The Future of Tech? These 17 Startups Could Show the Way

Grad Bag

Y Combinator is one of Silicon Valley’s most competitive and prestigious startup accelerators, having graduated the likes of Reddit, Airbnb, and Coinbase.

Earlier this week, the tech kingmaker held its 26th Demo Day, with 141 companies presenting their billion-dollar ideas.

Even if these companies won’t rank among Y Combinator’s 15 unicorn alums, they do give us a good sense of where the startup ecosystem is moving.

Check out the trends that could herald the future of tech.

Get a Buzz

Need a pick-me-up? Sudden Coffee swears they’ve made an instant coffee that’s better than your local roaster. For those in search of a runner’s high, there’s Let’s Do This, which sells admission to endurance events like 10k’s or Tough Mudder.

Perhaps the buzziest of the YC demos came from California Dreamin’ which sells cannabis-infused juices (where it’s legal). And for the inevitable morning after, there’s ZBiotics, a bioengineered probiotic drink that promises to end your hangovers.

Think Small

As Wired points out, many of Tuesday’s debuts lacked the bluster of old-school startups like Uber or Paypal. “[F]ounders are going after smaller, less explored sectors to stake out ground,” they write.

Just consider Tingles, and iOS and Android app that bills itself as “the best way to enjoy ASMR.” (In case you’ve missed this particular cul-de-sac of internet subculture, ASMR is a feeling of mild euphoria typically triggered by whispering voices.)

Others, like Lus which makes products for curly hair, or Curious Finds, which sells short stories, aren’t trying to change the world. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Healthcare Is Big Business

Evry Health serves companies with between 200 and 1,000 employees to find inexpensive, though full-featured, health insurance. “Insurance for Digital Nomads” platform Safety Wing offers health coverage that’s valid in more than 130 countries for $37-per-month.

Patchd is building a vital sign monitoring patch that can be used in hospital settings. In other patch news, Avro Life Science is developing skin patches that can deliver generic drugs transdermally.

Crypto, Crypto Everywhere

Want to manage your crypto portfolio? Check out CoinTracker. Does your online community want to launch its own cryptocurrency? Hexel promises to do it in minutes. Is it time to sell your Cryptokitties? Open Sea has you covered. Have no idea what we’re talking about? iOS app Ben will explain everything.