9 Emerging Brands with Killer Business Strategies


What is your absolute favorite brand to have emerged in 2013 and why?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Uber

“It’s been around for years, but 2013 was the year that everyone talked about Uber. This year, it committed to doing interesting and useful promotions — the kind of marketing that resonates. Its “Take a helicopter to the beach,” “Take a boat to work” and “Have us deliver a Christmas tree” promotions were unique and provided interesting life experiences.”

Brennan White, Watchtower

2. Leap Motion

“Leap Motion created an incredible controller that allows you to use hand gestures to manage your computer. It was the highlight of South By Southwest, and its platform is growing incredibly fast. The brand has created a new, more natural way to interact with technology.”

 Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

3. Oculus VR

“The Oculus Rift has been in the works for years, but 2013 has been the year that awareness of virtual reality’s potential has come full circle. It isn’t every year that a truly revolutionary and industry-changing product comes along, and that is exactly what the Rift is. It’s not just for games; virtual reality could change the world.”

James Simpson, GoldFire Studios

4. Treehouse

“Treehouse has been around for a few years, but it really hit its stride in 2013. Treehouse provides comprehensive and fun training in coding, design and business. It offers high production-quality videos, quizzes, downloadable resources and more. Plus, it has ongoing adventures and badges you can earn to make things even more interesting.”

Dustin Lee, Playbook


“The OUYA gaming device came into the scene in 2013. The idea of democratizing games has always enticed gamers. OUYA made it a reality and has blown us all away.”

Adam Lieb, Duxter

6. Lono

“My personal favorite is Lono. It’s a new automated sprinkler device app. It’s going to help cut water consumption by at least 20 percent automatically and saves people money and headaches. I love all things connected to the home.”

Andrew Howlett, Rain

7. Everlane

“In 2013, Everlane really hit its stride. It hasn’t been around long, but it has recently picked up the pace and stuck with a very smart business model. Everlane focuses on brand transparency, which is great to see and shockingly difficult to replicate. It also has a great design sensibility and solid products.”

Colin Wright, Asymmetrical Press

8. Nomiku

“Nomiku is an at-home sous vide machine that lets home cooks make food like pros. It’s an incredible, beautifully designed machine that’s fun to use, and the brand has a great personality influenced by the founders’ fun-loving and food-loving spirits.”

Leah Neaderthal, Start Somewhere

9. Nest

“With its smart thermostats and smoke alarms, Nest has taken after-thought items, designed them beautifully and helped bring homes into the future.”

Kelcy Pegler, Jr, Roof Diagnostics