A Look at Some of the Top 50 Small Business Startups Part I

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Each year as part of the Kauffman Foundation sponsored global entrepreneur week, a contest is held to highlight the best up and coming business startups. Startup Open recently named the 50 finalists who with compete for the top prizes including a trip to the Global Entrepreneur Congress where they will present their business to a worldwide audience.

Of those 50 businesses, we thought we would highlight a few out of the diverse group of startups.


CauseVox is in business to help the small to medium sized non-profits. Because of the limited budgets of the many smaller non-profits constructing a professional quality infrastructure to solicit and track donations is cost prohibitive. CauseVox provides a complete solution to this including web design and tracking systems for a price easily affordable to these smaller scale nonprofit organizations


The solar industry is having a rough time getting off the ground but Solite is different. Instead of converting the sun’s light to energy, the Solite system captures and transports sunlight in to a building providing natural illumination without the cost of converting it to energy to power artificial light.


Finding a job by applying to ads listed on Careerbuilder or Monster is a whole lot of time wasted according to many job seeking experts. Although landing a job has gone largely online, standing out from the crowd is still the only way to get hired. Woopodo gives you a way to do that by helping you build the presence of career professional including a website, resume updating, links to social networking and more.

Off Track Planet

When you think of a travel guide, you don’t immediately think of cool, modern, and sexy. Off Track Planet is a media company that is changing that perception. Their aim is to get young people to change the world by traveling and learning about it.

Knock Out Panties

Women’s underwear has suffered from two competing interests. On one side, women want underwear that is feminine and sexy but that often means less than functional design.  At “that time of the month” the lack of utilitarian design can be a problem for women. Knock Out Panties combines the two competing interests in to a feminine and fabulous design without sacrificing the functionality that helps women avoid embarrassing moments.

Bottom Line

The 50 small businesses who were named finalists come from a large cross section of industries and show that innovation happens in all sectors of the economy. What are you doing with your business to change your industry? America and the world desperately need entrepreneurs who refuse to blend in.