How to Find the Most Relevant Startups

Cut through the startup noise and zero in on opportunities that matter. This guide outlines 5 simple steps to find the most relevant startups using specialized software tools, complete with real-world examples to jumpstart your search.

If you are looking for the most relevant startups in your industry to collaborate with, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of time and effort it takes to find and evaluate them. Not only that, you might miss out on some hidden gems that are not easily discoverable through conventional scouting sources.

Keep on reading to explore our simple step-by-step guide. At the end of this article, you know how to:

  • Access the entire startup ecosystem with one search
  • Apply simple and easy filters to narrow down your results
  • Find similar companies based on any number of inputs
  • Identify keyword patterns to refine your search process
  • Export your results to add them to your knowledge base

Ready? Let’s get started!

Access 3.79M Startups & Scaleups Globally

To enable fast and efficient startup scouting, StartUs Insights developed the Discovery Platform, an innovation manager’s best friend. Covering over 3.79 million startups and scaleups across 175+ hubs globally, the platform empowers you to discover and evaluate high quality companies that matter.

How does it work?

  • Input

Simply input your search terms — be it keywords, topics of interest, or specific criteria like location, company size, technology focus, or funding stage. Our Discovery Platform will swiftly sift through 214 million global data points across startup ecosystems, databases, and other online sources.

  • Output

Receive a curated list of pertinent startups and scaleups, each sorted by our proprietary relevance score. Each entry comes with an enriched profile that includes essential information like founding year, location, funding status, contact details, and more.

Don’t miss this – Discover the #1 Startup Scouting Platform

How to: 5 Easy Steps to Find the Most Relevant Startups

1. Set Up Your Search

Once you are logged in, you will see a simple and intuitive interface where you can enter your search query. You can use any keywords, topics, or technologies that are relevant to your innovation needs. For example, if you are looking for a list of tech startups working on Big Data and Innovation Intelligence you can type that in the Focus Area keyword field as seen below

The platform will then scan more than 214 million data points from the web, startup ecosystem, databases, and company aggregators globally and return the most relevant results for your query. Within seconds, you will see a list of highly relevant startups and that match your criteria.

setup your search_discovery platform

2. Narrow Down Your Query

Following step 1, you end up with quite an extensive list (a couple of hundred companies) depending on your input. To fine-tune your search and get more relevant startups, the platform allows you to filter by various criteria, such as:

  • Industry / Application Area — You can select the industries or application areas where you want to find startups. Looking for big data startups in the manufacturing industry? Type “manufacturing” in the Industry search box along with “big data” in the Focus Area keyword field.
  • Founding Year — This feature allows you to filter startups based on when they were founded. Want to explore only early-stage startups founded no more than a year? Just input “2022 – 2023” as your founding year criteria.
  • Location — You can select the countries or regions where you want to find startups. For example, if you are looking for startups in Europe, you can select “Europe” as your location filter.
  • Funding — You also have the option of filtering the funding stages or ranges in which you want to find startups. If you are looking for startups that have raised between $1 million and $10 million, you can select “$1M – $10M” as your funding filter.

These are just the basic filters, we also offer a lot of additional filters so that you find exactly the solutions you are looking for, no matter how niche your requirements are. By applying these filters, you can narrow down your results to the most relevant and specific solutions for your innovation needs.

narrow down your query_discovery platform


You might like this – Top 5 Best Practices for Using StartUs Insights Startup Scouting Platform

3. Explore Similar Companies

While our platform already delivers an extensive list of startup companies, we offer the capability to broaden your scope even further. Utilize the “Similar Companies” feature to input one or multiple organizations that you’ve found valuable or intriguing. The platform will then identify additional startups with similar profiles or offerings.

This feature is particularly beneficial when you’re on the hunt for untapped opportunities or emerging technologies that may not surface through keyword searches alone. For instance, say you’ve identified a healthcare startup specializing in AI-based diagnostics. By inputting its name into the “Similar Companies” field, you’ll receive a list of startups operating in a similar realm.

For more intricate research needs, the platform allows the simultaneous input of multiple companies. This is useful for competitive analysis or when comparing diverse solutions. If you’ve already found several healthcare startups using AI for diagnostics, simply enter all their names into the “Similar Companies” field. The platform will generate a list of startups that share similarities with each of the companies you’ve identified.

Learn more – Find Similar Companies & Compare Companies with Discovery Platform

4. Refine Your Search with Keyword Patterns

The Discovery Platform allows you to analyze the keywords that are used by the startups in your results and identify relevant patterns. This comes in handy when you want to refine your search query and find more specific solutions.

