By Grace Sai
Winston Churchill once said, “Don’t waste a good crisis”.
In the midst of a major global crisis like COVID-19, our hearts, respect and support go out to all frontline staff and everyone who has been impacted by this international healthcare, economic and psychological calamity. Many of us who are not on the frontlines are wondering how can we contribute to help with the immediate needs of the crisis, or in alleviating the pain and damage from the aftermath?
This pandemic unfortunately illuminates the cracks and inequalities that exist (and are deepening) in our global economies, communities and healthcare systems.
We want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the Found8 members who see beyond profit and contribute to the health of the innovation community, building and working in businesses with double or triple bottom-lines across our Singapore and KL locations.
Antler is a global early-stage VC that builds and invests in groundbreaking technology companies. They help entrepreneurs make a lasting global impact by supporting and investing in them. During this COVID-19 period, Antler is contributing towards the path to recovery by inviting startups to propose solutions in Mitigation (e.g. masks, contact tracing, surveillance, data infrastructure), Medical Equipment (e.g. test kits, protective devices, ventilators), Remote Health (e.g. telehealth, remote patient monitoring, symptom checkers) and Digital Tools (e.g. remote work, smart delivery, e-learning).
Circulate Capital established the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF), a $100 million ocean protection fund, in partnership with FMCG giants such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and more as its investors. They aim to invest in startups and companies focusing on plastic elimination from the world’s oceans. During this COVID-19 period, CC is supporting the call to action for support to waste picker families in the great Jakarta area. They are more focused than ever in investing in small and medium enterprises across South and Southeast Asia to strengthen the resilience of the local value chains and communities they operate in and to ensure the continued emergence of a circular economy.
Engeco provides advice on energy and climate change strategies to global influential companies such as SATS and SEAS to guide them in their journey to build a resilient business model for a low-carbon future. During this crisis, Engeco’s founder Marc Allen will be a panelist on the Hive’s Earth Day with Earth.org Facebook live event happening on 22 April 2020 as the Climate Change Risk Advisor for Engeco. The mission of Earth Day is for everyone to support the world’s largest environmental movement, featuring top activists, industry leaders, governments and policymakers, to discuss on the climate crisis, the future of environmental policymaking and what you can do to help protect and restore our planet.
Enginemailer is an integrated cloud platform that offers database management, email marketing and transactional email for businesses of all sizes. During this COVID-19 period, Enginemailer removed the daily cap on sending for free plans and gave 50% off all paid plans for the next three months, as part of a joint initiative with MDEC. The team is actively participating in webinars educating businesses on why the humble email is a key part of communication strategy. They’ve also taken this opportunity to gather feedback from customers via online surveys and calls, to shape the next evolution of Enginemailer and help businesses address the new normal.
Fundel is a private investment platform that curates opportunities in growth and pre-IPO companies from the sell-side, for its global network of over 12,000 investors on the buy-side. During this crisis, Fundnel implemented a slew of measures to safeguard the network and maintain business-as-usual as they recognise their obligations towards fundraisers and understand the needs of their investors. Most notably, they’ve launched a series of virtual roadshows to facilitate intimate conversations between the buy-side and the sell-side. For fundraisers, this ensures that fundraising campaigns remain uninterrupted, and for investors, Fundnel continues to present quality deals that correspond with their mandates.
Partnering with large corporations to design and build ecosystem ventures, FutureLabs Ventures also focuses on identifying the best-of-breed, B2B digital ventures and scaling them into regional and global leaders. During this tough time, the company has teamed up with other VCs to launch a ‘community-led’ initiative to help laid-off startup employees find new jobs.
Founded in late 2015 by HealthTech innovators, Galen Growth operates at the epicenter of HealthTech innovation, aka digital health. Their mission is to solve healthcare system pain points and create significant financial and social value. During this crisis, they are working towards building centric COVID-19 countermeasures through digital health.
General Assembly (GA) is a pioneer in tech education and career transformation, specialising in today’s most in-demand skills. They have built a solid reputation in the market as a leading provider of design, marketing, technology and data education to individuals and companies, and works closely with the IMDA in closing the tech talent gap in Singapore. During this COVID-19 period, GA transitioned all courses and operations to be provided remotely as of 20 March 2020. They have created a massive database of free remote events and are offering a 50% off discount for paid workshops and bootcamps (use code sg_remote).
This downtime is ideal for the retraining of staff and teams. Generation collaborates with SkillsFuture Singapore and Institute of Higher Learning to develop demand-driven ‘train & place’ programmes through the SkillsFuture Work-Learn Boot Camp(WLB).
A homegrown Series B company, Grain serves to provide a progressive and unique meal experience, from healthier meals to a full-fledged digital experience for businesses and consumers alike. During this time, they have created 1000 different meals and set up pickup points at various MRT/LRT stations to provide self-collection service for consumers.
A non-profit consultancy specialising in research and evaluation for funders and non-profit organisations in Southeast Asia, Just Cause's mission is to increase the impact of non-profit organisations through research, consulting and sharing information.
LiveMore launched its personal development app in early 2020. The company aims to provide individuals with expert content and guided exercises to help them achieve their personal development goals in different areas of life. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals are staying safe at home, and LiveMore is helping people self-reflect, take action to achieve goals, and exchange with experts around the globe - all for free. The app’s experts are based in different parts of the world with a specific focus on health, achievements, environment, finance, learning, leisure, purpose, and relationships.
SecondMuse collaborates with visionary governments, corporations, foundations and startups to build 21st-century economies. At the core of our economies are people, communities and networks. From Brooklyn to Bali, their programs span geographies, sectors and size of business. During this crisis, they are working with cognitive supply chain companies and other community leaders in New York City as a COVID-19 task force to address medical supply shortages (e.g. N95/surgical masks, ventilators, protective wear).
Vision Strategy Storytelling (VSS) is an award-winning Storytelling Company, creating authentic videos and empowering teams to become storytellers. Through their communication strategy, they capture the story of the company’s purpose - from staff stories about culture, or social and environmental impact of the supply chain. No matter what crisis they are faced with, such as changing climate, biodiversity loss and plastic pollution, VSS helps businesses to see these challenges as opportunities with inspiring stories of social “intrapreneurship”.
1337 Ventures technology accelerator and early-stage venture capital firm focused on doing pre-seed and seed-stage investments in Malaysia as well as South East Asia. During the COVID-19 period, 1337 Ventures successfully launched their online Alpha Startups Digital Accelerator (available in English and Bahasa Melayu) accessible to everyone, especially those adversely affected due to the MCO. They also organised several webinars to assist startups and business owners, gave full access for free to their LMS, Leet Academy, and provided competitive prices for their Leet Capital (ECF Platform).
(these)abilities is a design and technology company that aims to "Disable Disabilities" by designing and building products that level the playing field for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) at work, at home and during play. Their products are designed together with PwDs using high and low tech, design thinking as well as community engagement and should be used by everyone, not just PwDs.
Credit: GIFs via GIPHY