Impact Engine Community Day

On January 8th, Impact Engine held their Community Demo Day in Chicago. The purpose of the event was to showcase their first cohort of early stage companies, each setting up for-profit businesses to address social and environmental challenges. A question to explore … What problems / opportunities / needs do these organizations have that could be addressed by the instructional design community?

From the Impact Engine website, the roster in the cohort included:

Azadi –  Azadi empowers women and girls in rural India to make menstruation a non-issue in their lives. The lack of access to female hygiene products prevents them from going to school and work. Azadi’s product is a simple solution to free this population of 300 million under monthly house arrest in rural India.

Collaborative Group – Collaborative Group is a marketplace that connects retail brands with artisans in the developing world. We create collaborations that provide sustainable livelihoods to underserved populations and unique, socially impactful manproducts to our brand partners.

Effortless Energy –  Effortless Energy makes home energy efficiency a no-brainer by acting as a market maker between homeowners, energy auditors, contractors, grant programs, and financiers. Effortless Energy uses technology and a unique financing model to make these smart home upgrades simple, free, and attractive for homeowners. Residents get the satisfaction of lower monthly utility bills, increased home value, and improved health and home comfort, in addition to doing something good for the environment.

Light Up Africa – Light Up Africa (LUA) enables Kenyans to create energy through their everyday movements. More than 85 percent of Kenyans suffer from Light Poverty, a crippling condition that adversely affects their quality of life—from education to health to economic instability. LUA’s first product, Taapoa, is a portable device that uses motion to generate power and electricity, and easily attaches to bicycles, motorbikes, livestock, and boats.

Portapure –  Portapure makes clean water available to anyone, anywhere, anytime. With its easy-to-use, patented technology, Portapure invents, designs, and manufactures affordable water filtration products for the developing world.  Portapure enables households to provide clean water for their families and sustain clean water mirco businesses for their communities. Portapure: empowering individuals to save their own lives.

Raise5 –  Raise5 opens up new fundraising channels for charities through an easy-to-use online platform. We empower supporters to offer goods and services to the general public in exchange for a contribution to their favorite charity. Raise5 combines consumption and donation to get people excited about giving back. – is a web-based platform that gives teachers the tools and content they need to create and deliver personalized critical thinking instruction for all students.