Innovation platforms join the fight against coronavirus

Bruno Rondani, CEO of 100 Open Startups

Since Thursday (18), 100 Open Startups , an open innovation platform that connects companies and startups , has opened its system for free to launch challenges related to the crisis caused by the coronavirus . This means that companies of any size, government and civil society in Brazil and Colombia , where the movement operates, can access the platform, even if it is not a member, describe a problem they are facing or about to face related to Covid- 19 and wait for proposals from startups that are capable of solving it.

Initially, six main themes were defined in what is being called the Covid-19 Super Challenge , but the idea is to include others in the coming days as needs arise. The first is related to remote work , a new reality in times of pandemic. As most companies were not prepared for this — which generates a series of new needs for organizations and their employees — the objective is to seek solutions that meet these needs, such as communication and video conferencing tools, task and team management , resources for relationship with stakeholders, document management and electronic signature, connectivity, care for children and relatives and financial management, among others.

The second challenge involves health and treatments , since in addition to advances towards healing and expanding access to diagnosis, the scenario generated specific demands for institutions and professionals in the sector. The goal is to find solutions to these needs, such as new active ingredients, medicines and vaccine technologies, resources for monitoring symptoms at a distance, management and expansion of beds, telemedicine, monitoring of risk groups and research and development of tests and examinations, among other numerous possibilities related to the theme.

Next is the search for solutions for retail , trade and logistics , since the need to control the spread of the disease has limited the circulation of people and changed the routine of the entire chain. The objective is to minimize this impact, with, for example, platforms for buying and selling products and services through the internet , social networks and other channels, customer relationship resources, solutions for the sustainability of small and medium entrepreneurs and companies, systems delivery, financial management and access to credit.

The fourth challenge is related to the resolution of bottlenecks caused in education , information and awareness , since the suspension of face-to-face classes to reduce the spread of the disease generates specific needs for self-employed teachers and educational institutions. At the same time, there is a need for reliable information and awareness of the population about the disease and its consequences. The search is for solutions such as distance learning platforms, access to reliable information and solutions for family care, among others.

With regard to entertainment , it is worth remembering that isolation also has a direct impact on artists, musicians and other professionals related to leisure and fun. The objective, in this case, is to find solutions that reduce this impact, such as streaming videos, music and others, commercializing artist services and crowdfunding platforms .

The last challenge is related to mobility , since the displacement of the population, especially in public transport, is a risk factor and one of the main ways of spreading the virus. The goal is to find solutions to urban mobility in the face of the care that this crisis demands, such as hygiene and prevention of contamination in public transport, alternative forms of transport, information on safe routes and with less agglomeration and safety.

AGILITY IS PRIMORDIAL

“What we are doing is making our platform and methodology available for a specific theme, which, at this moment, is more important than all the others”, explains Bruno Rondani , CEO of 100 Open Startups, which already has a network of more 10,000 startups and 2,400 institutions, and which has seen an increase in demand for emergency solutions related to coronavirus.

And the proposal is to act as quickly as the situation requires. “We are going to curate hundreds of startups taking also into account the various regional demands. Our commitment is to publicize each registered challenge within 24 hours to the startup communities and, in another 24 hours, to make available a list of mapped and ranked solutions ”, explains Rondani. “We believe in the power of collaboration and the network to meet this challenge quickly, reducing its impact on society as much as possible.”

Rondani cites as an example one of the demands from the Colombian government. “Currently, we are having the opportunity to be closer to our families. We want this scenario to strengthen our ties, so we are looking for innovative solutions that improve the conditions of isolation and social distance ”, says the call, already predicting a likely increase in cases of domestic violence. Another concern is with the care of the elderly. “Taking care of each other is part of our DNA. This is a chance to care for the elderly in our community ”, says the document, looking for alternatives that guarantee the health and well-being of this population without having to leave home.

The executive also reveals that in the first 24 hours of the launch of the initiative, companies such as Latam , Basf and Danone Nutricia have already expressed interest in the solutions of one of the 50 startups registered for the challenge.

Pierre Lucena, President of Porto Digital

PERNAMBUCO ENTERS THE WAR

Whoever is doing something similar is the Public Prosecutor of Pernambuco (MPPE) , through MPLabs and the State Department of Health , with the Open Innovation Lab (OIL) , from Porto Digital . The Pernambuco initiative, named Covid-19 Challenge , was launched last Tuesday (17).

In this case, there are five proposed challenges: how to monitor the main risk group (over 60 years old) and increase the level of protection and sustained attention for this group vulnerable to Covid-19; how to manage the flow of information in real time throughout the life cycle of epidemiological cases; how to monitor, in real time, population flows to identify, educate and restrain agglomerations or inappropriate behavior or non-compliance with the determinations of social isolation; how to create and standardize health care protocols at all levels of the system; and how to scale (mass) tests quickly, affordably and reliably.

Companies interested in participating have until 6 pm today to submit their ideas. So far, 267 proposals have been submitted, 156 of them analyzed and 37 selected. The contemplated startups will have the necessary mentoring so that they can deliver an initial and functional solution until 11:59 pm on Monday (23). The winning solutions will be announced until Tuesday (24), with the objective of immediate implementation.

