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Startups Which Combine The Unexpected

We know technology is changing our world faster and in more ways than ever before. Often we look at a startup idea and think ‘that was just waiting to happen’, but every once in a while we stumble across an idea which surprises us. Here’s our list of some interesting, sometimes bizarre, startups which used technology in ways we might not have expected.

One recent trend few might have expected is the use of NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens (simply put, unique tokens) which are part of the Ethereum (the cryptocurrency) blockchain for trading digital art. Technically an NFT can be anything (a video, an artwork, an idea and it seems even a Tweet if you are Jack Dorsey), but recently NFTs have become popular to buy and sell digital art. SuperRare is one of the peer-to-peer NFT marketplaces that is enabling artists to sell all types of digital art. Its monthly sales were almost 30 million in March this year and it even has its own currency ($RARE) which was listed on the Crypto-currency exchange Binance a few weeks ago.

Always dreamed of becoming a rapper? Now you can focus on belting out tunes while DeepBeat uses AI (artificial intelligence) to write lyrics for you. The deepbeat program uses machine learning to combine lines from existing rap songs and turn them into new songs.

Another interesting startup is for those that get the stage fright at the very thought of speaking in public or presenting to a room – Virtual Speech offers online simulations of different scenarios using Virtual Reality to create a more realistic practice environment. There are multiple self-paced courses on topics in categories like public speaking, winning clients and communicating as a leader.

Question. Have you been to India yet? Maybe attended an Indian wedding? If your answer is no to both, this startup might be just right for you: Join My Wedding enables Indian couples to open up their wedding for foreign travellers that want to experience Indian culture through a wedding. As a traveller to India, this could be your way to officially gate-crash an Indian wedding. In India weddings are usually a crazy mix of culture, family, food, traditions and so much else that is typically Indian. So, what better way to get an authentic dose of India than by attending a big fat Indian wedding!

Next up, the pet care market in Europe has been growing, which is in line with the global trend, and is expected to touch USD 23 billion by 2025. Pet parents continue to spend more on better care and better supplies for their pets. PetPuls however goes beyond just the need for food, toys and other supplies and can help you decode your dog’s bark to know if your dog is happy, anxious, sad, angry or relaxed. The PetPlus AI collar comes in different sizes and colours, is worn by your dog and their proprietary algorithm decodes your dog’s bark. The collar connects to an app on your phone so you can check in on your dog’s ‘mood’ as often as you need to.

Here’s another startup which might surprise you. Second hand diamond rings.. yes you read that right, second hand wedding rings is what got this platform started. I Do Now I Don’t as the name might suggest, started as a way to get better value for second hand diamond rings which are often hard to sell or sell for too little of the original cost. The New York based startup which originally launched in 2007 and later merged with Delgatto in 2015, now enables sellers to sell everything from inheritance jewellery to pre-owned wedding baubles and get much better prices for them than traditional resale channels.

How about technology to help with your technology addiction? Confused? That’s what Atmana, a Bangalore based startup backed by Y-Combinator does. The subscription based service is currently targeted at 15 – 30 year olds and helps them break addictions ranging from gaming to social media. Their techniques include peer support, a buddy program and education which are techniques also used for treating alcohol and drug addiction.

If all these bizarre ideas have your head in a tizzy, here is a website you might like, although fair warning – it might double if not triple your wanderlust! WindowSwap which started during the covid lockdown, is a free to access site with no app downloads or fees. It gives you access to a different view and allows you to literally look out of someone else’s window. You can click a button and refresh this view any number of times by jumping to another window somewhere around the world. It’s completely random and you are as likely to find yourself on a mountain top as on a beach. I even ended up on a vineyard on my most recent visit to the site. Too bad they haven’t figured out virtual wine tastings yet!

Finally, just in case wanderlust isn’t your problem and you’re just waiting for the weekend to hit your favourite bar with some friends, here is a cute little something that will help you get through the weekdays imissmybar.

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