We keep an ongoing rough list of startup ideas which we think are high-potential, and for which we haven’t yet seen a compelling opportunity to invest. If you’re working on any of these ideas, please contact us. If you’re researching businesses to start, see Researching new ideas for founders in transition.
These ideas are in no particular order. Use them at your own risk.
A community for current students globally planning to become founders. Student benefits: community with similar high-caliber founders, mentoring, training, 10% carry in investments they source, access to internships and jobs via our network.
General Models: the Ivies, Thiel Fellows, Rhodes, Beinecke, Gates Cambridge, Marshall, Minerva, Schwarzman, Truman, Watson
Action Tank. A business which helps enterprises to execute initiatives which require coordination across diverse non-employee stakeholders, e.g., make a large sale to a critical client, or lobby for a change in regulation. We want to use our proprietary technology and network to tap the relevant players to take the relevant steps forward; and identify, document, and disseminate best practices to do so. We envision this is an enterprise SaaS company with a strong consumer-facing component, initially targeting NGOs. We have a detailed business plan and sales deck we can share for this.
Shopping search engine, but only quality merchandise (e.g., has been reviewed by TheWirecutter). Amazon has so many counterfeit, low quality, and/or non-reputable brands that we hate using it unless we already know what we want to buy.
Gated Chatroulette. E.g., only people of a certain religion.
Subscription Agreements management tool. Background
Database of gated online communities. See https://www.community-finder.co/ for a version of this.
Live stream video dating for US market. Background.
A company that motivates people to do what they want to do/strengthens self-control. Example: Stickk.
Technology for religion. Details.
YC for content. Details.
Senior care center of future. Combines in-location education; an on-location kindergarten/day care; and a teaching of young kids, and one room for each decade the residents were young. E.g., a room that recreates the décor, music, furniture of the 1950s. Model: LaSelle College (Newton MA).
Carfax for homes
An expert network that takes advantage of the knowledge on individual peoples’ computers. Allow me to search thru others’ knowledge base (e.g., all of their emails), with privacy protected. Methodology: a network member gets a notification: “David is researching Norwegian oil reserves, and we see from files on your computer you’re an expert on this. Are you open to having a call with David?” A company tried this a decade ago, in partnership with our founder.
Solution for scheduling parent teacher conferences for large schools. Bronx Science, which has 3000 students, uses a completely manual solution, because they said they couldn’t find a solution to support their school.
Yelp for stock option plans. Details
Fact-based meme productions. COVID requires educating the whole country about certain behavior changes, e.g., wearing masks. Creating behavioral change is really hard; the best way to do that is for a trusted source to model. Could you use Jibjab to create messages about “Wear a mask”, “wash your hands”, etc., and then market to local opinion leaders (priests, pastors, politicians) to insert their face into those messages? The message has the production quality and evidence-based medicine of a professional Public Service Announcement, but the credibility of a local influencer. We produce high-quality, fact-based educational messages, starting with messages about how to protect yourself from COVID, e.g., this . We distribute this content to individual influencers, e.g., a doctor who’s a member of a church. The doctor uploads her face and voice to our site, and we insert her into the video. The church then distributes the video via social media. It has the production quality and evidence-based medicine of a professional Public Service Announcement, but the credibility of a local influencer. Models: Buzzworthy.com, JibJab.com, zdoggmd.com, socialnative.com (HOF Capital is an investor), contently.com (ffVC is an investor). Background.