Queen of Raw Among the First to Get Funding From MIT Solve

Queen of Raw, a blockchain and AI-powered platform that pairs buyers and sellers of unused fabrics, is one of three teams that has landed funding via MIT Solve, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology initiative.

Led by cofounder and chief executive officer Stephanie Benedetto, Queen of Raw is the “2019 Circular Economy Solver.” Access Afya, a Kenya-based health-care center that caters to the urban poor, and Kinedu, an app that specializes in video-based, research-supported activities for children under age four, are also receiving funding.

With $120 billion worth of unused fabric stowed away in factories and being burned or buried, Queen of Raw works to make those sustainable materials available to people at any time and from any place. Deadstock and sustainable fabrics can be bought and sold online through its marketplace. Factories, brands and retailers post their unused fabric for resale on the platform so that purchasers can have easy access to new materials at lower price points.

rders can vary from one yard to one million yards. The company claims to have saved more than one billion gallons of water through its efforts. With the global textile market expected to hit $1.23 trillion by 2025, less than 1 percent of material used to make clothing is recycled. Queen of Raw also closed $1.5 million in seed funding Tuesday, an MIT Solve spokesman said.

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Vanessa Liu of SAP.iO Shares Global Wisdom

Vanessa Liu is a builder. She is a builder of businesses, concepts, networks and connections.

Vanessa presently leads SAP.iO Foundries in North America, which are SAP’s accelerators for B2B enterprise startups. She has earned degrees in neuroscience and law.

Early in her career, Vanessa worked in the business consulting world with McKinsey Company, which took her around the world to posts in Amsterdam, London and New York, were she presently resides. Along her dynamic career path, Vanessa developed a keen interest in media, and she has launched and invested in a number of successful media ventures, including Inside Hook and Fevo.

Vanessa is a champion for social justice and a tireless advocate for under-represented business start-ups, especially those led by women or diverse founders. With Vanessa’s diverse and fascinating background, it is no wonder she is one of the wisest people I know.

Settle in. Over the next nine minutes, you’ll discover what unique bit of wisdom Vanessa has chosen to share.

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HOW TO BRING A PRODUCT OR SERVICE TO MARKET IN CORONAVIRUS WORLD – VANESSA LIU INTERVIEW

Learn how to bring a new product or service to market in the age of Coronavirus with our guest today, Vanessa Liu. Vanessa graduated from both Harvard University and Harvard Law before going on to help launch multiple media and telecom startups as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. She then went on two four two more startups herself before taking on her current role running SAP.io’s Foundries program (www.SAP.io/Foundries), a no-equity accelerator for startups with a current or planned integration with SAP, 40% or more of which have female or under-represented founders.

In this episode, we cover how still-growing organizations should pivot their product, service, and/or messaging to focus on potential clients’ pain-points, and not on simply how great their product is.

Is Fashion Really Getting More Sustainable?

It’s now boast-worthy to participate in sharing-economy.

Solutions must be more than just green, which is why Stephanie Benedetto talks up financial and inventory-management benefits as she makes the case for Queen of Raw, a technology platform she cofounded in 2018 to connect people and brands with leftover fabrics—an estimated 15 percent of every production run. Queen of Raw caters to home sewers as well as big fashion companies, and Benedetto estimates that dead-stock textiles could become a $120 billion business. “It’s insane, the volume that is out there,” says Benedetto, who has listed fabrics up to a million yards long, or as short as a few yards, for a base of over 130,000 clients. “Never doubt you can change the world,” she says. “We will.”

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Building Employee Resilience During A Pandemic

Scientific data is proving to be the bedrock of workforce resiliency in a world reeling from COVID-19. Commonly misperceived as an inborn trait, resilience is actually a tangible skill that Massachusetts-based meQuilibrium is building in employees at Fortune 1000 companies worldwide.

“Every leader is talking about adaptive capacity, resilience, and agility,” said Jan Bruce, co-founder and CEO of meQuilibrium. “We are democratizing executive coaching, helping people manage the stress and burnout associated with constant transformation and rapid change.”

Managing stress with resilience

As the pandemic spreads with head-spinning speed, meQuilibrium’s interactive cloud-based platform appears ideally matched to what’s become a rightfully panicked workforce. Tracking steadily rising stress levels of employees on the meQuilibrium platform, the company sped up product updates to deliver refreshed daily tips and tool kits for managing anxiety, uncertainty, and isolation.

The startup’s worldwide customers cut across industries like pharmaceuticals, finance, telecommunications, packaged goods, and automotive. Many organizations have reported measurable benefits to date. One company reduced high anxiety by 36 percent, high stress by 27 percent, and depression by 24 percent in its large employee population.

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Why Cartier Is Excited About These 3 Brilliant Female Startups

Taking an idea and turning it into a full-fledged company is no easy feat, to say the least. Nobody can do it on their own, so access to support (or lack thereof) can make or break a business. That’s why Cartier has set out to assist female entrepreneurs in their quest to make positive impacts on the world via the Cartier Women’s Initiative, which will be awarding over $1 million in funding this year. Cartier just announced the 21 finalists for 2020, and they all have brilliant ideas to share.

