COVID-19 Response

Last updated: 4 November 2020

We would like to recognize and celebrate some of the significant ways that SOSV startups are directly combatting COVID-19.

Top SOSV Startups Combatting COVID-19

Renegade Bio

SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Renegade.bio is accelerating the capacity to test novel pathogens such as COVID-19. Renegade.bio is an agile team of science, technology, and logistics experts, mobilizing in the public interest to make fast, safe, regular coronavirus testing accessible to all—starting with healthcare workers, first responders, and other health and safety workers. Our technology, the renagade XP COVID-19 testing methodology, gives organizations responsible for public health and safety the ability to rapidly and cost-effectively scale up the distributed collective capacity that is urgently needed for widespread, ongoing COVID-19 testing.

Chronomics

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

Chronomics is an AI-driven platform unlocking the power of epigenetics for personalized healthcare. We aim to drive the burgeoning data-driven wellness and personalized healthcare genomics industries by revealing epigenetic factors affecting welfare and chronic disease. Our platform will leverage our expertise in DNA-methylation analysis to give customers unprecedented insight into their changing state of health and welfare and provide them with a powerful tool for better living.

CASPR Biotech

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, UNITED STATES

Developing a diagnostics platform through CRISPR; powered by novel & proprietary Cas enzymes.

OpenTrons

NEW YORK CITY, NY, UNITED STATES

OpenTrons is making the “personal computer” of lab robotics to bring digital fabrication to the wetlab.The OT.One is the first affordable, open-source, easy-to-use liquid handling robot to hit the market. It is run from Mix.Bio, an online biotech development platform that lets you design, share, and run automated protocols.

Youibot

SHENZHEN, CHINA

Youibot is a robotic company providing autonomous mobile robotic solutions in manufacturing, maintenance, and inspection. Youibot’s autonomous mobile robot platform is based on the latest generation of laser radar and visual real-time SLAM for map creation and navigation technology. Equipped with indoor and outdoor robot navigation systems, Youibot provides domestic first-class intelligent mobile robots.

R-Zero Systems

SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

R-Zero Systems is the first company built from the ground up to tackle the transmission of pathogens in the COVID-19 era, making UV-C disinfection technologies accessible to all. Founded to help businesses protect what matters most, R-Zero’s suite of thoughtfully-designed, hospital-grade technologies and science-backed protocols reduces the transmission of pathogens and diseases they cause—from the coronavirus to the common cold.

Formlabs

CAMBRIDGE, MA, UNITED STATES

We are a passionate team of engineers, designers, and problem solvers. Started out of MIT in 2011, Formlabs is committed to bringing innovative and sophisticated fabrication tools into the creative hands of designers, engineers, and artists around the world. An unprecedented convergence of design, performance, and accessibility, the Form 1+ brings professional-quality 3D printing to a broader audience.

Verdex Technologies

RICHMOND, VA, UNITED STATES

Verdex has developed a nanofiber material that makes better masks for caregivers. Coronavirus virions are spheres with diameters of approximately 125nm. The smallest particles are 60nm, and the largest are 140nm. N95 masks are designed to shield 95% of objects down to 300nm. Verdex’s masks use nanofibers plus a proprietary resin to shield against objects less than 100nm, including the coronavirus. In addition, Verdex’s masks improve filtration, are twice as breathable as, and will be priced comparably to N95 masks. Verdex will shortly be producing sample masks and is working with US manufacturers to make masks locally (eliminating supply-chain risk). The company is based in Virginia, and the nanofiber material’s inventor and the Company’s co-founder, Larry Marshall played a leading role in the development of DuPont’s Tyvek and was a DuPont Fellow.

Strados Labs

PHILADELPHIA, PA, UNITED STATES

Strados offers a COPD feedback monitoring system that provides automatic reports to doctors on unusual lung activity in patients. The company’s RESP product allows one respiratory professional to remotely monitor the conditions of at least 10x the number of patients than otherwise possible, providing continuous lung monitoring to determine which patients are getting worse and when. The system enables enhanced patient monitoring for overloaded hospitals, while also reducing patient and health care provider contact and exposure risk to COVID-19. The product is available now for research and on a compassionate use basis, with clinical trials at leading hospitals ongoing. Read more about it in the Philadelphia Business Journal and in metagadget.

Circadia

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

Circadia offers personalized sleep therapies using wireless monitoring, learning diagnostics, and preventive insights. We provide virtual symptom checking and sleep assessment, personalized evidence-based therapies, contactless monitoring with medical-grade accuracy, and learning diagnostics and preventive tips.

Prellis Biologics

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, UNITED STATES

Prellis Biologics is a newly-founded company developing novel technology to bioprint vascularized human tissues. Prellis Biologics is dedicated to providing better drug testing options and tissues for human transplant, including solid organs, connective tissues (tendons, ligaments), and secretory tissues.

