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Our top 5 start-ups of the month: October 2017

They’ll change the way you buy a house, get a job and… unwrap sandwiches. These are the start-ups that caught our eyes in October.

They’ll help you get a new job, buy a new house and keep you looking your best. And while they won’t help you procreate, one will at least help keep your baby healthy while you’re out and about in the city.

These are the start-ups that caught our eyes in October…

5. Kahoots

Millennials can’t really afford to buy houses by themselves anymore, so many club together to get onto the property ladder. But this comes with serious complications because people earn (and will have saved) different amounts. So how to avoid a mammoth spreadsheet and expensive legal advice?

Well, London-based start-up Kahoots may have come up with the answer. Its founders, Henry Oakes and Byron McCaughey, have turned to artificial intelligence to create a data-gathering tool that offers suggestions – like how much to contribute – to people buying a house together. It’s due to begin a testing phase later this year.

4. Workey

Israeli career development start-up Workey has created what’s effectively Tinder for the recruitment world. Its iOS app, which has launched in Israel and the US, uses a chatbot to ask users a number of questions related to their current role and the kinds of new positions they would consider.  

It uses machine learning to serve up available opportunities, which the user can swipe through. If they signal an interest in one, a recruiter is granted access to their anonymous profile. If the recruiter is subsequently interested in the user, a line of communication is established ahead of an interview being set up.

3. Evoware

Brands have been thinking about edible packaging ever since Willy Wonka ate his flower-shaped teacup in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Things have come on a bit since then, and the latest development – from Indonesian start-up Evoware – could be a game changer. Especially for the environment.

The company uses seaweed to produce edible (and – thanks to it being in high in fibre and vitamins and minerals – nutritious) wraps for waffles, burgers and sandwiches. David Christian, Evoware’s co-founder, wants the packaging to become mainstream in Indonesia, which, with the exception of China, dumps more plastic into the ocean than any other country.

2. Brizi

According to researchers at King’s College London, 9,500 people die in the UK capital every year because of long-term exposure to air pollution. This stat is particularly alarming for families with young children, especially because pollution is worse at pavement (and therefore buggy) level.

Fortunately, London-based start-up Brizi has come up with a pram pillow that protects babies from air pollution. At first glance Brizi Baby (which will launch in August 2018 if it reaches its Kickstarter target) appears to be a little more than a buggy-friendly head cushion. On closer inspection, however, it reveals a sensor, which monitors pollution levels, and a (sensor-activated) fan, which filters harmful gases from the baby’s breathing area.

1. Cannuka

Family-owned skincare brand Cannuka launched its new health and beauty range in October, and its name provided a big hint as to its two key ingredients.

Featuring cannabis and Manuka honey, Cannuka – founded by Ohio-based couple Michael and Kelly Bumgarner – focuses on the ingredients’ healing properties. Like, for example, hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound. This anti-inflammatory is combined with honey from New Zealand’s Manuka bush, which improves people’s complexions owing to its ability to hydrate skin by holding in moisture. 

Its range includes a skin balm, an eye balm and a body cream.