Entrepreneurs that aim to change the world

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Entrepreneurship is the result of the concern of a person who, individually or in group, identifies and develops products or services that can help meet needs, desires or solve problems.

That’s what I want to talk about today, people with concerns that have decided to turn their ideas into projects that aim to change the world and make it a better place…

 

Trees that shine in the dark

And no, it’s not about artificial trees …

Entrepreneurs Daan Roosegaarde and Alexander Krichevsky have developed a method to make tree leaves shine in the dark in a way that is very similar to jellyfish.

It may seem crazy. And the truth is that it may be a crazy idea, but it has not been made only because of the enthusiasm of its creators, since they already have the first prototype of the project. It is still a small plant, which has been given to the genome of the chloroplast, the DNA of luminescent marine bacteria, using a process called “Splicing”.

This project has been supported by the University of New York and also by the company Bioglow of Krichevysky. And it is not surprising at all, since these two entrepreneurs finally managed to market their project and take it to the streets of cities. We are talking about a great saving of energy and, therefore, a great benefit for the economy and the environment.

 

Bulbs that do not require electricity

Stephen Katsaros is the founder of Nokero International. This company is building a better, more durable and solar powered bulb for the use of 1.6 billion people around the world who live without electricity.

“To put light in the dark” is the motto of its movement that is able to change the life of the people who live in places where electricity does not arrive. This allows getting education, work, and said in short, having a better future perspective.

https://www.nokero.com/our-team-a/257.htm

 

Specialeffect

Mick Donegan is the founder and director of SpecialEffect, a child care institution dedicated to using cutting-edge technology to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities.
More specifically, the organization helps young people with severe disabilities to play and enjoy computer games.

It may seem a minor issue, but for a person with a disability it is especially important to do things that other people can do. In this sense, for a child with a serious disability it is very important to play computer games as it is done by other children.

This fact makes them change their mood, makes them feel like other children, and therefore helps them overcome their disability.

http://www.specialeffect.org.uk/dr-mick-donegan-biography

 

The Dabbawalas of Mumbai

An example of an especially interesting and hopeful entrepreneurial model is that of Dabbawalas in Mumbai. It shows that in places where poverty still wins the battle, brilliant and spectacular initiatives can emerge.

It is a food distribution service from home to work or study places.
Its operational model is the subject of study by the largest multinational companies, since it achieves a virtually zero error rate in the more than 200,000 daily deliveries they make. Even with some precarious meals, collapsed cities, and a very small time window. All the elements involved must be properly synchronized so that the requested food arrives at the appropriate time.

I leave you the link of a video explaining this extraordinary model in detail:

 

Canva

Behind the startup Canva is Melanie Perkins, who has developed a free online graphic design program (to be exact with a freemium business model) that is used by nearly 10 million people.

10 million graphic designers? NO! Canva is used by all kinds of people. And the tool allows every user to make infographics in a simple way, design campaigns of ads on Facebook with templates and give it infinity of uses.

With Canva, Perkins, little by little is democratizing graphic design. It’s a success, as there are not many opportunities on the market that can democratize a sector at this time.

https://about.canva.com/es_es/historia/

 

Biotechnological fertilizers that fight against climate change

Climate change is one of the biggest problems in the world that we must face and stop. Projects like the one of the entrepreneur Ramon Bacre leaves the door of hope open.

This Mexican entrepreneur has based his project on the biocarbon, which has been enriched with microorganisms to improve their qualities as a fertilizer, thus competing with other fertilizers with the added value of eliminating CO2 from the atmosphere.

Bacre has, with its project, the objective of reducing the carbon present in the atmosphere through a sustainable business model.

https://www.technologyreview.es/tr35mexico/1579/ramon-bacre/

http://www.bmcc.com.mx/

All the examples that we have analyzed, have in common: their entrepreneurial spirit, their great creative capacity and the tenacity necessary to realize their dreams.

But above all, they have in common the fact of trying to make the world a little better place. It is worth supporting these initiatives.

