As an entrepreneur, you’re constantly weighing your options and trying to determine where best to allocate your time and resources. Do you need a CTO? Is it worth it to hire one? Or can you get by without one?
In this post, we’ll explore the role of the CTO for startups and help you decide if you can get by without one.
What is a CTO
The Chief Technical Officer, or CTO, is responsible for a company’s technology strategy. They oversee all technical aspects of the business, from product development to R&D to engineering. The CTO is the bridge between the technical and non-technical teams, and they play a crucial role in ensuring that all departments are aligned with the company’s overall mission and goals.
However, CTOs are much more than that during the startup phase. A CTO needs to be a visionary and a strategist, always thinking one step ahead of the competition. They need to have a deep understanding of the latest technology trends and identify which will be most impactful for their business. Furthermore, they need to be able to take on responsibilities outside of their direct area of expertise, such as marketing or business development.
In short, a tech startup CTO must wear many hats and be able to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. As the company becomes more stable and established, the CTO can then focus on more specific tasks and delegate some of their responsibilities.
The Pros of Hiring a CTO
So, do you need a CTO? Let’s explore the pros and cons of hiring one.
1. CTOs Can Help You Grow Your Business
One of the main advantages of hiring a CTO is that they can help you scale your business. A CTO can provide valuable insights into how to grow your business and expand into new markets. They can also help you build the necessary infrastructure to support your growth. Furthermore, a CTO can help you attract and retain top talent, as they are often well-connected in the tech community.
2. Having a CTO makes it easier to raise money
Startups that have a CTO are often more attractive to investors. This is because having a CTO shows that you’re serious about your business and that you have a solid plan for how to grow it.
The Cons of Hiring a CTO
Of course, there are also some disadvantages to hiring a CTO. As you’ll see, startups that can’t yet afford a full-time CTO may be better off without one.
1. They’re expensive
One of the biggest disadvantages of hiring a CTO is that they are often very expensive. Startups that are just starting out may not have the budget to hire a full-time CTO. In addition, a CTO may require equity in the company, which can be a problem for cash-strapped startups.
2. They need to be managed
Another disadvantage of hiring a CTO is that they need to be managed. They need clear direction and guidance from the CEO to be effective. Furthermore, the CEO needs to be able to handle the CTO’s expectations and keep them in check. A CTO is not a magician; they cannot work miracles.
3. Not all CTOs are created equal
Not all CTOs are equally talented or experienced. Startups that hire a CTO need to be careful to find someone who is a good fit for their particular business. The last thing you want is to hire a CTO who is not a good match for your company culture or who does not have the necessary skill set.
4. Changing the executive team
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that hiring a CTO will change the dynamic of your executive team. It’s vital that your team learns to work together and that the different roles are clearly defined. Otherwise, you may end up with a team that is not cohesive and does not function well together.
When Does It Make Sense to Hire A CTO For Your Startup?
As you can see, there are both advantages and disadvantages to hiring a CTO. So, when does it make sense to hire one?
Generally speaking, you should only hire a CTO when your startup has become an established business with a solid track record. At that point, you will have the budget to hire a full-time CTO and need someone to help you maintain your operations.
Since you’re still a long way from that stage, you may want to wait to hire a CTO. Thankfully, startups have other options for building their technical team. You can outsource! Outsourcing your development can save you money and help you avoid the challenges of managing a full-time CTO. Furthermore, it allows you to scale your team up or down as needed.
CTOs are not a priority for startups. With so much on the line, it’s important to focus on more specific tasks and delegate some of their responsibilities. At Borne, we can help you do just that.
We’re a software development partner and venture builder. We help startups grow their business by building the necessary infrastructure and attracting top talent. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow your startup!
Product thinking is a mindset and approach to problem-solving that is focused on creating products that are valuable to users. It is based on the belief that the best way to create something of value is to first understand the needs and wants of users, and then design and build a product that meets those needs.
Product thinking begins with a deep understanding of users and their needs. This can be done through research methods such as surveys, interviews, and user observation. Once you have a good understanding of users and their needs, you can begin to design a product that meets those needs. The key to product thinking is to always keep the user in mind throughout the design process. Every decision should be made with the end user in mind, in order to create a product that is valuable to them.
