Upcoming Startup Companies, & Their Missions

Investors scour the industry publications each year in hopes of finding the next startup, just before they hit it big. Just as interested, but less financially connected, the high-tech junkie is always on the lookout for his next fix.

Oh, yeah; the hipsters knew it first.

Hopeful entrepreneurs are also watching, looking for an idea that just might make them as rich as this year’s success stories. Regardless of your reasons, check out these up-and-coming startups to stay ahead of the crowd this year:

Micropayment Geniuses Twitpay and Dwolla

Everyone’s definition of what actually constitutes a micropayment is slightly different. It varies from $12 at the high end, to a fraction of a cent at the low end. If you’re not familiar with this concept, don’t worry.

Most of us aren’t.

Micropayments are used to pay for extremely cheap goods and services found online – anything from a download to written content. There is an emerging market for this service, primarily in third-world countries. Although Paypal wasn’t successful with their micropayment system, Twitpay and Dwolla appear to be doing it right.

Smartphones as the New Credit Card

Are you tired of always searching for your credit card? Do you panic if it’s not in its designated spot in your overstuffed wallet? It only takes a second of inattention to put a card in the wrong place, and hours to find it again.

On the other hand, your smartphone makes life a little easier. The latest development projects are striving to turn your smartphone into a credit card. If this sounds like the wave of the future, it’s actually already happening. Starbucks has the “Mobile Card” app, PayPal has their own little program for the iPhone, and Google has “Zetawire.”

Commercials, Commercials Everywhere

Advertisers are intent on finding you no matter where you try to hide. The latest craze is in mobile advertisement. So many smartphone users are relying so heavily on their favorite electronic gadget that ecommerce marketers are searching for new ways to get their message to this sector of the economy.

The only problem with naming an up-and-coming startup in this new trend is that the big boys snap them up as fast as they get started. Facebook has already acquired Rel8tion, and they’ve only been around for about nine months.

Don’t You Love ToTs?

Of course, this doesn’t refer to another favorite, the tater tot! This catchy acronym is a memorable name for a This or That commentary. This new startup launched in May, 2010, and already has more than two million impressions in January 2011 alone. If you’d like to take part in the heated debates that go on through the ToTs, or even start a new opinion-fest of your own, join the crowd on this new site.

Keep in mind that the most successful startups frequently just find an easier, faster, or cheaper way to do everyday tasks! Of course, making it fun doesn’t hurt either. What’s your favorite startup this year?