Graphene: The material of the future

 

grafeno-el-material-de-futuro-300x200Graphene promises to revolutionize the field of technology and especially the mobile sector, but its impact will be seen in many other industries. In fact, the versatility of graphene is considered in terms of the different presentation forms and approaches of each manufacturer for its industrial application.

Beyond the many possibilities in the production of smart phone screens, this material has potential applications in devices such as brain-embedded chips that allow detecting epileptic seizures in real time; or ink that, once used in the printing, will allow us to interact with other devices.

This reality is bound to be the very near future. But some of this technology is already underway. This is the case of flexible screens, made possible thanks to graphene, and which experts estimate will be on the market in about three years.

Now first things first, what is graphene?

It is a carbon-based material. It is so thin that it is considered only two dimensional, and it is one of the most flexible, lightweight (five times lighter than aluminium) and resistant materials out there (200 times stronger than steel), in addition to its high conductivity of heat and electricity. It is a relatively inexpensive material. Therefore, it has all the features to become a key material for building many of the elements that we know, and others we don’t, at a lower cost, with a lower environmental impact and a higher performance.

Surprisingly, it is not a new material, since its structure was described eight decades ago. However, it was not isolated until 2004 by researchers Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, which led them to be awarded with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010.

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2010/

Current applications

Graphene chargers

One of the firms participating in this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (MWC ‘16) was Zap Go, a start-up that develops graphene batteries and chargers that will charge mobile devices in just five minutes.

Flexible screens

Maybe one of the most surprising and unexpected… In just a few years it will allow us to wear our mobile on our wrist.

Graphene ink

The company Novalia presented a poster with audio at the MWC’16. The poster showed the image of a battery printed in graphene ink and, when touched with the fingers, the different parts of the instrument powered some speakers that reproduced the sounds.

And much more…

Graphene chargers have an impact on the automotive sector as well. The field of Aeronautics has also discovered a material that is especially interesting for the industry for its lightness; or even the health sector. As mentioned above, this material can be embedded under the skin or clothing to detect and monitor processes and reactions in our body, such as vital signs, and it is even intended to help recover speech or vision.

The possibilities of such material are almost endless. Some of them were revealed at the MWC ‘16; many others are still to be unveiled or discovered…

A long way to go

Despite its many features, the huge expectations and the fact that it is already being used in the manufacturing process of various devices and technologies, there is still a long way to go.

Mass production of graphene is perhaps one of the barriers to overcome. Companies like IBM or Samsung are focusing much of its efforts in the research of mass production of graphene using methods that yield a very high quality material that can be used in high-tech. Researchers predict products and devices made from graphene will be on the market in about three years, but the commercialization and widespread use might take a little longer.

No doubt graphene is here to stay. And companies will try to make the most of its many properties to dominate the market, if possible, before making them public.

Innovation in the supply chain: Augmented Reality

 

AugmentedReality-300x169In recent years, technological advances have led a radical change in the optimization and improvement of logistics processes, thus increasing efficiency in this area. Drones, tablets or augmented reality glasses are just some of these advances. The present article focuses on this latest technology –augmented reality. More specifically, on augmented reality applied to the supply chain.

Few predicted that augmented reality has something to offer to the management of the supply chain. However, its possibilities are manifold…

But let’s start at the beginning:

What is augmented reality?

Put it simply, augmented reality is nothing more than what we see viewed from a mobile device. A technology that combines real-time physical and digital information in the same space, thereby expanding the information of the elements in our environment.

Augmented reality seeks to turn our physical world into an interactive and digital world. And this is precisely the difference with virtual reality, in that it does not replace reality, but it combines it with computer data expanding our perception of reality by means of images, videos and digital information through our mobile devices: smartphones, tablets or glasses like Google Glass.

Videos:

Google Glass:

What is augmented reality and what it is used for:

Augmented Reality in the supply chain

As a starting point of the impact of augmented reality in the supply chain, there is the fact that this technology allows us to anticipate information at all times and everywhere, it enables to speed up processes, optimize costs and even allows for greater security.

