5 Startups Which Are Making a Difference | Company Connecting

Category: Blog

By Janice


Entrepreneurship has definitely become a trend in the last couple of years, and we have since seen a massive increase in the variety of products and services available today. The question is, which start-ups are actually making a positive difference in today’s world? Here is a list of 5 socially responsible start-ups, truly making a difference and improving the world we live in.

Bio-Bean’s premise is simple. Turn coffee waste into sustainable energy. Biobean was founded by UCL alumni Arthur Kay who while working on a university project noticed the huge amount of waste involved in making coffee. He realised coffee beans are not only disposed of once used, but they are also very expensive to get rid of. There was no effective system currently in place at the time, an issue that impacted not only coffee shops but also offices and factories. By turning used coffee beans into sustainable biofuel, Bio-bean invented a clever way to tackle this issue. Bio-bean now collects over 50 000 tonnes of waste grounds per year, which they process and recycle, which saves approximately 6.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions per tonne of waste.

BeyondMeat is an LA-based start-up that started with a simple mission: to provide a healthy, tasty and sustainable plant-based alternative to meat. Their unique recipe will provide you with plant-based protein with absolutely no GMOs, products that taste and look just like regular meat, thus allowing you to cook any traditional recipe without actually using meat. Their research has shown that BeyondMeat burgers use less land, less water, less energy and emit fewer Greenhouse gas emissions. This makes their product up to four times less environmentally impactful than a regular beef burger. BeyondMeat is already available in over 10,000 restaurants and stores with plans to expand to over 50 countries around the world.

TooGoodToGo is a London based start-up and app that allows restaurants to sell their leftover foods at a discounted price for customers to pick-up at the end of the day. The interface is simple and easy to use. Just like Deliveroo and UberEats, you simply select your location and browse the foods available that day. Unlike Deliveroo, you will have to go pick up your meal in person, however, it will only cost a fraction of the price. For example, grab a delicious sushi box from Yo! Sushi for only £3.50! With the motto “join our food waste revolution”, TooGoodToGo has created a great way for restaurants to reduce leftover food waste, and for customers to eat out on a budget.

I-Drop is a start-up with a big mission: to make drinking water accessible to everyone, everywhere. Their technology allows shop owners who have access to a water supply to purify the water available and sell safe drinking water to the people. This revolutionary idea not only tackles the problem of no access to safe water in some areas of the world, but it also reduces plastic waste as shoppers reuse and re-fill their existing containers. Once I-Drop have installed their water purification and dispensing machines in local grocery stores, they sell water by the litre and share all the revenue generated from that machine with the store owner. I-Drop, therefore, makes it affordable and accessible to more people in the community, and it also allows them to support their local economy.   


Pavegen is a company that figured out how to turn footfall into energy. In essence, Pavegen converts the extra kinetic energy generated by footfall into renewable energy which can be used for lightning, or communication systems. Pavegen is particularly relevant for busy areas like stations, airports or central streets, where this kinetic energy can be significant and generate enough power for advertising or lighting, thus saving considerable amounts of electricity. This innovative invention can be used both indoors and outdoors.

All startups should strive to make a positive difference in our society especially when we have so many large issues at hand which affect us all. It is refreshing to see startups such as the ones mentioned in this list get traction and grow as they are truly having a positive impact on this green and blue sphere we like to call home. There are many more incredible startups which could have been included in this list, make sure to let us know which ones we missed out on!

This article was written by Dominic Wolf, one of Company Connecting's resident writers. He is a productivity and growth expert and is active in the London startup community.
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 First published on Company Connecting March 2019
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