Even the simplest transport on two wheels can be at the forefront of technology. This week French firm Pragma Industries became the first company to launch factory production of hydrogen fuel cell-powered bikes for corporate or municipal fleets. The bike’s two-liter hydrogen tank can power it for 100 kilometers, and only takes minutes to re-fill. At €7,500 a bike, it's still a tad expensive for consumer use, but the company is hoping to eventually cut the price to €5,000.
As the world’s largest restaurant chain, McDonalds needs more packaging than almost any other food provider on the planet. And all those burger wrappers can mean lots of waste. That’s why the fast food giant this month announced it plans to make all of its food packaging 100% out of “certified or recycled sources” by 2020. McDonalds has already managed to do just that in Europe, and the US is next on the transition list. With so many billions served, it’s a welcome nod to the environment. “We’re working each and every day to make our packaging not just easy on the eyes, but also better for the Planet,” said Rolf Huwyler, McDonald’s Senior Manager for Global Sustainability.
Canadian app and social network Wattpad has changed the way people on the internet read and tell stories. Its 65 million-plus users compose and share their writing with people around the world, giving creative minds the chance to reach a huge audience in a completely new way. Wattpad even partners with publishing houses to get user works turned into books, and has founded a production company to develop ideas into TV shows and movies. The radical approach to reading has proven hugely popular, and this week Wattpad announced it had secured $51 million on fresh funding. “Entertainment is in a period of disruption, and how people find and experience stories is evolving,” said CEO and co-founder Allen Lau.
From Egypt to Pakistan, UAE-based ride-hailing app Careem operates in 53 cities across North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. But its latest addition marks a historic day in providing safe, reliable transportation to a restive capital. The company announced on Monday it was adding Baghdad to its network. "Today marks a key milestone for Careem. Iraq is a country with rich heritage and strategic importance for the region,” said CEO and co-founder Mudassir Sheikha, who added he hopes his company’s planned expansion across Iraq can help rebuild the war-torn country.
Entrepreneur First has been refining the business of tech startup development for years. Now the London-based company, which helps grow startups from idea to scale by providing investor connections, advice and personnel assistance, is expanding to one of the hottest startup hubs on mainland Europe: Berlin. EF announced this week it would open its first office in the German capital in April, and is already taking idea applications. “Berlin is a thriving startup ecosystem,” said EF co-founder Matt Clifford. “It’s a magnet for people who want to build things that change the world.”