Top 10 Startups of 2018

Photo by Walker Evans

Transportation startup EmpowerBus earned readers’ attention as the Top Startup of the year.

Launched in 2017, EmpowerBus is focused on upward mobility, providing reliable and on-time transportation to and from employment, education, and healthcare opportunities. EmpowerBus served hundreds of workers throughout 2018, and also offered transportation solutions for communities, including a partnership with Kroger to provide a shuttle from its closed Northern Lights location. 

EmpowerBus was also honored as the Emerging Social Enterprise of the Year and The Metropreneur’s Aspire event for its work to close the transportation gap for workforce-ready citizens, especially those from minority and immigrant communities. 

For more information, visit

  1. EmpowerBus
  2. RapChat
  3. Bold Penguin
  4. Warrior Wear
  5. Versa Coworking
  6. Simple Times Mixers
  7. SHARE
  8. PatronArt
  9. Prologue Book Store
  10. Juggle App

Flashback: Top Startup of 2017 – DACA Time
Top Startup of 2016 – Aunt Flow
Flashback: Top Startup of 2015 – Hai Poké
Top Startup of 2014 – Hot Chicken Takeover
Flashback: Top Startup of 2013 – Actual Brewing Company

Note: Our “Best of 2018″ lists are published as the combined results of our annual Reader Nomination Survey and Editor’s Choice picks.

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Susan is the editor of and associate editor of, and also covers small business and entrepreneurial news and the food scene in Central Ohio. Susan holds a degree in Communication with a minor in Professional Writing from The Ohio State University. She sits on the board of the Central Ohio Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and loves coffee, whiskey, cooking and spending time with friends and family.