May 19th 2015

The Bay Area Tech Boom: 3 companies to watch

There are countless articles about the tech boom in the Bay Area. From the rising cost of living to the inflated salaries for entry-level engineers, most of the focus is on the negative outcomes. Being a native San Franciscan it’s painful to watch people being forced out of their homes and struggling, even worrying myself what I would do without rent control.

That said, as a result of my work with the tech industry, I’ve had the chance learn about some of the exciting companies in the technology space and see the potential positive impact they can have on the community. No, the situation isn’t perfect but I want to use this blog to reflect on some of the exciting things technology brings to the beautiful city of San Francisco and beyond:

  • Standard Cyborg uses 3D printers to make prosthetic legs: I caught a segment on the local news about this company. Prosthetic limbs can be expensive but they are not useful in all scenarios. For example, they aren’t waterproof and as a result can make it dangerous for those that need it when they are getting in and out of the tub or shower. Standard Cyborg is able to build limbs at a lower cost that are waterproof and can make it in and out of those types of situations without any problems. The cost also is much lower compared to traditional prosthetics, keeping the barriers to entry low.
  • Setting kids up for success is important across the globe. Silicon Valley based start-up, Edmodo, is working to improve education by leveraging technology kids are already used to using. The platform is a K-12 social learning network that connects students, teachers and parents to supplement the learning kids are already doing in school. Social networks have a reputation for distracting kids from the things they should be doing, including homework. Technology like Edmodo takes the technology kids are comfortable with and turns it into something that promotes learning rather than distracting from it.
  • Most people are likely familiar with crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and Kickstarter. There is a platform designed specifically for helping those in need in your community. HandUp works the same way as the other platforms but is focused on charitable giving to those that have low income and are in need of some extra help. The company makes sure that the funds go to the person in need as well as towards what they are in need of. This can range from dental work to back rent so they won’t be evicted.

These are just a few of the companies making working towards a positive impact in the Bay Area and beyond. Are there any you are excited about that aren’t included here?


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