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August 2, 2013updated 22 Sep 2016 3:11pm

Seven sexy startups to watch

Joe Curtis looks at some of the startups changing the way we work.

By Joe Curtis

Double Robotics

Have you ever wanted to be in two places at once? Well, you can’t. But Double Robotics lets you do the next best thing, by providing a set of wheels for an iPad which you can remote control. The technology allows you to be sat in a hotel in Japan while visiting Paris’s La Louvre, or holding court at a meeting in California while perched in the back of a taxi in London, or – well, you get the picture.

The technology also allows you to adjust the iPad’s height to remain at eye level, while its eight-hour battery life gives you plenty of time to roll around and chat with people. The company claims it’s better than teleconferencing because you can speak with anyone you want, anywhere you want, as long as it’s not up a set of stairs of course.

With prices starting from $2,499 it’s not cheap, but it is easy to use, being operable from an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or web browser.

 

MangoApps

MangoApps

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MangoApps is designed to help staff work together by grouping lots of different programmes together.

The collaborative platform combines employee social networking, team working tools and the company intranet into one product. It’s proven popular with firms to allow workers to co-operate on projects and to keep track of personal and project tasks. Colleagues can also share documents and important info as well as discussing and brainstorming ideas.

Ideal for those spread out over an office, colleagues can use it to ask and answer questions as well as instant messaging and group chatting so despite the distance between them, they can still communicate in real time to collaborate on things.

Space Monkey

Space Monkey

Cloud? What cloud? This startup looks beyond the skyline to find the next big thing in storage technology – beyond them and into space, to be precise. The company believes it has found a solution to the flaws in price and security in cloud-based solutions by taking the technology out of data centres and server farms and localising it in people’s homes or workplaces.

The firm claims its storage devices are up to 60 times faster than traditional cloud services and more secure, as well as making the data available to you all over the world via your mobile device or web browser. What’s more, you get a terabyte of online storage for just $10 per month.

Dexplora

Swedish startup Dexplora has just announced VC funding of $1.2m to help it promote its GetSalesDone app to the public. Its app is designed to improve sales workflow and the company behind it has high ambitions for the product, believing it could eventually make CRM obsolete.

CEO Hampus Jakobsson says: "Traditional CRM systems don’t seem to be designed with the end user – the human – in mind. This means that no matter how powerful a tool it may be, companies aren’t getting the best out of it.

"After years of working in sales ourselves, we felt that there was a real need for a tool that is intuitive and intelligent."

Built for companies registered with Salesforce.com, Dexplora is a chance for sales teams to trust their data again, instead of relying on out-of-date CRMs, and so make more accurate forecasts and evaluations.

Mover

Still want to stick with cloud? Mover allows you to streamline the process of transferring your data to such a provider. The file transfer platform, however, doesn’t believe in users being locked into walled garden data storage options, and so is flexible enough that if you want to change cloud providers, it’s just a few clicks of the mouse to move between them.

It supports all the major cloud drive services, including Dropbox, Skydrive, Box.net and Amazon, and does more including recurring transfers and larger backups. The company has reportedly secured investment from GrowLab and is in the process of raising a $1m seed investment round.

Skills Hive

Freelancers and hirers alike fear getting stung in a work contract with someone they do not know, but this startup hopes to ensure temporary projects involve people who gel so well they operate like a hive mind.

Businesses looking to expand can take advantage of Skills Hive to take on a team of workers over the internet for a limited period of time, so they don’t have to pay for permanent contracts they can’t afford but can still grow by carrying out vital projects.

Freelance workers can also use the site to take on contracts and fit them in around their other commitments, while both sides are able to stay in touch via the site and manage tasks.

Directors Mark Williams and Mike Orchard are also looking to get feedback from users about how they want the site to work.
As the website itself says "communication is key to realising the potential of Skills Hive as an ideas hub so we will be looking to stimulate the debate through our blog, social media channels and other contact with you the members."

Taurus

SaaS developers hoping to increase the popularity of their product might rush to embrace the people behind this browser application. Taurus helps set up a product tour for web applications, promising that you’ll have a working tour ready in just 15 minutes.

Its simple point-and-click interface and customisable design could lead to real benefits for SaaS applications too, with the company boasting customers report an increase in sales of between 20% and 100% after using Taurus.

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