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Startup Watch: 3 Millennial Problem Solvers

Startups today are focusing on solving Millennials’ modern problems, both big and small, and making their experiences more seamless and rewarding.

Millennials aren’t starting their own businesses en masse the way some believed they would, but that does not mean they aren’t influencing the world of startups. Many new companies are launching to address and solve Millennials’ modern problems. Here are five startups on the rise that are focused on making young consumers experiences more seamless, rewarding, and efficient.


The problem: The messy state of digital dating doesn’t just complicate single Millennials’ lives, it leaves many spending more time chatting through apps and sites than making connections face-to-face.

The startup solution: Whim has launched promising users it will take them “from phone to date in just a few taps” and cut out the endless chatting and screen time that are inevitable with so many other dating apps. Users sign up for a date at a time they are free, and then look at the profiles of other users they might like to choose for a few potential dates. Whim then makes a match between two people who have said “yes” to one another, and sets up the meet. The whole process is meant to take digital dating off the phone, and into real life.


The problem: Millennials want to donate money to social good causes, but they prefer micro-donations, and of course would rather use their phones to give than anything else. (As successful text-donations campaigns have proven in the past.) But very few systems and tools exist that let them give the way they want.

The startup solution: GiveMob was created by a Millennial who has a history of working for non-profits, recognized that “Millennials are a huge untapped market for the non-profit sector,” and wanted to give her generation an easier way to make donations via mobile. The app was designed to make donating money to a cause a more seamless process, featuring charities that are running SMS donation campaigns organized into categories, and allowing users to donate $5-$10 to the causes they are interested in without entering their credit card information. Instead, the amount is added to their next phone bill. A “Campaign of the Day” is featured to call attention to causes that users might not know about,  and of course those who donate can share on social media so their friends can find out as well.

3. TRY

The problem: Online shopping is rivaling Millennials’ offline buying, but the process still has its cons. Not being able to “try before you buy” still has many young consumers headed to brick-and-mortar, and they’ll abandon their online shopping carts if the shipping cost is too high.

The startup solution: Try is a Chrome plugin bringing the idea of try-before-you buy to online shopping. After installing Try, users will see an “Add to Cart” button when they browse an item from a participating retailer. They can fill their cart with up to five items, which are then sent to them straight from the retailer for free. These items are technically “borrowed,” and shoppers can try on everything and return what they don’t want within ten days, only getting charged for the items they keep. Try is currently invite-only, but the list of retailers they are working with is impressive and growing, so we would not be surprised to see this startup expand rapidly.