The Index Project,
Fun(d) News - 07/20
Future fabrics, new marketplaces and Canada to the rescue

Ananas Anam’s sustainable pineapple leather Piñatex has been featured in Vogue as one of the best eco-friendly fabrics of the future. The Founder and Director of The Sustainable Angle, the non-profit behind #FutureFabricsExpo, Nina Marenzi praises it for being “a durable material that doesn’t use the petro-chemicals commonly used for ‘faux leather.” Piñatex is featured alongside algae-based fabric, crystals made from sweat, rose petal silk and soy cashmere.

Zipline and Ignitia have been selected for a CLUED-iN feature. CLUED-iN, on InclusiveBusiness.net, is a platform providing knowledge and insights for those working to deliver sustainable business models to benefit the world’s poorest. These portfolio companies were featured due to their ingenuity and ability to save lives and improve incomes for people living in several African nations. Furthermore, Zipline continues to do their part during the COVID-19 crisis in North Carolina and now hopes to expand deliveries to other clinics and patients’ residences.

Wefarm’s VP of Africa Martha Haile was interviewed for the London Evening Standard on the company’s current operations. Since farmers have been considered key workers during the pandemic, Wefarm’s SMS-based services have enabled them during COVID-19: “There’s been an increase in the number of questions on the platform but, there’s a realisation that agriculture and farming need to be maintained,” Haile says in the article. Wefarm also recently launched a marketplace where members buy farming necessities, something that's been in high demand since COVID-19 has limited mobility to purchase agricultural inputs.

Iris.ai participated in 5-HT’s startup boot camp X-Linker and was awarded second place among ten other startups in the field of digital chemistry and health. Over a year ago, Iris.ai began specialising their technology to cater to the field of chemistry research. Currently, they’re collaborating with clients at the proof of concept stage, and the goal is very clear: “The AI researcher will not replace the human researcher, but it will become an essential tool for the researching team,” shares CEO & Founder Anita Schjøll Brede. The second place comes with admission to Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal in December. 

What3words keeps expanding its services globally. In July, seven Canadian 911 call centres and emergency services, spanning from Manitoba and Ontario to Nova Scotia and British Columbia, joined the what3words clientele. More than once a week, over 30% of Canadians head into rural areas with no address and over half of Canadians wrongly believe emergency services can automatically detect a caller’s precise location. This is where w3w words can be both a life-saver and game-changer for bettering rescue services in Canada.