My Top 5 Startups for 2013 – Michelle Kuepper, VentureVillage Staff Writer

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Here Michelle, our Staff Writer, explains why these five startups will be rocking her world in 2013

MischaI’ll admit it. Often, when I look at startups in the internet scene, I get frustrated. Not because I think they don’t have innovative ideas or big plans, but because I have to ask myself – who would actually use this? And how does this help people?

But then there’s the golden moments where I come across startups with concepts that will really make my life easier/better/a little more fun. That’s how I chose my top products to watch in the coming year. Not because they have an über-cool hipster design, or because they solve a problem I didn’t even know I had, but because they are practical. And that is what makes me sure they will be successful.

Resmio

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The one-line pitch
“Social reservation system for the erratic diner”

The story
Taking a concept that hotels and airline companies have embraced for years, Berlin startup Resmio is an online reservation system bringing price discrimination to dining, offering perks and discounts for foodies who dine at off-peak hours. They’re killing two birds with one stone by filling tables while also providing customers with rewards.

Why I’m backing it
Resmio is a food lover’s dream and another startup that is tackling a practical problem. Simple concept, simple app, simple solution to a gastronomic dilemma. Now I can get a fresh, delicious paella at 10pm instead of grabbing a döner. Plus I save money on it. Winning.

Capsule.fm

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The one-line pitch
“Letting you listen to the internet”

The story
Freshly graduated from the Berlin Startupbootcamp incubater, Capsule.fm takes all your personal content from text and transforms it to speech, letting you listen to a personalised news feed on iOS devices.

You can receive all your latest updates – whether they be from Facebook, Twitter, your favourite sporting team or your stock investments – without clicking a thing.

Why I’m backing it
For someone like me, who has an avid distaste for time-wasting and excessive smartphone usage, having all information that’s relevant to me contained in one streamlined form means less frustration and time spent trawling my accounts – and more time for people watching.

Waymate

width="300"The one-line pitch
“All you need to get from A to B”

The story
A Berlin-based startup, with a CEO who recently won the honour of being VV’s best dressed entrepreneur, Waymate is working on becoming the definitive travel database by providing all the information you need to get from destination to destination – including comparisons in price, time and comfort between different options, be they trains, flights, buses, taxis or even bicycles –  laid out in a clean table.

Why I’m backing it
Waymate is taking on a very complex yet highly lucrative market and putting in the hard yards to develop a product that really works before they sing from their (albeit pretty cool) rooftop about it. That explains why they’ve been flying under the radar for a while. But an app which gives you all possible options to get from your front door to your final destination will make mine (and millions of other peoples) lives a lot easier.

Twisper

width="180"The one-line pitch
“The lifestyle app for the sophisticated consumer”

The story
Backed by Swiss super-entrepreneur, Thomas Sterchi, Twisper is a handy mobile app and online platform that gathers unique, high-quality locations from cities around the world, letting you browse and follow recommendations from other users and friends. Be they restaurants, stores, clubs or the more off-the-beaten-track places in a city, Twisper is proof that Lonely Planet isn’t the definitive travel guide.

Why I’m backing it
Sometimes I’m after that little something extra when I’m travelling, the locations that aren’t overrun with tourists or restaurants that aren’t booked out months in advance. Plus the planning tools let me dream of all the cool places I could go to (money and time allowing, naturally). Maybe if Twisper had been around when I first got to Berlin, I wouldn’t have ended up in Matrix on a Saturday night…

Facebook Poke

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The one-line pitch
“Facebook poking, mobile style”

The story
Gathering hype since launching recently, the latest app from Facebook (and a new competitor to Snapchat) takes the tried and tested poke concept from the social network and introduces it to the mobile sphere. Users can send short messages, pictures or videos to their friends – the catch is, recipients can only open it once for three seconds before it is gone forever.

Why I’m backing it
While this app doesn’t strictly fall into the practical category, it’s a quick and nifty little way to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Plus you can be a bit naughty and mysterious, because the recipient can’t keep the messages.

For related posts, check out

My Top 5 Startups for 2013 – Charmaine Li, VentureVillage Editorial Intern
My Top 5 Startups for 2013 – Linsey Fryatt, VentureVillage Managing Editor
VentureVillage’s Top 10 video reports of 2012