3 min read

500 Startups, WEF and WHO Call on Global Startups to Solve COVID-19 Challenges

In August, an all-star panel of investors and WEF members will select a cohort of up to 10 tech-driven startups.

Ana Paula González

Head of Ecosystem Development Programs

Published

09.07.20

Following our inaugural ImpactAim Indonesia Demo Day last November with the UNDP, the World Economic Forum’s Tanah Sullivan shared with us an ambitious new project at the WEF called UpLink. Its goal: to crowdsource innovations in order to accelerate the delivery of U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Those range from providing affordable clean energy to climate action and gender equality. 

Were we interested in helping? Yes. We don’t label ourselves impact investors, but we are in a sense accidental impact investors. 500 Startups has made investments in more than 2,400 companies in over 75 countries, and many of our portfolio companies are contributing, knowingly or not, to SDGs. We had the expertise and know-how to help an elite institution select the right startups. 

Fast forward to March, when the entire world crossed the threshold of a disastrous pandemic. UpLink took on more urgency and a new focus. A third partner at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19, the World Health Organization, agreed to join, and the UpLink COVID-19 Sprint was born.  

In August, an all-star panel of investors and WEF members will select a cohort of up to 10 tech-driven startups. The first Uplink Innovators Cohort will be announced at the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit in September 2020.

Here are the issues COVID-19 Sprint is looking to address: 

1- Prepare, Prevent and Detect:

  • Scenario forecasting and risk analysis
  • Social capital and community trust platforms
  • Early warning, emergency response and resilience tools
  • Supply chain management/ logistics
  • Adherence tracking
  • Digital biomarkers
  • eTriage
  • Personal symptoms/ health tracking
  • Contact-tracing
  • Heat maps

2- Respond and Deliver:

  • Laboratory/diagnostics imaging management
  • Remote prescription and medication management
  • Remote care, telemedicine, physician connectivity
  • R&D treatment and testing options
  • Urgent/ emergency care (non-COVID19-related)
  • Digital imaging support

3- Recover and Rebuild:

  • Urban landscape development (mobility solutions, infrastructure development, IoT solutions)
  • Global supply chain innovation (blockchain solutions, manufacturing and production localization)
  • Protecting nature conservation and ensuring environmental sustainability against future crises 
  • Small business financing and long-term investment strategies
  • Digital support for re-opening of the economy
  • Resilience building (digital coaching/ therapy/mental health support for people most affected by COVID-19)
  • Job creation and re-skilling

500 Startups is mobilizing its network to find top founders for this challenge. WHO will deploy the new technologies through its response efforts. WEF’s network of influencers and decision-makers will take part in the selection process, connect founders with potential corporate partners and help amplify their stories. 

If you’re up to the challenge, we’d like to hear from you by July 19. Learn more here.

 

500 STARTUPS PROGRAMS, INVESTOR EDUCATION SERVICES, STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP CONSULTING SERVICES AND EVENTS ARE OPERATED BY 500 STARTUPS INCUBATOR, L.L.C. (TOGETHER WITH ITS AFFILIATES, “500 STARTUPS”) AND THE FUNDS ADVISED BY 500 STARTUPS MANAGEMENT COMPANY, L.L.C. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANY REVENUE GENERATED BY THESE ACTIVITIES.  SUCH PROGRAMS AND SERVICES ARE PROVIDED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD ANY CONTENT PROVIDED AS PART OF ANY SUCH PROGRAMS, SERVICES OR EVENTS BE CONSTRUED AS INVESTMENT, LEGAL, TAX OR ACCOUNTING ADVICE BY 500 STARTUPS OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES.

THIS POST IS INTENDED SOLELY TO PROVIDE INFORMATION REGARDING 500 STARTUPS. ALL CONTENT PROVIDED IN THIS POST IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL OR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.  500 STARTUPS MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS AS TO THE ACCURACY OR INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS POST AND WHILE 500 STARTUPS HAS TAKEN REASONABLE STEPS TO ENSURE THAT THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN  IS ACCURATE AND UP-TO-DATE, NO LIABILITY CAN BE ACCEPTED FOR ANY ERROR OR OMISSIONS. FIGURES ARE APPROXIMATED BASED ON INTERNAL ESTIMATES AS AT June 30, 2020 AND HAVE NOT BEEN INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD ANY INFORMATION OR CONTENT IN THIS POST BE CONSIDERED AS AN OFFER TO SELL OR SOLICITATION OF INTEREST TO PURCHASE ANY SECURITIES. FURTHER, NO CONTENT OR INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS POST IS OR IS INTENDED AS AN OFFER TO PROVIDE ANY INVESTMENT ADVISORY SERVICE OR FINANCIAL ADVICE BY 500 STARTUPS. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD ANYTHING HEREIN BE CONSTRUED AS FUND MARKETING MATERIALS BY PROSPECTIVE INVESTORS CONSIDERING AN INVESTMENT INTO ANY 500 STARTUPS INVESTMENT FUND.

Ana Paula González

Head of Ecosystem Development Programs

Ana Paula González is the Head of Ecosystem Development Programs at 500 Global. Previous to 500, Ana spent 4 years at New Ventures, developing the impact investing field in Latin America. At NV, Ana helped set up their investment fund, Adobe Capital, led fundraising efforts, and investment and acceleration programs for over 200 for-profit, social and environmental companies throughout the region. Ana started her career at The Boston Consulting Group, where she worked primarily with clients in Private Equity. At BCG, Ana performed due diligence on 9 funds (PE, PERE, VC, LBO) on behalf of institutional investors deploying $600M. She also worked with private equity funds as clients supporting them both on the buy and sell-side with companies worth ~$500M. Ana holds an MBA from Columbia Business School with honors and a Bachelor in International Business from Tec de Monterrey with honors. IPO, as well as a number of VC funds in making investments. She is based in Miami.

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