Unusual startups with social benefits

There is an anecdote among the inhabitants of Silicon Valley that the most advanced of them, over time, "move away" from high technologies to online advertising, to the foreign exchange market, become Internet gamers or create unnecessary applications for anyone.

Fortunately, more and more startups have recently begun to appear, designed to solve real problems associated primarily with the development of healthcare and science. Venture capital funds are also moving away from financing "consumer" Internet startups and focusing more and more on socially significant projects.

Daniel Spitzer, a successful financier in the past, once realized that it was worth getting serious about growing hazelnuts. But not simple cultivation, but high-tech - using advanced technologies such as Android smartphones, barcode scanners and databases. He has already calculated that up to 15, 000 households in the mountainous regions of Bhutan will be involved in his business. In addition to jobs, hazelnut plantations will strengthen mountain slopes, improve soil structure and thereby prevent possible landslides.

Tulane Medical University student Jennifer Farrell has developed CriticaLink, a non-profit mobile app, to quickly get information from the scene of an accident. Moreover, this information can be used primarily by trained volunteers who are ready to provide first aid.

Walter de Brouwer and his wife Sam had a son in early childhood with a severe head injury. In the process of difficult and long-term treatment, they often had to understand a large amount of medical data. This prompted them to create, together with one of the universities, the Scanadu device, which measures and analyzes medical indicators of a person: pressure, oxygen level and temperature.

The device is applied to the forehead, and all data is displayed on a smartphone. The de Brauers are currently working on a new version of the device, the Scanadu Scanaflo, which measures the most important parameters of urine and blood.