Corona Virus in NYC and Beyond
In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak in New York, the MedStartr team retreated to our homes to work and canceled our MedMo pitch events at the South By Southwest (SXSW) and HIMSS conferences and more. While this was disappointing almost immediately we started getting calls from innovators and healthcare leaders that either had new ideas to help with the COVID crisis or needed them. So, being a platform designed to initiate, enable and close such relationships, we immediately started three initiatives. Each is described briefly below with links to learn more or get involved as well.
1. Five Virtual WarOnCOVID MedMo Pitch Contests
Since we have run about 20 pitch contests a year and have been livestreaming and engaging online crowds since 2010, switching to virtual-only was not hard. What was a challenge was selecting only 5 of over 120 very impressive applicants to put on stage…. so we didn’t. Over four weeks we put 41 teams on our virtual stages in a series of preliminary heats in what we called the WarOnCOVID Pitches. Finally, in the fifth week we put the top teams into one grande finale. You can see the events are read all about them here. We are pleased to report that many of thee teams have gotten big new customers, shipped product, and are helping millions already all over the world. They also are in our due diligence process and will potentially become MedStartr Venture Fund II portfolio companies. We also went out to our investors and told them what we were doing and many of them increased their investments in order to support the program. Thanks! To learn more about becoming a MedStartr Venture Fund Investor please visit MedStartr.vc today.
2. The #WarOnCOVID Crowd Challenge
Because of the limited space and crowd engagement inherent to pitch contests, we decided to run one of our signature Crowd Challenges where all approved companies can compete in an online showcase. With 17 important ways our crowd of healthcare innovation leaders and enthusiasts can get involved in any healthcare innovation, a MedStartr Project is a way for innovators and those interested in them can connect and get involved in all the ways that matter in healthcare startups. Not only do MedStartr Crowd Challenges help startups form partnerships and find customers, but they can help companies raise awareness, get press and even significant funding! At the end of the crowd validation period, the top teams based on the MedStartr Index Score (our metric that predicts startup success) will get on stage (now virtually) in front of investors, doctors, and hospital administrators, and the rest of our crowd. Everyone who registers to watch gets to vote on the winner and if they find a startup they think is going to be helpful and want to pilot, partner, adopt, mentor, join, give feedback to or even invest, they can do that right through the platform. Applications are rolling and teams are competing right now through June 24th so please click here to find out more, apply, or review the teams in the contest. Register here to attend the WarOnCOVID Crowd Challenge Finals. Once again, the prize is entrance into the MedStartr Venture Fund Due Diligence process as well as many promotional, press, partnership, and awareness opportunities for not just the top teams, but all teams that do well in the contest or on the platform. Applications are rolling so if you have a great idea, please be welcome to apply.
3. Going Direct – MedStartr Launches a healthcare innovation sales company: MedStartrDirect.com
A funny thing happened when we launched our first WarOnCOVID Contest. People selling COVID Emergency Response supplies, ventilators, testing kits and more started reaching out to us to get connected to healthcare leaders. Similarly, healthcare leaders started asking if we knew people who had supplies. Now people have been coming to us for over a decade with such requests but never in such volume for the same items. So some of our investors and community members quickly formed a team and began vetting suppliers and reaching out to hospitals, governments, and large employers to offer medical supplies such as PPE and ventilators. We also have been promoting all the COVID Emergency responses from our portfolio teams and applicants and pushing them out to our MedStartr Community with newsletters, blog posts, tweets, TikTok videos, IG posts and much much more. The result is a new subsidiary we call MedStartr Direct, a professional healthcare innovation sales organization that is dedicated to finding and facilitating the sales of medical products and services to healthcare organizations, governments, and large companies. Please visit MedStartrDirect.com for more information or to become a MedStartr Direct Supplier or Buyer.
COVID Innovations from our Portfolio companies
One of the best things about our work here is we are around so many amazing healthcare innovation superheroes. So it is no surprise that our teams are all doing fantastic things with their mad innovation skills. We are extremely proud of all the companies that we invested that helped with COVID-19. Here are just a few:
Mymee address autoimmune disorders using an app where you can track your daily habits and have a 1-1 consultation with professional health Investigators. Mymee is putting out information for best practices to help everyone to remain healthy during COVID-19. Mymee.com
DirectShifts is offering all employers who sign with the company, one full month of no fees, and at-cost clinician staffing. Using their AI recruiting platform to match, onboard/credential, and schedule providers. They are helping medical facilities brace for the increase of patients. If your HealthSystem need their help please go to directshifts.com
Alertgy allows you to measure your glucose in seconds without the use of a needle. Using revolutionary sensors that are placed in a wristband that sends the data directly to your smartphone. To address COVID-19 Alertgy is using Dielectric Spectroscopy to detect the virus without an invasive procedure. Resulting in cheaper and faster testing. It has already been shown that viruses like mad cow disease can be diagnosed this way. Alertgy.com
SAFE is a Sexual Healthcare Organization leveraging cutting-edge technology and innovative public outreach to transform sexual health practices. With their existing network, they are positioned to address COVID-19. They are offering home testing as well as testing with their clinical partners. The users then can share their test results with employers, family, and friends though the safe app. To learn more about Safehealth, please go to safehealth.me or download their app available for IOS and Andriod.
Twiage is now providing a new triage module for first responders and hospital staff to combat COVID-19. The “Isolation” module allows first responders to alert hospitals about suspected incoming patients with coronavirus, so hospital emergency departments can prepare necessary isolation in advance to protect their staff. Using the COVID-19 alert and the telemedicine capabilities within Twiage, hospitals can also effectively triage incoming patients and keep unnecessary patients with low acuity from coming to their emergency departments, so they can preserve precious bed resources during the COVID-19 crisis. To learn more, go to https://bit.ly/3aA3Rgv
Care+Wear, a NYC-based company focused on making innovative healthwear, has been helping their hospital, governments, and health system partners source masks, gowns and other PPE. careandwear.com
Valera Health empowers healthcare organizations to scale human-centered care management. To address COVID-19 ValeraHealth is offering complimentary webinars to employees, insurers, and organizations. To find out more info go to valerahealth.com/covid-19.
Stay tuned for more!
Relax, we got this…
We hope all are doing their best to stay safe and healthy in this period. Oh, and there is one last thing we are doing: social activities that are safe and help us all relax. As you know we have an enormous community and we like to offer people ways to engage that aren’t just about startups, but are just fun too! To this end, we have hosted workout sessions, Bollywood Dance Parties, Corona Cocktail Hours, TikTok Dances and even a quiz show! Almost all of these are on Zoom but here is what Times Square and two of our NYC MedStartr Mentor looked like a few weeks ago, dancing the Ohnanana Challenge. So fun and highlights that we can get through this with some care and safe social interactions. Watch in our newsletter or reach out if you want to get in on one of our social activities or have an idea.
And don’t forget to find something that makes you happy too!