Innovation Stories From Around The Globe

Startup Spotlight: HACKcelerator 2019

Oct 29, 2019, 5:32:21 PM / by Kristin Anderson

group of people having a meeting

 

Through AngelHack's HACKcelerator program, ambitious startup entrepreneurs have the opportunity to showcase their ideas not only to potential investors, but to the general community. We interviewed several of the 2019 teams as a spotlight for their incredible startup ideas.  

 

Weyond

San Francisco

In a few words, what's weyond's goal?
Help people implement learning together.

Why is now the time for your company to exist?
Personal development is a big topic at the moment. For companies and individuals. There are so many workshops, trainers and online courses but people are struggling to really implement all this input into their everyday life. We want to help to form concrete habits out of all these learnings.

What do you offer to whom?
We are building a tool with which trainers, coaches and other content creators (podcasters, online course creators, youtubers) can create a peer micro-learning journey for their community. Within the tool, the user can work with bite-sized content over time to implement the learnings into their life. Each user gets matched to peers like in a mastermind group and they meet every week to share their learnings and grow together.
For the start we focus on corporate training.

What’s most exciting about your company?
For us the most exciting part is to give people the possibility to connect with other people who share the same passion and support each other to reach their goals together. For individuals that means that they are not just consuming the content they want to learn about, but they can meet like-minded people within their community and help each other. For companies this exchange really helps to break down all the silo structures and increase communication and collaboration between different departments.

What’s your company’s unique advantage in its industry?
We combine micro-learning with peer learning methods to increase engagement and make it possible to make a small step in your learning journey even on the most stressful day.

 

Visual Diagnoser

Nairobi

In a few words, what's Visual Diagnoser's goal?

Faster, cheaper eye conditions diagnosis.


Why is now the time for your company to exist?
There are less than 200 eye specialists in the country serving a population of over 50 million. Our solution allows diagnosis to be performed by minimally trained medical professions therefore making it more accessible.

The current method of doing diagnosis are expensive and require highly trained specialists. Ours is a low cost early detection that can be done by medical professionals with minimal training.
Advancement in computer vision and availability of public datasets of medical images makes the project technically feasible.


At the moment, how do you measure success?
Having an easier, faster and accurate diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy of a disease patient. Having the accuracy of the diagnosis same level or better than ophthalmologists(eye specialists).
The number of health care workers and organizations partnering with us and the number of patients diagnosed early is also another measure of success to us because it shows how much impact our solution is having.

What’s most exciting about your company?
The potential of our technology to increase access to medical imaging expertise in parts of the world where access to medical specialists is limited.

 

What’s your company’s unique advantage in its industry?
We leverage the power of smartphones which are cheap, ubiquitous, intuitive, widely accessible and have the required computing power to do the diagnosis. We also make use of a portable cheaper lens system that is attached to the smartphone to do the retinal scan and which makes our product package small to carry and very easy to deploy in remote areas at a cheaper cost without compromising on the quality of service.

We are working with ophthalmologists to make our solution have the same level of accuracy or higher than practicing ophthalmologists hence enabling minimally trained medical professionals perform diagnosis with same level of accuracy

 

Instafly

Calgary

In a few words, what's Instayfly's goal?
Photo travel booking.

Why is now the time for your company to exist?
Travelers are looking for unique experiences and usually inspired by social media posts. and often can’t tell where the destination in the photo is, or how to get there. Now epic selfies are one click away!

In a few sentences, what do you offer to whom?
We offer the chance for users to magically turn photos of interesting and unfamiliar destinations into flight and hotel options. We offer “Book by Uploading a Photo” solution to airlines, hotel chains and travel booking websites partners.

What’s most exciting about your company?
The magical experience that await our users, as the saying goes “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

What inspired you to start your company?
In pursuit of the “Magical Experience”, we feel that the technology is mature enough to democratize Artificial Intelligence and bring its magic to everyday users.

 

BiN

Manhattan

In a few words, what's BiN's goal?

Waste Management through AI and education.

 

Why is now the time for your company to exist?

Around the globe, thousands of companies are scrambling to find buyers of collected waste since China initiated the Sword policy in early 2018. The policy change requires the purchase of recycled materials to have a contamination rate of 0.5 percent. (The US contamination rate varies from municipals but can reach up to 25 percent or higher.)

A majority of our waste was sent to China, and with that flow stopped, a lot of it is staying here to be dumped into landfills, burnt, or shipped to other countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. The current US recycling system is not able to handle the overflow of waste. This flood of materials is causing once-profitable businesses in recycling to close their doors, or municipals to end their city recycling programs. 

During this recycling recession, we believe Binio can take up the torch and guide people and municipals to get a recycling system with low contamination rates. In doing so, decreasing the costs of recovered materials to be an incentive for domestic businesses to buy cheaper recycled materials at home instead of purchasing virgin grade materials.

 

What's most exciting about your company?

We are in a critical moment right now; the recycling industry can go in any direction when it comes to waste management. This time of rebuilding will impact how the US will tackle waste for a long time. It's now or never, and we at Binio want to be at the forefront of it. Standardizing recycling is our goal.

 

What's your company's unique advantage in its industry?

Our knowledge about the consumer is our key advantage. Competitors don't fulfill the full needs of a user or provide information that is easy to consume. We understand the pain points and are designing a system that makes recycling fun and easy.

 

What inspired you to start your company?

All of this began with my sister wanting to recycle. She is a college student up in buffalo, where she tried to recycle a large bag (one of those 10 to 15-gallon bags) full of plastic bottles. The closet recycling faculty near her apartment at the time was a ten-minute walk, and since she can't drive, she walked it. However, when she got there, she was told that they would only accept 10 percent of the plastic bottles she had brought in. The rest of the bottles had to be taken back, and not wanting lug back the bottles back another ten-minutes. She asked if she could leave it there for them to take care of, they told her they could throw them into the dumpster for her.

When I first heard this story from my sister, I was stunned by the fact that they turned away the bottles she had brought in. I vented by saying, "Why didn't they accept all your bottles, aren't all plastics the same? Isn't there something already out there that tells you where to go and dropoff your bottles?"

To my surprise, there wasn't any app or website that told you everything you needed to know to recycle. My eyes opened to the complexity of recycling. There are so many different types of materials that can be recycled, and not all products are simple enough to just through into a blue bin. It dawned on me that the magic of the blue bin is just a facade to the real effort needed to recycle efficiently. That moment of realization pulled me into the direction I am taking now. 

 

Kristin Anderson

Written by Kristin Anderson