[This opinion was originally posted here, on the Springboard public relations blog page. This is the writer's opinion, not the opinion of NJ Tech Weekly.com.]
New Jersey is not traditionally known for its cutting-edge tech scene like California or New York, but that is changing fast. Even the mainstream media is catching on, with The Asbury Park Press putting together a big story a few days ago that covered Cowerks, Fusar Technologies, the Outdoor Exchange and more.
Yes, Mr. Diamond, the tech startup scene can save New Jersey (if the state legislature allows it).
It seems that, even compared to just a couple years ago, more and more startups are coming out of New Jersey at a rapid clip. And also compared to a few years ago, they are coming out with better and better ideas. What I have noticed, however, is that the ideas have always generally been very good here. As a marketing and PR person, what I always thought was lacking in the New Jersey tech startup scene was great execution, which is something that the big dogs in New York and Silicon Valley have down to a science.
I am happy to report that compared to past years, 2014 has been a remarkable year for witnessing New Jersey technology startups come out with not just great ideas, but also great marketing, public relations and overall slick executions on their products and businesses.
Some have achieved unprecedented success that is on the level of any other major tech hub in America.
To that point, here is my list of New Jersey’s most promising tech startups today, which includes both well-known and lesser known companies, and is based on things like creative simplicity, economic impact and social good:
ShareWatts, a TechLaunch alumni, owns a patented technology that will enable the wireless transfer of electricity between mobile devices, including cell phones, laptops and tablets. Their hardware will allow you to share battery charge wirelessly between mobile devices, while their mobile app will help you find individuals willing to share battery charge. Wireless battery power transfer is definitely a game-changer!
Understanding that no two people are really built the same, Stantt is a fashion startup based in Hoboken, which creates custom-fit clothing for you based on sets of data that you input into their system. It’s a simple concept – that the catch-all sizes of small, medium and large don’t exactly “fit” millions of unique body types across America. Using about 500,000 body measurements from two thousand body scans, Stantt is using big data technology to end S/M/L, and can provide about 75 different sizes of clothing.
3. Partners for America
The student loan crisis is no joke. That’s why I like Partners for America, because it is a platform that allows America’s education debt holders to earn donated dollars toward their tuition by volunteering for non-profits. The startup aims to help students and alumni pay off their higher education loans through community service, charity and volunteer work. This a great two-birds-with-one-stone approach that will not only dramatically help our economy, but also make the world a better place, which is something that Silicon Valley always preaches, but does not necessarily practice that often.
KryptoKit is #2 on my list because it is succeeding on the cutting-edge of technology: bitcoin. It has earned an international presence, appearing in Fast Company, WIRED, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur and more. KryptoKit is a bitcoin wallet that is a Chrome extension. They have also released the HTML5 RushWallet, which I had the pleasure of testing out before it went live. So far, KryptoKit has earned more than 6,500 users from around the world, and has over 100 reviews that are almost all exclusively 5-stars in the Google Chrome store.
This is one of the lesser known New Jersey tech startups, but it is #1 on my list for a reason. Staxxon has developed a technology to create foldable shipping containers, outfitting ships with the ability to squeeze 5 full, 20′ shipping containers into where previously only 1 would fit. This company has innovated a product that has not been changed in about 50 years. Staxxon is #1 on my list simply for the fact that the success of their product could have absolutely massive implications on the global marketplace for generations to come.
Despite what you may read in the papers, it’s an exciting time to be creating things and doing business in north, south and central New Jersey. What innovative tech startups will come out next year? Which ones will get acquired? Check back next holiday season for my 2015 list.
You can reach Benjamin Doda on Twitter @BenjaminDoda.