UI design stands for user interface design. It refers to the graphical interface of an application or website, and how users interact with it. This can include elements such as the layout, color scheme, typography, and overall visual appearance.
A good UI design is important for making a digital application or website easy to use and pleasant to look at. It can help users feel more comfortable and can make complex tasks easier to complete. By utilizing product thinking in UI design, you can create products which are easy to navigate and are more likely to be successful and meet the needs of users.
Product thinking provides a strategic approach to business that focuses on the user, understanding that customers aren’t just buying a product, they’re buying the service that product provides. In short, product thinking is a way for startups to approach business in a way that emphasizes the value of the product.
Typically, product thinking involves considering three main factors. First, it means understanding that customers don’t actually care about your product as much as they care about the benefits that product provides for them. Second, it requires you to look at the customer experience from beginning to end by analyzing customer needs, shopping habits, and expectations. Finally, it means taking what you’ve learned about your customers and applying that to your product offering so that it provides the best service possible for them.
Why is Product Thinking Important for Business?
A business that employs product thinking is one that understands who their target customers are and what they want. It understands the shopping habits of these customers and how to meet their needs. It also understands what customers expect from the product and how it relates to the brand.
User experience (UX) design, is a relatively new field that emerged from the disciplines of human factors and ergonomics, information architecture, and interaction design. User experience design is concerned with all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.
The goal of user experience design is to create a product that is both useful and easy to use. It is important to note that user experience is not limited to the interface of the product but extends to all aspects of the user’s interaction with the company. This type of product thinking includes how the user feels about the company, its customer service, and its overall brand.
This is important because it provides a solid strategy for businesses that are looking to succeed. The best products don’t just happen; they require strategic consideration and planning. Product thinking allows businesses to implement a strategic approach that focuses on the user experience.
What Makes Your Product Useful?
In order to have a useful product, you must first understand the problem that your customer is trying to solve. Once you understand the problem, you can then start to think about how your product can help to solve that problem. It is important to keep in mind that your product is not just a collection of features, but a solution to a problem.
To be truly useful, your product must be able to solve the problem that your customer is facing. It is not enough to simply have a product that is feature-rich. Your product must be able to provide a real solution to your customer’s problem. This is what will make your product truly useful.
Assuming you have a product and not a service, there are a few key points you’ll want to hit when describing what makes your product useful:
Identify the problem that your product solves
Explain how your product solves that problem in a simple, clear way
Describe the benefits of using your product
Use specific, concrete examples to illustrate those benefits
Assuming you have a service, you’ll want to do something similar:
Identify the problem that your service solves
Explain how your service solves that problem in a simple, clear way
Describe the benefits of using your service
Use specific, concrete examples to illustrate those benefits
You might also want to include a section on who your product is for; what kind of person or business would find it useful? This can help people to picture themselves using your product and understand how it would fit into their lives.
What value does your product bring to your customers?
As the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” But what happens when you’re not quite sure what you’re paying for? When it comes to product value, it’s important to be able to articulate what your product brings to the table for customers. Here are four tips for describing the value your product brings to customers:
Keep it simple
When it comes to product value, less is more. Use simple language to describe what your product does and how it benefits customers. Avoid using industry jargon or terms that require a lot of explanation.
It’s not enough to say that your product is “good” or “useful.” You need to be specific about what makes your product valuable to customers. What needs does it meet? What problems does it solve? How does it make customers’ lives easier?
Use customer testimonials
One of the best ways to demonstrate product value is to let customers speak for themselves. Use testimonials, case studies, and reviews to show how your product has helped others.
Put a price on it
Finally, don’t forget to put a price on your product value. This will help customers understand how much they should expect to pay for your product and will also help you justify your pricing to them.
3 Steps of Product Thinking
To better understand product thinking and how it can improve your business, let’s take a look at the three main steps involved in the process.
First, you have to understand your customer. You need to know who your customer is, where they’re shopping, and what their expectations are for the product. This means conducting thorough research on the demographics of the typical customer. It also means monitoring shopping trends to see what your customers are interested in.
