Looking for a start-up idea?  Ask any successful entrepreneur or VC, and they’ll tell you to stop in your tracks. Trying to pluck good ideas out of thin air - or simply seizing upon the latest piece of cool tech - rarely work.  To be successful, you need to focus on the problems worth solving. 

But what happens when you’ve found the problem at hand (a process we detailed in a previous blog post)?  Or perhaps you’re just starting out in the social innovation space, and want to know what’s hot - and what’s not - in the tech world?

Online publications play an important role in helping us navigate a sometimes chaotic technology and startup scene, keeping us up to date with the ‘next big thing’ or game-changing trends. To help the newbie social entrepreneur cut through the noise, we asked the Innovation Accelerator team to come up with a list of not to be missed publications, online tools and free resources. To find out what we're reading, tweeting and bookmarking, read on!

Trends, takeovers and tech news 

First up is TechCrunch, an online magazine dedicated to obsessively profiling start-ups, reviewing new internet products, and breaking tech news. Thanks to a base in the heart of Silicon Valley, they have their finger on the pulse of what's trending.

Product Hunt is the place to geek out about the bold new products reaching the market, from the latest hardware to bold new AI. Check out the range of useful tools for start ups, from pitchdecks that gained AirBnB their first big investments, to fundraising tips. 


Discover the ideas shaping humanity

Fast Company magazine combines technology with a broader spectrum of news, policy and design. It sets out to chronicle how changing companies create and compete, to highlight new business practices, and to showcase the teams and individuals who are inventing the future. Earlier this year, Fast Company listed WFP and its Innovation Accelerator as one of the 'most innovative' organisations around

From augmented reality to space exploration, Futurism explores the disruptive ideas shaping our future. Start with their excellent Future Societies section, and let it guide you through the challenges and opportunities of a more automated and high-tech world. 


Social good, worldwide

Mashable puts together a little bit of everything, from tech to culture to entertainment. But it's also at the forefront of exploring and sharing the power of social innovation. You can find creative and inspirational content on social innovation in their Social Good section. 

Or why not visit the Humanitarian Innovation Fund?  It's packed with useful information on the innovation process and past examples of innovations that made a positive impact on the humanitarian mission. You'll also find blogs and information on which funding sources make most sense for when you get your idea off the ground.


Free tools!

Next up is IDEO.org, a popular choice amongst the team thanks to their world-renown human-centred design (HCD) expertise. Check out their useful ‘learn to prototype’ 5-week course, or the full 9-week HCD course - both of which are completely free. The perspectives section also features interesting reads on development and social innovation.

Harvard Business Review offers a range of opinion pieces on decision-making, strategy and team management advice for up-and-coming start-ups and entrepreneurs. Whilst they often take a more academic approach to some of the other publications listed above, contributors include some of the most prestigious and successful names in the innovation world.  If you haven’t read it yet, don't forget to check Steve Blank’s article on lean start up.

If you've made it this far, our final recommendation is Envisioning Zero Hunger, a stunning visualization designed for entrepreneurs who want to specifically tackle the zero hunger challenge. From robotic farming to in-vitro meat, Envisioning catalogues new ideas that could transform the food sector.

Feeling inspired?

We want to hear from you! Through our regular Boot Camps and 3-6 month Sprint Programme, we're offering the best new ideas and start-ups financial support, mentoring and access to the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, partners and technical experts. If you think you've found a brilliant new solution to hunger, share it by visiting our 'Get Involved' page or clicking here.  Good luck!


Did we miss something great? Send us your suggestions by emailing global.innovation@wfp.org