Top Social Enterprises to Watch in 2017
Chicago is a hub for many early-stage companies aimed at creating for-profit business solutions to social causes. At the IDP Foundation, we are proud investors in the Impact Engine Fund, which features some great innovative entrepreneurs. Here are a few spotlight companies that are doing some amazing work.
CIQ Labs/ClassroomIQ: Teachers spend up to 400 hours a year grading student assignments. ClassroomIQ cuts that time in half.
ClassroomIQ’s unique hybrid solution enables teachers, schools, and districts to continue to ‘use what works’ – their existing paper-based assignments – while providing a frictionless way to grade those assignments online in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the cost.
Fletch: An App Aimed at Improving College Retention
Fletch is a college retention solution in the form of native iPhone and Android applications with web support. Fletch provides for social inclusion and academic support by empowering students to invite any classmate to a study group with just three taps on the phone, or get a quick answer at 2 am when they are cramming for a midterm.
Regroup Therapy: Provides on-demand, virtual mental health teams to health entities.
Regroup Therapy’s mission is to ensure that anyone in need of mental healthcare can access a clinically appropriate, high-quality behavioral health provider, regardless of where they live.
Skill Scout: HR services company that brings jobs and candidates to life. Skill Scout turns the transactional nature of online job boards into a transparent, human-centered experience through video jobs postings, social recruiting and hands-on interviews.
Additionally, thanks to the remarkable work of social entrepreneurs in Chicago, if you haven’t already heard of Benefit Chicago it is well worth a look. Benefit Chicago is a new collaboration that aims to mobilize $100 million for impact investments for nonprofits and social enterprises working throughout the Chicago region. This new investment capital for Chicago will provide loans and other investments specifically designed for nonprofits, businesses with a social purpose and intermediaries focused on community development, entrepreneurship and job creation, and responsible financial services for low-income consumers. Benefit Chicago is designed to allow everyone to participate – individuals, businesses, and institutions.