Entrepreneurs Embracing Social Innovation and Other Newsworthy Stories

Tech

Ring ring ring…. BANANA PHONE, BANANA PHONE! It’s a real thing! Of course now it’s bluetooth-enabled and can directly contact Siri. No longer will you confuse your food for a phone. I know, I know, that statement was totally bananas. A portion of their sales sales goes directly to Gearing Up 4 Gorillas, to help rescue mountain gorillas.
Because of their constant connector updates, Apple’s only solution is, in the words of TechCrunch, to “sell us a one-way ticket to dongle hell“. If I go to hell it’s going to be a much more interesting one, let me tell you. I won’t bore you with the technical specifications the author seems so thrilled by, but PowerUp at least lets you charge any Macbook and three other devices at the same time. Dongle heaven at long last.

Social Impact

The world may be falling to pieces around us, but there are good people doing things that will at least make a small dent in the chaos. Trevor Brooks became a ward of the state when he was just nine years old, which never sets anyone up for success. When he was still a teenager, he ended up in jail because of a gun crime. When he got out, he decided to do something about the rampant gun problem in this country. He came up with an app called GunBaiL that lets people post bail by anonymously trading in their guns. It’s genius. Not only does it get guns off the street, but it keeps people who are in jail for things like nonviolent drug offenses from getting into even worse situations, or bankrupting their families with bail they can’t afford. Of course he has to navigate the maddening bureaucracies of city government, but it sounds worth it.
When you crack open a beer, you know you’re helping yourself have a good time, but what if you knew you were also helping the world? Toast brews beer from leftover bread, and then donates 100% of its profits to charities working to fight food waste. Drinking and doing good. What could be better? Looks like you’ll be able to buy their beer at Whole Foods starting on July 4th.  Free to drink beers, am I right?

Other

Fashion is an insanely difficult industry to get in to. And according to “The Devil Wears Prada” everyone is very unpleasant, perhaps because of hunger. Kelsey Dominick’s fashion company DiDomenico has already graced the mean runways of New York Fashion Week, and was even the first American designer to showcase her stuff in Cuba since 1960. Now, she’s raising funds to take her designs to Cannes, both for the fashion show, and just to parade around the famous people there so they say “gimme gimme gimme”. For perks, she is offering custom wedding and prom dresses, cool skirts and totes, and trips to NYFW.

Where are they now?

They say that tennis is the game you’ll play your whole life, which is why every 8-10 months I swing a racket around for 20 minutes and inevitably miss 75% of my own serves. For those more competitive players, TuringSense created a wearable called Pivot  (Pivot!) to track your swing and help you make it better so you can crush anyone who steps onto your court. They are expanding into other sports, and have gotten $3M to do it.

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