CITYDATA

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, UNITED STATES

CITYDATA measures the presence, density, and movement of people to build digital replicas for smarter cities and real-world businesses. We measure citizen impact across 1,569 cities on a global scale. Our mobility data, APIs, visualization apps, and geospatial AI platform provides fresh, accurate, anonymized, and daily insights that reveal the influence and impact of the physical environment on the behaviors, actions, movements, choices, and preferences of people.

Ao Air (f/k/a O2 O2)

PORTLAND, OR, UNITED STATES

Ao Air’s facewear allows users to live without fear of airborne pathogens and air pollution. Ao Air facewear uses advanced nano-fiber technology to clean and filter air, protecting the user while providing unparalleled comfort. Our technology has been independently tested to provide protection up to 50 times better than the traditional, market-leading analogue competitors.

Intrinsic Medicine (fka Lupa Bio)

SEATTLE, WA, UNITED STATES

Intrinsic Medicine is a venture capital-backed, clinical-stage therapeutics company pioneering the development of human-equivalent, bioactive compounds as new medicines, initially focused on oligosaccharides found in human milk. Our pipeline of candidates modulates the gut-brain axis directly through the immune system and enteric nervous system and modulates the gut microbiome and metabolome.

Diadem Biotherapeutics

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES

For people with chronic lung disease who want to live a normal, active life, Diadem’s inhalable exosomes are the preferred therapeutic option. Our affordable, easy-to-use product is the only therapeutic that targets inflammation at its source, enabling patients to run, dance, and shout for joy for longevity and prosperity.

mFluiDX

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, UNITED STATES

mFluiDx is developing a low-cost microfluidic diagnostic to detect COVID-19 in under 15 minutes in decentralized settings. Their chip is as simple and cheap as paper tests, yet has DNA/RNA level sensitivity able to diagnose onsite.

Optimize.Health

SEATTLE, WA, UNITED STATES

Optimize.Health (formerly known as Pillsy) makes life easier for the two-thirds of Americans who take pills and their families. The PillsyCap seamlessly tracks when you take pills and talks to our mobile app, which sends smart reminders when you forget. We also provide access to important information about drug and vitamin products, including pricing, symptom tracking, and the ability to refill within the app.

OaCP IE LTD

CORK, IRELAND

OaCP’s objective is to provide diagnostics laboratories and research institutions with fast FISH and fast PCR solutions that will disrupt diagnosis times and costs. OaCP offers patented reagents for genomic applications, such as accelerating genetic cancer diagnostic tests from three days to two hours.

HabitAware

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, UNITED STATES

HabitAware can help users become aware of hair pulling, skin picking, and nail biting and take control. Retrain your brain away from compulsive behaviors with Keen, a smart bracelet that vibrates on a users wrist to remind you that your hands are not where you want them to be.

Aanika Bio (fka Carverr)

NEW YORK CITY, NY, UNITED STATES

Aanika Bio leverages synthetic biology to build a suite of solutions that can trace and authenticate various products in the supply chain. Our tags are safe and edible, but can withstand the harshest of conditions, providing customers with information when and where they need it most.

Ember Medical Inc

ATLANTA, GA, UNITED STATES

EMBER Medical is the creator of the fastest growing SaaS-based telemedicine platform in MENA. EMBER has developed a comprehensive and affordable platform that allows doctors in more than 24 different specialties to communicate with patients, remotely monitor them, and prescribe/order needed medications and labs. With our wide range of features, doctors and patients can rely solely on our platform for all their interactions.

Lief Therapeutics

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, UNITED STATES

The Lief is an ultra-thin wearable patch that measures your heart and breath. Lief teaches you to control your body’s natural stress response through gentle, safe biofeedback exercises. Lief also supports clinicians in monitoring and treating their mental health patients.

Chekk

HONG KONG

Chekk is a digital identity leader providing secure end-to-end, know-your-customer solutions that remove the pain and costs of interactions between financial institutions and their retail and corporates customers. Capabilities include dynamic customer due diligence at on-boarding and KYC refresh; connectivity to people and business registries, AML lists, company hierarchies, and pre-population; electronic verification of identity with OCR, face matching, proof of life, and anti-fraud for individuals, directors, and UBOs; and secure data wallet and messaging for consent, data portability, alerts, and statements.

Primitives

SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Primitives Biodesign is a materials company that produces biodegradable plastics that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food waste and plastics pollution. Utilizing biopolymers from nature, Primitives’ flexible films sense and respond to the environment—enabling food packaging to monitor quality, improve safety, reduce the environmental footprint, and return to the earth by breaking down into compost in backyard and industrial environments.

Stae

NEW YORK CITY, NY, UNITED STATES

Stae has built a COVID Open Data Hub that provides easy access to COVID-related datasets to help civic leaders manage and improve response and recovery efforts.

