Tech for Good Meetup - September 2013

On Monday I attended the first Tech for Good Meetup, a showcase for startups aiming to solve social and environmental problems. The format was a series of lightening talks, an introduction from the sponsors followed by short presentations from five startups. This post comtains my notes and links.

A picture from the back of the room at Google Campus London where the Tech for Good presentations were about to take place

Bethnal Green Ventures - Lily

The organiser/sponsor, Bethnal Green Ventures is a tech accelerator (like Y Combinator) for ?social good' startups. The idea is they give seed capital to a number of startups, along with some office space and a whole load of support and mentoring. Follow them at

Echo - Matt

Echo stands for "EConomy of HOurs", the site is a broker for trading an hour of your work (an 'echo') for an hour of work from other people. They hope to create "a nationwide currency of echos". All hours are created equal, which I'm sure simplifies things but doesn't seem to me to offer much incentive to offer hours of work which require a lot of training (eg. legal or medical advice). Follow them at @economyofhours.

Winnow Solutions - Marc

1/3 of food is wasted globally per annum, this is equivalent to 300 billion dollars. Kitchens are very inefficient and waste 20% of food used. Winnow have developed a food waste 'smart meter' which allows easy logging and classification of food waste, leading to metrics and better awareness. The device saved £12k pa at its first trial site.
Follow them at @WinnowSolutions. - Yodit

An aggregator for the internet of things, OpenSensors allows you to collect data from any device and easily perform data mashups combining both open and private data.
Follow them at @OpenSensorsIO.

SpeakSet - Ewan

The problem SpeakSet has set out to solve is that 1 million older people haven't spoken to friends or family in a month. This is not just a problem of lonliness, it is also a problem for healthcare delivery where there has been no innovation since Florence Nightingale. Average life expectancy goes up by 5 hours every day so this problem is only going to get worse. SpeakSet packages up a Skype style video calling service into a remote controlled TV interface. The grandchildren can use their existing smartphones to receive calls. Call your Grandparents tonight!
Follow them at @speaksetUK.

Flip Yourself - Bruno

A visual LinkedIn for kids. Young people don't know how to write CVs or evidence their achievements, they're not good at selling themselves. Flip Yourself allows them to collect evidence easily, using tools familiar to them from social media.
Follow them at @flipurself.