Kiuas Startups – Business with a big heart
There are more and more social problems in the world. How can startups and technology help solve them and bring people together?
Whether the purpose of a startup is to save the world, help the elderly or solve a social issue, it is a strong driver for the founder. Often the idea for the startup comes from real-life problems and experiences, and it makes the problem feel even more important for the team.
Gubbe.io is the best solution for finding a happy and trustworthy companion for your elderly loved one. The platform connects students to seniors who need help with housework, staying active, transportation, technology lessons and more. Gubbe helps elderly people to live a longer and happier life in their own homes.
Kidday is a mobile baby book on your smartphone. Kidday provides an easy and safe way to save and share a child’s life with one app. With Kidday you can share all those first steps, words and growth milestones with the loved ones. Kidday is your child’s childhood story.
GuardianX is the next generation personal safety app and community in your smartphone. GuardianX connects you, your friends & family and nearby GuardianX users all to one platform. It creates a powerful community through crowdsourcing. When you need help, GuardianX automatically shares your location and help request to your friends and family and nearby GuardianX users, thanks to the smart AI powered technology. Help is always nearby so that you can feel safe, anytime, anywhere.
Nowadays, not too many tech companies are focused on social problems, even though the world may have more of them than ever. With purpose-driven startups, social problems are often the ones they try to tackle. When making the change via a startup, the values of the company are in a centric position.
“If the company doesn’t have sustainable values that people can relate to, you have a problem,” Juho Nieminen, the founder of Kidday tells “And it seems that people care about the values and want to be part of something good.”
Besides the values, when a startup’s business effects on the individuals’ lives, the company needs to pay a lot of attention to privacy and ethics in everything they do. Just a basic privacy notice on the footer of the website is not enough.
“Ethics are the defining matter! When you’re dealing with people and their things, you have to take care of the privacy and transparency, and also how you communicate about them,” Juho explains.
Also when emotions are the best sales and marketing argument, you have to be able to identify the most ethical way to use them. “That’s why we don’t, for example, sell our service straight to the elderly, but to the close relatives,” Sandra Lounamaa, the founder of Gubbe, opens up their ethical values.
When talking with the startups, one word seems to highlight more than others: mission. Mission defines what an organization is, why it exists, and its reason for being. For purpose-driven startups, the mission is everything. However, a strong mission doesn’t mean it’s an ineffective business.
“Even though the mission is the most important thing, often people tend to think that you either do good business or have a strong mission,” Marc-Johann Kavantsaari, the founder and CEO of GuardianX explains the common misunderstanding “But you can as well combine those two.”
“As a social enterprise with high growth goals it is sometimes hard to balance what's best for the customers or employees and what is for making a profit,” Sandra adds.
For all three startups, the best and the most motivating thing is to see the change one service can make in people’s everyday life. “The problem we try to solve is a very concrete one that truly affects individuals' everyday life and life quality on many levels,” explains Marc-Johann.
People also want to take part in developing the product because the topic is so close to their lives and it feels important. Juho agrees: “We get a lot of feedback and ideas for product development from the users – it’s unbelievable!”
The goal is to find a solution to a big problem, do good, and help others. “We truly believe that there’s a need for our service. In the long run, it affects the society but most importantly, it makes a difference in individuals’ lives,” Sandra sums up.
So in the end, it’s all about doing something meaningful with a big heart. “We wanted to start a company but we also wanted to do good,” tells Marc-Johann.
Interested in hearing more? Welcome to Demo Day 2019!
August 16, 2019