18 Startups to Watch in 2018

Here at ASU, we work with a ton of startups. 250ish to be exactish, which you can check out here. If you don’t want to go through all 250ish, we’ve created a list of 18 who we think show a lot of promise. But don’t just take our word for it —  industry leaders such as Seed Spot, Draper, Invest Southwest, Social Venture Partners, YPO, VentureWell, and others think they’re great too. Check them out below — better yet, connect with them and follow them on social media and buy their products or services.

These are our top 18, but we don’t pick favorites, so we listed them in alphabetical order:

AirGarage – If you haven’t heard of AirGarage, you must’ve slept through 2017. Jealous. Co-founders Jonathan and Scott were definitely not sleeping and have been working their tails off on their affordable and convenient parking app. They’ve won funding from City of Phoenix Smart City Hack, YPO,  AllState Venture Challenge, and many others. They’ve had lots of press from PBJ, The State Press and KJZZ. We’ll be on the lookout for what’s next with AirGarage.

Aquaponos – This cool, edgy startup is working on consumer aquaponics systems for to make fresh and delicious produce more accessible. They won the prestigious Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative as well as a Ford C3/FlashFood grant at this past Venture Devils Demo Day.

ArmsReach Industries – This team is pretty rad, they met at a Google for Entrepreneurs event called Startup Weekend back in 2014 and as a result, we have The Night Caddy, a clever little organizer to keep bedside essentials within arm’s reach (get it?). Simple and wonderful. Other people think so too – they’ve raised nearly $50K on Kickstarter. Booyah.

Billibars – Words really don’t do Billibars justice, therefore:

Keep an eye out for their Kickstarter campaign coming soon.

bioSyntagma – This year was notable for bioSyntagma, not only did they receive a patent, an NSF grant, they also and represented ASU as a part of the Youth Innovation Alliance in Shenzhen, China. Their proprietary methods of testing fresh frozen tissue continue to prove to be more accurate and precise in identifying diversity of mutations in a cancer patients tumor. How rad?!

BRAVO – “Let’s give BRAVO $150K,” said MARK CUBAN and LORI GREINER from Shark Tank! One of our favorite community-based ventures, Maria Luna and Hector Rodriguez founded the cashless tip and pay app in 2015 and have been gaining traction ever since. They presented at TechCrunch Connect in 2015 and then appeared on SharkTank this past November — since then, downloads of the app have increased over 2000{6208b8bf86e1853dbf16efa117fa7baf30f23341ab29fe411b3c3e90d00eceaf}.

cAST – The student-led cAST team has developed a new imaging and tracking method to perform real-time and point-of-care diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by performing antibiotic susceptibility tests. They won $20K from VentureWell last year and are on track to make waves in the upcoming year.

Charity Auction Trades – This holiday season has us thinking about Charity Auction Trades. This social-focused venture, founded by Mona Dixon, an ASU Alum, is an online platform and app that connects non-profits nationwide to trade donation items for silent auctions, live auctions, and raffles. We hope to see more of this venture in the future.

COMPASS for Courage – COMPASS for Courage is based on ASU psychology research that teaches students proven skills to manage worries, solve problems, and face stressful situations using board games and role-play activities. This past year, Ryan Stoll, founder of COMPASS has caught the attention of both the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative award, Changemaker Challenge and Pakis Social Entrepreneur Award.

Docbot – Andrew Ninh is the ASU Online student-founder of Docbot. Docbot improves clinical accuracy and slashes time wasted on documentation by creating seamless AI-driven software. Ninh said “Docbot was my number one priority and ASU Online provided me the opportunity to pursue my education while working on my startup.” Andrew has been building his skillset this past year in impressive programs like the Microsoft Idea Camp and increasing his customer base. We’re excited to see what’s to come for Andrew and Docbot.

Frenzi – There’s been a feeding Frenzi of press on this mobile app lately. 12News, Fox10, The State Press and ASU Fulton Schools have all taken notice of Ricky Johnson, the computer systems engineering student who founded the app designed to track and improve restaurants’ food supplies.

Graphlock – ASU Alum, Mallory Dyer, created Graphlock after recognizing the need for an affordable Scientific and Graphing Calculator while she was a professor of mathematics. Since launching in 2015 she has gained a lot of traction and attention for the novel idea. Last year, she won the Maricopa SBDC InnovateHer Challenge and recently partnered with Proctorio to improve and aid in digital learning.

Halen – Founders Kevin Halen and Grayson Allen have created two products; poolsense and gatesense both make sense for protecting children around pools. Halen has a contract with AirGarage (mentioned above) which we love and they’ve also won some sweet competitions this year too, notably the Ashton Family Venture Challenge at Demo Day.

Hygiea – A current member of the ASU RISN cohort, Hygiea is an IoT platform for waste management processes, while providing powerful tools for insights and analytics on waste-related data. They have been recognized in several ASU competitions, including Pakis and eSeed this past year as well as LAUNCH, the University of California’s startup accelerator, held at UC Berkeley. They previously won Edson funding, in 2016.

Livestock Analytics – Holy cow. This faculty-led venture has developed a system that helps ranchers make better decisions by acquiring and analyzing individual data from their cattle. Over 40,000 cattle have been analyzed using their IOT platform system. They’re proving data analytics is useful in every industry. Their goal is to make your steak taste better, and we’re really excited to see them raise the stakes on cattle raising.

SwiftCoat – Peter Firth and Zak Holman, both faculty at ASU, founded SwiftCoat which provides nanoparticles of any composition and size, enabling new products ranging from gas sensors to antimicrobial garments. They won the New Venture Challenge in 2016, won the CleanTech prize at the 2017 Rice Business School Competition, were finalists in both the ASU Innovation Open and the Arizona Commerce Authority Innovation Challenge Award.

Terrainial – Born and bred out of the Cronkite School of Journalism, Terrainial co-founders, Carolina Marquez and Jayson Chesler founded a creative production agency specializing in virtual reality and 360-degree video content. This past year, they were selected for the Google Jump Start Program for VR filmmakers, in which they created a piece on the Mexican Border.

Vapometry Labs – Bacteria. Science. Beer. Vapometry Labs founded by, Nitish Peela, who’s incredibly talented at microbiota analysis joined Venture Devils this past year and was paired up with Venture Mentor, Robert Green (the king of generating revenue), who encouraged him to pitch his solutions to other customers…. Vapometry now has a contract with a top ten craft brewery, helping them study their beer. They also received NSF Funding probably because they’re awesome scientists and beer chemists.

Well there you have it, our 18 for 2018. You know what’s really cool? There are another 250 ventures right on the heels of the ones mentioned above.

Lifehack: If you want to stay up-to-date with all things ASU startups, be on the lookout for our Venture Devils Demo Days where you can watch about 80 pitches in one afternoon. The next one will be Friday, April 27th and will be completely exhausting and amazing, join us for the madness.

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