It's something of a tradition for technology publications to put out lists of startups to watch in January, and InformationWeek is no stranger to that trend.
This year, the list includes a lot of startups that sit at the confluence between two or more technology and social trends. For example, it includes a company that is applying artificial intelligence (AI) to the issues surrounding the "me-too" movement and GDPR. Others are combining wearables and machine learning with the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and robotics. And, still others applied AI to personalized marketing, blockchain to the food industry, and cloud computing to the mess that is politics.
To be included in the list, startups had to be less than five years old, and they had to offer technology that seemed truly revolutionary and/or perfectly designed to meet a current need. Priority went to startups with technology likely to be of interest to enterprise CIOs and other executives.
The startups on the list are also intentionally diverse. They represent a broad range of industries and a broad range of sizes. While most have raised a few million dollars, one had received just over $500,000, while another had $200 million in funding.
They are geographically diverse, as well. Of course, several of these hot startups are headquartered in California, but others make their home in places near and far, including China, Germany, Atlanta, and even Ohio.
Some, but not all, of these firms have received accolades from other organizations, and most have been featured in some press reports.
The thing they all have in common is technology that is both innovative and inspirational. And that makes them worth noticing.
So, with no further ado, here are 10 startups to watch in 2019.
Product: AI for real-time data monitoring
Headquarters: Oakland, Calif.
Funding: $8.6 million
Outlier is one of several AI-related startups in this slideshow. Its analytics platform identifies outliers, that is, unexpected changes in your data, such as fraud indications, product development issues, changes in customer demographics and more. It has won numerous awards, including being named a Gartner Cool Vendor in analytics and a CRN hot data analytics startup.
Product: AI-powered personalization
Headquarters: Milpitas, Calif.
Funding: $5 million
ZineOne combines AI with one-to-one marketing capabilities. Its Customer Engagement Hub analyzes customer interactions in real time in order to deliver highly personalized experiences across multiple channels. It has been named a Gartner Cool Vendor and has been featured by publications like Business Standard and Fortune.
Product: AI-based collaboration security and compliance
Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio
Funding: $19 million
Ideal for the era of "me too" and GDPR, Wiretap brings AI to the realm of culture protection and data loss prevention. It monitors communications on collaboration platforms and flags interactions that might run afoul of company policies because they contain offensive content, disclose company secrets, or violate compliance requirements. The company is currently actively hiring and has multiple open positions.
Product: AI for better health
Headquarters: Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Funding: $200 million
This Chinese company's ambitious goal is to create "the digital guide for life." It applies AI to health care, offering people advice, analytics and health tracking capabilities based on their personal history, characteristics, lifestyle and genetics. iCarbonX products include the Meum digital health management platform, the FitForce app for exercise tracking, MeumSpring to help improve the quality of your skin, the Precision Nutrition app, DigitalMe/PatientsLike Me for people with chronic conditions, and more.
Product: Breach and attack simulation (BAS)
Headquarters: Sunnyvale, Calif.
Funding: $34 million
Today, cyberattacks aren't a matter of if, but a matter of when. SafeBreach offers breach and attack simulation (BAS) technology, a relatively new type of cybersecurity product that helps companies determine how prepared they are by constantly subjecting their defenses to simulated hacking attempts. The company claims it takes just minutes to deploy the technology and begin gleaning valuable insights about potential weaknesses in your cyberdefenses.
Product: Smart gloves for industrial use cases
Headquarters: Munich, Germany
Funding: $9.1 million
This German startup claims to be the "first smart glove for industries." It unites the trends toward wearable computing and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) with gloves that have an incorporated barcode scanner. Designed for use in factories and warehouses, the gloves are far more efficient and ergonomic than handheld scanners. Customers include Audi, John Deere, and BMW.
Product: Smart suits for teaching robots how to do tasks
Headquarters: Dresden, Germany
Funding: €6 million
Industrial robots are becoming commonplace, but until now, programming these bots had been a tedious, time-consuming task that required expert coding knowledge. Wandelbots seeks to change that with a sensor-laden suit that allows people to train robots simply by mimicking the action they would like the robot to perform. Thanks to machine learning, the robots can even learn to adapt to complex, dynamic environments.
Product: Cloud data platform
Headquarters: Santa Clara, California
Cloud storage might not seem all that revolutionary — after all, companies have been leveraging cloud storage for years. But this startup offers a new type of architecture that works across multiple clouds and integrates data protection capabilities. It boasts that it offers "the industry’s first secondary storage platform built over public clouds with a hybrid cloud approach." It supports AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, and its customers include San Diego State University, King (the developer behind Candy Crush), the American Institute for Cancer Research, and others.
Product: Blockchain for the food industry
Headquarters: San Francisco, Calif.
Funding: $2.4 million
Over the past few years, blockchain has generated far more hype than it will ever be able to live up to, but the food industry is one market where blockchain solves a legitimate need. Ripe.io aims to bring transparency to the food supply chain, allowing people to see where their food has come from, what's in it, and what has happened to it along the way. The company has been featured in multiple publications, and the company is partnering with food industry heavyweights like the Western Growers Association, the United Fresh Produce Association and PMA.
10. Civic Eagle
Product: SaaS for policy advocacy
Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia
If there is one political issue that Americans can agree on today, it's that politics is a mess. Civic Eagle attempts to inject some sanity into the chaos with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that tracks legislation on both the federal and the state level, highlighting proposed regulation of interest to you. If 2019 is the year you want to begin to be more engaged in politics, Civic Eagle is for you. It's currently in private beta, but the technology looks promising.Cynthia Harvey is a freelance writer and editor based in the Detroit area. She has been covering the technology industry for more than fifteen years. View Full Bio