Among the 21 finalists are three exceptional women from North America. First up is Stephanie Benedetto of New York City, who “buys and sells unused textiles, via the Queen of Raw marketplace, keeping them out of landfills and making the world a less wasteful place,” per a statement. The fashion industry could certainly use more help in becoming more sustainable, and Benedetto could easily become a driving force.

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Startup Brings Personalized Coaching To Every Employee

Professional coaching is no longer an exclusive perk for select employees courtesy of Bravely, a cloud-based platform that delivers workplace guidance on-demand to more workers. The New York-based startup provides coaching to employees in numerous industries, including professional and financial services, hospitality, retail, and high technology.

Everyone should have a trusted, skilled coach to help them navigate important make or break moments at work,” said Toby Hervey, co-founder and CEO at Bravely. “Supporting an employee at moments that matter fundamentally transforms their long-time success and viability, as well as company culture.”

Business benefits from coaching for all

Sarah Sheehan, co-founder and president at Bravely, said the coaching platform reflected people-first workplace trends.

“Forward-thinking leaders know employees need hard skills and relationship-building expertise to achieve goals together,” she said. “Using technology, companies can cost-effectively give more employees access to coaching. This reduces employee stress and prevents burnout for improved mental health leading to higher productivity. “

Not surprisingly, Bravely helps companies address business commitments to inclusion and diversity. This is something that the co-founders live every day; Hervey is a gay man, and Sheehan is a new mother.

“We see strong usage of our coaching among groups such as women, LGBTQ workers, and people of color who are underrepresented the higher up you go in many organizations,” said Hervey. “We want to be a force for behavioral change across the board, and equitably support people at every level.”

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AI Is Top Game-Changing Technology In Healthcare Industry

Of the many ingredients that go into quality healthcare, comprehensive patient data is close to the top of the list. No one knows this more than Mayur Saxena, CEO and founder of Droice Labs. Saxena created his startup while he was pursuing his doctorate degree at Columbia University, and working at healthcare company conducting clinical trials on new medication. He’s energized by the plethora of opportunities to improve healthcare using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

“Patient data is notoriously disorganized and complex,” he said. “With machine learning, healthcare professionals can organize that information to better understand the disease of every patient and reach them faster with interventions that improve their lives. It’s an amazing feeling when you talk with someone who’s recovered from an illness because they received the right care.”

The idea behind Droice is to make messy data neat, so people can spend less time organizing it and more time analyzing it.

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Queen of Raw Named to Sustaining Voices 2020 with big brands

The sustainability conversation around textile waste often centers on heaps of consumers’ discarded clothing. But within the supply chain, there are billions of dollars’ worth of unused fabrics, sitting in mills, warehouses and factories, which are typically destined for landfills or incinerators.

New York-based startup Queen of Raw is saving these textiles for new uses through a marketplace that allows sellers and buyers to more easily move materials ranging from Italian wool and leather to cottons and performance fabrics. The increasingly global marketplace allows shoppers to search for materials nearby to their production facilities when possible, cutting back on the environmental impact of shipping textiles with geolocated matchmaking.

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Can AI Cure What Ails the Healthcare Industry?

Personal healthcare experiences often spark pioneering cures, and Hindsait CEO Pinaki Dasgupta is no exception. After two immediate family members weathered serious health issues, Dasgupta brought his digital expertise in manufacturing to the healthcare industry.

His cloud-based startup is designed to help insurance companies and healthcare organizations reduce costs while boosting patient health by replacing manual reporting, preauthorization, and audits with automation based on artificial intelligence (AI).

Healthcare spending in the U.S. alone has totaled almost 18 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), an astounding amount. While the causes are complex, Dasgupta points to unnecessary procedures, inefficiencies, errors, abuse, and fraud as among the top culprits. AI was just emerging when he founded Hindsait in 2013 amid a swirl of market-wide healthcare reform model

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Daivergent for Autism Recruiting Now Available to SAP Fieldglass Customers

Today’s data-driven companies need talent with twenty-first century skills such as computer programming, quality assurance, data validation and graphic design – skills uniquely suited for individuals on the autism spectrum. To help companies find that specialized talent, SAP Fieldglass and Daivergent today announced the Daivergent for Autism Recruiting solution is now available to SAP Fieldglass customers on the SAP App Center, the digital marketplace for SAP partner offerings. The partnership enables companies using SAP Fieldglass solutions to hire and manage neurodiverse talent who have been sourced and trained by Daivergent.

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meQuilibrium Honored by Deloitte, SAP.iO, Mass Tech Leadership Council and Timmy Awards

meQuilibrium, a leading engagement, performance and human capital solution based in Boston, has been honored for its innovations in the tech community by Deloitte Fast 500, SAP.iO, Mass Tech Leadership Awards, and the Timmy Awards.

Deloitte Fast 500
Deloitte’s “2019 North America Technology Fast 500,” an annual ranking of the fastest-growing North American companies in technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech sectors selected meQuilibrium as one of the fastest growing companies of 2019.

