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Startups that Give Us More to be Thankful For

Carl Niedbala - Founder Shield
Carl Niedbala

COO & Co-Founder


With Thanksgiving upon us, it seems appropriate to do a post about some of the startups out there that are giving people more to be thankful for.  So here’s a small cross section of those companies:

Uncharted Play

Did you ever think a company would take aim at saving the world with fun and games?  Well…it happened.  Uncharted Play’s entire mission is to “combine play with innovative technology to address real-world issues in a meaningful, fun way.”  Their first product, the SOCCKET, is a soccer ball that harnesses kinetic energy and converts it to be used by electrical appliances like the LED lamp included with the ball.  This is huge for the one in five people that live without electricity around the world.  Kids will get to play soccer and have reliable lighting they’ve never previously experienced…lighting that can be used for something we often take for granted: earning an education.


This one’s actually a client of ours! With the rise of Kickstarter and all of its crowdfunding copycats, Giveforward stands alone in the philanthropic crowdfunding space.  The company’s platform allows people to create fundraising campaigns to help loved ones pay their medical bills.  They make it super easy to set up and even provide personal coaching (from real people!) if you need help getting your campaign up and running.   The support of friends and family: definitely something to be thankful for.


Believe it or not, multiple billion people live without clean energy.  That means these people rely on burning biomass (dried animal droppings) to cook their food.  Most people that rely on biomass also have poorly vented living quarters, so burning this type of fuel leads to all kinds of respiratory infections that can (and do) kill.  Biolite aims to solve this problem with its new home stove, which runs on nothing but twigs and branches.  The stove boasts 50% less wood consumed and a whopping 95% reduction in smoke.  It also generates electricity to charge electronics and power LED lights.  This is a huge quality of life improvement for many parts of the world, including much of Africa and Asia.


So there you have it.  Just a few examples of startups that are giving people around the world more to be thankful for.  Safe travels and have a happy Thanksgiving!

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