On Monday, March 16th, we announced 1517 would be offering our $1k grants to teams working on ideas to mitigate the effects of the current crisis. We’ve received over sixty submissions through our website form, plus a number of direct emails, all with the help of groups such as the Covid Accelerator. If you’re a startup that needs more funding, checkout what our friends at SOSV are doing, Emergent Ventures are offering $1M in prizes for COVID projects, MarsBio has a call out for proposals, as does the Gates Foundation. To give a sense of what we have supported, here are some of the new grantees since our announcement:
Critical Technologies is innovating on mask technologies. Recently it was reported that over 2,000 healthcare workers were infected with the virus in Italy, many of whom were wearing N95 face masks. We’ve assembled a team of the nations top aerosol researchers, mask design patent holders and executives of venture-scale technology companies to solve this problem. We have designed a face mask seal that has been scientifically tested and proven 5X more effective than traditional N95 masks in stopping viral particles. This face mask seal when added to a traditional face mask will help save countless lives. Join our mission to protect healthcare workers during this epidemic!
Corona CareCard is making a way for people to support local businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak by buying gift cards and sending cash gifts. Corona CareCard allows any local business to easily sell gift cards to and accept cash gifts from its loyal customers.
C19.DK (English language available as well)is building an open source SMS-based self-reporting tool for the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond. We text a daily self-assessment to users both with and without symptoms, and ask for their status. We use the data to predict local ICU needs, 5–10 days in advance. We have >25,000 signups, and are putting a pilot live in Denmark, pending gov approval. We have teams rolling the tool out in South Africa and Guinea-Bissau as well.
Mask Match is a peer-to-peer platform helping people with spare N95 masks send them directly to healthcare workers on the front lines who need them. Many hospitals have had to limit the number of masks healthcare workers can use because there isn’t enough. Many are forced to go without due to lack of supply. While factories are rushing to produce more, getting masks to people will take too much time that many healthcare workers don’t have. Support Mask Match through Go Fund Me here.
Indie Lab is a community research lab looking to receive support for COVID-19 data collection and testing. We have organized a team of fifteen in Richmond, Virginia to begin building ventilators and oxygen generators, to collect and test for COVID-19, and to organize educational materials about the virus and current statuses of regional testing.
COVID-19 Risk is a team building an open-source app to combat COVID-19. They will use crowdsourced GPS and Bluetooth data to give people individualized notifications about their risk by developing a heatmap and making a contact-tracing record. Their goal is to do this in a privacy-preserving, anonymous way.
COVID-19 API is a free API that allows organizations, individuals, and companies to access up-to-date information and data on the spread of the coronavirus.
Verbier Task Force is a grassroots initiative to coordinate healthy villagers in Verbier, Switzerland to get supplies, pharmaceuticals, and groceries to older and infirm villagers.
Spira is a telemedicine AI diagnostic tool built by two 16-year-old University of Washington students. They plan on adding diagnostic data for the coronavirus over the coming weeks to help medical professionals triage patients with respiratory conditions.
QualTime is building a platform that enables simultaneous game playing and video chat to help mitigate the effects of isolation and help families stay connected during this time.
Joy Buchanan and Lenny Bogdonoff are creating an easy way for people to self-report fever and cough symptoms on a daily basis. The data collected will be open source and could help identify what regions or cities are experiencing an uptick in symptoms among their populous to help them better prepare.
Sofiane Larbi created Tracery is an app to help track the spread of coronavirus and mitigate its spread. Tracery uses a QR code handshake system to record interactions such as going into a supermarket or taking public transportation. This way, when someone is confirmed coronavirus positive, places they’ve been and people around them are immediately notified and told to sanitize. This will decrease the time it takes to isolate a breakout from hours to seconds. Tracery is developed with flutter and will launch on iOS, Android, and web. (this grantee pivoted from what we gave him a grant for a month ago to do this)
Flowly is a mobile app for pain and anxiety management, cofounded by Celine Tien. Flowly immerses you in 360 degrees and virtual reality worlds that train you to relax and regulate your nervous system to better manage pain, stress, and anxiety. The company is proud to partner with GlobalGiving to provide critical relief efforts for COVID-19. Flowly will allocate $0.50 for every and any session completed towards COVID-19 relief funds, helping send doctors and nurses to affected communities, supply masks, ventilators, and other medical supplies to hospitals, and deliver essential items to families and children in need.
CoronaSupport Canada is helping Canadians navigate government relief programs and get the financial aid they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply answer a few quick questions, and CoronaSupport.ca (website up soon!) will match you with the right support programs. Giving you the confidence to get through this difficult time.
To mitigate the effects of COVID-19, Usit, On-demand University sitters, is prioritizing on-demand in-person child care for healthcare workers during school closures and launching virtual child care for work from home parents. This allows their vetted student workers to continue making an income while allowing parents to continue working without the issue of child care and school closures.
Michael Chapiro is building CopperCoater to commercialize spray-on copper coating. Copper has an anti-viral property that makes it hard for viruses to stay active on copper surfaces as long as they would on other surfaces. Spray-on provides a solution that is less costly and far faster to deploy than replacing high-touch surfaces with solid copper alloys.
Caleb Kumar has developed a software-based coronavirus screening tool. The algorithm for screening is described by Caleb’s patent, “Apparatus and Method for Automated Cell Analysis” that can be viewed here. The goal of this screening tool is to quickly and accurately identify coronavirus cases before the disease progresses. Faster screening leads to faster treatment, which saves lives.
ACOMERPR is providing at-risk geriatric communities & earthquake victim camps throughout PR with access to food & medical resources that they would otherwise have no way of acquiring in the wake of the COVID-19 Crisis. They are coordinating with able-bodied volunteers & existing supply chains to provide critical goods to these isolated & in-need communities.
Open Source Medical Supplies is driven by the mission of accurately documenting COVID-19 and its treatment; provide transparent, accurate, layman-accessible, medically-reviewed requirements for supply design; and provide open-source designs for supplies that meet those requirements, in order to allow local manufacturers and makers to provide vetted supplies directly to their hospitals.
HandyVent is a ventilator that can be built with off the shelf parts anywhere in the world. No special tools are needed, so no one needs to be left behind if a big manufacturer can’t prioritize them.
We are still accepting submissions and you can apply here.
In addition to our grants, some of our portfolio companies are helping as they can by offering discounts and free versions of their services. Here are the deals below:
Grow fresh greens at home using Hamama. They are offering 3 grow trays for free (so you can grow multiple greens) with 36 seed quits for $150.
Our team at Spira is working on creating a contained environment in Los Angeles for dispensing, confirmation, and disposal of used test kits.