Reinventing or dying, companies’ reinvention amid the Covid-19 crisis

Due to health crisis caused by the Covid-19 virus, many companies and start-ups are being affected so to tackle that problem many are reinventing themselves, especially the smaller ones. “Because of its innovative nature, start-ups are adapting their businesses to offer solutions that are needed today“, explains Sofía Benjumea, director of Google Start-ups Campus Spain, to Business Insider Spain.  

Companies in sectors such as food, health or personal finances are launching initiatives and adapting their businesses to aid services for people in lockdown, healthcare workers and other professionals who continue to work and fight the coronavirus. Sofia Benjumea also adds that “The start-ups that will best cope with this situation are those that are driving projects that bring value”. 

This is the case of Nannyfy, a start-up that worked as a babysitting service that in this quarantine have been dedicated to giving classes by video call, has invoiced in March the same as throughout 2019. 

On the other hand, it is Adopts a grandpa (Adopta a un abuelo)a start-up that is responsible for accompanying elderly people and people who belong to risk groups amid this coronavirus crisis. This start-up was created with the intention of uniting different generations and reducing the loneliness of the elderly and all those who are encouraged to participate in the project. Despite the lockdown the start-up has enabled a network to be close to the elderly in the distance. It is called Minutes of Company (Minutos de Compañía), and from this line the elderly will be able to call volunteers who will be with them to reduce their loneliness. You can call free of charge at +34 919 490 111 (Madrid) and at +34 951128 027 (Andalusia). 

Sepiia is a smart fashion start-up. It is dedicated to clothes production without stains, wrinkles, sustainable and easy to care for, although it remains in quarantine, the company keeps producing and shipping its clothes. But, it also helps in the fight against coronavirus by manufacturing face masks from its raw materials and fabric “We have donated tissue to produce 10,000 face masks for the general public. We believe that people and companies should have social awareness and bring value in these times of crisis”, they add from Sepiia. 

Companies such as Apeteat and Nora Real Food specialized in catering service for companies, have directed their services to healthcare workers. From Apeteat they affirm that due to this situation, they have decided to help their spectacular healthcare workers. “We should be eternally grateful to them for the huge effort they are putting amid this crisis. That is why we have decided help them with our dishes and desserts”. Giving food for health workers is one of the most common initiatives during this crisis. For instance, Food4Heroeswhich in collaboration with Hogar  and Social Fooding have been responsible for distributing more than 150kg of food to hospitals in Madrid and Barcelona. 

On the other hand, many companies have already been affected by this crisis so managing resources, data and optimizing business information is essential to properly address the coming crisis. That’s why Sheetgo, a company known for developing the first intelligent system called the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has guided its business to help companies identify how Covid-19 is affecting them. “Our data analysts have created a spreadsheet template on Google that automatically measures how regional outbreaks affect company variables such as website traffic, revenue or sales,” Sheetgo explains. 

Idoven has been developed a software based on Artificial Intelligence to analyse electrocardiograms to diagnose alterations of cardiac electrical activity and arrhythmias to detect heart problems. This start-up has also reinvented itself, it has oriented its activity towards those patients who due to this crisis had to cancel their cardiology appointments in hospitals and also to those new in need. 

Concerning the tourism sector, there are also several start-ups that are reinventing themselves to facilitate solutions. This is the case of Travelestapp.comSemanticBotsPlay&Go experience and Smartable Team. Companies that were born from entrepreneurship programs of Turisme Comunitat Valenciana, Invat·tur Emprende y Turisme Emprén. They were created to offer solutions and amid this crisis they have reinvented themselves to help in the fight against the COVID-19. 

  • Travelestapp.com, a start-up from Alicante, has created an interactive map showing the daily monitoring of the COVID-19 in Spain. This allows you to identify the data of the pandemic and the phase in each autonomous community. The app is updated daily with the official data from the Ministry of Health. 
  • SemanticBots, also provides data about the pandemic and ensures that this digital information can reach the entire society including those suffering visual impairments and elderly people. 
  • Play&Go, has gone from making applications for tourism and major events to getting involved in the fight against Covid-19. It has worked together with Datup, a Colombian company specializing in Artificial Intelligence, to develop a new service based on Predictive Models of Availability of Health Resources 
  • Smartable Team is an app to find which places such as restaurants, hotels or workshops are opened during the State of Alarm, for the professionals who need them. 

Francesc Colomer, the regional secretary of Turise, has pointed out that “these companies, which began their business adventure with the Entrepreneurship programs of Turisme CV, are contributing their know-how, their technology, their creativity and their own resources with an admirable ability to reinvent themselves and to create new content to collaborate to recover this sector”. 

Despite the crisis, one in four start-ups believe that this has been positive as it contributes to the acceleration of their digitalization processes. 42% of start-ups believe the impact will be reflected as an increase in revenue ranging from 20% to 50%. So far, the digital businesses have been positively impacted due to this crisis. Entrepreneurs emphasise that the trends that will be reinforced after this crisis will mainly be the adoption of digital care channels, the digitization of SMEs and the growth of products that improve the efficiency of cloud use. 

Víctor Giné, CEO of Oryon Universal, the high-performance centre for entrepreneurs explains that currently “one of the most attractive investments is in start-ups. In every crisis, business opportunities arise, niches of market that cover needs, and more when we talk about the Internet, where anything is possible.” 

Sources: Business Insider, Autónomos y Emprendedores, Emprendedores, Valencia Plaza, Retina

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