-Link to the dashboard that is available online: (https://covid-19.municipal.systems/)

Prospective Scientific Development Areas

Synthace

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

Synthace's goal is to raise universal bioscience productivity, enabling people to better engineer biology for health, food, energy, and manufacturing. Central to our technology is Antha, an operating system for biology that simplifies the process of designing and optimizing biological unit operations. Antha spreads biological information in a repeatable way, linking lab equipment, protocols, and processes, thereby allowing vast and speedy development and enhancing productivity for any bioscience.

Improving lives during COVID-19

  • Snapask, a leading education platform in Asia for students to ask questions and get answered by qualified tutors, published over 50,000 questions in its question bank for free so that students can learn from home. Most schools are closed or closing amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Khan Academy, a leading education platform globally where SOSV Managing Partner Sean O’Sullivan serves on the board, has seen record registrations and usage, serving tens of millions more students monthly since the shutdown of many schools in America and globally. Useful parenting recommendations during school shutdowns are here .
  • viAct.ai, a Hong Kong-based company that leverages computer vision to automate the real-time monitoring of construction and manufacturing sites, offers an AI solution to detect people who don’t wear masks in public places so that it can help governments and organizations fight against coronavirus.
  • HR SaaS company Atiom updated their training modules and materials for corporates to train the team on how to take the correct precautions against the coronavirus and ensure safety in the workplace. Atiom offers a gamified mobile app to make employee engagement and training fun, efficient and measurable.
  • Digital therapeutics startup Mobio Interactive is working with NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the University of Zurich Psychiatry Hospital to deliver free digital stress-resilience training to people around the world. They will also collect data anonymously for governments and healthcare experts for COVID-19 treatment purposes.
  • ELSA Speak — an AI app for English pronunciation, SXSW Edu 2016 Winner — is making its Pro version free for K-12 students worldwide.
  • Eat Mubarak is a food delivery company feeding restaurant-industry employees being laid off or on unpaid leave in Pakistan.
  • Aylien using their news API to analyze media across the Transport, Manufacturing & Engineering, Sport and Entertainment industries.
  • NewCampus is a lifelong learning school for the modern leader. They've launched a new online programme focussed on building better leaders in times of chaos. The topics covered include - Leading through a pandemic, Transitioning to remote work, and Mental Wellbeing and Personal Development.
  • Endless West is shifting production from molecular whiskey to hand sanitizer during the pandemic. Their sanitizers have already been approved by the World Health Organization and will be distributed to healthcare facilities.
  • LightUp created a free virtual safari game so that kids who are home from school can learn about animals. www.lightup.io/apps
  • Simbe Robotics is helping grocery stores during the coronavirus outbreak with Tally, an autonomous shelf-scanning robot that identifies out of stock, misplaced and mispriced items. Simbe’s COVID-19 efforts were featured in Forbes.
  • Vital Vio manufactures antimicrobial LED lights which meet international standards for continuous and unrestricted use around people, providing a critical no-labor approach to keeping all of our most important spaces better protected.
  • Simply Good Jars is providing free, fresh meals to hospital workers to alleviate stress during long hours. They are doing this at the three hospitals that normally already have their smart fridges.
  • GIVN Water has partnered with Bareburger to launch a program called "Feed a Frontline Hero", allowing people to nominate individuals working in the NYC medical field or hospitals. The nominee will be entered to win a free food and bottled water drop-off for their hospital.
  • Amp Your Good has partners with Curbing Hunger, Inc., a community-based food bank program, launch an emergency online food drive. Goods are being distributed in the NY/NJ areas and are being shared with other food banks and pantries in the area.
  • VIT Initiative - COVID-19 toolkit including symptom screening and leading indicator tracking, to help industries return to operations.
  • A special thank you to Cork (Ireland)-based SOSV staff Mary Zhucui, a native of Wuhan, who on her own volition reached out to the Minister of Health of Ireland and has arranged the shipment of medical supplies including respirators from China to Ireland. We’re all in this together.

Other links at SOSV

There are dozens of other SOSV startups engaged in rapid response to the COVID crises, and this page will update every few days with those companies with particularly on-target responses as their efforts become publicly available. We are very grateful for all those who are taking initiative to help confront the most pressing current risk to our species.

We put together five key lessons learned from China-based startups from the business perspective, including how to manage the internal team and react to the external customers’ demands during the outbreak.

PR-Newswire announcement, $250k for new life science applications for COVID-19

IndieBio Coronavirus Initiative, call for applications

SOSV Medium Blog Post on Coronavirus Activities

To contact someone at these companies, you can reach out to those companies directly, or you can contact SOSV’s Joe.Hurd@sosv.com, who is responsible for COVID-19 Response & Commercialization Efforts.