These 16 companies want to make technology work for everyone

MIT Sloan School Press Release: “One company helps undocumented people create a digital identity. Another uses artificial intelligence to help students transition to college. Yet another provides free training to budding tech pros.

These organizations are just a few of the many that are using technology to solve problems and help people all over the world — and they are all finalists in the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy’s second annual Inclusive Innovation Challenge. During a time of great technological innovation, many people are not benefiting from this progress. The challenge is recognizing companies that are using technology to improve opportunities for working people…..

Here are the finalists:

Did you know that of the students who have been admitted to college each spring, 14 percent don’t actually attend come fall? Or that of those who do attend, 48 percent haven’t graduated six years later. Boston-based AdmitHub created a virtual assistant powered by artificial intelligence to help students navigate the financial, academic, and social situations that accompany going to college, and they do it all through text messaging, communicating with students on their terms and easing the transition to college.

African Renewable Energy Distributor Ltd.
This company has developed solar-powered, portable kiosks where people can charge their phones, access Wi-Fi, or access an intranet while offline. Using a micro franchise business model, the Rwanda-based company hopes to empower women and people with disabilities who can run the kiosks.

More than two billion people worldwide have no legal identity, something that is necessary for accessing public and financial services. Aid:Tech aims to end that, by providing a platform for undocumented people to create a digital ID using blockchain so that every transaction is secure and traceable. Aid:Tech is based out of Dublin, with offices in New York and London….(More)”