The Alinker Inventions
For combining mobility and sociability
BE Alink is CEO of The Alinker Inventions, which makes an alternative mobility bike that allows wheelchair users to walk around with support at eye level. Before that, Alink played bassoon in a band in Amsterdam in the late 80s, led group sessions for drug users at Het Buiten Centrum in the early 90s and was a photographer for the first female member of parliament in Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi, for a year in 2010. “I’m focused on building the world I want to live in,” Alink says.
To build that world, Alink has oriented the Alinker mission around three pillars the founder sees as the foundation for wellness in society: access to mobility, healthy food, and community. For mobility, there is the Alinker itself—Alink’s walking bike.
This year, Alink launched a farm that employs Alinker users in Grayson County, Kentucky, And through a crowdfunding opportunity to purchase the $1,977 device, an active social media presence, and an online learning platform with Alinker yoga, for example, Alink tries to create community. The founder used crowdfunding to launch the device initially in the Netherlands in 2014 and North America in 2016. Says Alink: “It takes all of us to do this company and to build this community.”-- Gabrielle Bienasz
The Honey Pot Company
For staring down the social media trolls -- and winning
For using business to advocate for young Latinos
For creating new worlds that help museums come to life
For understanding how we really want to work out
It’s safe to say that Brynn Putnam, a former professional ballerina and the founder of Refine, a group of three fitness clubs in New York City, knows a thing or two about exercise. But, after having a baby, she found herself in an unthinkable position: she was a gym owner with no time to go to the gym. Putnam also noticed her Refine members loved it when she installed more mirrors, something Putnam had been used to as a ballerina. Putnam hooked up a Raspberry Pi computer to a mirror to create a hacked-together mirror-slash-fitness instructor. Many iterations later, that product became Mirror, which streams fitness classes and is second only to Peloton as the breakout fitness product of the pandemic. Retailing at $1,495 plus subscription fees of $39 a month for on-demand classes, Mirror is not for everyone. In July, though, Lululemon decided it definitely was for them, and purchased the company for $500 million. –Gabrielle Bienasz