Startup Spotlight: Saving Money, Influencer Marketing and Smoothie Blenders

May 26, 2017

4:30 pm

Saving money is always popular, especially when it’s convenient. Each week, Tech.Co searches the web to uncover interesting new companies across all sectors. This time in our Startup Spotlight, we’ve uncovered startups that are helping people save money for the long-term and while they shop online as well as a healthy smoothie blender and a new way to engage students in underserved populations.

Long Game

Putting money into a savings account takes diligence, but not many people in the US get around to doing it until it’s too late. CEO and founder Lindsey Holden of San Francisco-based Long Game is helping people save money through gamification. Long Game is a personal finance app that taps into behavioral economics to incentivize people to save money by leveraging reward mechanics and using the mass popularity of lottery games to redirect lottery spending towards personal savings. But unlike the actual lottery, with Long Game money is never lost and is FDIC-insured, earning up to 10x the interest rate of a traditional bank. The company has raised $6.6 M in seed capital to date.

Long Game, finance


Putting together a marketing campaign with influencers can become quite costly. Milwaukee-based Lumanu will search the web to create a customized influencer network for your campaign based on specific keywords, hashtags and locations. The company will also generate the right budget, product price and marketing objective based on the influencer to maximize your reach.


Eating better can certainly improve your quality of life and improve your health. Now there’s a way to get rewarded for buying healthy brands. Boulder-based and female-founded Makeena is an app that can help shoppers save money when they purchase healthy and sustainable products. Though the app, search for offers by brand, category or attribute, choose a brand, review and redeem offers. On the brand side, companies can engage with consumers during the shopping cycle at any retailer, provide special offers and build brand loyalty.

Makeena, shopping, mobile app


There’s no doubt that a quality education is the foundation of future success and opportunity. Phoenix-based RunSphere help give students in underserved populations a hands-on use of emerging technology such as VR and AR by connecting educational institutions with industry leaders to create learning opportunities. The company’s platform is cloud-based and allows students to learn from anywhere in the world.

smoothie, health


Instead of grabbing for a sugary snack in the late afternoon, look to a healthy smoothie. This San Francisco-based company Replenish developed the new kitchen gadget is the first self-cleaning blender that prepares healthy smoothies and snacks in under a minute. Consumers order the Replenish Cups that are filled with a variety of fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts – all flash-frozen and full of vitamins. Each cup is 100 percent recyclable. This blender was developed by former Apple and Boeing engineers, so you know it’ll be powerful.

Read more about startups here at Tech.Co.

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Tishin is a technology journalist and correspondent. She has written for TechCrunch, Demand Studios and Fitness, and has regular network segments on local Phoenix affiliate stations. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical and Sport psychology, and has covered many areas of technology ranging from 3D printing and game development to neurotech and funding for over 15 years.