Published on April 11th, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi


2018 Start Ups to Watch

Observers are expecting to see a new record in start up innovations in 2018. 2017 was deemed to have been slow, from investors’ point of view, but the IPO (initial public offering) rate is rising and new start ups are forging ahead.

Some of the new starts ups to watch include:


It’s estimated that 1 in 5 western couples has trouble conceiving. It’s further estimated that more than 8 million men are infertile in Northern and Western Europe and in the US and in Canada. eSeed was designed to help couples conceive by giving the male partner a device that can help him check his sperm count.

eSeed hopes that, by making it easier to effect these checks the couples will be able to avoid hormone treatments and other invasive procedures while saving the healthcare systems billions of dollars.

eSeed aims to replace the common semen analysis that’s presently used to diagnose male fertility issues. When a couple orders a kit, the company sends a testing kit to the address. The man collects a sample and returns the sample to the lab. eSeed technicians identify epigenetic abnormalities in genes associated with infertility and alert the couple to the results.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth study, 1 in 8 couples (or 12% of married women) have trouble either getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy.

The CDC estimates that approximately one-third of infertility is attributed to the female partner, one-third of infertility is due to the male partner and one-third is caused by a combination of problems in both partners (or, is unexplained.) By helping couples more quickly identify problems, eSeed hopes to facilitate quicker and more effective solutions to enable more couples to have babies.

In 2012 the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology reported that in vitro fertilization clinics in the United States performed over 160,000 procedures, including IVF. This was an increase in treatments performed over 2011 which itself was an increase over 2010. The numbers continue to rise as couples seek help, even though a round of infertility treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

It’s clear that the market for infertility assistance is there and eSeed should be able to tap into a lucrative and in-demand niche. 

Hop, Skip and Drive

HopSkipDrive is an Uber for Kids – a ride-sharing service that uses parents to car-pool for other parents. HopSkipDrive is set up to handle school runs and after-school drives to make it easier for parents to get their kids to class, activities and appointments.

The service is designed for children eight and over.  The start-up is a direct answer to the dilemma of millions of parents who can’t work flexible hours and therefore can’t ferry their kids when needed. At the same time that some parents are enjoying the convenience of having a driver take their kids when needed, other parents can earn money.

Since safety is, obviously, the biggest concern here, Hop Skip and Drive puts a great deal of effort into making sure that the kids are protected. The safeguards include:

Before the ride:  

  • Hiring only drivers with 5+ years childcare experience.
  • Hiring only drivers who have completed a comprehensive 15-point driver certification process.
  • Hiring only drivers who have completed a background check that includes TrustLine registration and fingerprinting.

During the ride: 

  • The CareDrivers confirms your child’s personalized code word when s/he picks the child up.
  • A HopSkipDrive app allows you to monitor every second of your child’s ride.
  • The ride is monitored through a Zendrive partnership to ensure that the CareDriver is focused, in control, and not using any mobile devices to text or talk while the child is in the car.

Behind the scenes:

  • Rides are monitored in real time by HopSkipDrive.
  • Parents can contact HopSkipDrive at any time by phone or email.
  • Passengers and drivers are covered by specialized, unique transportation insurance that exceeds regulatory requirements.
  • The company is licensed by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Presently the company operates in California – in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas and in Orange County. Parents can order individual rides for their children or take advantage of discounts by sharing carpools with other parents. In November 2017 the company raised $7.4 million to continue to grow

Secret Double Octopus

The Secret Double Octopus addresses every web-users biggest nightmare – being locked out of accounts because of a forgotten password.

The company’s Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a multi-route security that’s facilitated by a secret sharing scheme. It works on all services and apps through a combination of on-premise and cloud options, full-cloud or hybrid deployment. It can be configured with SalesForce, Altassian, G-Suite, Office365, Okta, ForteGate, F5 SSL VPN, Vegas Casino Online, Check Point, Dropbox, SonicWall, SAP Cloud and other systems and can be synchronized with existing user directories.

The security logs for custom reporting and integration with existing security auditing platforms and there’s no PKI or key management.

The password hacks at some of the world’s biggest companies demonstrate that password-based security is a 20th century solution that isn’t effective in the 21st century. The Secret Double Octopus solution is a start up whose time seems to have come.

InfraRed Night-Vision Goggles

A new infrared night-vision goggle start up offers the world’s thinnest night-vision glasses through nonotechnology. The stamp-like device converts infrared wavelengths seen on one-side of the stamp to images that are visible to the human eye which can be viewed on the other side of the stamp.

The stamp, which is actually a film, is composed of nano-columns, metal foil and nano-metric layers. Combined, these elements transform infrared images into visible images when placed in front of telescopes or normal glasses.

Applications include replacing the heavy night goggles used by soldiers. The newer lightweight, low-power consumption glasses would be cheaper and easier to use. Only a small battery would be needed.

The technology could also be used with autonomous cars to act as sensors that would improve vision. This could be done by converting infrared light into visible light which would provide better vision in dark and foggy conditions. The new technology is so new that it doesn’t yet have a name but its developers, at Israel’s Ben Gurion University, envision that it could reach the market within the year.

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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