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This article was published on December 4, 2015

When in Rome: 5 apps to help you do as the locals do

When in Rome: 5 apps to help you do as the locals do Image by: Shutterstock
Jelle van Wijhe
Story by

Jelle van Wijhe

Jelle is data whisperer and content sherpa for Index. He enjoys tinkering in backend dev and winning at squash. He's also TNW's not yet deth Jelle is data whisperer and content sherpa for Index. He enjoys tinkering in backend dev and winning at squash. He's also TNW's not yet dethroned champion of ping pong.

The world of tech startups is vast, expansive and sometimes overwhelming. There are thousands of great services out there, emerging worldwide, and it’s impossible to be aware of all of them. It’s difficult to discover them – especially when startups are in their very early stages.

We thought we’d do our part to highlight some interesting, novel and downright awesome startups every week by sifting through the newest members of the Index community.

This week’s theme is local. Despite its capacity for global connectivity and operating at a global scale, tech also has the ability to innovate locally. Here are this week’s companies that help you to unlock the hidden potential of your direct surroundings.



Anyone who’s made a move to a big European city is likely to have had to deal with the  difficulty of finding somewhere decent to live. An imbalance of demand over supply, rising housing costs and reliance on realtors leads to a ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ situation, where you take whatever you can get.

Roomr is looking to tackle this problem by providing an app that allows house-hunters to find flatshares together based on mutual interests. The aim is to make the task of finding people to live with a bit more personal, and to prevent you from the need to take what you can get and roll the dice on your future housemates.

Work Here

Finding housing is one thing, but finding work is quite another. The unfortunate reality of job hunting is that good jobs are at best hard to find and at worst completely unadvertised. Often times, a large part of finding a job happens through your network of friends and other professionals.

Work Here’s answer to that is a hyperlocal, social work-searching app. It not only empowers users to find work in their area, but also allows you to share opportunities with friends. The company recently received a round of funding, and is currently giving out early access.


Brick and mortar businesses have been undergoing a resurgence in the last few years. Starting and running one comes with its own set of challenges. When it comes to things like seeking advice and collaboration or partnerships, local variables can have a significant impact on your options.

Townsquared wants to help local businesses by connecting them through its app. It hope to create a sense of neighborly community between local business which will allow them to share ideas, collaborate and even warn each other of recent crimes or other alerts



There’s certainly no shortage of food delivery services out there. The success of companies like Deliveroo and Delivery Hero have spurred the proliferation of many more like-minded companies. Companies set themselves apart by focusing on different things like health-foods, local restaurants, or catering specifically to businesses.

Lish enters into the fray offering a hyper-local (Seattle) meal delivery service that allows customers to buy meals not form specific restaurants, but from local chefs. Great for people who want a meal prepared personally for them, and great for chefs who want to expand their reach and show off their chops. The company recently received $375k in seed funding to expand its operations.


Suppose you’re visiting a foreign country, and you’re looking for a good place to get a meal. The advice is always the same – “eat what and where the locals eat”. This principle of asking locals to guide you can be applied in many cases, and roughing it in the great outdoors is no exception.

RootsRated is a community platform that suggests local outdoor destinations such as trails and national parks for activities all over the United States. The options are curated by local experts which they source through local outdoor retailers and their networks. The company recently took in a $2.5 million Series A round.

Follow these companies and other startups on Index.co.

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