Announcing the 2016 Startup Program: 53 Startups, Refined in Silicon Valley

It has been many years coming, but it's a pretty exciting day at the Startup Grind offices. Why?

Today, we're announcing the 53 inductee companies joining the Startup Program at the 2016 Global Conference. Rigorously selected from over 1,100 applications sourced from 80 countries, the 2016 Startup Program companies all have visible traction, unique technology and massive markets. Above all, they have great founding teams, including former Googlers, CERN physicists, and Forbes 30 Under 30 Inductees.

Read on for our own story of "startup within a startup," and skip past to see 5 of our favorite companies.

Learning from You: How The Startup Program Became a Reality

The team spent years talking to entrepreneurs, investors, and organizers about running a startup program. We've heard it all: from scathing reviews of programs milking founders dry, to unbelievable "right place, right time" fundraising success stories.

Our Founder & CEO Derek tells it best: “We started this program after seeing many of the Accelerators and Incubators not doing much to really help companies. We really wanted to make an actual difference in the startups trajectory and leverage all of our resources and network to their advantage. Our biggest goal is for each startup to go back home with a new and improved game plan that would not have happened without the help of the program and the mentors and resources that were made available to them.”

We learned what they wanted - like transparency, connections, exposure - and we've built it. This year's application is currently closed, but join us next year to apply for the annual Startup Program batch.

The Inaugural 2016 Startup Program Batch

Selecting the 2016 Startup Program companies was the hardest part of the process: over months, the Startup Grind team interviewed founders extensively to pick the very best 53 companies. Spanning industries from artificial intelligence to enterprise software and Internet of Things to health services, you can check out the inaugural batch here. The caliber of companies is high across the board, but here are some personal favorites to give you a taste of what to expect:


Shelfie is a free app for users to take a picture of their bookshelf - a "shelfie" -  to catalogue all their books. But this isn't just for showing off: it's so these raeaders can then download free ebook or audiobook editions of the paper copies. Shelfie's traction is incredible: the founding team claims 730% year on year user growth and 680% year on year publisher partner growth.

Haedrian Labs

Haedrian Labs has one big mission: banking the 3 billion unbanked people around the world. Their product is an SMS and Android mobile wallet used to send, store, and exchange currencies. Think of it as PayPal for the developing world. Since starting, Haedrian Labs has made strides in the Philippines, India, and is now exploring South America and New Guinea. 


Wally is a simple, beautiful and cost efficient Point of Sale solution on Android tailored for Latam markets, where market potential is huge. Wally has already rolled out to 20 establishments, and with the feedback, is going after a partner base of 80,000 deployments. It helps that the machine and UX are crisp, clean, and intuitive, too.


Jitta is an intelligent finance platform taking aim at the S&P 500 as the "new normal" for trading returns. The practice is simple, "Buy a Wonderful company at a Fair Price," but the algorithmic technology behind the tool is nothing short of inspired. Since 2009, Jitta's ROI has been 400% greater than the S&P 500. The kicker: the team and company are building in Bangkok.


Atlanta's latest hit, Partpic's story is nothing short of incredible. Started by Jewel Burks soon after feeling the frustration of selling replacement parts at a large industrial distributor, she combined her industry experience with talent and inspiration from nearby Georgia Institute of Technology to create an app for optical recognition of hardware parts.

Simply take a picture of your broken toilet handle, and Partpic will recommend the right replacement.

Since starting the company, Partpic has become a rising American icon, winning the Rise of the Rest Atlanta competition, closing its $1.5M round, and catching President Obama's eye at the White House Demo Day.