Next, you need to understand your product. You need to know how the product is currently being offered to customers. This means examining the various aspects of that product, including the packaging and design. It also means taking into account all of the features that go into making a product.
Finally, you need to apply this knowledge to your product. You need to use what you’ve learned about your customers and your product to create the best possible product offering. This means using this information to improve the product and tailor it to the needs and wants of your customers.
The best products don’t just happen; they require strategic consideration and planning. Product thinking allows businesses to implement a strategic approach that focuses on the customer. Product thinking is an important concept for any business to utilize, because by focusing on the user, businesses can design a better product that customers love using and can create products that provide a valuable service that make customers happy.
Web3 is a Decentralized Blockchain-based Internet Technology that Seeks to Change the Way We Live Online.
If you’re into tech, you’re most likely excited about what the future holds. And if you’re up to date on recent tech news, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Web3” talked about in tech forums. The term isn’t new, but as excitement around cryptocurrency, NFTs, and the metaverse grows, Web3 is gaining interest across the tech world.
What is Web3 and How is it Changing the Web?
Web3 is the third generation of the Web. It is based on the concept of a decentralised Internet, which is an online world where users are in control of their own data and where power is decentralised.
Web3 is being built on the back of the Ethereum blockchain, which is a new and innovative way of storing data that provides users with a more secure and efficient way to browse the internet. The blockchain is a distributed database utilising peer-to-peer connections that are secure and cannot be tampered with. This makes it ideal for storing data that needs to be secure, such as financial data or medical data, without the need for a server.
Web3 also allows developers to build decentralised applications (dApps) that run on the Ethereum network. These dApps can range from games and social media platforms to financial services and marketplaces. By using the Ethereum blockchain, dApps are able to offer a higher level of security and efficiency than traditional centralised applications. Web3 is therefore changing the way we interact with the internet and has the potential to revolutionise the way we use online services.
Web3 will also make the internet more secure. Because the blockchain is secure and cannot be tampered with, it will be very difficult for hackers to steal data. Additionally, Web3 will make it easier to track data and to identify where hacks come from. This will make it easier to track down and prosecute criminals.
How Web3 Works
As are most of the crypto transactions today, the Web3 platform is based on blockchain technology. The blockchain is a decentralised user network built on peer-to-peer connections. Each device on the network handles a fraction of the transaction and communication occurring online, creating a server-free web network.
Peer-to-peer networking like the blockchain allows for server-free communication between single or multiple users. Peer-to-peer connections are used to decentralize online content. Rather than connecting to a server where websites are hosted, a user’s computer stores a bit of the data on their device. Some browsers are already testing the technology to see if it can improve the quality of Internet connectivity. When it is implemented on a large scale, you could eliminate the need for centralized servers across the web.
Where is Web3 Now?
Today, Web3 development is in early stages but developing quickly. While there are a handful of projects that have been built on top of the Web3 platform, the technology is still very much evolving in terms of how it will be harnessed. However, there is a lot of excitement around Web3 and its potential to power the next generation of the internet, so expect interest to swell over the coming years.
In recent years, the Web3 space has seen a lot of development activity. Several projects are underway that aim to build decentralised applications (dApps) on top of Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other blockchain platforms.
Some of the most ambitious projects in this space include:
MetaMask: a browser extension that allows users to interact with dApps on the Ethereum network, primarily for managing crypto wallet transactions.
Gnosis: a platform for building dApps that enables users to predict the outcomes of events.
Augur: a decentralized prediction market platform built on the Ethereum network.
uPort: a self-sovereign identity platform that allows users to control their own data.
Civic: a blockchain-based identity verification platform.
BitFwd: a community of developers, entrepreneurs, and investors building the future of digital currency.
These are just some of the many projects working on Web3 platform development. With the growing interest in blockchain technology, it’s likely that we’ll see even more innovative projects in this space in the years to come.
When Will Web3 Become Reality?
This is a question that is on the minds of many people in the tech community. While there is no definite answer, there are a few things that we can look at to get a better idea of when Web3 might become a reality.
