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13 Startups That Are Giving Back to the Community

By 3p Contributor

By Gaurav Bhattacharya 

New startups are launched every day. Some die slow, agonizing, painful deaths and fade into oblivion, while others go on to fly high. These 13 are exceeding expectations, all while giving back to the community in the form of charitable and social work.

1. Maker’s Kit

Founded in 2014, this Los Angeles-based company specializes in offering do-it-yourself project kits. The kits are paired with how-to videos featuring the company founders. This is a classic example of startups which are very much rooted in the community and are working to support social causes.

In the words of company founder Mike Stone: “We believe that everyone can benefit from being creative and we're bringing that idea to life by partnering with PS ARTS and Pledge 1%. With every MakersKit.com purchase, we're able to support arts programs in public schools and give kids the supplies they need to be creative."

2. Founder Institute

The Founder Institute, an idea-stage accelerator, helps aspiring entrepreneurs to form and improve their business ideas and build their company.

Founder Institute used its corporate social responsibility program to not only do good in the community, but also as a team-development activity! (Check out its work with Habitat for Humanity above.) Doing good along with your co-workers builds a strong, positive bond amongst the team members, thus improving interpersonal relationships.

3. Charity Cab

Charity Cab, a startup based in the Tri-Valley area just north of San Francisco, is working on the concept of the traditional cab model that supports the community.

This small taxi company offers services like airport transit, with a portion of proceeds going to a notable charity. So far, the company has donated over $24,000. Now that’s a lot of charity for such a small upstart.

4. Grindr

The Hollywood-based startup Grindr has increased its popularity ever since it earned the title of "the gay dating app." As a company, it speaks openly in favor of supporting LGBT issues. To make this startup even more lovable, it contributes a part of its proceeds toward fighting transphobia and homophobia in sports.

5. Mogl

Mogl, the company behind a restaurant rewards app of the same name, is focussed on giving back to the community. And it says each employee is highly mission-driven and wants to make an impact. Employees often attend fundraisers, go to team-volunteering opportunities and participate in beach cleanups.

6. OneHope Wine

Since its founding in 2007, OneHope Wine has grown considerably. Based in El Segundo, the startup has deeply ingrained philanthropy in its DNA. The company exploited the idea of drinking for charity considering the fact it’s something that most Americans will support enthusiastically.

Since its inception, the startup has donated over $2 million. Additionally, it has provided over 2,600 clinical trials to treat cancer patients, distributed 1.1 million meals to children, offered lifesaving vaccinations and lots more.

7. Thrive Market

In addition to offering environmentally-friendly and healthy products, this startup is all about supporting the community.

The company helps low-income families get healthier foods and partnered up with programs like Feeding America to offer free memberships for its healthy meal subscription service.

The startup also launched the Thrive Market Cares program in December to leverage social media shares into philanthropy. For every post shared to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #ThriveMarket, the company donated $5 in groceries to low-income families last month.

8. SnackNation

The Culver City, California-based startup SnackNation offers snack subscription services. The subscription was primarily intended as a B2B healthy snacking for offices. But the company recently started offering services to individuals as well.

The startup is doing its fair share of community work by donating 10 meals to a family for every box of snacks it ships. The meals are offered to families that are enrolled with the Feeding America program.

9. DogVacay

This Santa Monica, California-based startup is well aware of American’s love for dogs. The company help dog owners find sitters and has also taken a step forward to help pets in bad situations: In 2012, when Hurricane Sandy hit America, the company started DogVacay Disaster Relief Program to help dog owners stay prepared in the event of a disaster.

10. DDG (Disease Diagnostic Group)

This tech startup recently attracted funding from Chinese investors. Founded by John Lewandowski, a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, DDG invented a magneto-optical technology to diagnose diseases like malaria faster. The technology is available at a much lesser price than the currently available solutions.

11. Goodworld

This startup based in Washington, D.C. is exploiting the power of viral content that is circulated on social media to support philanthropy work.

At its core, Goodworld is all about making it easy to give money by utilizing the power of social media. The startup feels that the power of sharing and posting information on social sites is an untapped resource to change the way people give and how much of it they give.

12. Trifacta

This startup from San Francisco is another fine example of a tech company that is working to make the world a better place. Trifacta has partnered up with many nonprofits to help them standardize and organize their data, thus making their services easily affordable to most organizations.

13. Skyless Games Studios

This startup based in Philadelphia uses the power of gaming to empower and support various educational, social and philanthropy issues. The company is doing its bit toward promoting a healthier tomorrow by creating fun, engaging games that showcase a cause which people support.

Image credits: 1) Founder Institute; 2) Mogl

Gaurav is the CEO and co-founder of Involve which is a software as a service platform to help companies and its employees give back to their favorite causes by creating personalized giving and volunteering opportunities. He actively participates in the LA tech innovation ecosystem through panel discussions and mentoring. Gaurav started his career by starting a medical software business while still in high school and is an accomplished technology leader with 6 years of team and program leadership with PwC, Montgomery County & Cymer. When he’s not working with the tech community, Gaurav enjoys volunteering for local events with his team. You can follow Involve on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

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