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Tech vs. COVID-19: An Industry Pivots to Help

A scientist in a hazmat suit with a vial of COVID-19

The global economic impact resulting from the coronavirus pandemic is astounding. The travel and tourism sectors have been tremendously affected, as have restaurants and hospitality businesses. Likewise, with widespread lockdowns and social distancing, most retail segments are similarly struggling. And outside of streaming and virtual entertainment, many technology firms are also in a bind. Because of this, solutions are desperately needed to combat the coronavirus effects on business.

Understanding this, a number of technology solutions are being offered as business seek innovative strategies. Not only are these solutions being offered to help the tech industry. But they are also being provided to other sectors in an effort to overcome the negative coronavirus effects. Through intriguing shifts in services and offerings to creative partnerships, these technology solutions hold significant promise. And in all probability, these types of approaches will be the ones necessary for all businesses to survive this storm.

“If you have a tech that can be repurposed quite quickly, then it completely makes sense to put your hand up…if you have an at-home temperature tracking app, initially designed for fertility – then it can easily be repurposed for self-isolating people, because the tech is there.” – Zoe Chambers, Venture capitalist investor at Octopus Ventures

Overcoming Coronavirus Effects Through Partnering

In tacking coronavirus effects head-on, some of the nation’s powerful tech companies are partnering on key projects. For example, Google and Apple are involved in a coronavirus contact tracing app together. But these are not the only examples where tech companies are leveraging key partnerships during this pandemic crisis. Stellari, a start-up that produces sustainable clothing, has partnered with local factors to produce face masks in the L.A. area. In doing so, they have enabled some factories to maintain higher capacity while supporting the cause. And the face masks are being sold for cost to help alleviate the coronavirus effects on healthcare costs. The partnership thus far is creating a win-win situation for the area.

Some dudes in hazmat suits spraying off another dude
In the battle against coronavirus affects, science – and the tech sector – is our greatest ally.

Other companies are also pursuing technology solutions through partnerships as well. Yext, a site search tool, recently partnered with the U.S. Department of State. In addition to providing information about coronavirus effects and care, the partnership also provides travel alert information. Thus far, Yext has developed extensive projects with Alabama and New Jersey toward these efforts. Also, Thoughtful Human, a greeting card company that tackles tough subjects like cancer, recently partnered with Better Help Therapy. Through their alliance, free virtual therapy services through phone or text are being offered for up to a month. In both instances, technology solutions are playing vital roles in business survival while addressing specific needs related to coronavirus effects.

Shifting Gears Through Technology Solutions

Partnerships offer new opportunities for companies to leverage their resources to overcome unwanted coronavirus affects. By putting competition aside, innovative technology solutions can be embraced for the good of all. But partnerships are not the only way that businesses are showing their bold, creative side. In fact, several are demonstrating their own unique technology solutions to address problems related to the pandemic. And many of these target specific needs in society related to the COVID-19 crisis. Not only are companies adapting to new markets, but they are doing so in a way that is socially responsible.

Let’s consider a few companies that are embracing this approach during the pandemic. Betaworks Studios is a New York-based startup company that is involved in startup investments and accelerators. In response to the coronavirus effects, the company is offering a free 6-week virtual mentorship program with other startup founders. This program is designed to help current startups survive the pandemic and its effect on the marketplace. Not only will it provide knowledge and insights but also keep business leader support.

Zira is another business that has also offered on of the more creative technology solutions in an effort to adapt. The company offers automated workforce solutions for businesses involved in shift schedules. But with the current coronavirus effects, Zira launched a new tool called Bounce Back. The tool allows recently laid-off workers to navigate unemployment sites in a state-specific manner. Likewise, it helps those unemployed explore job hiring marketplaces and stay connected with former employers. Clearly, this shift in services has been positive for all involved given the situation.

It is also evident that many restaurants have adapted to the coronavirus effects by offering take-out and delivery services. However, many were ill-equipped to do so, even from a digital menu perspective. Knowing this, My Menu is another company that adopted new policies regarding its technology solutions for restaurants. The company is now offering its digital tablet menu platform to restaurants for free to help them get through. Though it is not generating additional revenue necessarily, My Menu will undoubtedly attract new clients once the pandemic is over. And that will be good for everyone including customers.

“The largest tech companies could emerge on the other side of this much stronger.” – Daniel Ives, Managing Director of Equity Research at Wedbush Securities

Technology Solutions Abound to Offset Coronavirus Effects

The above highlight just a few of the innovative technology solutions that have emerged in these recent weeks. Both partnerships and adaptive strategies are enabling businesses to survive during this tough time. And certainly, many other examples can be provided to show how technology solutions are being used. Virtual tip jars in local communities for hospitality workers are being created. Likewise, other community groups are creating virtual donation forums for healthcare workers in need. Even mental health and wellness apps are being offered in helping people deal with the stress of social isolation and loss of work. It’s clear that innovative technologies represent a great resource in overcoming the negative coronavirus effects.

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