In recent years we have heard a lot about startups disrupting a variety of industries from healthcare to finance. But what you may not have heard about is its broader impact tackling the world’s problems.
Unlike traditional industries, technology companies are in a unique position to transform almost any area it focuses on. While they may not be getting much publicity, there are some emerging startups that are working on creating tech for good.
For startup lovers, this is going to be a treat, so let’s jump right in and see how these new companies are striving to solve the planet’s problems.
Remix is a public transit planning platform that is focused on helping city planners design better transit systems. Backed by $12 million in funding, this San Francisco based startup will help decision makers quickly understand the cost and demographic impact of any proposed new routes.
It’s an exciting startup that has the potential to have a real civic impact while building a sustainable business that can thrive going forward. At present, Remix hopes to offer a planning platform for public transit in over 200 cities worldwide.
Molekule is another San Francisco-based startup that has a fundamentally new approach to clean air technology. Unlike traditional air purifiers that attempt to attract pollutants in filters, Molekule uses nanotechnology to completely eliminate pollutants by breaking them down on a molecular level.
Backed by $13.4 million in funding, it’s a startup that’s starting to gain a lot of attention as it doesn’t try to block pollutants, instead, it destroys it. The problems with air pollution across the world is a serious issue, so its great to see a company that’s finally trying to address it with a permanent solution.
Bridgefy, a recent participant at TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield, tackles the challenge of disaster relief by using a mesh networking service. This means that it would allow cell phone communication when traditional mobile infrastructure has been affected by natural disasters.
Also based out of San Francisco, the company’s backed by a total funding of about $720 thousand. To enable device-to-device communication directly, the startup uses Bluetooth technology to build networks. Their SDK is available for both Android and iOS.
The company overcomes Bluetooth’s 330-foot range limitation by building mesh networks to carry messages over long distances by taking advantage of other phones as intermediaries.
4. The Human Utility
The Home Utility is a startup aiming to help low-income households in Baltimore and Detroit pay for their water consumption. The company hopes to achieve this by not only collecting data that can help families pay their water bills but also help the government better understand the problems caused by their policies.
The long-term goal here is to influence policy and bring about new national laws around water availability. It can be a game-changing endeavor as any accountable party at a county or city level can access real-time data to make decisions.
Unlike other startups on this list, this is a not-for-profit initiative that was formally known as the Detroit Water Project. In the beginning, the company matched donors from around the world to specific families or allowed them to donate to a universal assistance fund. Today, they have evolved to take advantage of big data analytics.
Citizen (formally known as Vigilante) is a startup that offers an app that shows 911 incidents around your neighborhood in real-time. The company attracted a lot of controversy in the beginning and eventually revamped its business model to ensure that there was no implication that it was trying to prevent crime.
It’s a startup that’s taking advantage of the data that’s already being generated by other entities and then allowing ordinary people to access it. Now citizens just like yourself have an opportunity to be more safe with access to instant notifications when incidents are reported to 911.
Citizen is currently available in New York City and San Francisco with many more cities expected to be added to the list this year. At the moment, the company sends over 4 million mobile notifications every month alerting users about possible dangerous situations and emergencies nearby.
Do you know any other startup striving to make the world a better place? You can add it to this list by sharing their details in the Comments section below.