Technology, in all its glory, has been around to make people’s lives easier. However, despite all the greatness that comes with technology, the world has been using it for all the wrong reasons. Thankfully, there are some startups working toward making the world a better place by using technology for the good, rather than the bad. Here are a couple of green tech startups making things better, one project at a time!
1. HelpUs Green
Based out of Kanpur and founded in the year 2015, HelpUs Green was founded with the sole aim of saving the Ganges. Through the startup, the founders (Ankit Agarwal and Karan Rastogi) are working at collecting the waste strewn in and around the mosques and temples of Uttar Pradesh. Post collection, the startup works at recycling and reusing the collected waste in a manner beneficial to the environment. This startup has helped protect over 1,200 rural families in the area by giving them a way of life. Till date, HelpUs Green has worked to prevent close to 1,000 kg of toxic pesticides, insecticides and chemical waste from filtering and festering in the Ganges. Furthermore, the startup has also helped improve the lifestyle of the women in these villages by leaps and bounds, giving them a new lease of life with whatever they do.
2. Gram Power
Launched in the year 2010 by Yashraj Khaitan and Jacob Dickinson, Gram Power provides cutting edge smart grid technology to address the growing electricity concerns in the country. From setting up India’s first Solar Powered Smart Microgrid in Khareda Lakshmipura (Rajasthan,) to now providing energy for light bulbs, buttermilk churners, television and fans to over 30 remote areas across rural India, Gram Power is working at improving the country’s electricity situation by using renewable energy sources!
3. Husk Power Systems
It is often said the real secret to energy lies in the countryside. Unfortunately, because of the severe lack of facilities in the area, these resources are largely left untapped. Husk Power Systems, a startup based out of Bihar, realised this gap between resources and technology and decided to work on what was available and set out to improve the situation. By using a biomass gasifier for electricity generation, each of the plants owned by this startup is currently helping over 400 households in rural areas. Not only does Husk Power Systems save over 18,000 liters of diesel and 42,000 liters of kerosene, this startup has worked at improving the health and living conditions of people in inaccessible areas.
4. Chakr Innovation
Launched in the year 2016 by Arpit Dhupar, Kushagra Srivastava and Prateek Sachan, Chakr Innovation is a unique startup in more ways than one. The group of friends came together when they realised pollution could be curbed in a safe and economical way. By creating the Chakr Shield, Chakr Innovation aims at removing diesel soot from generators and converts the removed soot to inks and paints. Not only does this help in reducing the amount of waste, it also helps in clearing up extremely disastrous pollution.
5. Digital Green
Digital Green, a not for profit organisation, works with organisations and technology in an attempt to help improve the health, nutrition and agriculture situations of the rural areas. From creating interactive videos to building platforms that foster growth to creating an improved standard of living for these people, Digital Green has worked since its inception to improve the world around them, one village at a time!
It is worth appreciating the efforts when technology is used to benefit the world, rather than harm it and these startups are doing exactly that! If you know any other startups doing the same, comment and let us know!
5 Successful Indian Startups Founded By Women
The workplace has undergone massive changes in the last century. At the turn of the Industrial Revolution, any workplace was dominated by men while the women were delegated to run the homes. However, with the advent of the internet and new and exciting technologies, workplaces have undergone a tectonic shift. Women are no longer comfortable staying at home and are instead opting to lead teams and organisations. As every year passes, we get closer to true gender equality, women have proven time and again that they are equally capable to get the job done if not better in some instances. Names like Wolfe Herd (Bumble founder,) Kylie Jenner (Kylie Cosmetics founder,) Masaba Gupta (Masaba clothing label founder) are just some of the names who are known for leading world famous brands with their unique style of leadership.
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, we bring to you five women founders who run world famous and successful startups.
1) Upasana Taku-MobiKwik
If you are an Indian and are used to doing online shopping, more often than not at the time of payment, you would be directed to a payment gateway. One of these gateways would normally be MobiKwik. The startup is a well known name in the digital payments and digital wallet space. MobiKwik was founded by Upasana Taku in 2009, who prior to founding MobiKwik used to work with PayPal. Today Upasana Taku is also in charge of bank partnerships, business operations, and talent acquisition at MobiKwik.
2) Richa Kar-Zivame
An enthusiastic MBA student, Richa Kar, developed an online lingerie shopping platform in the year 2011. Currently, Zivame is India’s leading online lingerie store with a valuation of more than $ 100 million. The brilliant idea for her own lingerie business came to light when Richa tracked Victoria’s Secret’s sales, who was one of her clients when she was working at SAP. She observed the lingerie sales figures reached peaks overseas but, Indian women were not provided with the similar innerwear. While Richa was studying the Indian lingerie market, she realized the social embarrassment in India surrounding lingerie shopping. Today Richa Kar could be credited with destigmatising the uneasiness surrounding lingerie shopping in India.
3) Falguna Nayar-Nykaa
After a long stint as an investment banker, Falguni Nayar founded Nykaa.com in the year 2013. An online one stop shop for beauty products from Indian and international brands, Nykaa changed the world of online shopping. Who would have ever thought buying makeup online would be so easy? Falguni Nayar proved many critics wrong and created a brand new place for people who love experimenting with styles, designs and colors.
