A lot of companies start their social projects and charitable work after years, when the respect and the main capital are already earned. But nowadays there are courageous organizatinons who aim to make the world a better place just from the beginning, – check out our list of 10 social driven startups and get familiar with them.


Art Lifting

There are a lot of “Cinderella” stories in history, when a poor person becomes famous and successful. The charitable startup Art Lifting creates such a stories by their work. The organization empowers artists living with homelessness or disabilities through the sale of their artwork. The story began in 2013, when 18 years old Liz Powers won a grant from Harvard to create art groups in homeless shelters. She was inspired and surprised with a hidden talents she saw. Now Lifting offers their artists the chance to secure their own income through the sale of original paintings, prints, and products they created. By showcasing and selling artwork via the  website, artists have a chance to gain respect, self-confidence and to fulfill their potential. By now, 115 homeless and disabled artists joined the network, and some of them are on their way to become famous.



Sometimes a grief gives a rise to something good. That’s how the story of MedAware began: in 2012 Gidi Stein’s child passed away in the age of 9 due to a medical prescription error. Sad but true, this case is not uncommon. Prescription errors cause the premature injury and death of more than 200,000 patients every year in the United States alone. In order to minimize such a cases,  Medaware was launched by an expert team with background in business, information technology and clinical practice. Their goal is to ensure that a deaths due to medical prescription errors will never happen again. By identifying and preventing prescription errors in real-time, MedAware’s solution saves lives, improves patient safety and significantly reduces healthcare costs resulting from prescription errors and adverse drug events.

Alkeus Pharmaceuticals

Here is one more healthcare startup that makes a difference. A biotechnology company Alkeus Pharmaceuticals develops novel treatments to struggle with blindness. Its most advanced therapeutic program is based on new compounds that target dry age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt’s disease, the two leading causes of blindness in patients over 50 and in teenagers. Stargardt, the genetic disorder, for which there are no approved drugs, afflicts 1 in 10,000 children. Alkeus has found what could be an  weapon against the disease and other causes of blindness. Also, in 2011 Alkeus won the prize of $100, 000 from MassChallenge Diamond.

Hand Up

Homeless people are often called “invisible people” – every day we pass them on the streets and do not even notice. Some of us do not care, but someone just do not know how to help. To make it easier to throw a lifeline to poor people, Rose Broome created a platform HandUp where everyone can help individuals in need. Now the platform expanded for a bigger mission: it helps not only to individuals, but to nonprofit human services to raise money online.  Any organization can fundraise for special programs, client needs, and program or operational expenses. By now, HandUp managed to help over 2,000 people and solicited over $1.3M in donations.


One Degree

A lot of immigrants arriving to the States face the problem that it is nowhere to go and they do not know what to start with in their integration journey to a new society. Ray Faustino from the Philippines experienced first-hand all the hardships of immigration. This experience inspired him to launch One Degree, a website in San Francisco for people to navigate thousands of social service organizations that specialize in everything from health care and job training to education and housing. By now, more than 11,000 resources in San Francisco Bay area are mentioned, in order to help migrants and refugees to settle in and to integrate into a new society.


It is a hard time for inmates to be isolated from their loved ones for years. Even with phone services, they are forced to pay up to $70 for 300 minutes of call time. But there is a stuptap, thar lowers this price to $20. Since 2011, Pigeonly helps prisoners to keep in touch with their families: they created the world’s most comprehensive inmate population database, called Haystac, that allows you to quickly find an inmate in county, state, and federal correctional systems. Pigeonly have also developed products to efficiently connect inmates with their families through low-cost services,  phone and mail that anyone can afford. Now, 2 million minutes of phone calls are available per month, and 250,000 pictures are sent.


GiveDirectly project minimizes the gap between a donator and donatee. The idea sound like “it’s raining money”: people living in poverty in Africa are provided with a mobile phone linked to a bank account, where the donations come. Through Give Directly governments, foundations, and individual donors to provide direct cash transfers to the extreme poor. It is one of the fastest-growing international development non-profits. The company has received  a Google Global Impact Award as well as a top rating from GiveWell. Currently, GiveDirectly fundraises for a  program to test the efficacy of providing a universal basic income. It will by launched by the end of 2017.

Khan Academy

A social entrepreneur graduated from MIT, Sal Khan decided to present education to everyone who wants and who needs it. Khan Academy offers exercises,  videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. Different courses are available including the most modern ones:science, computer programming, art history, economics, data science and more. The mission is to guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. Khan Academy also partners with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT in order to provide students with unique content.

Cause Vox

Have you ever supported any project through croudfunding? Cause Vox took the basic idea of that platform and applied it to the charitable purposes for nonprofits and individuals. Cause Vox allows its users to build their campaigns with easy-to-use design tools with all the customizations they need. On the other hand, it is convinient for donators: they can support a campaign right from the app. In their first campaign, Cause Vox helped a nonprofit raise over $75,000 in 40 days, and now the amount of nonprofits and the amount of money went to charity is increasing rapidly.

Startups Give Back

We were talking about charitable and helping startups, and here is a project that attracts for-profit startups in order to involve them into volunteerism. Startups Give Back offers the opportunity to to get away from the desk and make a meaningful difference. During the event, event where startups get out of their offices and work together to help nonprofits in their communities. Their mission is mission is simple: to make philanthropy a top priority for startups around the world. Furthermore, it is a new way to network. Instead of standing around with a beverage in hand having empty conversations, like traditional networking events, you meet people in the startup and business communities while actively helping someone in the world.


As you can see, these guys are displaying the future of charity: you can help others right from the first day of founding your startup.

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