Keurig has changed the way people think about coffee, streamlining the experience to make it simpler than ever before. Just pop in a coffee pod, press a button, and within minutes you’ve got a perfect cup of Joe. But what if the same principles could be applied to food?
Chicago startup Maestro is taking on that challenge with a new countertop appliance that turns raw ingredients into a complete meal, all by itself. Using it is actually quite similar to using a Keurig coffee maker: you buy ingredient pods called M-Pots, which contain fresh, raw ingredients; drop each pod into one of Maestro’s three compartments; and after 10–30 minutes, enjoy a delicious, perfectly [...]
Chicago startup ChariPick is re-imagining the way charitable giving works. Its new app makes it super easy for people to donate to a curated selection of “small, interesting charities,” using a simple giving model that starts at just $1 a day. The goal is to help charities make a difference while giving donors the satisfaction of supporting causes they’re passionate about.
ChariPick was founded by Stephen Lee, who has 15 years’ experience at the intersection of technology and finance as a partner for a hedge fund, director for a technology division of a Fortune 500 company, and a strategy consultant for private equity and Fortune 500 firms. ChariPick is [...]
Chicago startup Hooks has developed a comprehensive platform to help people stay updated on things they care about. You can use the app to get alerts about almost anything—news, weather, sports, stocks, tweets (by author or keyword), new movies, software vulnerabilities, and more.
Currently, the notifications you care about are driven by a ton of different apps and services. Hooks simplifies this by bringing all sorts of notifications into a single central location.
Behind Hooks are co-founders Oleg Kozynenko, José Luis Pérez, and Miguel Ángel Ortuño. Kozynenko and Pérez also co-founded B2B white label travel guide platform Guiomatic, and Ortuño is a lead iOS developer [...]
While smartphones have become ubiquitous in tech-savvy circles over the last few years, a significant number of people around the world still use feature phones—which often don’t have Web browsers, data plans, or third-party apps. You and I have the entirety of human knowledge at our fingertips, but feature phone users are just out of luck.
Well, not anymore.
New Jersey startup Text Engine aims to bring the Web to feature phones using an old technology we all know and love: SMS.
The platform essentially converts the Web to text messages, allowing users to get on-demand weather, news, yellow pages, flight status, and more—all without having direct access to [...]
Have you ever gotten a gift card and wished you could turn it into cash? That’s precisely what Chicago startup Raise allows you to do. It’s a marketplace for gift cards: sellers get cash for unwanted cards, and buyers can purchase gift cards for less than their total value.
Raise allows you to sell gift cards from any brand or restaurant at the price of your choice. Just enter the gift card details and choose the selling price, and your listing will be featured in front of thousands of shoppers. You get paid when the card sells. All cards are free to list, but Raise takes a 15 percent commission from the final selling price. For physical cards, the greater of $1.00 [...]
Shanghai startup Accutension has developed a blood pressure kit that uses a smartphone to listen to the sounds of blood flow for accurate blood pressure readings.
Two-thirds of adults have high blood pressure, and almost 1,000 Americans die every day from blood pressure-related issues. But automatic blood pressure monitors aren’t as accurate as they should be, according to Accutension founder and CEO Junfeng Zhao.
“A few years ago, a friend of mine was misdiagnosed because of the inaccurate monitor readings,” he says. “When the doctors found out the real reason of his sickness, it was too late. That day, I made a pledge to find a solution which [...]
The term “burnout” gets used so often in such a wide range of situations that it can lose its impact. While Wikipedia defines burnout as long-term exhaustion and/or diminished interest in career and life events, this syndrome is not recognized as a distinct disorder in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual 5 (DSM-5), the bible for all psychological issues and the starting point for treatment.
Depriving burnout of a pathological categorization keeps too many working too hard for too long. With no concrete, widely-recognized medical definition, doctors have a tough time diagnosing it and getting the insurance coverage for its treatment. Worse, when employees at all [...]
In a world full of text messages, emails, and 140-character status updates, real human interaction is more important than ever.
SayMore is a new “talking network” that aims to provide more of that by connecting you to a total stranger for a phone conversation about something you’re both interested in.
It works like this: you browse through a set of potential conversation topics in the iOS app, choose a matching partner, initiate a VoIP call, and talk for as long as you like.
SayMore’s conversation starters include the following, among many others:Technology: How will the world change in the next 20 years? What excites and/or scares [...]
Amazon is currently planning a restaurant delivery service, GeekWire reports.
The company is testing the service with its own employees in Seattle, where Amazon is based. We don’t know which restaurants are participating in the test, but the service appears to be related to Amazon’s new Prime Now one-hour delivery service.
A move into restaurant delivery would put Amazon in direct competition with companies like GrubHub, which allows customers across the country to order lunch or dinner from a wide selection of restaurants and have it delivered.
With Amazon’s experience with logistics and distribution, it will likely enter the game with a number [...]
Speak is a cool new platform for instant team communication that provides frictionless audio, video, and screen sharing. Thanks to its extremely light interface, Speak integrates right into your desktop and stays out of the way until you need it.
Behind the San Francisco startup are two rather notable founders: Tom Moor, who also co-founded Buffer; and Eric Bieller, who previously worked at Tapjoy, helping to scale the platform to millions of users.
Bieller tells me Speak is a bit like the Slack of audio/video communication. What’s the point, though? Why do we need yet another team collaboration tool?
“Your meeting tool should be there when you need [...]