If, as noted above, this technology expands the information of what’s in our environment, just a pair of glasses could, for instance, provide operators with all the updated information on the location of the goods, routes, records and updates of changes in location, readable information in bar codes or storage planning through the provision of space necessary to store the goods, quickly detecting gaps in the warehouse.

But that’s not all there is. Space can be optimized real time, but it is also possible to use augmented reality to a higher or strategic level. By making virtual changes, you can create new gaps or redistribute the goods to optimize the available space.

Transport also has its advantages, since the use of devices adjustable to different readers or body elements will allow speeding up processes with bar codes and other identifiers when the goods are transported.

In turn, it will also allow having real-time information on possible damage to the product or its packaging.

We can envision the inclusion of augmented reality even on an administrative level, from registration to traceability, contributing once again to saving not only costs, but also management time.

And these are only some of the advantages and possibilities of augmented reality…

This video shows the application of the Augmented Reality (AR) technology to the picking processes to optimize their actions in the warehouse environment and the efficient management of the supply chain. In addition, depending on the hardware, it can incorporate voice recognition for the picking validation or to launch system commands.

Alternative sources:

Augmented Reality solution in the logistics industry:

Vision Picking at DHL – Augmented Reality in Logistics:

 

Technologies that will radically change our consumption habits

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The rapid development of technology has revolutionized our lifestyle at all levels, but perhaps these changes have been much more radical when it comes to purchasing and consumption habits. In this field, innovation and new technological proposals will continue to grow in the coming years. In view of the current developments, everything suggests that in five years’ time, we will dramatically change the concept of shopping we have today.

Against the odds, and although many predicted the death of retailing due to the rise of e-commerce, all developments and technologies that have emerged and which will see in the coming years, are aimed at combining the advantages of proximity trade with the flexibility of an online store.

Have you ever wondered what going shopping will be like in 2020?

For example, fitting rooms will replace curtains with digital screens that will allow customers to “try on” clothes using sensors that project on the screen the image of the item as it would look on the person. The company Magic Mirror is already developing this technology.
The shelves will host loads of smart tags that, through sensors, will recommend you products based on what you already have in your shopping cart or inform you about the special features of the items.

And these are not the only developments. Contactless payments using NFC (Near Field Communication) are already a reality with which companies like Auchan and Leroy Merlin have begun experimenting. Among other things, they allow facial recognition technology to analyse our mood when we go shopping or our reactions towards certain brands or others.

But in the countdown to 2020 and considering the emergence of all that we have mentioned above, the current pace of life compels us to optimize our time to the most and to bring the shops closer to where the customers are, rather than having them to travel to the store. We will analyse an alternative that allows to do this.

The British company Tesco has turned the walls of different metro stations and bus stops in Seoul into a great showcase where they exhibit their products and that enables users to shop through their Smartphone while waiting for the subway. Passengers use this service to purchase goods virtually, which are then delivered to their own homes.

The walls of the stations are only different from a common display window in that the products, instead of appearing physically, are shown through photographs and each includes a QR code. To buy any item, underground users only need to scan the QR codes that correspond to the items they want to acquire. The amount is automatically charged to the bank account that the user chooses and he later receives the shopping at home or at the address he indicates to the system when making the purchase. Later means that if users make a purchase before one in the afternoon, they will receive it the same day, therefore, they are likely to arrive home and have it already there or that the order is about to arrive.

The advantages of this initiative have a direct and positive impact on buyers, as in the case of metro passengers who can use their waiting time to do the shopping on their mobile phone. We are therefore facing a new shopping experience that combines retail shopping and e-commerce, while increasing the service we give to our clients.

This initiative launched in Korea is just one example of how important it is, both for buyers and for sellers, to have a shop virtually anywhere. The aim is to create a shopping experience where we can merge the best of both worlds, that is, the trust we have on the local store and the efficiency of e-commerce.

We are bound to see experiences like this in many other countries really soon.

The video linked below shows how this purchase system works.