Springwise
Your daily fix of new business ideas Springwise and its network of 17,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds. More at www.springwise.com
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Your daily fix of new business ideas Springwise and its network of 17,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds. More at www.springwise.com
Energy-harnessing musical instrument provides power to communities off the grid
There are areas in the world where energy infrastructure is next to nonexistent, meaning that the people living there can’t rely on a consistent source of electricity. In the past, products such as theSOCCKET soccer ball have harnessed energy from human activity when they’re interacted with in order to provide power later on. Now a new project has developed SPARK, a musical instrument that takes a similar approach. READ MORE…
Shopping bag encourages consumers to donate clothing each time they buy a new outfit
It’s often the case that a perfectly good item of clothing can sit at the back of the wardrobe even when its owner knows they’ll never wear it again. In the past we’ve seen campaigns to remind fashion fans of the out-of-style apparel they own and could give away to charity. Now Swedish label Uniforms for the Dedicated has introduced The Rag_Bag, a shopping bag that can be turned inside out to become an envelope to send old clothes to those who need them. READ MORE…
App lets the infirm crowdsource help with daily tasks

Falling seriously ill can be a tough thing to go through, and to make matters worse, all of the daily chores still need doing but are much more difficult to complete. While ideas such as Bffl Bags have intended to provide cancer patients with the comforts to help them get through their hospital stays, STANDWITH is a new app that enables caregivers to tap patients’ friends and family to help with everyday chores. READ MORE…
Video chats connect language students with native seniors looking for conversation
Online education is booming thanks to platforms such as Khan Academy, YouTube tutorials and even educational video games such as Koe, which recently crowdfunded on Kickstarter. However, language-learning especially is a skill that’s best acquired by speaking one-on-one with natives on a regular basis. Aiming to facilitate this, a new service in Brazil called Speaking Exchange is enabling students to practise their English through video chats with US seniors in retirement homes, who benefit from regular conversation. READ MORE…
In Portugal, The Walking Dead store makes customers pay with their own blood
Cash isn’t the only currency that stores can accept in return for their goods — in the past we’ve seen South Africa’s The Exchange let only customers who pledge to sign up as an organ donor walk away with its products. In a similar fashion, Portugal’s The Walking Dead Blood Store is now getting fans to give blood in order to win merchandise from the series. READ MORE…
Book that teaches safe water habits doubles as a water filter
Lack of access to clean water is a massive global problem, especially because many of those affected end up drinking unsafe water and don’t realize it’s bad for them. The University of Virginia has previously made efforts to help with its PureMadi filter, which can be made from raw materials by the communities that use them. Now researchers at the institution are involved in the creation of The Drinkable Book, a manual that contains details of how to avoid unsafe water, with pages that can also be used to kill waterborne diseases. READ MORE…
In Brazil, posters at bus stops collect change so the less well-off can get a ride
Poverty is an issue that affects every city, where the most wealthy sections of society walk the same streets as the homeless. However, getting the former to give to latter is still a challenge. Schemes such as Suspended Coffees have helped consumers to donate a coffee to those that can’t afford one, and now Troco Coletivo — which translates as Payback Collective — is a new initiative in Brazil, which enables commuters to leave their small change at bus stops or on buses so poor people can use it to travel. READ MORE…
Simple device lets motor impaired kids know what it’s like to walk
For centuries now, those with neuromuscular disorders have had to rely on the wheelchair to get around and many spend their whole lives seated. In the past we’ve seen AMS Mekatronic’s Tek RMD wheelchair add-on make strides to help paraplegic people get up and stand unassisted. Now opting for a much more simple solution, Upsee is a harness that lets parents use their own legs as a support, in order to give their disabled children the sensation of walking. READ MORE…
Free lecture series replaces inane bar conversations with stimulating talks
The web has made higher education-level learning more accessible, and even free, through programs such as MIT and Harvard’s EdX and the nonprofit Khan Academy, but it’s actually inspiring adults to want to learn new skills and knowledge that can be difficult. New York’s Raising The Bar is an event placing 50 lectures in 50 bars across the city, replacing drunken conversation with stimulating talks. READ MORE…
Break Up Box cures broken hearts while helping couples in need
Regular readers of Springwise may remember Unbox Love, the subscription service that helps busy couples revive their relationships with date ideas in a box. For those whose relationships are beyond repair, Japan’s Shitsuren Box — which translates as Break Up Box — aims to soothe recipients’ broken hearts while also supporting pregnant women in developing countries. READ MORE…
Buy a house, give one to a family in need
Consumers in the West typically take for granted the purchases they make every day that are out of the reach of others in poverty. The ‘buy one, give one’ model aims to tackle this problem by matching small purchases and donating them to those in need, such as bus tickets through Detroit’s WeRide program, or a pair of shoes through the popular TOMS brand. Operating on a much grander scale, Canada’s World Housing is now using the model to help build shelter for families in the poorest parts of the world. READ MORE…
App forces users to give to charity for playing cheesy tracks on Spotify
Handing over money to charity is enough for some to feel good about themselves, but nonprofits and social good organizations often find it difficult to elicit donations without offering something in return. We’ve already seen gaming site GoodGames let users raise money simply by playing ad-supported titles, and now the UK’s Guilty Pledgers is hoping to do something similar for music — charging partygoers for adding an embarrassing track to a Spotify playlist and sending the cash to charity. READ MORE…
This Coke bottle lightbulb could help illuminate Africa
Even though the lightbulb was invented in the 19th century, a combination of poverty and lack of electricity infrastructure means that two billion people still live in complete darkness when night falls. Many rely on non-renewable and dangerous paraffin fuel to light their communities, which is why we’ve seen a number of initiatives that hope to bring sustainable and safer options to developing nations, even including lamps powered by gravity. Our latest spotting is The Lightie, a system that uses an empty bottle and a solar filament to provide cheap light in the places that need it most. READ MORE…
‘Business cards’ for homeless people let anyone donate with their phone
When it comes to giving money to members of a city’s homeless community, many people worry that their change isn’t going to fund essentials such as food or shelter. While startups such as TaskTurtle have already attempted to tackle the problem by offering sustenance in exchange for work, San Francisco’s HandUp is now using business cards to let citizens donate food credits to people in need through their mobiles. READ MORE…
25¢ crack pipe vending machines aim to lower HIV rates in Canada
The creativity of businesses using vending machines to sell their products seems to know no bounds, and in the past we’ve seen even prescription drugs delivered through InstyMeds‘ 24/7 hospital kiosks. Going somewhat further, a nonprofit has now installed crack pipe vending machines in Vancouver, in order to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS among the city’s addicts. READ MORE…