Seed funding aimed to change the world

Article tiré de Techcrunch.

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Hub Ventures: Accelerating Social Enterprises.

Hub Ventures, a new San Francisco-based startup accelerator focused on funding entrepreneurs “building a better world” is hosting its demo day today at Hub Bay Area. This year’s portfolio includes seven companies from a variety of sectors, including mobile, agricultural info systems, healthcare, clothing, online giving and personal safety. The startups span geographies (U.S., Kenya, Ghana and Latin America), and include two women-led companies this time around.

As a refresher, the goal for the program is to help fund companies which not only have the potential to succeed as a business, but also demonstrate a scalable social and/or environmental impact.

You can read more about the program and how it works here.

Because it’s important to give a little space to companies which are trying to do something a little more than revolutionize photo-sharing, the full round-up is below.

DIIME creates medical devices to improve infant and maternal health in low-resource settings of Africa. DIIME has four devices in different stages of development as a result of collaboration with physicians at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. Its primary focus is a blood transfusion device that will help save the lives of women suffering from massive internal hemorrhage due to ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

Acopio offers technology tools and services that help coffee producers collect, manage, and share data along the agricultural value chain. Acopio’s applications, which run on mobile phones or on PCs help farmer-owned businesses efficiently manage key processes even in rural locations without reliable electricity or Internet access. Pilot testing in the most recent coffee harvest in Nicaragua demonstrated the viability of Acopio’s tools and this fall Acopio plans to launch six additional pilots, reaching several thousand farmers.

Givkwik is a mobile, web and API platform that enables impulse philanthropy. With a more user-friendly experience, a points system, game mechanics and social influences, Givkwik wants to keep the shared emotion in giving electronically by making it easy, fun and social.

Project Repat upcycles excess textiles into fashionable clothing accessories while creating fair wage employment opportunities in the U.S. On July 4th, Repat is launching a partnership with Threadless to upcycle their excess shirts into bags that will be promoted to Threadless customers. Repat plans to help large brands turn their unsold inventory (which on average is 20% of the products made) into an upcycled product that can be re-introduced to their customers as a co-branded made in the USA product.

Africa’s Talking is working to reduce information and communication poverty in Africa by providing an API that allows developers to easily connect to mobile phone networks across Africa and deploy basic mobile applications built on SMS, USSD or Voice. With more than 190 mobile phone companies in Africa, spread out over 55 countries and bureaucratic hurdles involved in connecting to mobile phone networks, it’s very difficult for developers to quickly build and scale basic mobile applications across Africa. Africa’s Talking is strategically acquiring mobile connections across Africa and making them available to developers over an API. The company’s vision is to connect more than 700 million basic mobile phone users in Africa to applications and web services that those of us in the internet age take for granted right on their basic mobile phones.

CheckInOn.Me is a proactive and automated mobile phone-based personal safety system that allows people to maintain their independence while having the security of knowing that someone will be notified if something goes wrong. Users can set the system to check-in on them as often as they want, whenever they want. If there’s no response the system notifies the user’s pre-selected contacts, and enables them to coordinate their help efforts.

RefuelMe, a mobile app and platform by StreetOwl, is based on a rewards system that motivates teens to drive safely. RefuelMe offers teens incentives to drive safely, supported by both parents and branded partners. In addition, the company is building a lead generation channel for insurance companies.


Sarah Perez