First, let’s look at the current state of Web2. While it has been successful in many ways, it has not reached its full potential. There are still many areas where it is lacking, such as around security.
This is where Web3 enters the picture. Web3 is being developed to address the shortcomings of Web2. Being based on a new set of technologies, such as blockchain, Web3 has the potential to provide a much higher level of security.
In addition, Web3 is being designed to be more user-friendly than Web2. This is important because if people are not able to use the new technology, it will not be successful.
So, when will Web3 become reality? It is difficult to say for sure. However, it is making progress in that it has the potential to revolutionize the way we use the internet, drawing more investment from major tech firms.
In reality, the final version may look a significantly different than how it’s currently envisioned. Web3 growth has already been stunted by setbacks. For example, blockchain technology was originally seen as a way to turn the Internet into a decentralised “global computer,” connecting everyone to a massive, server-free network. Now, that vision has changed to blockchain generally powering cryptocurrency mining and transactions, though headway has been made into financial transactions.
While today, the public is just taking an interest in crypto and NFT technology. Chances are at some point, blockchain, virtual wallets, crypto, and even metaverse-connected features will slowly make their way into the browsers, apps, and devices we use every day. When that begins, we’ll be entering a new era of the web, and hopefully have more freedom, anonymity, and control over our virtual data than we do now.
Overall, Web3 will change the internet for the better. It will hopefully give users more control over their data and will make the internet more secure.
Whether you’re a veteran entrepreneur or just starting out with your first tech venture, funding is a crucial component for all businesses. Without proper funding, you can’t build your brilliant product and bring it to market.
But where do you start? What are investors looking for? How do you attract the capital you need to take your startup from a rough idea on a napkin to a full-fledged business?
It’s not always easy. In fact, for most entrepreneurs, it can be downright frustrating. But if you’re keen to put in the work and do your research, you can find the funding required to make your dream a reality.
To get you going in the right direction, here are five proven paths to funding your tech startup:
1. Angel Investors
Angel investors are high-net-worth individuals who invest their own finances in startups in exchange for equity (a percentage of ownership). There are numerous angel investors out there, and they come from all walks of life: doctors, lawyers, accountants—you name it! They may or may not have background experience investing in tech startups, but they’re interested in helping new businesses get off the ground.
2. Venture Capital (VC)
As the name suggests, VCs provide seed capital for early-stage startups that have already proved their viability by demonstrating real traction with customers and revenue generation—but only after they’ve passed an extensive due diligence process designed to screen out bad ideas and incompetent founders.
VCs often make larger investments than angel investors do. However, they expect higher returns on their investments and more control over how the funds are used. VCs typically take a significant stake in exchange for the capital they provide, usually between 20% and 40%.
They also offer valuable industry connections as well as guidance from experienced executives and mentors who can help your company grow into a market leader, while avoiding many common pitfalls along the way.
Crowdfunding is perhaps one of the most resourceful ways to get funding for your tech startup via online donations or pre-orders. Platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe allow people to pledge financial aid towards projects they want to see happen.
It’s a popular way to raise funds because it’s free and accessible to anyone with a concept they want to pitch and bring to life. The idea is that if enough people pledge, then the project can be funded and become a reality.
However, if not enough people commit, no funds are exchanged, and the project doesn’t go anywhere. This means that if you’re going to use crowdfunding, you’ll need some serious hustle in order to get enough funds together before your deadline. Make sure that you have a good marketing strategy in place so that you can convince enough potential backers why they should support your project.
Crowdfunding is an excellent way to tap into your community and build up a support base before ever asking for investment dollars from outside sources. Plus, crowdfunding sites give you access to an audience that’s already interested in what you’re doing, which means more potential customers.
4. Accelerator Programs
Anywhere from several months to 2 years long, accelerator programs are intense startup incubators that provide funding, mentorship, networking opportunities, office space, and other resources in exchange for equity in your company (usually around 10%). Some accelerators are more selective than others—but they all offer valuable connections that can help get your outfit off the ground (and keep it there).
If your company gets accepted into an accelerator program, it will be much easier for you to get funding later on. Investors will see that other people have already taken an interest in what you’re doing.
