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Our top 25 startups for 2013 – VentureVillage editorial team Written by HEUREKA editorial on 4. January 2013

Over the course of 2012, us VentureVillagers have been in the front seat of Berlin’s rising startup action. With so many budding business near and far, we’ve rounded up each of our startup tips for 2013 – from quirky messaging services to money-handling platforms and social enterprises…

linsey fryatt

Linsey Fryatt

Managing Editor


Sofar Sounds

“Like Secret Cinema, but for gigs”

Sofar Sounds is a “please don’t tell” style gig network that sees residents in over 18 cities worldwide throw open their doors to host magically intimate front-room gigs.

Memrise icon


“Drilling vocabulary into your brain. Painlessly.”

Ed Cooke, the co-founder of Memrise and a Grandmaster of Memory uses proven memorisation techniques to help users learn the vocabulary of a new language.

“Borrow that Steve Jobs biog from your hipster Facebook friends”

Whyownit hooks you up with your Facebook friends’ possessions. Upload the things that you are happy to share and create a trusted network of borrowing peers.


“Learn how to do stuff”

The HowDo team has recently moved from Sweden to Berlin to create the iOS app that allows users to easily create visual slides how to dry socks to how to prepare for a hurricane.



“Micro-payments for the masses”

iZettle is free iPhone or iPad app and micro-reader that emancipates any small business or tradesperson to accept card payments

Read Linsey’s full article here


Elaine Jung

Features Editor



“A Couchsurfing for chefs”

This rent-a-gourmet-chef site launched mid-2012 in New York, and spread its unique culinary experience into Berlin and Boston. Users trawl through the site’s rundown of chefs and pay to have them over to work their magic.



“Like a SoundCloud for DIY makers” aims to be the go-to place for anyone looking to create or read up on a step-by-step project for DIY enthusiasts.



“A World Vision for photography” allows photographers to sell their worldly snaps while passing on a cut to social projects in the region the photo was taken where photographed motifs are put into the picture buying-selling equation

Project OONA

Project OONA

“Making bags personal”

Project OONA launched in November 2012 with its customisable carryalls service. The site allows women (and soon men and children) to personalise their choice of bag using a range of styles, materials and textures.



“Your mobile flea-market”

Stuffle is a mobile app marketplace where photos and descriptions of sell-able items are made searchable to other users in and around your locale via a map.

Read Elaine’s full article here


Nina Fowler

News Editor



“Doing for currency exchange what Skype did for voice calling”

I earn euros but need pounds? You earn pounds but need euros? Great. We can put some of what we earn into each other’s account. TransferWise co-founders began doing that for each other then turned it into an online site for everyone else.


“Tracks what you read, not what you click”

Scoopinion tracks what we’re reading online, not just what we’re clicking, liking and sharing. It takes articles from a whitelist of publications, measures how users read them, then pops the best on the website and into a newsletter.



“Compare anything”

VERSUS IO is great at turning the results of comparisons into natural language. Plug in Berlin versus London, for example, and discover such data gems as ““sizeably lower murder rates” and “considerably cheaper Big Macs”.



“Say more with less”

DingDong lets you send instant messages made up of nothing more than name, time, location and optional photo. In other words, say “I’m late” or “this made me think of you” with the push of a button and without words.



“Put the internet to work for you”

IFTTT – If This, Then That – lets users combine ingredients, triggers and actions to create “recipes” (simple commands) for various channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc).

Read Nina’s full article here


Michelle Kuepper

Staff Writer



“Social reservation system for the erratic diner”

Taking a concept that hotels and airline companies have embraced for years, Berlin startup Resmio is an online reservation system bringing price discrimination to dining, offering savings for foodies who dine at off-peak hours.


“Letting you listen to the internet”

Freshly graduated from the Berlin Startupbootcamp incubater, takes all your personal content from text and transforms it to speech, letting you listen to a personalised news feed on iOS devices.



“All you need to get from A to B”

Waymate is working on becoming the definitive travel database by providing all the information you need to get from point A to B – including comparisons in price, time and comfort between trains, flights, buses, taxis or bikes.



“The lifestyle app for the sophisticated consumer”

Twisper is a mobile and online app that gathers unique, high-quality locations from cities around the world to let you browse and follow recommendations from other users – be they restaurants, stores, clubs, off-the-beaten-track places.


Facebook Poke

“Facebook poking, mobile style”

Gathering hype, the latest Facebook app takes the tried and tested poke concept and puts it to the mobile sphere. Users can send short messages, pictures or videos to their friends. Catch is; recipients can only open it once for three seconds.

Read Michelle’s full article here


Charmaine Li

VentureVillage editorial intern


“Like Google Analytics, but for your dreams”

Dreamboard is a tool designed by psychology experts to help record and analyse dreams so you can gain insight on the workings of your inner world.



“Healthy eating made simple”

The Toronto-based startup launched Venio to make healthy meal planning easy and enjoyable. Create a profile, input your dietary preferences and the mobile app generates a personalised meal plan to help you achieve health goals.



“Recruitment – it’s not about the CV, it’s about cultural fit”

Somewhere aims to redesign the recruitment process by providing a platform that allows people to connect with companies in a more personal and meaningful way.



“Banking for the modern world”

Holvi takes a new approach to traditional banking by offering an online platform that allows for bookkeeping and money management within groups. Users can link up multiple accounts, make payments and collect funds.



“GoogleDocs for designers and agencies”

OpenBrand offers a cloud-based platform that makes it simple for designers, agencies and clients to collaborate on creative materials like logos, ads and business cards.

Read Charmaine’s full article here

What do you think? What are your Tips for the Top 2013? Let us know in the comments section below…

For related posts, check out:

VentureVillage’s Top 10 video reports of 2012
Want to go global in 2013? Beware the 5 reasons companies fail at international expansion

10 apps to help your New Year’s resolutions stick