Here's three introductions to startups targeting the death and bereavement industry. They have a USA focus (doesn't everything?), but if they succeed we will no doubt see them in Australia sooner or later..
Tagging itself as "Connecting you with the people that matter most during life's important moments", Everdays; CEO Mark Alhermizi says he saw a gap in the way death is communicated.So he created an application (app) to help the bereaved spread the word when their loved one days.
After his father passed away, he concluded that social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter were insufficient for communicating a death.
Alhermizi described the light-bulb moment that led him to create Everdays, a social media platform for memorials.
"The whole [after-death] process could not be more analog," he said. "My father was prominent in his community, but a month later, people would say to me, 'Hey, how’s your dad doing?' even though he had died a month earlier. That's when I said, there's an opportunity here."
The app, launched Sept. 20, is designed to help family members manage and spread the news of their loved one's death. It also helps other users stay in the loop about deaths within their social networks.
“We are an app for the living," Alhermizi said. "It’s about bringing people together to help love you and support you during a difficult time … to help bring them together to support each other, not just for the two weeks around the (funeral) event, but for the long term."
After downloading the app, users shares their contacts and identifies the networks, such as schools, employers, their hometown and clubs, that they care about. The Everdays platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to make connections in a network and send death notifications. The goal is to “make sure you never miss another important passing,” Alhermizi said.
Almerhizi, 51, hopes Everdays will "de-stigmatize the conversation about death, making the subject more approachable and acceptable."
Everplans (aka Beyondly) offers a platform to digitally store important documents, such as a will and financial records, so families can easily access them after the owner's death. The company refers to its product as a replacement for "boxes stuffed with papers," an issue that can complicate the legal responsibilities after a death.
Everplans was founded in 2012 by repeat entrepreneurs Abby Schneiderman and Adam Seifer. Both have a track record of building and growing ground-breaking technology businesses, and were included in Fast Company's 2016 list of the 100 most creative people in business.
An Everplan is a complete set of everything you want your loved ones to have access to if something happens to you. We make it easy with a step-by-step process that starts with the most important things first. When you’re finished, you have a complete plan that includes your will, your life insurance policy, your advance directive, your online accounts, and even letters to your family. Information is stored securely on our platform, and your loved ones are given access to the things you choose.
"Recompose offers an alternative choice to cremation and conventional burial methods. Our service - recomposition - gently converts human remains into soil, so that we can nourish new life after we die."
Burials can be expensive and take up land and other resources, according to the very early-stage startup Recompose. The startup says it will offer a service that converts a body into soil by using atmospherically regulated capsules, based on CEO Katrina Spade's scientific research. Previously, bodies could legally be buried with minimal handling to let them decompose naturally underground, in a technique known as a "green burial."
In 2014, Spade's nonprofit, the Urban Death Project, received funding to research a method for a green burial to occur in a capsule, resulting in soil that could be packaged and given to survivors as an alternative to cremation. In 2017, her research led to the creation of Recompose, which seeks to commercialize the technique. Washington is the only state to legalize the technique, which Spade says is best suited for urban areas where space is limited.