Impact Startup Revolution advances the pursuit of financial goals alongside social Impact. Here are some of the world leaders in the Impact Startup Revolution.
Trine is a startup company which connects potential investors (loaners) with Solar Partners. These Solar Partners provide people of their target market with solar products. As the Partner grows, they repay the loan provided by the investor along with interest. In this way, Solar Partners will get the required capital to start their enterprise and investors can safely invest in companies which will give them a return on their investment. This is the underlying reason for the financial success of Trine. However, the bigger impact that we can see is the spread accessibility for solar energy. This accessibility makes solar energy more widely available, and hence easier to implement. Therefore, Trine is helping people take another step forward in the journey to universal usage of clean energy.
Handiscover is a booking website which specifically assists people with special needs and disabilities. The website allows users to find accommodations (at their preferred destination) which support their specific needs. Everyone needs a vacation and Handiscover helps everyone get a comfortable and vacation. This focus on providing accessibility allows Handiscover to target a niche market. This is the root of their financial success. However, we must look at the bigger success and see the positive impact that this website is making for those who have special needs.
Kiron is a startup which provides education that is specifically targeted towards refugees. This education is provided through digital methods. Kiron puts its focus on the students because of their diversity and varying needs. There is a high demand, in terms of education, from refugees who are new to a country and need to develop skills to become competitive candidates for career opportunities and for driving change themselves in their new homes. This need for education among the refugee population is being met by Kiron. The access that refugees now have to education empower them and the societies in which they now call their home.
ArtLifting connects artists facing homelessness and disabilities with clients or individuals who are in need of art. Clients can range from individuals to companies, such as Staples and Google. The company thrives financially because of their ability to connect artists with incredible talent but minimal opportunity with entities which need art. The services provided by ArtLifting allow them to remain successful as a startup, but, the true success of the company is the opportunities that they provide to individuals who may not have been able to become artists for a living. This empowerment is the truly inspiring quality of ArtLifting.
Countable provides people with the opportunity to understand incredibly complicated pieces of legislation. Often times, the laws proposed by lawmakers contain unnecessary jargon that is difficult to understand. This difficulty leads to misunderstanding and it becomes harder for the voter to make decisions. Countable bridges the gap of understanding for individuals and empowers them to make fully-informed decisions about laws. This startup drives change in society by simply making information easier to understand. Simplicity is quite difficult to achieve in the world of legislation, yet Countable makes simplicity possible.
One Degree is an organization which helps low-income families find the resources and support to which they are entitled. These families are usually oblivious to the support available to them because of their lack of resources. However, One Degree bridges the gap between support and families which need support. When people are given the opportunity to rise out of their poverty, they are given a chance to make the world a better place for everyone.
Spoiler Alert is a startup which helps sellers maintain and manage unsold inventory. This startup arose from Techstars and MassChallenge. Companies often have difficulty in getting rid of food inventory that is nearing or past the period of time in which they can be sold. Spoiler Alert provides these companies with the chance to donate, sell with discounts, or redistribute their goods. Management of inventory is crucial in companies to bring new goods into the store. This is where Spoiler Alert provides companies with the exact service that they need, and hence, succeeds financially. The services provided by Spoiler Alert allow the companies reduce the amount of food that is wasted. As such, the food is maximized in terms of its usefulness and the company is able to mange (get rid of) this food in a positive manner.
Digital Green empowers farmers in rural communities around the world maximize their productivity by using technology and partnerships. Digital Green, through its services, helps farmers to rise out of poverty and reach financial stability. The services provided by Digital Green allow farmers to improve their techniques and this brings revenue for the company. However, the significance of the services provided by Digital Green cannot be fully seen through merely the revenue. The true impact is the empowerment of farmers who, through collective strength, are able to improve their condition of life. This empowerment is priceless and adds all the more value to the work that Digital Green is doing to bring positive change to communities around the world.
At Techstars Startup Weekend Silicon Valley 2019 Social Impact Edition, we’re exploring what it mean to be building a startup in Silicon Valley with the pursuit of social impact alongside its financial goals. Our goal is to create an environment where passionate people can come together to get things done; to learn, network, bridge the gap between trades, expose potential, and create ideas and opportunities that drive real-world social change.
Judge Criteria Info:
The Startup Weekend Silicon Valley Social Impact judging criteria is broken up into 4 sections. Teams are judged according to the following 4 criteria (weighted equally):
- Impact Strategy (is it meaningful?)
- In what way does it promote sustainability, equity, and/or social justice?
- How do you measure the short term outcome and long term impact?
- How do you balance social impact and financial goals?
- Does it honor the integrity and ethical responsibilities of its stakeholders?
- Does it challenge the current state of affairs in our society?
- Customer Validation (does the business have a good understanding of customers and their needs)
- Who will be your users, who will be your customers (are they different)?
- Did your team get out and talk to users and customers?
- How many users have you interviewed?
- Did you target the correct people to interview?
- What did you learn from your customer interviews (revenue)?
- What are the core needs of your users?
- Execution & Design
- What feedback have you gotten to inspire your Minimum Viable Product?
- Did you build a prototype (paper or powerpoint is ok)?
- How effective is your “Minimal Viable Product” for the weekend (be it software, hardware, etc.)?
- How functional is your technical demo?
- How easy is it for the user to navigate and use your product?
- Were you able to incorporate customer feedback into the solution?
- Business Model (is this business feasible)
- Is it a big/unique idea?
- What is your key value proposition?
- How do you plan on making this a successful business?
- Have you thought about competition, how to scale, acquiring customers, revenue model etc.?
- Have you identified a specific target market?
- How will you acquire your first 100 customers?