Fighting COVID-19 has become priority number one for everyone, everywhere. As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the nation’s economy, startup companies are now feeling those effects. Startup layoffs and furloughs have begun to take place en masse. Startups have reached a point where they are worried about demand for their services and products. In 2016, startup companies created over 2 million jobs. Clearly, they are a big contributor to the American economy.
And that’s all the more reason many startups are fighting back in their own way. Using their own resources to do everything from mental health assistance to vaccine development to pharmacy delivery.
According to Thomas J. Graham, MD, and Chief Innovation Officer at Cleveland Clinic, “The urgency produced by COVID-19 has encouraged, by necessity perhaps, two primary keys in the world of innovation: collaboration and transparency.”
Startups launch all-out assault on COVID-19
Let’s take a look at startup GitHub. Github allows scientists and researchers the world over to share coronavirus research with peers. Surely, a treasure chest of COVID-19 materials for researchers. This allows scientists to access these papers and data to further their own studies of the novel virus.
Even before the outbreak, the Toronto startup BlueDot was able to detect the virus and its spread a full nine days before the World Health Organization.
Elsewhere, collaborative efforts “between Sonovia Ltd and Bar Ilan University produced an anti-pathogen, anti-bacterial fabric material that is said to obliterate COVID-19 in seconds,” said Conrad Egusa, CEO of Espacio Media Incubator.
Moreover, healthtech company Medshr spearheaded LetsBeatCOVID.net to allow healthcare workers in the UK and US to keep track of the spread of the virus by giving visitors a platform to take symptom surveys. The site will even proffer advice customized for each individual that uploads their data.
Fighting COVID-19 for the economy
Even on the economic side, startup companies are working to get people the financial help they need to stay afloat during this dark time. WeFunder, a crowdsourcing startup company, created the Coronavirus Crisis Loan program. “The program helps generate lower interest rate loans of up to a million dollars for small businesses suffering in the midst of the pandemic,” said Egusa.
England’s National Health Service even created a contest for startup companies to create digital options for sufferers of mental health. The contest also seeks to create digital solutions for the social needs of marginalized citizens.
Yes, there is undoubtedly a storm over the earth right now, caused by the gravid, dark clouds of coronavirus. But storms pass. And with the world’s brightest minds stepping up to work together for a common cause, there is a sense of beauty and harmony that becomes clear. When we are backed against the wall, rivalries are set aside. Egos on pause. All for the common goal of getting humanity out of dark times and into the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s exactly what the startup community is doing.