In addition to funding, if you’re looking for help with mentorship and guidance from an experienced team, an accelerator program may be a good fit for you.
Self-funding your tech startup may seem like the least tempting option. How far can I get with a few grand, you might ask? The honest answer: much further than you think.
Occasionally referred to as “efficient entrepreneurship,” bootstrapping your firm means expanding your business with little to no venture capital or outside funding. It means operating and growing your business solely on your own savings and income (a.k.a blood, sweat, and tears).
Three key advantages of self-funding right off the bat include:
Control: The most significant benefit of self-funding a tech startup is that you are in total control of your business and can make decisions without criticism, expand at your own speed, and not worry about generating short-term returns.
Time and effort saved: Finding funders can be a full-time job, requiring time away from the business. By bootstrapping, you’ll be able to focus solely on developing your enterprise.
Discipline: Spending your own financial resources requires an outstanding level of discipline. Self-funding has forced many tech entrepreneurs to be more imaginative and innovative in their approaches, which can only be beneficial.
Bootstrapping can be a brutal experience, but the payoff is usually worth the beating. Launching a self-funded company challenges you to concentrate heavily on business planning in order to create income as quickly as feasible.
One unifying trait you’ll see in successful bootstrapped tech firms is that they all have a winning business plan from the get-go that generates revenue as quickly as humanly possible. With no cash inflow, a bootstrapped company would deplete its reserves before establishing any significant traction. It’s critical to concentrate on this strategy early on.
Closing Your First Investment
With so many innovative startups out there, it can be hard to get the funding you need to get started—especially if this is your first time raising capital for a business. Fortunately, there are ways to increase your chances of securing funding for your startup—and at TK, we’re here to help you accomplish just that.
Our mission is simple: assist tech founders in landing investment capital for their startups. Securing funding can be a fun and exciting experience, but it also requires a ton of planning and research. You need to know how much funding you’ll need, where to get it, and how to handle it once it’s in your hands.
As we’ve discussed, getting investors on board isn’t easy. Many factors go into determining how much capital is invested in your company, including its industry, your personal background and experience, and the amount of risk involved overall. You’ll have to convince them that your idea is worth their hard-earned finances and that you’re the right person to take it from concept to reality.
You’ll need a solid business plan in place before approaching investors with your idea, but if you don’t know where to begin—we’ve got you covered.
Ready to get started? Connect with our team today.
Holistic design is a way of thinking about user-centred design, and it’s related to different approaches which help achieve a desirable user experience. The term holistic design has been around for many years, but some confusion exists regarding its definition.
Some sources suggest that it is merely a variation of user-centric or human-centred design (also called HCD), while other sources claim that it is the same as the concept of total quality management (TQM).
Our goal here is to define holistic design in a meaningful and understandable fashion so that you can understand how this approach can be used most effectively in your own projects.
What is holistic design?
Holistic design is a design philosophy that places the user at the centre of the process. Holistic designers believe that all parts of a product or experience, from inception to use and disposal, should be considered together. This means looking at things like what materials are used, how they are made, who makes them, and how they get to their final destination.
Holistic design is often used synonymously with user-centred design (UCD), which includes a variety of principles that generally apply to people-centric design. For example, one principle might be ” to create an experience centred around people” or ” to design with respect for human-powered limitations.” The term holistic design can sometimes also refer specifically to UCD practices like heuristic evaluation (also known as usability testing).
Heuristic evaluation involves looking at specific tasks and then evaluating those tasks from the perspective of specific assistive technologies that help users do those tasks. Designers will often use this method when creating interfaces for computer programs or websites. In general, holistic designers take into account what it means to consider the human experience: how something affects someone emotionally, physically, or psychologically.
For example, in terms of designing an interface for a mobile app such as banking: A designer might consider customer behaviour patterns and then work backwards from there to make sure that customers have no trouble using the software effectively once downloaded onto their phones. This approach isn’t just helpful when thinking about new products; it also applies well when thinking about redesigning existing products based on feedback from users and customers.
