Top 3 Startup Ideas


  1. There are many different apps and websites created for coupons. However, all of them require the user to manually search, scan, or cut coupons. This is the first and only automated coupon app.
  • Idea: Users check out at any store as they normally would, they then open the app where they have a personal QR code that the cashier scans. It uses an algorithm to generate a list with the best coupon that exists online for every product in your basket. The cashier can then scan each coupon and the savings are applied to the users basket.
  • Problem: In 2011, $511 billion dollars in coupons were distributed, while only $4 billion were redeemed. In 2014, 300 billion coupons were distributed and only 2.84 billion redeemed. The coupon industry is flooded with opportunities that consumers are missing out on and this app aims to fix this problem.

2. I would use this app in any and all stores that accept coupons. For example, if I were in Target and I had 15 items in my cart, instead of using their Cartwheel app to scan every single one, or using RetailMeNot to manually search each item, I would take my items to the cash register, open up my app, and have the cashier scan my QR code after they had scanned all of my items. The coupons that would save me the most money for each item would then automatically generate on to my screen ($2 off vs. 20% off) and I would have the cashier scan each one for the savings.

3. The critical voices in my head are screaming at me about this. How would the algorithm search the entire Internet? What if it doesn’t find one coupon that a user found, will the app lose credibility? Would people actually use this? Would companies such as Target, CVS, Kroger partner with the app to allow us to have point of sale integration? Would this cost them too much money? If this is such an untapped market, why hasn’t anyone created an app like this? Is it even possible?

4. In my wildest dreams this would be an app on every phone. It would save Americans millions of dollars a year simply by utilizing resources that already exist. I would want to partner with every major retailer that has coupons in order to give consumers the best, most seamless experience when using the app. I would want this to be a daily use app, something that becomes second nature to people when they enter a pharmacy or grocery store (much like ShopKick for avid users).

5. There are a lot of competitors in the coupon industry but none who have created anything similar to this. No one has an automatic coupon generator, but many have manual ones. For that reason I would say that there are no direct competitors doing exactly what we are doing. Indirect competitors, however, are numerous. RetailMeNot, CouponsApp, Shopular, Slickdeals and CamelCamelCamel. The unique opportunity is that there is no automated coupon generator and that breaking into an untapped market in a multi billion dollar industry is a rare opportunity.

Smart Water Bottle Grip

  1. The Smart Water Bottle Grip is a product that I believe fits the criteria of creating a well. It would be an item that a small number of people want a large amount.
  • Idea: A smart water bottle grip takes my previous idea of a smart water bottle and turns it into a simple addition that would work with nearly any standard reusable water bottle — thanks Ev! It would be a grip that is linked to both its own app as well as any exercise app (such as FitBit or Jawbone) and through calculations of height, weight, and other information about a user, it would generate daily water consumption. The grip would then send information to the app every time you drink water based on sensors as well as light up periodically if one is not consuming enough water overall or regularly.
  • Problem: Most people in the U.S. are not consuming enough water per day; the majority don’t even know how much they are supposed to be drinking. There are apps to remind people when and how much water to drink, features in exercise trackers to input water consumed, but nothing that physically combines the act of drinking water and reminders. This would be an affordable, easy product that could fit into users’ every day lives.

2. The Smart Water Bottle grip could be used in many ways from simple daily use to medicinal use to athletic use for maintaining proper hydration. For example, I get chronic migraines, and though the remedy is not as simple as water, drinking plenty of water every day can stop them from occurring often, if at all. However, in my crazy, hectic, everyday life, I sometimes realize I go hours without even a sip of water — something many people do but rarely realize. Despite having my water bottle next to me all the time or having an app alert me every hour, I only drink the recommended amount of water when I actively make an effort. This grip would help me because it would not only send me a phone alert I can shut off but the actual bottle itself would light up, showing me that I should drink the water that is right in front of me. It would also show me how much water I am or am not drinking, shedding light on a problem many do not even realize they have it.

3. The voices in my head continue to ask who my audience is and whether or not they would buy this. Moving from a smart water bottle to a smart water bottle grip could open up a larger number of consumers but would it be as accurate? How would it work with all water bottles? Would it cheapen the idea/concept? How would it compare to the other smart water bottles that are beginning to emerge on the market? Why would people buy this and not download a free app? These questions continue to grow with this product but I think that they can all be addressed without being debilitating.

4. In my wildest dreams, every person would have this grip on their reusable water bottles and it would become a staple product people owned. It would help improve the overall health of the U.S. dramatically simply by increasing water consumption. Though I want to start in niche markets like the “FitBit” crowd, I want this to grow into a product that everyone, despite their activity level, trendiness, or other grouping factor uses.

5. The competitive landscape, when I first came up with this idea a couple years ago, was almost non existent. However, since then, there have been a couple kickstarters that have created smart water bottles using this technology. However, there seem to be no direct competitors in creating a smart grip. Indirect competitors are these smart water bottle companies as well as apps like WaterIn or even FitBit that track water consumption or give alerts. The unique opportunity with this product would be creating something that people can integrate into their current lives without replacing any of their products they may love or not want to change.

Cheapest Ride

  1. Cheapest ride is an app that allows users to see the all of the prices, surges, and all other crucial information across multiple ride sharing apps before ordering a car.
  • Idea: It uses a home page much like Uber or Lyft to get information such as pickup, dropoff, the type of car desired, and the amount of people riding. It would then use an algorithm that searches Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, Taxis, etc. to generate the best price, route, and time for any and all ride apps.
  • Problem: There are a wide variety of on demand ride apps but many go unnoticed. The few who have monopoly over the market are able to charge substantial surges when there is a high demand for drivers. Many people get frustrated at these extremely high surges when they need a ride most but continue to only use that one app. This app would help alleviate this issue because users would be able to easily get a comparison from a variety of platforms.

2. I would use this every time I would want to use apps like Uber or Lyft. For example, if it’s rush hour in downtown LA and I need to go run an errand but driving and parking would be too big of a pain, I would use this app to find a ride. Instead of opening Uber, I would open Cheapest Ride on my phone, input the same information, and get a price, surge, and time comparison. I would then click on the one that I want depending on the different criteria (if I want a car faster, or if I want a cheaper ride, etc) and it would open the app of that company, pre-populating the information I already entered in Cheapest Ride. This would save me both time and money because I wouldn’t be opening all the apps looking for price estimates or just sticking with the highest price because it’s convenient.

3. The voices in my head are telling me that this is nearly impossible. There are apps that (very poorly) compare different prices, or give you promo codes, for these ride apps but none that do this. This then leads me to ask why? Why can’t it be executed properly? Is it getting all of the apps on one platform? Do you need permission from all of the companies? Would this cause legal issues with those companies? Would people use this or simply see it as a middle man?

4. In my wildest dreams, this would be the app every person opens instead of Uber or Lyft. This would be the platform they would use first to get to those other sites. It would be the main deciding factor for which ride sharing app consumers use.

5. The competitive landscape for this product is very confusing. The main, direct, competitor is “What’s The Fare” — a fare generator using Uber, Lyft, and Taxis. However, this site requires users to manually input surges, while Cheapest Ride would use real time data to do this for consumers. It also does not provide traffic or time data. Cheapest Ride would also compare many different ride sharing apps so that consumers have the option to use ones that may be much lower in price but unknown. Indirect competitors are Uber, Lyft, Taxis, Sidecar, and all other ridesharing apps because they want to be the apps people use. The unique opportunity here is creating a household name such as Google or Uber. Something that people refer to as the go to, because it is unlike anything else on the market — a hybrid of a search engine and Uber.