At Techstars, we believe entrepreneurs can change the world. They are the innovators who hold the keys to the greatest challenges of our time.
So it’s no surprise that, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep around the world, we found hope by turning to entrepreneurs. Over the month of April, thousands of people from around the world joined an online Startup Weekend: Unite to Fight COVID-19 Startup Weekend. The result was a remarkable event. In that unique moment of lockdown and fear, we saw passion and innovation take root, and great ideas begin the journey to becoming companies that will create solutions to local and national problems created by the pandemic.
We chose 54 winners, one from each country. You can see them all here.
Then from this list of winners from each country, an inter-departmental team at Techstars selected the top 20, who participated in a virtual Innovation Bootcamp to help them grow their innovation muscles. Learn about these 20 companies here.
Finally, Techstars Cofounders David Brown and David Cohen and a team from Differential Ventures selected the top five winners of the Unite to Fight COVID-19 Startup Weekend. Each of these five teams will receive a $10,000 grant from Differential Ventures.
"Being a part of the Techstars Innovation BootCamp was an inspiring experience," said Differential Ventures. "The twenty teams that made it to the finals were so diverse, in terms of their scale, their focus, their team composition. Some had clearly been together for a while, and others were new teams. But they all reflected a commitment to their chosen mission, and they all developed compelling ideas for businesses that can help the world deal with the impact of COVID-19. The winners of the competition were each impressive, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some of them making an impact on their industries in the years to come."
At every level, the judges based their rulings on team performance, viability, feasibility, market fit, and impact.
Team members: Lina Maria Aristizabal, Alejandro Arroyave Buritica, Dayron Gonzalez Lambis, Adamira Mora Holguin, Heyber Alfonso León Garzón
We connect the shopkeepers and vulnerable families with the donors, AportApp is the solution to the difficulties faced by the poorest families, such as food insecurity, community’s agglomerations and COVID-19 propagation.
Team members: Greta Stojanovic, Bennett Chen, Sinduja Sekar
We are fighting the spread of misinformation online online using machine learning and the Twitter API. We are an online platform that will publish via graphical visualizations the network of content our models have identified as misinformation to help prevent any further spread.
Team members: Kelsey Muller, Michaela Moore, Nicole Korb, Juan Moreno, Omar Mohamed, Kayla Maceachern, and Vibudh Singh
Communication between nurses and family members is currently time-consuming and challenging. Rest Assured is a digital solution to enable healthcare workers to communicate real-time information about patients to their relatives, who can view the updates on-demand.
Team members: Luk Pstrong, Damian Markowski, Jan Pluta, Maciej Hełmecki, Damian Czarnota, Przemysław Gędźba, Ania Marcisz
Online psychotherapy is extremely hard to conduct while it has become the main way to do visits worldwide in the last 3 months and a big part of the industry will stay online after the crisis. Psychotherapists don't have tools to do effective and secure work online in one dedicated place.
Team members: Jordan Masys, Chris Peng
Millions of people are currently being asked to monitor their health from home but do not have access to the proper tools. NEO is a free platform that allows families to proactively monitor key vital signs for COVID-19 together, using affordable wearable devices (ie. Garmin).