The evolution of holistic design
Up until recently, the term “holistic design” was mainly used by furniture and interior designers to describe an artistic approach to layout and aesthetics. But thanks in part to its increasing popularity among start-ups, it’s starting to enter the design world’s lexicon as a more widely applicable concept.
Holistic design is a definition that has evolved over time but generally describes the process of designing with a well-rounded approach that takes into account information from every point of view related to a project or system. It can be called user-centred design when assessing how people interact with a system or data informed design when taking into account things like analytics.
Ultimately, holistic design is about creating pieces that aren’t just aesthetically pleasing for their own sake; it’s about making something that works well for everybody involved.
Why the rise of holistic design?
You’ve probably noticed the rise of holistic design in our society. It’s not an easy task for digital product designers to simultaneously embrace a range of disciplines like user experience, interaction design and visual design. Despite this challenge, it has become clear that holistic design is the way forward for creating digital products that are designed around the needs of users.
The rise of holistic design comes as no surprise when you consider how much the world has changed in just a few short years: we’re living in a time where the internet plays such a huge role in our lives that it’s impossible to imagine life without it. The fact that more people than ever before now have access to information and communication technology has been truly transformative.
The process and definition of user-centred design
What is user-centred design? Many people will use the terms ‘user’ and ‘user-centred’ interchangeably when talking about design, but there is a distinction to be made. The term ‘user’ refers to the person using a product or service, while user-centred means that the designer has considered the needs of their user during their process.
It could be argued that most designers consider users while they work, but user-centred design is deliberately working with a foundation of research and analysis. User-centred design takes into account how users will interact with a product or service as well as what motivates them to use it in the first place.
User-centred design helps ensure that each decision you make in your creative process will result in better designs for your audience. By paying attention not only to functionality and usability but also including human behaviour and psychological aspects in your planning phase, you can create experiences that are more likely to succeed.
You can avoid costly mistakes by ensuring that you aren’t merely considering technical features when making decisions about what needs to be built for your audience.
Holistic design in action
Holistic design is becoming more and more popular in today’s design culture. Design agencies and businesses are “thinking green” by incorporating the user into the process of design. Rather than a product or service, they focus on the consumer, which is most important when producing something new.
Holistic designers look at the whole picture: who will be using it? What exactly do they need? What do these people like? This process allows for a more enjoyable and useful product to be created.
Although holistic design is becoming increasingly common, there are still ways we can use it to make our lives easier. Examples of holistic, user-centred design can be found where you least expect them – from an app that makes laundry day as simple as possible to robotic vacuum cleaners that clean your home for you!
Benefits of using a holistic design approach
Holistic design is the process of designing a product or service with every detail in mind instead of just focusing on one aspect and hoping it works out. The idea is to take a step back and consider the whole picture, from the aesthetic to functionality to purpose, and this approach can lead to better products that are easier to use.
A holistic designer puts themselves into the user’s shoes and figures out what he or she needs. When everything works perfectly together, both users and companies benefit. Customers get a better experience and better products and see improved business results, including customer satisfaction. Although this sounds like common sense, it’s actually not easy for many businesses to apply holistic design principles thoughtfully because of how they’re set up.
Holistic designers need time from product designers and marketers when they’re creating something new (like an app), but there often isn’t enough budget for this type of research during development. However, there will always be room for user testing once a product is finished, unless there are strict deadlines, but by then, it may be too late for changes that would make all the difference.
Using a collaborative approach can ensure that your business has time for insights from all departments before projects go live. Involving people from each area early on gives you more time to make significant improvements if needed. This also prevents mistakes caused by miscommunication between departments as far along as possible in the process, so you know if something isn’t right before it goes out into the world.
Holistic design has many benefits, but it’s not without its difficulties
The web is a big place. There are millions of sites to visit and websites to create. The challenge for modern web designers is not to create more; it’s how to create better. Building a successful website relies on holistic design principles, ensuring that every aspect of the user experience works in tandem rather than independently.
Holistic design doesn’t just mean “a designer needs more information before beginning work,” although that is certainly true; it also refers to the continuous nature of good web design. While you might only think about a website once you see its launch live on a server, holistic design requires a mindset that remembers that failure means something small went wrong somewhere along the way and had it been large enough, it could have derailed your entire project.
