Top Entrepreneurial Guns Against COVID-19
Many companies and entrepreneurs are working behind the scenes to help those working on the front lines of COVID-19. To combat the epidemic, these businesses are using everything from software and robotics to good old-fashioned collaboration worldwide.
Here are some of the innovative ideas being implemented by the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Technology Pioneers, from artificial intelligence in South Korea to fresh food deliveries in Africa.
During the pandemic, this Brazilian logistics technology company has developed a $5.6 million fund to support the transport of vital goods such as food, medicines, and essential hygiene products across the world. The scheme works by paying carrier and driver salaries, keeping the economy running when the virus is ravaging the country. The method costs 70% of the money when the goods are loaded and the remaining 30% when the goods are delivered. As a result, the program assists in spreading costs to benefit employees when cash flow is reduced.
2. Technology for Takeoff
During the pandemic, grocery stores saw an increase in online purchases. Many have expanded their digital ordering and delivery systems to keep up. However, when staffing is limited, and store aisles are clogged, fulfilling online orders can be difficult. Takeoff Technologies, a retail technology company headquartered in the United States, and its “micro-fulfillment centers.” It builds mini-warehouses in the back of grocery stores where robots prepare customers’ orders. This reduces social distance and encourages small businesses without automated warehouses to compete in the online food market – a development that COVID-19 is expected to intensify.
3. Starling Bank
During the pandemic period, people are isolating themselves from other peoples all over the world. They also relied on others for food and other necessities when staying at home. But how will they be compensated? Starling Bank, a British fintech company, has one solution: a debit card that allows a trusted individual to make purchases on the owner’s behalf. The “connected card,” which is linked to the owner’s account, also eliminates the need for any physical exchange of cash or checks, adding an extra layer of security for a vulnerable individual. Mastercard and PFS, a prepaid card company, have created cash alternatives for carers and volunteers in the United Kingdom.
Lunit is a South Korean medical tech company that creates artificial intelligence programs that use X-ray images to diagnose lung diseases. The firm has now made its apps available for free on the internet. Up to 20 cases a day can be uploaded for AI diagnosis by hospitals in Brazil and South Korea. According to the business, AI-based developments have played a key role in flattening the COVID-19 case curve in South Korea.
5. Twiga Foods and Jumia
These two African engineering pioneers have teamed up to bring fresh produce to people who are incarcerated. Twiga Foods links a network of 17,000 farmers in Kenya with marketplaces through its own pack houses; Jumia has a massive online distribution company across Africa. They hope to combine their strengths in deliveries and fresh produce by growing their ability to provide households with fresh food while remaining healthy.
6. Dawes .
Whether it’s by track-and-trace systems, monitoring programs, or knowing how the virus functions, data would be critical in defeating COVID-19. Dawes, a global online data exchange headquartered in France, has launched a COVID-19 Data Exchange project. It makes Dawex’s platform available for free to companies and organizations that need to share non-personal data for coronavirus research and to limit the virus’s economic impact.
Bringing people back to work is crucial as countries aim to restart their economies. Unfortunately, it remains a big problem, with the hazards of overcrowding and disease still present. Around the same time, service delays are occurring due to staffing shortages and the closure of destinations. Thus, the number of travelers has gone down. According to the BBC, about 40% of bus services in the UK carried 10% of average passenger volumes last month. Optibus, a transportation technology firm, is hoping that its insights will help to reverse these patterns. It provides free planning services to public transportation agencies until July to help them identify the best routes, crew schedules, and costings to make mass transportation workable in the COVID-19 era.
One of the toughest challenging aspects of the pandemic has been ensuring that protective equipment reaches the front lines. Mirakl, an e-commerce company, has teamed up with the French government to create a one-stop-shop where manufacturers, distributors, and subcontractors can interact about medical hand sanitizer orders. Although production of the product has increased in France and around the world, without clear communication lines, likely, it will not reach the hospitals when and where it is most needed.