Khosla Ventures’ entrepreneurs are responding with amazing diversity to COVID-19 solutions for society’s needs!

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The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be one of the biggest disruptions we will face in some time.

In this difficult environment, we have found a commonality that makes us incredibly proud to be associated with our portfolio startups: the desire to help the nation and the world combat the pandemic. As mission-driven entities, we’re seeing our companies trade-off other priorities for this urgent societal need in a time when resources are scarce and it is not always easy to do “the right thing”. To be sure, some view it as a business opportunity. Many in our portfolio are working on deep tech, and are particularly well suited to help with critical needs like testing and treatment options. There are also efforts in managing the well being of those on the front lines, expanding access to medical care, and even fighting loneliness during periods of forced isolation among other needs. This breadth of effort is both admirable and astonishing and the short time periods surprising.

Some examples of current efforts (in alphabetical order) include:

Many others are also helping in numerous other ways. Oscar is offering a risk assessment tool for non-members. Forward is offering care for non-members for COVID-19. Zocdoc is helping non-COVID-19 patients to connect to telemedicine. Carrot is offering its Pivot tobacco cessation app at no cost to all smokers to help people who smoke get started on a path to reducing or quitting to reduce risks of COVID-19. Creator has built an open-source design for a food Transfer Chamber to protect retail and delivery workers from virus spread. The chamber uses a positive pressure system combined with a self-sanitizing conveyor. Homebase is compiling and sharing data on how closures of businesses are impacting local communities and hourly workers. Gen1e is in the early stages of development of a drug for ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), the primary cause of death from COVID-19. Model No, a related company, is working directly with Stanford and UCSF to develop an Aerosol Box. Based off a design from Taiwanese doctor Hsien Yung Lai, it’s a clear plastic box that can be placed over a patient when intubated. This is a high-risk procedure for the doctor, for they are very likely to be exposed directly with droplets to their face, and the preferred full-ventilated suits for protection are in very short supply.

As always in startup land, not all of these will work, but some will and could have a significant impact. The nature of startups allows them to try avenues that would take too long in established companies, as they are more able to quickly pivot and shift resources in new directions, which will be especially critical in the pandemic landscape. We’re proud of our companies’ efforts in combating this pandemic, and celebrate all startups helping in this effort, be they in our portfolio or not. These are the companies in our portfolio but many more startups outside our portfolio are also trying to contribute in significant ways.

We strongly believe the startup community can bring a unique view and skillset to ameliorating this pandemic, and in this time of national crisis, it is important to bring to bear the best each sector of society has to offer.

*This is by no means a comprehensive list, merely a quick snapshot of companies, and we apologize for any omissions of projects in our portfolio that are also contributing to the effort. In this list we prioritized companies that can have an impact within 2020.

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entrepreneurship zealot, grounded technology optimist, believer in the power of ideas

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