The startup world churns out more duds than hits.

But for every hundred startups that fail, there’s a fledgling company that’s creating an original and useful product or tackling a difficult real-world problem.
The 2014 edition of the CNN 10: Startups.
Airware: a drone company that doesn’t make drones. It designs hardware, software and cloud services for commercial UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). The company sees itself in a similar position to where Intel and Microsoft were in the 1980s, just before the birth of the PC market. When federal regulators approve commercial drones for more uses, Airware wants to be the underlying framework for the devices’ software and operating systems.
Boxbee: aims to streamline the storage process by letting customers manage their extra stuff online without ever leaving home. The service works like this: Customers order plastic boxes which are delivered to their home. They fill the boxes, catalog their contents on Boxbee’s website and schedule a pickup. Boxbee stores the boxes in a nearby warehouse and delivers them back to the customer upon request. Boxbee says its standard yellow box, which measures 3.5 cubic feet in size, can hold 25 pairs of shoes, 90 T-shirts or 200 DVDs. Customers pay $7.50 a month per box. Pickup is free, although each time a customer retrieves boxes they are charged $15, plus $2 a box. Boxbee is currently only available in New York and San Francisco.
BRCK: looks like an unadorned brick about the size of four iPhone 5s stacked together. But this little box seamlessly switches between Ethernet, Wi-Fi and cellular networks to provide Web access for up to 20 devices. It works for more than 8 hours without electricity. And it may transform wireless communications in remote corners of the world. Each BRCK sells for $200, weighs about a pound and is built to withstand drops, dampness and dust. Users get online by plugging in a SIM card or connecting to wired or wireless networks, helped by a cloud-based system that automatically syncs the device with current data from nearby cellular providers. With a large, custom-designed battery, the BRCK is also built to survive a blackout. In this way it can provide steady connectivity, even in places with spotty digital infrastructure.
FiscalNote: interested parties have long tried to predict which of the many bills introduced during legislative sessions will actually become law. FiscalNote has developed an analytics platform that uses artificial intelligence to crunch state and federal government data. Their software then forecasts trends and outcomes that can help clients make strategic decisions. FiscalNote’s main product, called Prophecy, is the legislative-analysis tool. Next year the company plans to introduce Sonar, which will apply the same principles to regulatory agencies such as the FDA and EPA.
Humin: Some business people today have hundreds of contacts stored in their phone but no easy way to remember who all of them are. If you can actually build a search engine that remembers people the way you do, you make context relevant again. Think of Humin as a way to combine your address book with maps, social networks and even your calendar. Traveling to a different city? Humin will tell you friends who live there, or who are visiting at the same time. It’s a more intuitive way to find people you’re looking for. The Humin app debuted August 14 and is currently only available for iPhones.
Next week: Part 2
source: cnn

briservThe startup world churns out more duds than hits.