15 Cleveland Startups Turning the City Into a Tech Hotspot

Written by Olivia McClure
Published on Jan. 06, 2021
15 Cleveland Startups Turning the City Into a Tech Hotspot
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Cleveland may be traditionally known as a manufacturing capital, but this Rust Belt city has arguably become one of the nation’s newest — and most unlikely — tech hubs. While the so-called “City of Light” may not have the same status as more established tech regions, an increasing number of entrepreneurs have been migrating to the city, which may be due in part to its trendy entertainment scene and growing number of accelerator programs. In truth, Cleveland has acquired a strong community of tech companies over the years, sparking innovation across a wide range of sectors such as edtech, fintech and healthtech

Given Cleveland’s increasing tech potential, it’s no surprise the city has witnessed a surge in startup foundings over the past few years. Whether they’re helping people save money on their student loans or discovering new ways to automate business workflows, the city’s startups are all doing their part to turn Cleveland into a reigning tech capital. 

We’ve rounded up 15 Cleveland startups to give you an inside look at the city’s tech growth. 

Cleveland Startups You Should Know

  1. Wisr
  2. OnStation
  3. Splash Financial
  4. Adminix.io
  5. Farm Fare
  6. Nextup.ai
  7. CHAMPtitles
  8. Axuall
Wisr Cleveland startups

Founded: 2016

Focus: Higher Education Student Engagement

What they do: Wisr’s software helps colleges and universities foster engagement throughout each step in the student journey. Through the company’s platform, prospective and admitted students can connect with student leaders and faculty members in order to access peer-to-peer advice and guidance on classes and majors. Wisr also helps institutions offer online admissions recruitment and virtual experiences.


Proformex Cleveland startups

Founded: 2016

Focus: Insurance Policy Monitoring + Management

What they do: Proformex’s platform is designed to facilitate life insurance policy management. The platform automates the request of and archives important policy documents while proactively monitoring InForce policy performance. Proformex serves financial institutions, agents and advisors, broker-dealers and others. 


Axuall Cleveland startups

Founded: 2018

Focus: Digital Credential Verification + Authentication

What they do: Axuall enables practitioners to manage and share their credentials with healthcare organizations in real-time. The company’s technology enables a global network linking credential holders, verifiers and subscribers in order to facilitate real-time sharing of digital proof within the healthcare space. Axuall aims to allow healthcare systems to reduce paperwork burden while improving access to care, reducing operating costs and accelerating revenue. 


OnStation Cleveland startups

Founded: 2015

Focus: Roadway Work Management

What they do: OnStation’s app is designed to help roadway workers boost productivity. The app allows workers to locate job stations, visualize aspects of project design, communicate with teammates, and view and manage project plans. OnStation is intended to reduce worker downtime, error potential and project management overhead. 


Adminix.io Cleveland startups

Founded: 2018

Focus: Workflow Automation

What they do: Adminix.io provides workflow automation software that helps SMBs with digital transformation of internal business processes. The company’s software offers a low-code way to create automated processes and deploy them on cloud platforms like MS Azure and Google Cloud. Adminix.io aims to build a bridge between business people and developer tools. 


Splash Financial Cleveland startups
Splash Financial

Founded: 2013

Focus: Student Loan Refinancing

What they do: Splash Financial is on a mission to help people save money on their student loans. The company partners with banks and credit unions to provide the best rate options. Splash Financial enables people to easily submit online applications without the added burden of application and origination fees or pre-payment penalties. 


Indago Cleveland startups

Founded: 2015

Focus: Smart Surgical Tools

What they do: Indago develops smart surgical tools in an effort to “solve frontline problems.” The company’s wireless arthroscopic camera system, AnthroFree, is designed to improve patient and care team safety, optimize productivity and lower costs. Indago aims to help physicians more closely focus on patients and procedures.

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Farm Fare Cleveland startups
Farm Fare

Founded: 2016

Focus: Local Food Supply Chain Management

What they do: Farm Fare’s software is designed to curate and connect the local food supply chain from source to destination. The company builds coalitions among regional food hubs so they can share information and resources, and work collaboratively. Additionally, Farm Fare contracts with existing, underutilized food delivery trucks to complete local food routes. 


Nextup.ai Cleveland startups

Founded: 2017

Focus: Team Productivity

What they do: Nextup.ai aims to help organizations boost productivity within their Slack channels. The company’s Jira Integration+ allows teams to easily manage Jira projects from Slack, while their HelpDesk+ enables teams to track requests without switching context. Nextup.ai also offers a meeting organizer, Morgan, which is integrated with Jira and allows users to automate status updates, create summaries and more. 


Brilliency Cleveland startups

Founded: 2014

Focus: Utilities Management

What they do: Brilliency’s app allows people to manage their utilities within one platform. The company partners with utility providers so people can measure, manage and control their electric, natural gas and water accounts. In doing so, Brilliency enables condominiums, apartments and leased spaces to collect payments and allow tenants to report issues and track their own usage.


Prophit.ai Cleveland startups

Founded: 2019

Focus: Sales + Use Tax Solutions

What they do: Prophit.ai provides machine learning solutions for sales and use tax decision-making. The company’s technology combs through accounts payable data to find overpaid and underpaid taxes while preventing similar mistakes from being made in the future. Prophit.ai aims to help organizations maintain compliance by solving taxability issues during purchases. 


CHAMPtitles Cleveland startups

Founded: 2018

Focus: Vehicle Title Management

What they do: CHAMPtitles aims to optimize vehicle title management through its proprietary technology. The company partners with each party within the vehicle title system to reduce costs in handling titles. CHAMPtitles ultimately strives to end the reliance on legacy systems to manage U.S. vehicle titles. 


Vitalxchange Cleveland startups

Founded: 2018

Focus: Digital Health Management

What they do: Vitalxchange is dedicated to connecting healthcare consumers through an informative, supportive ecosystem. The company’s platform grants users access to actionable content, tools and resources, offering support with a wide range of areas including anxiety management and nutrition. Vitalxchange is powered by smart matching technology, enabling consumers to engage with other members and professionals. 


TPA Stream Cleveland startups
TPA Stream

Founded: 2014

Focus: Insurtech

What they do: TPA Stream’s platform helps third-party administrators, health plans and financial institutions streamline efficiencies across all aspects of healthcare administration. The company’s technology is designed to reduce or eliminate the clerical tasks associated with enrollment and claims processing. TPA Stream’s client base includes Clarity Benefit Solutions, Office of Compliant Administration and BPAS. 


Play One Up Cleveland startups
Play One Up

Founded: 2018

Focus: On-Demand Esports

What they do: Play One Up has created an operating system for on-demand esports competitions. Through the company’s platform, users can browse their marketplace of on-demand tournaments, practice against friends or random opponents and earn free tournament entries. Play One Up’s VIP club grants online players access to instant payouts, celebrity tournaments and more.  

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via listed companies.
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