So, what do we mean when we say “holistic?” It refers to an overall approach where everything matters, from the smallest aspects of typography to larger concerns like which content should get top billing or how users should navigate around your page. This bottom-up approach can take time but is necessary for success because it ensures higher quality and satisfaction for users by addressing issues before they arise.
The answer is Yes—but only if developers and leaders start embracing technological social responsibility (TSR) as a new business imperative for the digital era.
Today, technology hasn’t always had the best reputation.
It’s a term cloaked with many connotations—unfortunately, some of which are negative and morally wrong. Privacy issues, the spread of pornographic materials, mental health, pollution, and identity theft are a few examples of how technology impacts the world negatively.
The Tech4Good movement seeks to address this head-on.
In the UK, for instance, the Tech4Good movement has been gaining momentum in recent years and can trigger a global revolution geared towards solidarity and positive change. But what exactly is Tech4Good? Keep reading to learn more about Tech4Good and the startups fueling this movement.
What Is Tech4Good?
According to Nissa Ramsey, Consultant at Think Social Tech, Tech4Good (also known as Tech for Good) is a community of people, organizations, projects, and funders promoting the role of technology to improve social, economic, and environmental outcomes.
In its most basic form, Tech4Good can be described as the use of technology to solve social and environmental problems with the goal of improving community and lives. Think of it as the use of technology to effect deliberate, positive change.
That said, Tech4Good can span a wide range of themes, including:
Global warming, and
Real issues in the society
The term “Tech for Good” was first introduced by Paul Miller, CEO of Bethnal Green Venues (BGV), in 2006.
It began in the noughties days of hack weekends when developers, coders, and designers came together to devise a solution to a social problem during 48-hours of pizza-fueled tech activity. Those events seeded hundreds of prototypes and ideas, many of which went no further. But what they did proved that it’s possible to do something good with technology.
Today, Tech4Good has become a global movement aimed at improving lives and driving positive change.
5 Tech4Good Startups to Watch in 2022
Today, the market has seen remarkable Tech4Good innovations from a long list of ambitious startups. According to McKinsey, these cover six main areas: environmental sustainability, education, health and longevity, living standards, job security, and equal opportunity.
As of 2018, there were 490 Tech4Good companies in the UK, valued at over £2.3 billion and a combined turnover of more than £732 million. This section will cover 5 of the top Tech4Good startups making waves in the world today.
As the “green movement” intensifies, many organizations are embracing technology and practices that lead to environmental sustainability. Greengame, a cleantech startup, has been at the forefront of this movement with its sustainable technology.
Founded in 2015, Greengame is a Tech4Good startup that develops technology that tracks how users impact the environment.
The Tech4Good startup was developed by Victor Palau and works with businesses, cities, and universities to incentivize sustainable behavior using gamification, behavioral economics, and automated activity detection.
The Greengame app can automatically detect peoples’ activities that impact the environment with no manual entry from users. The app tracks social media, email activity, and modes of transport. It can also be connected to other apps on the user’s phone to provide a detailed picture of the user’s environmental impact.
Users need to create accounts then join challenges from companies, cities, and universities. Positive behaviors are rewarded through incentives and gamified competitions. Users can also create their own challenges.
Greengame has received funding from crowdfunding platform Seedrs and Collider accelerator. The app is available on both Android and iOS platforms.
WeWALK is a Tech4Good startup that seeks to enhance the visually impaired community’s safety, independence, and social inclusion through mobility tech. The company was founded in 2017 by Gokhan Mericliler, Sadik Unlu, and Kürşat Ceylan.
The London-based company enhances the mobility of visually impaired people through a revolutionary smart cane and mobile app.
The smart cane detects above-ground obstacles with ultrasound while still retaining the standard cane’s ground feedback. It is designed to feel natural, so it doesn’t cause friction or inconvenience to the user and will detect obstacles at an approximate distance of 15 to 20 cm from the cane’s tip. Upon detecting an obstacle, the device vibrates to notify the user.
