by Shira Averbuch | 2020–03–09
Can technology mitigate the biggest challenges we face?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted our personal and professional lives with alarming speed and impact. Travel plans are being cancelled as major conferences (Expo West, SXSW, Shop Talk) are shut down. Companies like Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are asking employees to work from home. The NBA is considering having their teams play in empty arenas. As employers, employees and general citizens face a homebound existence (at least in the near term), we look at 3 startups that can help people stay connected, productive and safe.
Run the World — This Silicon Valley-based startup has built a platform to enable anyone to host a live online event and invite attendees worldwide. Backed by top investors like Andreessen Horowitz, they are tackling the challenges of physical proximity as well as people’s apprehensions around in-person group gatherings. As the conference circuit gets disrupted, look for event organizers to move to virtual conferences.
Nuro — Robotics company Nuro aims to deliver the future of local ecommerce with their fleet of autonomous vehicles. Most recently, they announced their partnership with Walmart to launch a grocery delivery pilot in Houston. If it can scale, Nuro enables fresh produce to be delivered to your door without the need for human delivery (which could become dangerous for messengers depending on quarantine levels).
Immersed — Working from home can feel isolating and especially challenging for those whose job requires constant meetings and collaboration. Immersed has built a VR workspace featuring multiscreen sharing, remote whiteboarding, and distraction free environments (for those with a lot going on at home). Their thesis: distance shouldn’t impede the speed of workplace progress.
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