The perpetuation of the health and economic crisis caused by Covid-19 has prompted numerous entrepreneurs to reinvent themselves or develop new projects. The “COVID-Collaboration and Life” call for entries brought together a set of initiatives that seek to become a real alternative to help face the current context.
Through its venture capital area ChileGlobal Ventures, Fundación Chile promoted this initiative that could be developed thanks to the contribution of CMPC, Entel and Microsoft Chile, as well as the support of Sofofa and Corfo.
560 projects from 20 countries responded to the challenge, from which nearly 60 were chosen to be part of the “Catálogo Convocatoria Covid, Colaboración y Vida” (Covid, Collaboration and Life Call Catalog), whose purpose is to gather proposals that allow finding a solution to the problems brought along by the spread of coronavirus in four areas: community, economy, education and health.
CMPC Innovation Manager Felipe Alcalde claimed that “The call was a total success. More than 500 entrepreneurs applied to help beat this pandemic, and there are many very interesting initiatives. That is why we want to share the best startups with all of Chile and make their solutions available in this catalog so that anyone who needs them can contact them.”
One of the projects found in this catalog is Antu Energía, which seeks to refurbish vehicles with lithium batteries and everything they need to serve as a mobile clinic capable of going straight to the homes to deliver health services. The founder of this initiative, Manuel Mata, commented that “This started with the idea of making a light electrical vehicle. We are currently in the process of expanding towards municipalities that already have these vehicles, but with this fund we want to create a business model with collaborators who need this service -considering the collapsed health system- in order to reach homes with it.”
A second project is Fresh. “The supply chain from the farmer to the consumer is very long. It goes through many intermediaries, a lot of food is lost in the process, close to 40% in distribution, and a lot of plastic packaging is used. Through Fresh, we want to solve these issues,” explains Nils Nildeen, who is in charge of developing this platform together with the Dutch company Enviu, which creates and supports projects or startups that address social and environmental issues. The e-commerce platform has 15 farmers who supply the farm products and who will be subsequently managed with the logistics of Fresh, in charge of contacting the producer, managing their products with all the necessary sales information on its webpage, and receiving the orders that will be directly picked up in the field in order to be delivered to the homes.
Finally, a third initiative is Dona tu Notebook (Donate Your Notebook), which tries to give unused computers a second life cycle so they can be allocated to vulnerable families that cannot access one. Claudio Lerma, Director and Executive Secretary of Fundación Tecnología Responsable, explains that “We eliminated the operating system that the computer had and installed Chrome OS, which is lighter and equally capable of supporting an Internet connection that can even be shared with a cellphone in order to access work or study applications.”