Writing for the Washington Post, innovation guru Vivek Wadhwa highlights 7 admirable start-ups that are driving social change.
Vivek comments that the tech industry surely deserves the criticism it receives for thinking small and focusing on silly apps – just look at the industry’s heavy hitters and venture capitalists who provided $1.5 million to seed a useless app such as Yo. But there is hope, he says, with many entrepreneurs doing great things. Vivek believes that “the tide is turning and that in 2015 we will see more and more emphasis on technology that returns us to the moonshot roots of Silicon Valley.”
This is evidenced by Google Ventures, which is focusing more on health care and life-sciences companies, and Y Combinator, the most powerful start-up accelerator in the world, backing seven non-profits in its latest class. Here are seven companies that stand out:
- Mountain Hazelnuts Group – building a major hazelnut production capability in Bhutan.
- CriticaLink – a non-profit mobile-app company that helps first aiders get to accident scenes more quickly.
- Scanadu – hopes to make medical technology devices for consumers.
- Range Networks – makes open-source software for deploying and operating cellular networks using commodity equipment.
- Totus Power – builds a battery pack with the same output as a conventional battery backup system, but weighs only one fifth as much and can be a tenth the cost.
- Bayes Impact – seeks to bring the power of big data to needy organisations in the government or non-profit sector.
- Revivn – collect unused electronics and provide them to people who lack computer access.
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