Despite carrying an English name, Social Good Lab is France’s first incubator for technologically innovative social enterprises. Last March, the incubator began accepting applications from young companies into their one-year program and officially announced eight startups at their launch late September.
The City of Paris and Bpifrance, the country’s public bank for assisting and financially supporting French micro to small and medium enterprises, are backing the incubator through their “Paris Innovation Amorçage” fund, which is designed to finance innovative pre-seed or seed stage projects.
Although incubators and tech firms are a familiar couple, Social Good Lab purposely focuses on technologically innovative social enterprises in hopes that the tech sector can become more inclined to benefit society with their innovations. Likewise, Nicolas Hazard, the president of Le Comptoir de l’Innovation, is counting on the possibility that Social Good Lab can influence other businesses to draw inspiration from social ventures in their ability to balance operations while creating positive impact to society.
What remains to be seen is the extent of their impact, but for now these are the eight startups to follow:
Arizuka, meaning anthill in Japanese, is a crowdfunding platform for organizations developing socially, economically, and environmentally innovative projects.
2. Cine Apps
Described as a young enterprise, Cine Apps has developed digital cinema “smart glasses” and “smartphone” services, such as personalized subtitles, last-minute bookings, alerts, and public transport information, for people with sensory impairment.
Eqosphere is a collaborative web platform that facilitates the redistribution of end-of-life products and items that are unsold to reduce food and non-food waste.
microDON aims to revolutionize how donations are made by creating a service that allows people to round up the bill on their everyday purchases, so that anything from a few cents to a few euros would be donated to a specific cause.
Planète Langue des Signes, professionals in sign language for audiovisual purposes, and Egonocast, a multimedia software company, have partnered to create a sign language translation service for television.
Power:On developed a software capable of determining which hybrid of power supplies (solar, diesel generator, etc.) costs the least in a given situation, so that they can assemble sustainable and innovative solutions for rural communities that do not have access to electricity.
8. Social Club
Social Club aims to address the digital divide in France and around the world by creating a search engine that runs without access to the Internet, but uses interactive voice response to parse spoken queries and redirect the user to the person most suitable to respond.
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