How Startups Around The World Are Pivoting In Response To The Health Crisis

Startups HC
These 10 startups are pivoting and partnering their way into helping us navigate the health crisis.
  • The current situation has prompted many startups to rapidly change course.
  • These 10 startups are pivoting and partnering their way into helping us navigate the health crisis.
  • Among them, a manufacturing startup is now producing hand sanitiser, and a software startup has transformed into a hub for family education activities.

Nowadays, pivoting is viewed as one of the key concepts of lean startup methodology. Under “normal” circumstances, it’s done after careful consideration and planning, yet the current crisis has prompted many to change course at the drop of a hat. 

Fortunately, there are lots of innovative, agile and reactive startups out there today that are able to pivot and partner their way into helping us navigate the global health crisis. 

Here are just 10 out of dozens that have caught our eye over the last few weeks. 

Of course, up first is a coworking space.

1. Populus Coworking 

In a bid to provide virtual value to its own small business community and the wider startup community, Omaha-based coworking space Populus decided to organise a free all-day conference (aptly named The Living Room Conference.)

Among the conference’s 15 speakers are Adobe’s Chief Product Officer Scott Belsky, news anchor Julie Cornell, artist Roddy Chong and co-founder of Lifehoop, Amy Johnson. 

The conference was live streamed on April 10th but the recording is available to watch on their website. Populus has also created a useful online coronavirus business resource centre on their blog, covering everything from business loans to housing. 

Populus Coworking streamed an all-day Living Room Conference.

2. Hexigone

Hexigone is a chemical manufacturing startup that focuses on developing smart  anti-corrosion inhibitors for buildings. However, due to the temporary closure of construction sites, they are focusing their efforts on manufacturing hand sanitiser alongside Welsh rum distillers, Coles Brewery.

3. Thoughtful Human

A greeting card startup with a difference, Thoughtful Human produces cards that help people communicate with loved ones honestly when faced with challenging circumstances such as grief – and more recently, the pandemic. 

Thoughtful Human has partnered with BetterHelp to offer a free month of online therapy via messaging, chat, phone or video sessions. 

4. 3D Hubs

Amsterdam-based manufacturing company 3D Hubs is using its global network to produce personal protection equipment (PPE) through a special crowdfunded COVID-19 Manufacturing Fund. 

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    So far thousands of face shields have been shipped to countries around the world and the company has orders coming from countries such as the USA, Canada and Singapore.

    5. Coding Dojo

    Global volunteer-led coding “movement” Coding Dojo recently launched an initiative that seeks to connect its alumni coders to small businesses that need website development services to help them adapt to the current circumstances. 

    Coders are accepting projects on a voluntary basis; typical tasks include things like adding takeout delivery features for restaurants.

    6. Pathfindr

    Usually, this UK-based startup develops technology that tracks and monitors industry and factory goods. In response to COVID-19, they’ve adapted one of their solutions to enable staff to monitor how close they are to each other.

    When someone comes within two metres of someone else with a device, the device buzzes to alert the user. 

    7. ArtNight

    Based in Berlin, ArtNight runs creative workshops across cities in Germany and the UK. Like many events businesses, they’ve had to cancel their face-to-face meetups due to physical distancing measures. 

    Instead, they are delivering art materials to people’s homes and live streaming online tutorials. Participants can ask the artists questions and communicate with other participants.

    8. Gophr

    This delivery service specialises in same-day B2B delivery and tracking and works with the likes of Deliveroo and Airbnb. While B2C delivery demand is strong, B2B has shrunk, so alongside their usual operations the company is using their delivery teams to get pharma, bio-sample, test kits and other essential items to labs, pharmacies and medical companies. 

    9. Warsaw Genomics

    Warsaw Genomics is a biotechnology company specialising in delivering highly sensitive and accurate evidence-based genetic tests. According to sifted, Warsaw Genomic has paused its genome services “to instead offer coronavirus tests for distribution within Poland’s hospitals.”

    10. Kidadl 

    London-based software startup Kidadl usually provides parents with a platform through which to find and book experiences and events for all the family. 

    In the light of closures and movement restrictions, they’ve temporarily pivoted into a hub for fun and education activities that families can do to keep themselves entertained. Some activities are designed for specific age groups whereas others are suitable for children of all ages. 

    Our personal favourites include “Jedi Approved Fun Star Wars Craft Ideas” and “7 Easy Tricks to Keep Kids Spellbound”!

    Have you pivoted recently or know a business that has? Join the conversation on Twitter and tag us at

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