“This cycle of open innovation is a major contribution to tackle the effects of coronavirus in Brazil and even in the world. Our idea, together with the State government and the Public Ministry, is to provide the solutions created so that the public authorities and other institutions can use them to better face this critical moment. For this reason, we want contributions from all over the country to respond to various challenges such as telemedicine, for example. Only with cooperation will we be able to achieve more positive results in a very short space of time ”, says Pierre Lucena , president of Porto Digital.

Buser stops operations to contain coronavirus

The collaborative charter startup Buser will suspend long-distance travel in all 60 cities in which it operates from tomorrow (21) as a way to help contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country. The decision follows the cancellation of the Rio-São Paulo route on Wednesday (18). “This is an unprecedented moment in our country and in the world,” said Marcelo Abritta , co-founder of the startup in São José dos Campos (SP), in a note.

“Every day new determinations appear, and the government has rightly imposed an increasing number of restrictions on travel. Buser agrees with the extreme need for these restrictions ”, he points out. According to the entrepreneur, the company, which was growing 30% a year, considered its responsibility to customers, but also to other actors in its ecosystem, such as the more than 1,000 drivers and partners who operate through the platform.

The company is ready to resume operations “at any time”, says Abritta, and is creating an action plan to minimize the impact of the interruption of activities for people involved in the operation of Buser.

The startup, which has been invested in the SoftBank fund since October last year and announced plans at the time to invest R $ 300 million in its expansion, will not seek government support even with the impact of the pandemic. “We believe that public resources should be allocated to the health area, and we will be able to deal with the situation with our partners independently”, he reiterates.

Telecine encourages adherence to streaming amid global concerns about pressure on the network

The Telecine streaming platform is encouraging adherence to streaming by offering a 30-day free trial of its services. The company offers a catalog of more than 2,000 films, of all genres, between national productions and Hollywood blockbusters .

The offer comes in the wake of growing concerns about the increasing pressure on the global internet infrastructure , brought about by the social isolation caused by the coronavirus . The stay of people at home in several countries has caused an unprecedented use of streaming platforms.

This week, the European Commissioner for the internal market in the European Union , Thierry Breton , discussed the matter with the CEO of Netflix , Reed Hastings , and asked platforms transmit standard definition instead of high definition (HD) to ensure stable access internet for everyone.

An unprecedented announcement was made in Spain , one of the leading European countries in fiber optic infrastructure and the provision of mobile telecommunications services. The main operators — Movistar , Orange , Vodafone , Masmovil and Euskaltel — released a note revealing that their networks, both fixed and mobile, had an explosion in demand as a result of social isolation.

Sought by FORBES , Telecine says it has no immediate plans to readjust the definition of its transmissions. “So far we have not received any guidance or contact from the government,” says Eldes Mattiuzzo , general director of the company. “Regardless, we are ready to collaborate and follow the authorities’ determination.”

Criminals take advantage of pandemic to apply scams on the internet

Survey of Apura Cybersecurity Intelligence , a Brazilian company specialized in cybercrime , revealed the existence of 2,236 sites with the word “coronavirus” in the domain, without the SSL Certificate , a kind of protocol that attests to the security of the environment. Only one of the platforms that detect threats from the company has already accumulated 63,463 events (occurrences) that mention the word “coronavirus”.

“The high worldwide repercussion on Covid-19 opened up space for people with bad intentions to take advantage of both the chaos and the constant search for information to spread malware and ransomware, “ warns the company’s founder and CEO, Sandro Süffert .

One of the detected cases victimized Johns Hopkins University , of the United States . A map with updated cases of the new coronavirus around the world identical to the institution’s website was sent by e-mail by cybercriminals. In the message, the map required downloading, through which malware was hidden, aimed at password theft.

Here, an adulterated video about the construction of the hospital in China erected to receive the victims of coronavirus was sent by e-mail, as phishing (bait) containing malware that, by remote access, allowed criminals to access the victim’s computer.

Still in Brazilian territory, WhatsApp and other groups of messages circulate information about companies such as Ambev and Netflix , for example. In the case of the first, the message is that the company is distributing alcohol gel units free of charge to those who click on “Continue Lendo”. The second offers free access to the first people who register by clicking on fraudulent links. “You have to be careful and never access this type of message,” says Süffert.

Sebrae and EMBRAPII (Brazilian Company for Industrial Research and Innovation) are going to release, today (20), R $ 2 million for the development of technological solutions to help the country face the advancement of coronavirus in its territory. The contribution will be added to another R $ 4 million from EMBRAPII and the counterparts of the companies and economic resources of the EMBRAPII Units. The expectation is to reach R $ 10 million in RD&I projects. The solutions may involve the diagnosis and treatment of the disease through technologies that include software, intelligent systems, hardware, parts and medical equipment, among others;

- Positivo As a Service , Positivo Tecnologia’s unit for the rental of computer equipment , is easing the term for new notebook rental contracts . The condition, which previously indicated a period of 36 to 60 months, is adapted to the new type of demand from companies, which are requesting shorter periods for renting computers, mainly notebooks, to meet the increase in home office practice;