Updated: Mar 9
Social impact or profits? More and more startups don't feel the need to choose, they just go for creating both. Now increasingly appreciated by investors as well. A win-win scenario.
ExpandToSpain took a heartfelt look at the 100 finalists in the upcoming South Summit competition through a Social Impact lens and found 4 interesting, Spanish For profit startups. All willing to tackle some of the social challenges, by taking help from the latest technology and their passion to do good, in parallell with making money.
Because wouldn't the world be a better place with everyone having access to clean water, guaranteed safe-to-eat foods, a weekly Personal Health check-up and the comforting knowing that all the AI machines assisting us are programmed with Ethical behavior?!
Clean Water for everyone, everywhere
With a plastic bottle as it its only tool the founders of Auara has set out to solve two challenges; To bring clean water to the ones that need it the most and to reduce the environmental impact of the plastic bottles being consumed. As we are being reminded of on their website:
”There are 700 million people in the world who do not have access to clean water”
Their mineral water brand, coming from the Spanish region of Castilla y León, is committed to investing 100% of its profits into proyects around the world, bringing clean water to people, mostly in Africa. By selling and distributing their cheerful, turquoise bottle in supermarkets, claimed to be made of 100 % R-Pet recycled plastic, they can remain independent of donations and keep a consistency in their chosen projects.
Know your food better
As for the food you are eating, the Huelva, in Andalusia, based startup NutraSign considers it your right to know what you are actually, actually consuming - not just what it says on the product label - and for you to know the actual route your product has travelled, before it gets on your plate.
According to a recent post from NutraSign the most common types of food fraud are alterations of ingredients and misleading advertising or statement such as labelling a product with a false origin. They refer to statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), estimating that 1 of 10 foods globally carry misguiding labels.
With their app, when at the supermarket, before adding a product in your basket, you use your smartphone to scan a barcode and that way you´ll get useful information such as true origin and nutrition values.
By using Blockchain technology the app ensures the traceability process so that you most definitely #knowyourfood, a suitable hashtag in their social media comms.
Weekly health check-ups
In the comfort of your home and in the privacy of your bathroom, the company S-There is offering you an easy way of checking your health in a rigorous manner. The startup from Bilbao, situated in the Basque region, is specializing in early detection of diseases by analyzing your urine, easily and hygienically after your visit to the toilet.
They have developed a device, to be attached inside the toilet, with different intelligent reading sensors which are currently able to trace glucose, proteins, blood, urinary tract infections, urine concentration and bladder function.
Ensuring all AI machines have good ethics
Ethyka, a startup in Madrid, focusing on paring AI, Artificial Intelligence with human EQ, Emotional Intelligence, has developed an ethical tool to teach all the virtual assistants, drones, robots and AI machines out there how to behave and take decisions, according to social norms and good moral standards in general.
As written in a recent article on Ethykas ambitions, by Business Insider:
It's an important question, considering global finance, health systems, the justice system and much more will soon be managed by artificial intelligence — if we're going to leave such crucial decisions in the hands of machines, we have to ensure they make the right decisions and, if possible, even fair and good ones.
As further exemplified by CEO, Cristina Sánchez, in the same Business Insider article: "It's already been proven that robots and virtual assistants that interact with humans can be easily corrupted. Machines — like children — learn by observation and repetition, trial and error. If they hear vulgar expressions, they will eventually incorporate them into their database and, in future, may also imitate any manner of undesirable behavior."
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