As one of the largest startup events organizers in the world, the Founder Institute has taken action around the globe to aid startups and protect the health of founders. In recent weeks, having canceled in-person events globally for the immediate future, the Founder Institute has launched a new free series of interactive online events for entrepreneurs practicing social distancing, as well as setup an open-source database of resources on the Founder Health Hub, including a sample coronavirus action plan for businesses.
We are proud of the many Founder Institute portfolio companies that have mobilized quickly in response to COVID-19. Many startups are already taking bold actions, as well as helping to support or raise funds for hospitals and medical professionals, all part of an unprecedented level of coordinated effort and selflessness taking place around the globe.
Here are just a few of the companies that are taking direct action, working through their offerings to make a positive difference today in battling either coronavirus or the pandemic’s social knock-on effects.
Hospital & Medical Technology
Accelerate 3D (FI Austin) is a 3D printing startup that recently participated in the 2019 Stanley+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator. Today, the company is working as part of a local additive manufacturing community coalition, and is 3D printing face shield visors and binding covers for hospital workers in Austin, Texas.
KnowRx (FI Austin) is a personalized medication management platform to increase medication adherence and decrease patient readmission rates. Now, with the application itself nearing completion, knowRx is taking download pre-registrations from the public and demo requests from care teams (providers, administrators, physicians, etc.). A press release headline from the Austin Chamber of Commerce site reads “knowRx showcases its digital health solution as a first-line tool against COVID-19.”
SpaceiShare (FI Toronto) is a marketplace that helps people who need storage or parking space find more cost-effective and convenient solutions by leveraging nearby homeowners interested in earning extra income. Now, SpaceiShare is working with TheHomeFront.ca to enable fast and efficient delivery of supplies to Canadian frontline health and support workers - they are actively compiling lists of available Canadian spaces, including medical offices, pit-stops for drivers (a place to rest near the 401), warehouses/distribution centers for sorting materials, storage spaces (garages, sheds), parking lots (for pop-up medical sites), and any free accommodations near hospitals.
SpeechMED (FI Fort Lauderdale-Boca Raton) is a voice and video patient engagement tool giving people the ability to see and hear their medical and medication information in the language that they understand. Telemedicine tools like these are allowing doctors and nurses to provide care for greater numbers of patients--in the case COVID telemedicine can help those patients whose milder symptoms mean they are self-isolating and only receiving their medical provider advice remotely from home.
Second Medic (FI Houston) allows users to receive a second medical opinion from UK and (forthcoming) US-based medical specialists. The company has posted a COVID response from its Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vibhash Mishra, alongside a chatbot to help users gauge their symptoms as well as determine if they are in an at-risk population for COVID-19. The highly trained obstetricians of Second Medic are also happy to help answer questions on how COVID affects pregnancy.
TAGCarts (FI Sacramento) is the designer of best-in-class medical carts for healthcare workstations. Now, the company has pivoted its offering to focus on a low-cost and mass-producible 'pop-up' medical cart product line called HEROCarts. Able to ship flat-packed or assembled, HEROCarts can be deployed on-demand; are made of recycled materials and assembled by Veterans and Disabled Americans at PRIDE Industries; can be ordered filled with PPE or without; and allow single-patient use of isolation carts with a 1:1 ratio, and can then be recycled or disposed of upon patient discharge.
Supply Chain & Market Delivery
Bridgr (FI Montreal) is a marketplace connecting small and medium sized businesses with Industry 4.0 expertise to help grow their businesses. Now, Bridgr is running a Crisis Clinic for any SME in need of help with moving their operations online, digital monitoring solutions, or remote work infrastructure to adapt to COVID-19.
CapacityM (FI Waterloo) helps manufacturers increase capacity utilization through finding new business via a connected network of suppliers. The newly-launched platform is now free to join for companies around the world, and can help to direct production or order contracts for COVID-19 supplies, including masks, gloves, thermometers, and hand sanitizer.
TotalCtrl (FI Oslo) is an inventory management application for restaurants and food retailers that works to reduce food waste while also delivering fresh produce cost savings. Now, TotalCtrl is helping to save struggling restaurants during the COVID-19 crisis by providing their food inventory SaaS platform for free to restaurants in need.
Seva Exchange (FI Silicon Valley) is a tool allowing anyone to launch a digital timebank. Now, the company is offering their community volunteer SevaX app for free to certain community organizations that can make use of the timebanking platform in organizing their COVID-19 volunteer response. Seva Exchange communities are organizing groups within their timebanks to sew masks at home, provide childcare for parents working essential jobs, and helping seniors in need by delivering groceries.
Uno Group (FI Perth) is a consumer data insights company combining AI with OCR computer vision technology to analyse SKU-level receipt details for brands and deliver rewards and savings to consumers. Now, the company is providing free biweekly updates on consumer trends to help Australian businesses better understand the ongoing implications of COVID-19.
LifePoints (FI Toronto) is a platform that brands can use to reward their customers for making healthy lifestyle choices. Now, the company has introduced LifePoints for self-isolation, rewarding consumers who are practing healthy social distancing with points that they can use for rewards on everyday purchases.
Generation Mobility (FI Oslo) is a professional coaching and counseling platform for international teams. Now, GenM is fast-tracking the launch of its new platform service, SALUS, which will address mental and emotional welfare connected to the COVID-19 crisis - SALUS will be free to use for two months in May and June.
Sworkit (Washington, DC) is a personal training and fitness application. Now, the Sworkit Youth Initiative is offering a 40% discount on annual memberships for children whose schools were closed due to COVID-19.
Olaf (FI Berlin) - Offers mental wellbeing solutions for remote teams, to help keep remote employees in good mental shape during these crisis times. Now, the company is providing services for free during the next 3 (potentially more) months during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Instant Teams (FI Washington, DC) connects employers with qualified military spouse remote talent, and recently closed a $1.5M round with Squadra Ventures. Now, the company is releasing its new beta software early for free in order to help companies successfully transition to remote working.
Unito (FI Montreal) is a synchronization platform for that lets different enterprise applications speak to one another. Now, Unito is offering additional onboarding sessions at no cost, as well as a 30% discount for nonprofits.
Prowess Project (FI Austin) is a platform that matches professional coaches with remote teams looking to increase their productivity. Now, the company has released a checklist guide for remotely working moms with kids staying home due to the virus, as well as helping companies forced to make the pivot to online.
LessonBee (FI New York) offers culturally responsive lessons and comprehensive curriculum for an awesome (not awkward) health education experience. Now, the company has released a free online health curriculum for Covid-19 impacted schools.
Parlay (FI Toronto) is a cloud-based edtech platform that helps teachers facilitate inclusive discussions with students. Now, the company is offering a free upgraded Parlay account to those affected by school closers, in order to engage students in meaningful, data-driven, and inclusive discussions.
Spotivity (FI Chicago) is a platform that, in normal times, helps students to connect with enriching afterschool activities. Now, the company has launched a brand new virtual programs category to help teens and their families find great activities to participate in even while schools affected by COVID-19 closure, and is gifting free platform use to programs that cater to teens either in session or remotely using the code spotivityfree2020 at checkout.
Udemy (FI Silicon Valley) is a leading global online education platform. The company recently released a course titled “How to Foster a Growth Mindset and Adaptability in Uncertain Environments” but offers thousands of other courses on virtually every topic imaginable, for making the most of your alone time social distancing.
Founder Institute portfolio companies are creating positive social and environmental impact around the world, using structured processes to define impact KPIs that scale sustainably with their business. Read the most recent featured reports on our impact companies at FI.co/good, or learn about the Founder Institute's own global impact at FI.co/impact.