Monday, December 17, 2012

Red Rocket's "Best Startups of 2012"

Red Rocket meets with 150-200 startups each year, in the normal course of doing business here in Chicago, or via my FireStarter Fund involvement.  I thought it would be nice to honor the best of those startups, in Red Rocket's first annual "Best Startups of the Year".  This list is not intended to be an all-encompassing best startups list, as there are many additional great startups that I do not meet with each year.  And, this list is not intended to be only for businesses that launched in 2012, it is open to startups of any age, that had some personal interaction with me in the last 12 months.  The business simply needed to have a good idea, good team or good traction, that caught my attention.  Congrats to you all!!

THE BEST STARTUPS OF 2012 (in alphabetical order):

AutoFlipr (CEO Brian Killen)--B2B interdealer used car marketplace

Cartavi (CEO Glenn Shimkus)--B2B real estate closing documents platform

CouponTrade (CEO George Bousis)--B2C gift cards marketplace

Crowdspring (CEO Ross Kimbarovsky)--B2B graphic design crowdsource

Elicit (CEO Eric Heneghan)--B2B search-box marketing platform

EvzDrop (CEO David Rush)--B2C location-based communication platform

GiveForward (CEO Desiree Vargas)--B2C donations platform for healthcare needs

Hireology (CEO Adam Robinson)--B2B  HR candidate screening platform

JSTN (CEO Roger Stanton)--B2B video job postings & B2C video job search

Kapow Events (CEO Marc Halpin)--B2B group event planning marketplace

Koupon Media (CEO TJ Person)--B2B mobile couponing platform

Live One Group (CEO Tim Ganschow)--B2B social video watching platform

MakeBuzz (CEO Christopher Skinner)--B2B marketing optimization platform

MotiveQuest (CEO David Rabjohns)--B2B next generation market research via social data

Mystery Tackle Box (CEO Jeremy Gwynne)--B2C fishing tackle subscription service

Retrofit (CEO Jeff Hyman)--B2C data-driven weight-loss management

Rivs.com (CEO Dave Wieland)--B2B high-volume hiring automation

Shiftgig (CEO Eddie Lou)--B2B job hiring and business networking for service industry

SocialCrunch (CEO Alex Griffiths)--B2C online behaviorial targeting via Q&A

SpartzMedia (CEO Emerson Spartz)--B2C publisher of community websites

SpikeBall (CEO Chris Ruder)--CPG sporting goods product

SpotHero (CEO Mark Lawrence)--B2C discounted parking application

StyleSeek (CEO Tyler Spalding)--B2C men's fashion discovery engine

Tiesta Tea (CEO Patrick Tannous)--CPG flavored and functional teas

TrainSignal (CEO Scott Skinger)--B2B online education for technologists

TrunkClub (CEO Brian Spaly)--B2C men's fashion service

UpCity (CEO Dan Olson)--B2B SEO and digital marketing platform

viaForensics (CIO Andrew Hoog)--B2B mobile application security


Congratulations to you all!!  Keep up the good work. 

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