But WeWALK is more than just an obstacle-detector tool. With the WeWALK app, users can discover new places around them with automatic voice feedback or get a full list of nearby shops, restaurants, and anything in between.
The app is equipped with a navigator that talks to the user through the stick or earphones. Once the user enters their destination or point of interest within a specified radius, it guides them through voice to their destination.
The WeWALK project started in early 2017 and became a company in 2019. It received funding in excess of £600,000, which was supplied by big-name investors such as Vestel Ventures, Ali Karabey, Agah Ugur, and Uzay Kozak.
This Tech4Good startup aims to improve the safety and independence of visually impaired people and has reached customers in 37 countries.
OLIO is a global food-sharing app connecting neighbors, businesses, and volunteers. This way, it ensures food can be shared instead of being thrown away, thus minimizing waste.
The app is location-based and allows people to list and post photos of surplus food items to be shared with other people in the same neighborhood. This could be food items nearing their expiration date, groceries from a fridge, or homegrown fruits and vegetables. Users can browse listings in their area, request what they’d like, and arrange pickup.
Founded in 2015 by Tessa Clarke and Celestial-One, OLIO started more like a nonprofit than a rocket-ship startup, simply allowing people to give away surplus food and other household items to those in need for free.
Today, OLIO has over 5 million users worldwide, half of which started using the app during the pandemic and 70% of which are based in the UK.
Since its inception, OLIO has been growing exponentially. In 2020, for instance, the company announced a partnership with Tesco, one of the UK biggest supermarkets, which saw the number of food items listed on the app soar from 300k to nearly 2 million a month.
This London-based startup managed to raise funding amounting to $53.1 million, most of which came from big-name investors like Accel, Quadia, and Octopus Ventures.
Cyberattacks have increased more than ever as companies of all sizes run their businesses out of the cloud. According to Techjury, 64% of companies worldwide have experienced some form of cyberattack, and in 2020 alone, ransomware cases increased by 150%.
The Tech4Good company, Confluera, was founded to help businesses defend against cyber-attacks, which are continually evolving and becoming more sophisticated.
The Confluera platform combines machine-comprehended threat detection with precisely-tracked activity trails to stop cyberattacks in real-time.
The platform tracks all activities within an organization’s infrastructure to identify security vulnerabilities, rank malicious intent sequences, and stop attacks from progressing. This way, Confluera helps enterprises detect and remove sophisticated security attacks. The company was founded in 2018 and managed to raise $29 million in funding.
How do you pull someone out of the rabbit hole that leads to violent extremism or keep them from falling in? You guessed right, Moonshot!
Moonshot is a Tech4Good startup that aims to reduce violent extremism online, including violent misogyny, by connecting vulnerable people with counselors, safer content, and informative content. It’s a part of a growing counter-radicalization industry armed with big data, ads, and years of experience engaging extremists.
The London-based startup uses the “redirect method” to filter potentially harmful content that people are searching for online via targeting advertising and opening them up to alternative messages and more balanced views.
To achieve this, Moonshot goes where the toxicity tends to spread and where those violent groups do much of their recruiting: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and niche platforms like Zello, MyMilitia, and Gab.
Moonshot started in 2015 with a simple strategy; use the data it collects to redirect people away from the extremist movement and towards more constructive content. It was first piloted in 2016 as a part of a partnership with Jigsaw (a department of Google) and was later deployed internationally to curb online threats.
Moonshot was founded by Ross Frenett—former Director of the Against Violent Extremism (AVE) network, and Vidhya Ramalingam—one of the early pioneers of the EU’s first inter-governmental initiative on far-right terrorism and extremism. In June 2021, the company raised £5.10m, which will be used for further research and development.
Tech4Good startups have become top-of-the-mind for many investors and venture capitalists. It’s not an industry but a framework that allows organizations to build a global mindset and develop products that bring positive change for the people and our planet.
These startups have the potential to solve global problems and raise productivity and lead to significant GDP growth. Tech for Good companies can impact all cross-sections of society, with organizations establishing outcomes for education, accessibility, transport, communities, health, and environment, among others.