This is how we move faster than a virus
March 20, 2020
To watch this update instead, here's the video
My two week quarantine is over! I can walk around my own house without a mask on. Unfortunately the same day my two week personal quarantine ended, the Bay Area launched its own quarantine. So I'm "sheltering at home" till April 5th.
As you remember last week, Eri and I announced the COVID Accelerator
. We emailed it out to a couple people and...
It blew up.
6 days later, there's 402 programmers, designers, scientists, and doctors on the COVID Accelerator slack group. Applications from 15 different time zones. All these people who want to be part of creating the solution for the virus that's spreading everywhere.
A lot of the inspiration for this came from the work Eri and I have done in biotech and carbon. Tools like the AirMiners index, the AirMiners group on slack, prototyping carbon products with the Carbon XPRIZE, and launching Negative as a Kickstarter project. We apply those lessons to take on COVID.
Startup companies are already graduating from the COVID Accelerator. The first graduate is Corona Care Card
, helping supporters buy gift cards from small businesses. Another company called FeedaDoc
helps doctors and nurses stay effective by connecting them with volunteers who can provide child care or deliver groceries. There's another company that spun out called FindCOVIDjobs
which got some seed funding just yesterday. FindCOVIDjobs matches unemployed folks jobs to new opportunities in thee COVID industry. Another team #plastic-iron-lung is working on a plastic "iron lung" made with giant PVC pipes. (An iron lung is a big chamber that you can that you can go in and helps you breathe.) Another team is working on an app to track and diagnose coughs.
There's so much happening every day. Eri personally reads everything and writes a great list curating the projects, news, and data related to COVID-19. It's called COVIDbase
(think Crunchbase for COVID!)
Personally, COVID Accelerator feels like a "boot camp" to me. Moving faster than a virus is painful at times. This thing is a global global crisis growing extremely fast, and while there's a lot of challenges I'm learning a ton.
Once this thing gets under control I'm looking forward to applying the lessons I learned back to climate solutions: inventing, inspiring, spinning up companies, and making a difference.
COVID XPRIZE? One strategy to spark ideas that worked really well in the carbon world is the Carbon XPRIZE. What if there was a "COVID XPRIZE", ventilators, testing, the works?
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