Last month we wrote about our involvement in StartupFest Europe. Next to EnergyFest we are also involved in Impact Startup Fest. Celebrating impact startups and scaleups, the festival will focus on national and international matchmaking, supporting the growth of companies that make the world a better place and tackle global challenges.
The stage is set in The Hague. Technological solutions for humanitarian challenges, global issues, and finding ways to improve processes and products: The Hague gathers it all.
Impact Startup Fest will focus on the following 5 themes:
Innovation for Justice
Justice for all, sounds almost too good to be true, right? There are founders dedicating their time to this. Such as the founders of LawGeex, who are revolutionizing the way business contracts are reviewed. With this innovation, CEO Noori Bechor strives to put all lawyers and laypeople on equal ground. Instead of analysing documents manually LawGeex uses artificial intelligence to test them against precedents which are in their database. Noori is triggered by the idea of allowing every individual to have the opportunity to analyze and understand their own contracts without the need for expertise of, and investment in, a lawyer.
We came across a startup from Rwanda aiming to improve the health of its inhabitants. The majority of Rwandans live on dirt floors, which make kids sick: they contain bacteria and pathogens that cause disease, and the dust from them causes respiratory illness. Replacing a dirt floor with a clean one has been shown to reduce diarrheal disease by 49% and parasitic infections by 78%. The leading alternative is cement, which is prohibitively expensive. It costs around $250 to floor an average Rwandan house with cement – that’s three months’ worth of income for the average Rwandan. Cement also has a huge carbon footprint: 5% of global carbon emissions come from the cement and concrete industry. EarthEnable is building clean, healthy floors that are 80% cheaper than cement. That means that they are affordable for those who have the least access to resources. Earthen Floors are made by compressing different layers of natural materials tightly down, and sealing it off to make it waterproof using a layer of oil.
Impact on food
The production of food has a huge impact on the world we live in, especially with the growing world population. A good example of innovation in this area is plant-based meat. Both startups and corporates are moving fast in this field. We all read the news on the Impossible Burger closing a $75M funding and its challenge to get FDA approval. Swiss flavor giant Givaudan is also stepping into the Plant Meat Matters consortium, and is looking to provide technology and knowledge how to flavor these products so that people will like them as much or even better than actual meat. Together with Givaudan, Get in the Ring is looking for startups with solutions to give vegetable, protein based, red meat analogue products a similar appearance and taste as raw, cooking, and cooked meat. More information can be found at getinthering.co/givaudan.
Tech for good
Not only startups and industry giants are innovating to make an impact. Terre des Hommes, a Dutch charity, developed ‘Sweetie’, in order to raise international awareness, to show how easy it is to catch and identify predators, and to pressure governments to take action. Sweetie, an interactive 3D model that looks and moves like a real 10-year-old Filipino girl, managed to catch in the act and trace the identities of 1,000 online predators from 71 countries in only 10 weeks.
The final theme is focussed on impact through sustainability, a broader theme that catches also energy related topics. Take a look at the California-based Pasteurization Technology Group (PTG), who is revolutionizing the wastewater treatment and energy generation. PTG’s systems feature its patented “two-for-one” technology that combines eco-friendly wastewater disinfection with the generation of renewable energy. By channeling the typically wasted exhaust heat from a turbine or engine to disinfect wastewater, PTG’s technology enables tremendous cost savings is water- and energy-intensive industries such as agriculture, beverage and food processing.
Are you working in any of these fields? Want to connect to investors, corporates and fellow founders? Join us at Impact Startup Fest! Of course you can also join StartupFest in general. We will be involved in different activities throughout the week. Go to www.startupfesteurope.com to join one of the events!