Covid-19 Portfolio Champions

With Covid-19 affecting just about all areas of life, startups are faced with changes to their market, team structure, and work environment. Despite uncertainties, a significant group of our portfolio companies have pivoted or focused their efforts on mitigating effects of Covid-19, across many sectors. Read more about their efforts here.

July 9, 2020

Entrepreneurs are intrinsically adaptable; it's part of the job description. All that considered, 2020 has provided more challenges, uncertainty, and changing circumstances than anyone saw coming. All our portfolio companies (and ourselves!) have had to roll with the punches, whether it be adjusting to a remote work environment, facing changes in sales, or developing new measures to keep teams and customers safe. However, a significant group of our portfolio companies have taken this a step further to pivot or focus on mitigating effects of Covid-19, across many sectors. They deserve a round of applause.

This list was originally posted in our Newsletter on May 22nd and has been updated to the best of our ability with new developments. If we missed an update from your company or you aren't included in this list, please let us know via info@ideafoundry.org.


Circadiance - Circadiance develops respiratory technologies particularly for people with sleep-disordered breathing problems and those who need monitoring. Their SmartMonitor2 Professional Series has offered a low-cost solution to observe vital signs, which has become vitally important as demand for hospital beds increased due to Covid-19 hospitalizations. Additionally, in the beginning of July 2020 they released the SleepWeaver Prevent, a modified KN95 filter mask specifically for CPAP/NIV patients who have respiratory infections. This allows them to utilize CPAP/NIV machine with additional isolation from spreading illness to others such as healthcare workers and family. 


Day Owl (Thread International) - Day Owl is known for its products with FirstMile™ fabric made from recycled plastic bottles collected in Haiti and Honduras, generating environmental impact as well as job creation in developing countries. In April, the team saw that they could utilize their manufacturing and materials to create PPE to combat the spread of Covid-19. Since then, they and their partners have created 75,000 face shields and have begun manufacturing face masks as well, with an estimated goal of 125,000 masks. They were selected for the Unreasonable Group's Unreasonable Impact Initiative, in partnership with Barclays, as one of 10 global companies which have pivoted an already impact-centric model, to directly address challenges stemming from the pandemic. For their efforts in transitioning to PPE creation, they will receive a $100,000 award.


Deeplocal -  The team at Deeplocal is putting their creative engineering skills and extra time to good use, working on several new projects in their Cabin Fever Series. Some of this work is to solve medical challenges which have arisen during the pandemic, including a DIY UV irradiation cabinet to sterilize PPE. On the other hand, some of their work is focused on creative entertainment for those facing quarantine blues, like the FaceOff "no-face-touching" battle to play with your friends over virtual meetings or Scrubber, a smart soap dispenser that plays music for optimal hand-washing. 


Expii - In addition to the role Expii's online education platform serves for students' remote learning, CMU Professor Po Shen-Loh also developed Novid, an app focused on mitigating the spread of Covid-19. The app uses ultrasonic technology to anonymously contact-trace using smartphones. By downloading the app you can assess your own risk as well as provide data for better understanding of overall spread. The ultrasonic technology utilized provides accurate distance measurements, where GPS and Bluetooth often fail, and is free and anonymous. As areas continue to reopen further, increased contact-tracing to avoid unforeseen outbreaks will become all the more necessary. Novid is currently available for download on the Google Play Store and Apple Store. You read more about the technology here: 

 

Intelomed - Intelomed's patented telemedicine technology utilizes facial detection from visualization devices like smartphones and biometric data algorithms to allow healthcare professionals to monitor patient vital signs in real-time through the use of smartphones, without the need for physical appointments. This technology is of vital importance as social distancing becomes a reality across the globe and the need for COVID-19 and other disease testing gains even greater importance.


I.T.'s 4 Me - With many small businesses incorporating more digital, remote options to their businesses and the possibility of continued remote learning or hybrid models in PA schools, I.T.'s 4 Me's services are in more demand than ever. They focus on empowering small businesses, educational institutions, and others to implement the tech solutions that best serve their needs. Their services include IT consulting, managed IT services, and digital marketing. 


ModuleModule designs innovative modular housing and has joined Springboard Design and Blockhouse, to create a task force addressing the housing and space challenges presented by Covid-19. The task force explored options to utilize modular housing to provide temporary isolation units for patients, healthcare workers, and their families, which would then be converted into their permanent affordable housing facilities. 


MyHouseCall - MyHouseCall is a telemedicine company which allows patients to connect with medical providers and address routine medical visits over video-chat, eliminating in-person visits to healthcare facilities. You can also schedule an appointment for one of the medical providers to visit your home. This puts patients who are not exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms, as well as their families and employers, at ease since they can address many other medical needs while staying home.


Peerveptiv - Peerceptiv's peer-assessment online tool allows students to participate in the review process of their peer's work, expanding their own skills and providing useful feedback to others. In order to meet the changes that teachers and professors experienced in the classroom through the end of the 2019-2020 school year, Peerceptiv offered their services for free through June 2020. 


Qualaris - Qualaris, which offers software to improve outcomes in the healthcare industry, was able to quickly deploy a free software tool to help medical facilities adhere to evolving CDC guidelines on infection control and prevention. The kit includes guideline adherence auditing tools and real-time automated reporting to allow healthcare facilities focus on treatment while reducing risk of infection.