The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing, the birds are singing- what better time to relinquish your laptop and get outside? Not totally relinquish, obviously, we’re not mad- we’ve compiled a list of eight excellent start-ups that use your screen addiction to get you doing something excellent in the wide world beyond the web. Pick up your phone, check out these beauties and get stuck in.
(Some stripy deckchairs under a blue sky on a pebble beach. Is there a start-up that will let us all knock off early and go to the beach? If you find one, let us know.)
This one is genuinely brilliant, and very, very simple. Summer is mostly about food (yes? yes.) and this lovely start-up is all about food- locally sourced, locally sold, excellent food. Would you like to buy nicer food? Would you like that nicer food to support farmers and local shopkeepers? Wayra-aided Sustaination might be for you. Linking farmers to shopkeepers, and you to both with some rather snazzy technology, this “social network for food” is apparently going to revolutionise the way we all eat. Which would be nice, wouldn’t it?
Where: Check it out here, at foodnation.com
2. Modern Sprout
Rather grow your own? No problem. No problem at all, even in London, even in tiny flatshares, even in July. This start-up is one of the niftiest things we’ve ever seen: letting you grow literally almost literally anything (herbs! vegetables! flowers!) on your windowsill. No need even to get your hands dirty, either, because the magic planter works by hydroponics. We told you it was nifty. Not cheap, but oh, so beautiful. Order online; start growing; start eating.
Where: Get your own here!
3. Six Dinners Later
If growing things doesn’t appeal- but eating things does, Six Dinners Later might be the sociable little start-up for you. Sign up and await your invitation to dinner with strangers; sign up and invite strangers to yours. A spiralling thing of friendly beauty (check out this lovely infographic!), make this the summer you made ALL THOSE FRIENDS. And ate all that food.
Where: Get yourself on that guest list, go on.
This phenomenally successful start-up has lots, and lots of ways to make friends- pick your favourite thing to do and get stuck in!- but since it’s summer, we’re highlighting their Trailblazer section for special attention. Like walking? Don’t know anyone who’ll walk about with you? Go here, get walking.
Where: You can walk where you like, but sign up here.
Like walking, but with a treasure hunt. An actual treasure hunt, and you can keep the treasure at the end. Use your phone to map your path to a mystery location, dig up the chest/rummage in the hollow tree/find the end of the rainbow, enjoy your spoils. Take something little to leave for the next person- it’s like making secret friends you’ll never meet or speak to, combined with being a part-time pirate.
Where: Everywhere! But sign-up, and get the app at geocaching.com
6. Silicon Drinkabout
Look, you say, leaning on the table. We’ve told you. We’re not putting down our screens for anything, and we’re certainly not going outside. But wait! Because we at Enternships are here to help, we’ve found something for you guys, too. Silicon Drinkabout is drinks for start-ups, every Friday. Meet like-minded people, indoors. Maybe with your screen. Maybe in the dark. Don’t say we never do anything for you.
Where: Venue changes every Friday, keep up with them here.
Is where you live dreadful? Are you in dire need of a holiday? This lovely little start-up finds the best deals on flights, as and when you need them- and it’s beautiful, which is not something we say often about flight finders. Say farewell to the eye-scarring orange of Easyjet’s own tortuous website, and jet off with style. And panache. Like you’re Parisian, or something. Get your chic little hat and go.
Where: You tell us! But book your cheap flights here.
8. The Indytute
If you’re staying here, you might as well make this the summer you learn something about your city. “Escape the humdrum”, says The Indytute (currently looking for an intern: go go go!), who want to help you learn all kinds of new things. Don’t waste a second- book your place now, and become even more brilliant.
Where: Book your class here: http://www.indytute.com/