Meredith Perry. Company: uBeam
Hannah Chung. Company Sproutel,
"Jerry looks like a Care Bear who has had his “tummy symbol” upgraded to a sleek, interactive screen. But before you dismiss him as just another high-tech distraction, note his most important feature: Jerry has type 1 diabetes, which makes him uniquely qualified to educate, entertain and comfort young patients.
Jerry was created by Hannah Chung, who teamed with fellow Northwestern alum Aaron Horowitz to found Sproutel, a startup devoted to inventing toys for kids with chronic illnesses. Diabetes proved a particular challenge: Children are often diagnosed between the ages of three and seven, when it’s difficult to master complex, critical concepts like carb counting. “We saw that these kids had plush animals and dolls,” Chung says, “and they were pricking their fingers, giving them insulin,” without any real idea of what they were actually doing."
Jessica O. Matthews. Company Uncharted Play
The easiest way to get someone to change,” says Jessica O. Matthews, co-founder and CEO of socially conscious sports gear startup Uncharted Play, “is to make it seem like they’re not changing at all.” For proof, look no further than her company’s offerings, which include the Soccket, a soccer ball that converts kicks into electric energy that powers a small LED lamp that is inserted into the ball.
Jessica Scorpio. Company: Getaround
Samantha John. Company Hopscotch
When Samantha John started building websites as a senior at Columbia University, she quickly realized that, like any language, computer programming was best learned at a young age. But how do you entice kids to code? Her app, Hopscotch, which she debuted last spring with partner Jocelyn Leavitt, turns programming into an intuitive building-block system, in which chunks of pre-written code can be combined to animate characters and have them react to stimuli in their virtual world. Think of it as Lego for the video game set.
Author Erin Brady, Nicholas DeRenzo and Chris Wright Illustration Graham Smith, for Hemishphere's Magazine.