In today's fast-paced lifestyle and sky-high expectations, companies are more challenged than ever to come up with the best, most innovative solutions to our problems. We become more demanding every day (can we say donut delivery?), and more dependent on technology to do, well, anything. In other words, we want the donut and we don't want to leave the couch to get it. These five companies are on the cutting edge, bringing you the coolest products and services of the century.
There has been a shift in the real estate arena in recent years as the rise of big tech companies sweep the industry. Windly co-founder and CEO David Silva saw an opportunity to use technology in assisting the process agents go through on a daily basis to get deals done. Using his background as a Texas broker and user-experience minded approach gained during his time at Apple, Inc, Silva wanted to create something that bridged the gap between time, and money. Based in Austin where the market is one of the hottest in the country, Windly saw real potential to make agents' lives much easier. The innovative service empowers and frees the agent from the shackles of sitting behind a desk to submit an offer and close the deal.
The app, the first to offer this technology, enables agents to prepare and submit offers on the go within minutes by preparing the contract for e-signature, and submitting it with a single tap of a button. Contracts have been tailored to minimize repetitive tasks, asking only that the agent complete the pertinent offer information. Windly will also enable the user to track the action on the other end, browse the MLS, manage clients, keep track of dates and status updates, among other things. This is a company to watch, as it will change the landscape of how real estate is done, starting with Austin.
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Who would have thought one day we could shop for a car online, but behold, the day is here. We live in a digital era with more industries jumping aboard the online shopping train, and Vroom just revolutionized the car-buying experience by making it simple and easy. On the site or on a smartphone, the car shopping experience is as easy as ordering a pair of shoes: Find the car, add to cart, and get it delivered to your front door for free. Vroom offers delivery anywhere in the lower 48 states, and the best part is the whole interaction is haggle-free.
The mission is simple, and co-COO Rick Williams believes that appropriate use of technology means serving the business while reducing waste, which led to the creation of one of the most minimalistic car-buying options available. One of the most stressful things about car buying was knowing you would have to deal with the pushy salesman, spending more time (and more money) than you wanted to dedicate to the dreaded task, and handle all the busy work by yourself. Cars from Vroom are already priced at the lowest numbers possible, are certified, and come with a 90-day, 6,000-mile warranty that covers every mechanical part in your new ride. Even better, you have seven days to return it if you don't love it, for a 100% refund.
Vroom partners with over thirty of the best financers to make your life easier, handles messy paperwork and inspects each and every car to ensure you won't be stuck with a fixer-upper. The conveniences are endless, and it is safe to safe our car-shopping experience has just been majorly upgraded.
Hillside Reserve, Austin, Tx.
Based in Miami, Oasis Collections is a full service hospitality company offering luxury and design-centric vacation rentals. Aiming to create the ultimate experience for their clients, Oasis created the "Home Meets Hotel" concept which blends the conveniences of a classic hotel with the local and cultural authenticity of a private rental. Oasis handles booking and guest services, as well as complimentary concierge support and access to local amenities users may not know about otherwise. Currently, the Oasis portfolio offers almost 2,000 design-forward homes in 25 cities stretched over the US, Europe and Latin America. Experiences offered to guests include cooking classes from top chefs, discounts at popular restaurants, and credits to spas and gyms. Staying at one of the Oasis homes gives you the opportunity to be part of weaving the fabric that makes up the local culture and story of the city, while enjoying all the luxury perks a hotel can offer.
All of the homes are fully vetted and located in prime locations and each will give you a completely different experience. Neighborhoods all differ in style and vibe, and your visit should allow you to explore each facet. Most hotels will only be able to provide a cookie-cutter experience, whereas using a service like Oasis Collections opens a multitude of doors for you to see behind. Oasis plans to expand to the world's top 50 cities by 2017, and you can take a peak at the most fabulous locations on the company's social networks.
Trufora is a skincare company that is changing how we see skin products. Founder Sara Sweeney, who has a decade-long background in skincare, grew tired of the quality of products offered on the market, which then led her to launch her own line. The most unique facet of the Trufora lies in that the beauty line contains non-toxic pharmaceutical-grade products that are gentle enough for any skin type. Truth and honesty in the formulation is of the highest importance for the increasingly popular brand, the most important promise being that there is nothing else like their products.
Headquartered in Austin, the Trufora beauty line is sustainably harvested, dermatologist tested, and free of harsh chemicals, sulfates, detergents, allergens, GMO's, paragons, among other harmful substances. Trufora is also Vegan and cruelty-cree certified, proving they are conscientious in every sense of the word. Trufora aims to treat common problems of the skin such as loss of clarity and tone, fine wrinkles, texture and enlarged pores, and the anti-aging collection includes everything necessary to treat, prevent and protect your skin in a synergistic way, meant to work together to create the ideal results for your skin.
Trufora will quickly gain more space in the market as people learn more about the toxins and harsh chemicals that go in popular skin products, not to mention the animal testing that large companies still do, and begin setting higher standards for themselves. If you wouldn't eat harmful chemicals, why put it on your skin, our biggest organ? This line is changing the game in the skincare world and skin fanatics couldn't be happier.
Great ideas always come up when you try to solve a problem, and TopShelf does just that. The Austin-based company offers a streamlined way to order beer, wine and liquor with the touch of a button, the perfect solution for any event where the well has run dry. CEO and Founder Ryan Browne came up with the idea while at a party at the University of Texas back in 2010, and the inspiration was simple: Party-goers and party hosts want to keep the party going, and most important, keep things safe. Alcohol can be ordered from the app or via the website, and users can expect their delivery to take place in less than an hour (TopShelf aims to bring the time down to 30 minutes or less).
The service can deliver alcohol to any occasion including corporate events, weddings, or even as a gift for that friend who could really use a glass of wine but can't seem to get out of bed. TopShelf took advantage of the on-demand culture taking over the country, and uses advancements in the smartphone world to make the delivery service that much more convenient and seamless. The product is delivered by local liquor stores in your area (for standard retail prices plus a small $5 delivery fee), and the app functionalities include age-verification, online payment, and delivery tracking.
The future looks bright for TopShelf, currently available in major Texas cities, with requests to expand to cities all over the country continuing to pour in.