5 more global development startups you should know about

    A woman in Guatemala demonstrates the GoSun stove, a fuel-free cooking solution that utilizes solar power to cook. Photo by: GoSun Stove

    Startups in global development — whether nonprofits or social enterprises — are often deemed as game changers, given their out-of-the box solutions to pressing problems.

    Earlier this year, we featured six development startups you should know about. This got Devex readers talking and sharing insights. Below, we feature a few more.


    Founded: 2013
    Headquarters: Lewes, Delaware, United States

    AidBits offers nonprofits an online platform that is designed to simplify how they manage and analyze data relating to their beneficiaries, partners and members. Organizations that sign up on its site get a free version and pay a fee for a premium version when they require additional features. Its clients include French international nongovernmental organization Première Urgence — Aide Médicale Internationale and CARE West Bank and Gaza.

    GoSun Stove

    Founded: 2013
    Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

    GoSun Stove produces and sells fuel-free cookers that use partial sunlight as an energy source. With the support of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, it has successfully developed and piloted its technology in Guatemala, and it is currently looking for partners to turn it into a sustainable social enterprise. The startup has an ongoing Kickstarter campaign to help it finance the development of the GoSun Grill, which promises no burnt food and no dirty fuel, among other benefits.

    Fortify Rights

    Founded: 2013
    Headquarters: Bangkok, Thailand

    Fortify Rights is a nonprofit that works to strengthen the human rights movement. It provides a range of technical support to human rights defenders, including on-the-ground training in human rights documentation, legal research and strategic advocacy assistance. The group has garnered global coverage for its reporting on human trafficking and other abuses against Rohingya asylum seekers.

    Journalism for Change

    Founded: 2013
    Headquarters: London, United Kingdom

    Journalism for Change supports citizen journalists through its online platforms and mentoring programs. The training is “rigorous because no career in the media is sustainable without a craft,” and participants “rise to the challenge of our demanding standards because they know that there is an audience for quality story-telling and having an audience is uniquely powerful.” Journalism for Change is the brainchild of Maziar Bahari, the Iranian-Canadian journalist and filmmaker, whose memoirs formed the basis of award-winning American TV host Jon Stewart’s directorial film debut “Rosewater.”

    Rides for Lives

    Founded: 2014
    Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

    Rides for Lives builds and brings mobile hospitals to those in need of medical attention in rural Uganda. The locally sourced buses feature a pharmacy, a full-time general practitioner and a lab that can perform tests for HIV, malaria and cancer, as well as offer family planning services and preventive care. Founder and CEO Chris Ategeka is an Echoing Green fellow and has won awards from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and Chevron, among others.

    Do you know of any notable global development startups, namely companies or NGOs not more than 2 years old? We’d like to highlight them. So let us know by leaving a comment below or joining the conversation on LinkedIn.

    You can help shape our coverage on global development innovations. What do you think is an innovative idea? Let us know by leaving a comment below or by emailing news@devex.com.

    About the author

    • Ejv 150x150

      Ma. Eliza Villarino

      Eliza is a veteran journalist focused on covering the most pressing issues and latest innovations in global health, humanitarian aid, sustainability, and development. A member of Mensa, Eliza has earned a master's degree in public affairs and bachelor's degree in political science from the University of the Philippines.