For example, if you have searched for healthcare startups using AI and you want to find more specific applications of AI in healthcare, you can look at the keyword patterns and see what keywords are used by the startups in your results. You might see keywords such as “diagnosis”, “prediction”, “prevention”, etc. You can then use these keywords to refine your search query and find additional relevant solutions.

5. Export Your Results

The final step is to export your results to add them to your knowledge base. Our platform allows you to export all discovered solutions in a CSV file that contains all the relevant information about each startup, such as:

  • Name and description of the startup
  • Website and social media links
  • Location information (headquarters and branch offices)
  • The industry it belongs to
  • The core technology of the company
  • Funding details about the startup
  • Contact information

You can use this file to add the discovered solutions to your knowledge base, share them with your colleagues or stakeholders, or use them for further analysis or evaluation.

Finding 5 of the Most Relevant Startups in the Energy Sector — A Practical Example

To demonstrate, let’s search for startups in the renewable energy sector. We will apply certain criteria to make our search specific. The startups should:

  • Be founded between 2019 to 2023
  • Not have more than 100 employees
  • Be based out of the USA, France, Israel, or Denmark

To look for renewable startups, let’s input the following keywords in the Focus Area:

  • Renewable
  • Solar
  • Thermal
  • Hydro
  • Tidal

..and qualify them with:

  • Energy
  • Electricity

And, to abide by the criteria mentioned above, we must make use of the following filters:

  • Founding year: 2019-2023
  • Number of employees: 1-100
  • Location: USA, France, Israel, Denmark

The heatmap below shows the geographical spread of relevant startups based on these criteria.


Click to download


Now, let’s quickly check out the top 5 renewable energy startups from this search:

1. Farwind Energy – Far-offshore Wind Energy Capture

Founded in: 2020
Based out of: Nantes, France
Number of employees: 27

Farwind enables far-offshore wind energy capture and delivery using autonomous sailing ships. Its technology involves ships that are propelled by wind with hydrokinetic turbines attached to the hull to convert kinetic energy to electricity. This allows access to the vast far-offshore wind resource. The mobile ships thus optimize energy production and deliver power directly to points of use without occupying permanent coastal space or requiring fixed infrastructure.

2. Standard Carbon – Renewable Natural Gas from CO2

Founded in: 2020
Based out of: Wilmington, USA
Number of employees: 26

Standard Carbon’s patented process captures carbon dioxide emissions and converts it into renewable natural gas through electrolysis and gas synthesis. The startup thus addresses climate change and promotes the adoption of renewable energy by recycling CO2 into a clean and powerful fuel.

3. Luminescent – Zero-emission Electricity from Waste Heat

Founded in: 2020
Based out of: Tel Aviv, Israel
Number of employees: 15

Luminescent develops an innovative waste heat recovery system that is capable of generating electricity from any heat source. It uses an isothermal expansion process rather than the standard adiabatic approach of conventional engines. Heat transfer liquid mixed with pressurized gas bubbles expands smoothly within the engine, converting waste heat directly into kinetic energy without temperature change. This doubles the efficiency and halves the costs compared to typical engines.

4. Hyme – Advanced Renewable Energy Storage

Founded in: 2021
Based out of: Copenhagen, Denmark
Number of employees: 48

Hyme offers a molten sodium hydroxide salt storage solution to store electricity from renewables as high-temperature heat. The storage works by charging with electricity and heating the salt to up to 700°C. The energy stored in the hot tank is released on demand by circulating the hot salt to a heat exchanger where the heat is transferred to water and turned into high-temperature steam. Steam can be used directly in an industrial process or used to power a turbine and deliver electricity and heat.

5. Chariot Energy – Solar Energy without Solar Panels

Founded in: 2019
Based out of: Houston, USA
Number of employees: 15

Chariot Energy is a solar energy provider and manufacturer of solar panels. It also offers solar buyback programs wherein any excess energy produced by a home’s solar panels is purchased by the company (and it goes back to the grid) at the same rate as the homeowner pays for power. This way, the startup makes it easy for everyone to get electricity from the sun without having to install solar panels.

Making Your Startup Hunt a Breeze

Let’s face it—finding the perfect startup to collaborate with or invest in can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With StartUs Insights’ Discovery Platform, you can turn that overwhelming search into a walk in the park.

Our tool isn’t just about throwing a bunch of startup names at you. It’s about helping you get to know these startups, figuring out which ones really line up with what you’re looking for, and even discovering some hidden gems you might have otherwise missed. We make it easy for you to narrow down your choices, compare options, and get all the info you need to make a smart decision.

In today’s fast-paced world, being able to quickly and accurately zero in on the most relevant startups isn’t just a nice-to-have — it’s a must-have. So why not make your life a little easier? Give StartUs Insights’ Discovery Platform a try and get ready to up your innovation game.

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