The world is transforming at a breakneck pace. Little more than ten years ago, cell phones could only make calls and send texts. Now, we all have a Wi-Fi enabled computer in our pocket. This inventions have transformed the way we live and work.
In almost every facet of our lives, entrepreneurs are disrupting ‘the way we’ve always done things.’ In today’s blog, we’ll talk about 11 startups that are working to improve life in the 2020s and beyond.
(1) Ride Health
As we age, staying on top of our health is of paramount importance. If we have specific conditions, missing an appointment can have grave consequences for our health. Unfortunately, not all of us have access to top-notch public transportation.
That’s where Ride Health comes in. According to their figures, transport providers in America operate at 50-70% capacity. By connecting patients with available transport, they have been able to drive positive outcomes. Through this service, 96% arrive at their appointments on time, all while saving 30%.
Ever open your monthly bank or credit card statement, only to find unfamiliar charges? Yeah, we all have. Every day, banks apply ATM fees, foreign transaction fees, and our favorite, the nonsensical ‘service fee.’
Enter Cushion. Cushion is an app that uses an AI bot to fight unfair fees. Sit back as this scrappy fellow goes to work on your behalf, negotiating with your bank to refund egregious charges.
Inspired by the famous traffic-ticket fighting bot, all Cushion asks for in return is a 25% cut. Not a bad price to pay to make a little money.
Right now, AI may be doing cute things like fighting traffic fines and bank fees. However, they’ll soon reshape society in ways we’re only beginning to understand. If this worries you, you’re not alone – Victor Ardulov and Neil Serebryany are also wary of what the future holds.
That’s why they founded CalypsoAI – to harden the cybersecurity of AI-controlled systems. If a bad actor were to compromise an AI managing electrical grids, it could cause widespread chaos.
They also provide consulting to help organizations build ‘ethical AI.’ This way, we’ll ensure the automated software we invent acts in our best interest, rather than go ‘Skynet’ on us.
Ever move into an apartment, only to find it has bed bugs, the tenants are disrespectful, and your super is indifferent to it all? What if there was a way to vet buildings first?
Thankfully, you may be able to soon. Yale Fox has spent six years helping New Yorkers avoid slumlords by building Rentlogic. This service uses letters to grade to evaluate a building’s quality of life.
It takes cleanliness, pests, and the state of utilities into account. Grades range from A (excellent) to F (unacceptable). Rentlogic is only available in NYC as of 2019, but it won’t be long before they expand elsewhere.
If there’s one thing all apartment dwellers can agree on, it’s this – most intercom systems suck. Horribly. Their sound is tinny, the auto-unlock key takes multiple presses to work, and the video function doesn’t work half the time.
What if you could use your phone to interact with the intercom? According to Ben Taylor and Reggie Jean-Brice of Doorport, it’s possible. Using currently existing technology, Doorport can turn your phone into a hub for your intercom.
Field intercom calls, view video feeds, and unlock the front door, all from your device. As of now, this startup is still testing its prototype in NYC – let’s hope they expand across America soon.
American businesses waste unimaginable quantities of food daily. According to a 2016 report in The Guardian, about half of all produce is sent to the landfill by grocery stores. Hunger in the 21st century not a scarcity issue, but a logistical one.
Goodr is taking this problem head-on. Based in Atlanta, they coordinate food donations from retailers to nonprofit charities like food banks and homeless shelters. In return, participating businesses get tax deductions and metrics they can use in marketing. Win-win!
According to the United Nations, the world will be home to nearly ten billion people by 2050. How we feed them all is one of humanity’s burning questions at the moment.
Taking climate change into consideration, this will be a monumental challenge. Bowery is doing its part by localizing the production of produce, and radically increasing productivity per acre.
In its urban greenhouses, it uses no pesticides, and 95% less water compared to conventional agriculture. In an age of environmental sensitivity, developments like this will become increasingly important.
(8) Homework Answers
In an economy that demands a high-skilled workforce, getting a quality education is of paramount importance. However, public schools vary in quality, and not all parents can afford to hire tutors.
Homework Answers aims to fill this crucial gap. Upon signing up, students start by taking a picture of the assignment that’s giving them trouble. Soon after, a tutor will assist them in real-time, helping them to understand the concepts they aren’t grasping.
After asking a fixed number of free questions, students can purchase more through the app. Thanks to its freemium model, student of modest means will be able to profit from this service.
(9) Flux Biosciences
The merging of technology and the life sciences has the potential to transform our lives for the better. That’s what motivated Tyler Shultz to found Flux Biosciences.
If his name sounds familiar, you’re not crazy. He was the whistleblower that exposed Theranos, one of the most audacious scams Silicon Valley has ever seen.
Now, he is promising to do the things that Theranos claimed they would do. That is, test bodily fluids for biomarkers that can provide meaningful feedback on one’s diet, exercise routines, and so forth.
Ran through wearable sensors, it aims to provide you with a better understanding of your health. Sign us up.
What if a wearable sensor could tell you that you’ve developed early-stage cancer? That’s the promise of a prototype developed by Higia, a startup based in Mexico City.
According to founder Julián Ríos, it looks for temperature aberrations associated with tumor growth. Although it is currently not for sale, they are taking pre-sale inquiries – here’s hoping their device is a smashing success!
Attempting to keep up with our rapidly changing world has left us collectively stressed. We could all use a reminder to slow down – that’s the gap that Calm is filling.
This app doesn’t just put our life in perspective, it adds real value. Every week, new meditations designed to ease anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other maladies are uploaded. Each month, Calm offers a masterclass performed by world-class experts to subscribers.
At your wit’s end? Calm’s worth a try.