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Startup Worker | © StartupStockPhotos/Pixabay
Startup Worker | © StartupStockPhotos/Pixabay
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The Top 10 Startups In The East Bay

Picture of Aviva Schmitz
Updated: 9 February 2017
Startups have changed the economies and the landscapes of many cities around the world, most famously Silicon Valley and San Francisco. But Oakland and Berkeley are just a few miles away, and these cities are also home to many ingenious startups! Check out our top ten startups in the East Bay.


Josephine is a great way for busy people to enjoy home-cooked meals and for amateur chefs to make a little extra cash! Hungry people can search for a meal that suits their tastes, location, and price range, pay for it online, and pick it up from a fully verified and vetted cook, all in less time than it would take to order takeout. In this way, the customer and the producer come face to face, and that’s why Josephine is more than a website. It’s a startup that strengthens communities and makes people appreciate each other more with every bite.

My first meal in the appartment: jajangmyeon!
Home Cooked Meal | © Valentin Janiaut/Flickr


If you’ve always wanted to install solar panels but have been deterred by high costs or confused by the multitude of options available, Sungevity has the perfect solution. This Oakland startup makes doing your part to save the planet a little easier by designing a solar panel system that fits your home and explaining your financial options. From there, it’s all in Sungevity’s hands. The company installs dozens of solar panel systems every single day, and that level of experience means that you can just sit back, relax, and watch your energy bill shrink.

Solar Panels | © Marufish/Flickr


For game developer Wonderspark, it’s all about putting the fun back into gaming. Games in this day and age have become little more than mindless distractions – after all, we play them during boring meetings by moving our thumbs and staring glassy-eyed at a screen. Wonderspark wants to change that. This startup creates games that will excite you in the same way that board game night does, with all its yelling, competitiveness, and real emotion. Wonderspark games will, quite literally, spark your sense of wonder.


Immunity represents the ultimate partnership between science and philanthropy. This registered non-profit organization is working tirelessly to try to develop a vaccine for HIV, one of the conditions that most threatens public health worldwide. This startup is trying to attack the problem by using the DNA of HIV controllers, people who are naturally immune to HIV, to create a vaccine. The company is currently raising money to back their first human clinical trial, and you can help support their effort by making an online donation!

Pulpo Media

The word ‘pulpo‘ means ‘octopus’ in Spanish, and the name really couldn’t be more fitting. Pulpo Media began as a small online advertising company in Berkeley in 2008 and has since become an instantly recognizable brand that continues to touch Spanish speakers all over the world. With five additional offices in Puerto Rico, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia, Pulpo Media really does have a wide reach. In fact, it’s only two branches away from fully living up to its eight-armed namesake!


‘Color for the color blind.’ That seemingly impossible sentence encapsulates the mission of EnChroma, a Berkeley startup that’s transformed the lives of people with red-green color blindness with a simple pair of glasses. It might seem like magic, but it’s actually science. EnChroma’s highly advanced glasses rely on the principles of perceptual psychophysics and linear programming, which allow scientists to simulate thousands of colors. The result is that people are allowed to see oceans, sunrises, and the faces of their loved ones like they never have before.


Mayvenn has recognized the outrageous costs of beauty products and done something about it. This Oakland startup lets stylists register their products online, allowing them to bypass beauty supply stores as the middleman when referring customers to products. Stylists receive a portion of all online sales, but the benefit is mutual. Mayvenn often has lower prices than salon-goers would ever be able to find in any store. This makes the service valuable for customers and stylists alike, which is a rare accomplishment in such a competitive industry.

Beauty Salon | © Carl Lender/Flickr


Technology has made so many parts of our lives so much easier, but there’s one thing that’s always remained difficult, and that’s childcare. Until now. CareLuLu, based in Oakland, is a website that allows parents to search online for the ideal childcare option. Busy moms and dads can filter results by age, price, and type of care to ensure that they get the result they’re looking for, whether it’s daycare, preschool, or other options. Best of all, all listings on the site are fully licensed, ensuring that whatever you pick will be a safe, secure environment for your child.


Simply put, Twindom is the future of photography. This unique startup, located in Berkeley, has created a portable 3D photography device, which captures images in just a quarter of a second. When uploaded to a computer, these images can be twisted and rotated for optimal viewing at any angle. What’s even cooler is that you can order a miniature 3D model of the image, which is so realistic and detailed that it puts even the best wax figures and dolls to shame.


In the hands of Madefire, what was once static becomes dynamic. This startup relies on the latest technological advances to develop its Motion Book Tool, an innovation that makes books go digital in a way that we’ve never seen before. With Madefire, stories become a sensory experience that includes visuals and sound, and readers can even interact with the story as it progresses. If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to get through a book, Madefire might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.