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”Your sneak preview of the future” is the slogan of Innovation Origins, and that’s just what we will highlight with our Start-up of the Week column. Over the past few days, five start-ups of the day have been featured and on Saturdays, we always choose the week’s winner.

Innovation Origins presents a Start-up of the Day each weekday.

We shall consider various issues such as sustainability, developmental phase, practical application, simplicity, originality, and to what extent they are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of UNESCO. They will all pass by here and at the end of the week, the Start-Up of the Week will be announced.

LessonUp – Excellent education at any location

Not only has work recently been relegated to living rooms, but schools have closed down as well. And this meant a weirdly long – and ultimately unwelcome – holiday for many children and their parents. Whereas secondary schools more or less kept up with distance learning, this is a little more difficult to manage for primary schools. After all, young children are a whole different story compared to teenagers. Especially when it comes to holding their attention in class.

SO, LessonUp is a Dutch start-up that specializes in distance learning? About what exactly? Basically anything you can think of. Lesson Up is more popular than ever due to the corona crisis. 2020 could well be the year that digital teaching becomes the new standard. Where do they find all those fascinating lessons? From the 100,000 teachers that are registered with the platform. Any teacher can upload their own lessons on this platform. This allows them to keep their own students remotely up to date with their lessons, but also use those of other teachers. Think of it as a kind of YouTube for school teachers from all over the world. Ideal whenever school premises are closed.

Hopefully there will also be Dutch lessons in their curriculum. This might come in handy for whoever made the featured illustration shown above …

Springlab – Learning on the move!

Children don’t like to sit still. Just about every parent can attest to that. It’s actually quite strange that we send them to a place where they have to spend hours in a classroom quietly paying attention. Lack of physical exercise among young people is a worldwide concern too. Great, all those screens … but they’re not kicking a football around on a playground. But what if you could combine this all with each other? Exercising while learning!

This is also the approach taken by Springlab. A Dutch start-up that has designed a special projector that can transform any floor into an interactive and physically active adventure for kids and is educational as well. Research also shows that active children learn new skills faster. What’s the most wonderful thing? That they don’t even notice that they’re learning all sorts of new things through their floor games.

2DaysMood – The smart mood indicator for the office

An office garden got cut back to a plant, your personal desk changed into a flex space and the coffee machine was replaced by a cheaper one which makes worse coffee. Although these types of measures save money in the short term, they do affect the mindset on the work floor. And that could turn out to be an expensive move. Dissatisfied employees report in sick more often, are less productive, and look more often at job vacancies elsewhere. When you offset one against the other, cheap may even turn out to be costly.

Job satisfaction. This is a rather abstract concept that is difficult to measure. Besides, a lot of employees won’t be quick to criticize their workplace, as this might ruin the atmosphere even more. 2DaysMOOD was set up especially for employers who value the credo ‘to measure is to know’. It’s a simple piece of software whereby employees can anonymously indicate within 15 seconds whether they are happy with their duties and workplace conditions. The founder devised his own measurement method where actual emotions are key. Consequently, expensive consultants waving their questionnaires no longer need to be hired every few years. And because surveys are carried out much more often, the data is also much more practical. As much can change within just a few years where the atmosphere at work is concerned. – Personal development plans – done in a fun way

The traditional personal development plan (PDP) is widely loathed by students and employees alike. Everyone knows that the development of professional skills is paramount when climbing the career ladder. Except that usually, the old-fashioned POPs are a bit of a necessary evil that no one actually looks forward to doing.

This should be done differently is what they thought at the start-up They want to use their platform to make the appraisal processes and performance reviews far more digital and concrete. You can immediately see on the dashboard which skills someone has and which skills still need to be worked on in order to perform the job even better. Or to qualify for a promotion. Employers immediately see what their team has to offer. And employees have a personal profile where they can see, by using a handy tool, where they can improve themselves over the coming period.

AnyDesk – Working from home without any prying eyes

As the coronavirus began to spread, millions of employees who normally work behind a desk at an office were suddenly forced to work from home. And it seems that this has effectively deemed working from home as mainstream. Not only does it prevent coronavirus infections, but in theory, it could also solve the phenomenon of rush hour traffic.

Nevertheless, working from home also has some drawbacks. One of these has to do with security. How can you establish safe business environments on a device that’s located somewhere else? This is easier said than done. Plus, this could make someone working from home easy prey for fans of sensitive in-house corporate information. AnyDesk was created especially for this purpose. This German start-up developed a digital office environment that transforms every laptop into a work computer in the blink of an eye.

Working from home would have all kinds of advantages if it were to be done en masse. It’s more sustainable. Fewer malicious viruses are spread too. And it’s more of a viable option than ever thanks to the availability of high-speed broadband connections. What’s more, all those old excuses that stymied the case for working from home have now been referred to the history books. Speaking of making the history books, our IO weekly trophy is for you AnyDesk!