, Japan, Denmark, and Italy alongside stateside San Francisco mobile app developers, just to name a few. (the startups selected also showed a refreshing gender mix; about 30 percent with female founders.)
Second, the markets targeted by this batch were… well… unusually niche, to say the least. 500 Startups has a long history of diversified investments, but some of the companies featured were unusual even given that track record. Which isn’t to say that none of them are profitable — far from it, with most of the selected startups already pulling as much as $100k in real-world revenue.
That said, here are a few of the more interesting offerings from this year’s batch. IPhone and Android app developers: get ready to be inspired.
- Hivebeat: event management for campus organizations.
- LawnGuru: Uber for lawn care.
- Kitterly, Inc: Curated knitting & crochet kits with deliveries tailored to user skill level.
- MetaMixis: Google-type services for nature and the outdoors.
- Piper: taking Minecraft to the next level with a specialized computer for building and learning.
- WoowUp: a SaaS platform building loyalty programs for online stores in Brazil.
- Code4Startup: a learn-to-code program specialized in teaching skills by cloning existing startup products.
The full list of 500 Startups batch 15 is available over at TechCrunch.
If the diverse group of 500 Startups batch 15 tells us anything about the startup economy, it’s that the rumored “bubble” is far from burst. Far from running out of juice, young startups are showing increasingly impressive creativity in finding niche, profitable markets with much room for improvement. After all, startups have much to offer any industry that hasn’t been updated since before the mobile app boom; sharing economies, social networking, and curated experiences still have much to offer in years to come across all spectrums of the world’s economies.Tags: 500 startups, Android, app market, Apple, code4startup, hivebeat, iOS, lawnguru, minecraft, niche markets, startup accelerators, startup batch, startup funding, tech