“This year marks the 25th anniversary of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, so we are especially pleased to announce and congratulate the 2019 winners,” said Sandra Shirai, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and U.S. technology, media and telecommunications leader. “Once again, we saw innovation across the board, with software companies continuing their dominance of the top ten. It’s always inspiring to see how the Fast 500 companies are transforming business and the world we live and work in.”

SAP.iO
SAP SE selected meQuilibrium to participate in its Fall 2019 accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry New York. SAP.iO is SAP’s strategic business unit focused on cultivating a global network of startups to expand and enhance the SAP ecosystem and customer solutions. During the three-month in-residence program, SAP.iO is providing meQuilibrium with access to world-class executives and mentorship, exposure to SAP technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers. meQuilibrium is one of seven startups chosen for the Fall 2019 program. The meQuilibrium application will be available in the SAP App Center this fall.

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Four Finalists Named to the 2019 Autumn HITLAB Women’s Health Tech Challenge.

Finalists present their FemTech Women’s Health Innovations on Pitch Day, Thursday, Dec. 5, in NYC. Mitigating discomfort and improving diagnostic accuracy and outcomes are the overarching goals of the four projects selected to compete in the 2019 Autumn HITLAB Women’s Health Tech Challenge. The finalists’ winning innovations were designed to treat different conditions in the women’s health spectrum: fertility, long-term breastfeeding, pelvic organ prolapse, and endometriosis.

Each team is now in the running for the $10,000 first-place prize, to be awarded at Pitch Day on Thursday, Dec. 5, at the SAP.iO Foundry in New York’s Hudson Yards. All four teams will compete for other awards (described below) from McKinsey & Company, Horizon Government Affairs, and the HITLAB Breakthrough Alliance, as well as incredible exposure and networking opportunities with HITLAB and high-profile sponsors.   All are welcome, tickets available at www.hitlab.org/world-cup.

Following are the four finalists and the health issues they aim to address based on their applications:

Kegg , San Francisco, CA

  • The Problem: In the U.S. alone, infertility affects 1 in 10 women—6.1 million—and the number is rising. Moreover, usage of hormonal contraception is on the decline by 11% year after year due to 70% of women reportedly suffering from side effects. Many current fertility monitors focus on side effects that may or may not correlate with what is happening inside a woman’s body.
  • The Solution: The inaugural product from a women-centric company, Kegg is a fertility kegel device that collects and analyzes previously difficult-to-attain data from a woman’s cervical fluid to better diagnose and monitor fertility cycles. The device may quadruple the chances of natural conception and replace the pill for pregnancy planning.

LuulaTech’s LuulaPump, Brooklyn, NY

  • The Problem: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that babies are fed breast-milk until two years of age. Most mothers try it, but by 6 months, 75% feed formula to babies. Existing breast pumps are in part to blame. Most lactating mothers consider them essential, but also conspicuous, uncomfortable, unintuitive, painful, isolating and degrading.
  • The Solution: LuulaPump by LuulaTech is a revolutionary science-based wearable pump: spill proof, dishwashable, and intuitively used with one hand, allowing gentle and discreet pumping in public and in any position. Instead of repackaging existing technology, LuulaTech stepped back and redesigned the pump based on breastfeeding science and with an emphasis on a mother’s experience.

Reia Health, Hanover, NH

  • The Problem: Prolapse, a condition affecting 50% of women over the age of 50 to some degree, is characterized by weakened pelvic floor muscles that allow the uterus to descend and, in extreme cases, protrude outside the body. Current non-surgical treatment options are painful or impossible for women to use without the assistance of a practitioner, limiting women’s independence and requiring regular time-intensive and costly doctor appointments.
  • The Solution: Reia is developing a novel collapsible pessary that is designed for comfort and enables women to self-manage their prolapse. Alongside this pessary, Reia plans to launch a digital platform to further enhance personalized care.

Oratel Diagnostics’ Endo-Tek , Hammondsport, NY

  • The Problem: Endometriosis, a fertility problem affecting 10% of all women, costs the U.S. health system more than $15 billion and continues to be under treated and misdiagnosed in adolescent girls because the current diagnosis is an invasive and costly laparoscopy. Adolescents with endometriosis have an earlier age at menarche, and longer diagnostic delay, resulting in poorer quality of life.
  • The Solution: Oratel’s ENDO-Tek is the only saliva-based, easy-to-use, low-cost diagnostic for endometriosis that gives instant results at the time of testing and through a proprietary phone-based app, links the patient to a specialist who counsels on next steps. The technology has demonstrated over 84% sensitivity and up to 92% specificity in three studies.

“We were thrilled with the high-quality submissions we received for the 2019 Autumn Women’s Health Tech Challenge,” said Savira Dargar, Challenge Director. “Judging was intense but in the final analysis, these four disruptors showed the strongest promise of empowering women to improve their health outcomes in cost-effective ways.” Applications were evaluated on impact, innovation, sustainability, feasibility, team and quality of work.

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