8 Upstart Start-ups Investing for Good
1)Power To Fly was founded by Katherine Zaleski and Milena Berry (pictured above) as an effort to address the lack of women represented in the tech world. To make it easier for talented women, but who also may be moms and need to work from home, they created an organization that connects individuals with companies from all over the world looking to fill positions that can be done remotely. While the company focuses on work in the technology sector, it is not limited to it. Its main goal is helping women (or men!) find full-time careers while maintaining a well-rounded family life, as illustrated by a piece Zaleski wrote recently for Fortune.com apologizing to all the moms she used to work with before she was one.
2) HowGood was started by brothers Alexander and Arthur Gillet and aims to hold food companies accountable for sustainable practices through a transparent rating system that the average consumer can access through the start-up’s website or mobile app. Not only do they research the company’s sustainability practices, animal welfare status, environmental effect and consumer safely, but they also scrutinize the board of directors for gender equality.
3) Headspace aims to make mediation, especially in the workplace, a common practice. Spearheaded by Andy Puddicombe, who was ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India, the company’s website and mobile app break down mindfulness meditation in an easily digestible way for the modern world, citing an increase in mood, productivity and innovation as just a few of the benefits. His TedTalk, “All It Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes” has been viewed 4,800,000+ times.
4) Hampton Creek‘s mission is to eliminate the the egg industry through the marketing and selling of sustainable, healthy and affordable eggless food products. Their main product to date is a plant-based mayonnaise called Just Mayo that has done so well, Hellmann’s took notice and brought them to court over it. When it comes to using eggs as an ingredient and therefore supporting an abominable industry, in the words of CEO and founder Josh Tetrick, “just grow it instead.”
5) Modern Meadow uses the replication of tissue cells, which they call “biofabrication”, to produce leather and meat in labs. They collect cells through biopsies from animals without harming or killing them and then grow the by-product in petri dishes, a process which takes about one and a half months as opposed to the two to three years it takes to get the same result, not to mention space and expenses, from a living, breathing animal. They hope to do away with the strain on animal welfare and environmental resources caused by the fashion and meat industries. Above, co-founder Andras Forgacs gives a TED Talk on the subject, which can be viewed here.
6) Flatiron Health was started by founders Zach Weinberg and Nat Turner (pictured) when both men went through a period of witnessing family and friends struggle with cancer. They noticed that complications constantly arose from the lack of a consistent network of patient information and tools for medical community access. The company’s plan is to systemize oncology information through their network call OnologyCloud, making it easier for healthcare workers to make the best decisions about treatment.
7) The Honest Company was envisioned and founded by actress Jessica Alba when she was faced with the shortage of truly of chemical-free and eco-friendly baby products and household cleaners while caring for her newborn. The company offers a variety of products, from diapers to vitamins to hand sanitizers, all with the stamp of sustainability, environmental consciousness and and a promise of safety for little ones. Plus the added marketability of a celebrity face to boot!
8) Theranos is revolutionizing the state of lab testing through concrete analyzation of smaller samples than ever before, cheaper processing and a pin-prick system instead of a needle that is almost entirely painless. Started by 30-year-old Elizabeth Holmes (pictured), a Stanford drop-out and the youngest self-made woman billionaire, she hopes to make getting blood a “wonderful” experience, instead of the stressful one it often is today.