ALSO READ: Zivame: Founding Story
4) Sabina Chopra-Yatra.com
Yatra.com is a popular Indian website for making flight and hotel bookings. Sabina Chopra was instrumental in identifying the potential for travel commerce in India and people moving towards cheaper or easier travel. By the time, people started looking to make bookings, Sabina made sure Yatra.com was already in place. Sabina was the former Head of India Operations of eBookers, which is also an online travel company based in Europe. Along with this, she was also working with Japan Airlines which further adds to her experience in the travel industry.
5) Rashmi Sinha-SlideShare
SlideShare allows people to upload and access their presentations online. While this feature is presently available everywhere, SlideShare was one of the first players in making this happen. Rashmi Sinha was one of the founders of the presentation sharing platform SlideShare. The company became so successful that in 2012, LinkedIn acquired the company for an amount of $100 million.
Let us know in the comments if you know any other wonderful women who have become leaders of their right or have started up and are doing extraordinary things. We at Startup Stories wish a wonderful Women’s Day to all the women in the world who are changemakers.
5 Reasons Why Telegram Founder Pavel Durov Thinks Whatsapp Is Dangerous
Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram Messenger, is no fan of Whatsapp and he believes Whatsapp is dangerous and not safe. Elucidating more on the topic, Durov made his reasons known in a blogpost he published in late 2020. Here are the five reasons why Pavel Durov thinks Whatsapp is dangerous.
1) If Jeff Bezos’ phone can be hacked via Whatsapp then nobody is safe.
One of the richest men in the world and the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos’ phone was allegedly hacked by Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Some of Bezos’s private communications and images were taken during the hack following which Whatsapp’s security was questioned.
2) The United Nations recommends its officials to remove Whatsapp from their devices
The United Nations recommends its officials to not use Whatsapp because it thinks Whatsapp is not a secure mode of communication. In June 2019, a U.N., spokesman Farhan Haq said, “The senior officials at the U.N. have been instructed not to use WhatsApp, it’s not supported as a secure mechanism (sic.)” This directive came when independent U.N. experts found a possible involvement of Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, in the alleged cyber attack of Jeff Bexos’ phone in 2018.
3) End to end encryption does not guarantee security.
Durov says “in their marketing, WhatsApp uses the words “end-to-end encryption” as some magic incantation that alone is supposed to automatically make all communications secure. However, this technology is not a silver bullet that can guarantee you absolute privacy by itself (sic.)”
4) Chat backups on Android and Apple cloud are not encrypted.
Pavel Durov does not believe chat backups in the cloud are safe and says “Users don’t want to lose their chats when they change devices, so they back up the chats in services like iCloud – often without realizing their backups are not encrypted. The fact that Apple was forced by the FBI to abandon encryption plans for iCloud is telling (sic.)”
5) Backdoors continue to exist in Whatsapp
“There are backdoors. Enforcement agencies are not too happy with encryption, forcing app developers to secretly plant vulnerabilities in their apps. I know that because we’ve been approached by some of them – and refused to cooperate. As a result, Telegram is banned in some countries where WhatsApp has no issues with authorities, most suspiciously in Russia and Iran (sic,)” claims Durov in his blogpost.
As data privacy is becoming more and more important in the current day and age of the internet, we wonder what messaging application is totally safe.
Five Free design Tools For Startups And Students
Creative design is an integral part of any organisation as it is used for various purposes and by various functions within an organization. Be it for sales brochures, marketing collateral, presentations and product labels creative design is an integral part. Creative designs help tell a story or a narrative better with images or videos. For students, design can be used in their project thesis, dissertation defence, creative resumes and many more.
However, design tools are usually expensive and require an expensive hardware setup to render the final product. This means a lot of expenditure for students or startups looking to make creative designs. However, there are various alternatives which do the same job with almost the same quality which can be a blessing for startups and students.
In this article we give you a list of five free design tools for startups and students. Read below to find out the list of free design tools.
Canva is a graphic design platform which comes with preloaded templates and can be used to create posters, documents, presentations and other visual content for free. Paid subscriptions can be purchased for additional functionality but the free version does a good job.
Pixlr is an online photo editing tool which lets users edit pictures for free. Pixlr’s photo editing is intuitive and is complemented by artificial intelligence for quick and personalized editing.
PicMonkey is another free online editing tool which can be accessed via a web browser. Free users can access most of the features and tools while a membership is needed for accessing the entire design workflow. PicMonkey lets users access design templates for wedding invitations, announcements, thank you cards, business cards and many more.
ALSO READ: 8 Best Free CRM Solutions For Startups
Crello is a tool which offers both video and graphic editing for free. Crello can help you create visuals for social media in just a few minutes, design a business card or a flyer, create marketing collateral for print, social and blogs, as well as create long-form content like presentations.
5) Gravit Designer
Gravi Designer is a vector based design tool which works on both online and offline platforms. Gravit Designer is highly preferred for Linux users and the developers are known to listen to feedback from users and integrate good suggestions onto their tool. Gravit Designer can be used to design websites, or create interfaces, and also to make illustrations or design the artworks of entire games.
This concludes the list of top free design tools for startups and students. Let us know if you are already using any of these design tools or plan on using them in the future in the comments below.
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