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Our top 5 start-ups of the month: March 2018

Machine learning, meet the skincare industry. It’s about time you two got to know each other.

One has introduced machine learning to the skincare industry. Another is aiming to solve humanity’s problems via the Internet of Things. Another still is making everything from vases to buildings from a material we routinely throw away. These are the start-ups that caught our eye in March, and we think you need to know about them.

5. Studio Corkinho

It’s cork, but not as you know it. Antwerp-based design studio Studio Corkinho, established by Cedric Etienne and Klas Dalquist, specialises in crafting objects from 100% reclaimed cork waste. “We try to surprise people with what you can do with such an ancient and authentic product,” Dalquist recently told Amorim Cork Composites. Indeed, the pair use their material to handcraft bowls, placemats, vases and vide poches. And they believe cork’s potential can be widened to architectural constructions. “We’re also constantly discovering new ways to play with it,” Dalquist added. “There’s so much more to explore in terms of how to use cork – it feels as if we’ve just begun.”

4. Atolla Skin Lab

Machine learning, meet the skincare industry. It’s about time you two got together. The Atolla Skin Lab, a start-up based out of MIT, uses the former to develop customised skincare products – using a person’s skin data. Founded by Meghan Maupin, Sid Salvi and Nava Haghighi, Atolla also takes into account the seasons and the environment. It takes just 10 minutes for the lab to create personalised skincare samples, three-month supplies of which can be ordered on Atolla’s website. “We provide [people with] a skin profile which has all their skin health data and insights. So, like a Fitbit for your skin,” Maupin told The Buzz in February. “We’re trying to reach communities not served by the mass beauty market.”

3. Maetel

It measures the pressure of your neck and head. Then its air pocket – and height – automatically adjusts for optimum night-time comfort. Introducing Maetel’s PillowSoFit, a smart pillow that also provides data to improve sleep quality. Unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2018, the PillowSoFit – which comes with a sleep-monitoring app, and whose price and release date have yet to be confirmed – was developed by a six-strong team of Korean entrepreneurs. Their wider aim is to develop Internet of Things products that, by combining wireless communication with advanced materials, will “solve the problems of humanity”.

2. The Assemblage

“The world”, says The Assemblage, “is at the verge of a collective conscious evolution, transitioning from a society defined by individualism and separation into one of interconnectedness.” And it’s true – many of us are already co-working and co-living. Even co-exercising. The next level, according to this crowdfunded New York-based enterprise – which opened a series of spaces in November 2017 – could be co-, well, pretty much everything. It provides members with room to work, live and socialise – though at a higher state of consciousness. Think meditation sessions between meetings, digestion-boosting infusions over alcohol, and classes on honing your psychic powers.

1. DoubleMe

Another start-up we noticed at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, DoubleMe, its founder told us, uses mixed reality and holographic tech to bring to life the kind of ‘teleconferencing’ seen in films like Star Wars. The California-based start-up is able to create fully animated 3D models from regular 2D videos of people – in real time. With three global studios, DoubleMe’s HoloPortal has already been used by fashion designers to broadcast their work in 3D to different locations.

Stylus members can keep track of the most innovative new businesses, as identified by our in-house experts every month, with the Stylus Start-Up Index.