During these unprecedented times of extreme uncertainty related to the Coronavirus’ impact on our health and economic well-being, we believe it’s appropriate to convey messages of positivity by shining the light on a group of VentureSouth portfolio companies that are “Doing Good”. After all, our motto is “Make Money. Have Fun. Do Good.” We are proud of how these companies have reacted and positioned their products and services to make an immediate, positive impact on the well-being of our country. From Coronavirus testing to homeschooling tools, these companies epitomize the type of company that any investor would want in their portfolio, and we are proud to support them.
COMPANIES INCREASING THE NATIONAL COVID-19 TESTING CAPACITY
Aperiomics is a biotech company that utilizes its shotgun metagenomic technology to identify every sequenced bacteria, DNA virus, parasite, and fungus with a single test.
Management made the decision early when testing in the United States was extremely limited to offer the COVID-19 PCR test using their expertise, lab facilities, and those of their partners – including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Aperiomics can run 2,500 tests per week and has been offering the test for only $99 out of pocket, which is refundable by insurance.
KIYATEC leverages its proprietary ex vivo 3D cell culture technology platform to accurately model and predict responses to approved and investigational cancer drugs targeting a spectrum of solid tumors.
One of the main bottlenecks for the COVID-19 testing capacity is RNA extraction, which is the first technical step in the testing process. KIYATEC has made its high-throughput RNA extraction services available to clinical laboratories that are conducting COVID-19 testing. The company has the capacity to provide 71,000 RNA extractions over April and May.
COMPANIES HELPING SOURCE ESSENTIAL MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
Kwipped is a B2B marketplace that offers leasing and financing options for a broad set of industries from food services to life sciences.
The lack of supply of important medical equipment, such as ventilators has been widely publicized and remains an ongoing issue for the country. Kwipped is uniquely positioned to match supply with demand for life-saving equipment and has taken on the challenge of sourcing ventilators, IV poles, suction pumps, infrared thermometers, and more for healthcare systems from California to Connecticut. Their incredible efforts have no doubt saved many lives.
Vendor Registry is a vendor management platform for public purchasers at cities, counties, school districts, utilities, colleges, and universities.
LaunchTN, a state-supported organization, has launched a crowdsource platform for medical supplies, PPE, and healthcare tools using Vendor Registry’s technology. Vendor Registry’s generous contribution is helping connect private businesses that can manufacture necessary supplies with the health organizations that are in need. It is amazing to see management repurposing their innovation for the public good during tough times.
COMPANIES HELPING WITH PREVENTATIVE HEALTH STANDARDS
Wellbox is a chronic care management solution that improves the clinical and financial outcomes for high-risk, high-cost patient populations.
Wellbox was already critically important for its patients and healthcare providers, but the current crisis has only made more clear the importance of remote medicine. Management has been working hard to onboard more patients as non-essential visits to doctor offices and hospitals are limited.
Avadim Health is a life sciences company with a portfolio of health and wellness products from immune health to neuromuscular health.
Theraworx Protect, a hospital product from Avadim Health, is helping to meet the challenge of opening up America.
COMPANIES HELPING MITIGATE THE ANCILLARY EFFECTS OF THE CRISIS
Sharpen is a technology platform that that provides mental health resources. Their users include college students, veterans and their spouses, entrepreneurs, and more.
As colleges moved their lectures online, Sharpen began offering their Sharpen Colleges platform for free for the remainder of this school year. With many students missing their friends, losing internships, and dealing with stress, mental health is more important than ever. From the University of West Georgia to Furman in Greenville, college students across the southeast can get the mental support resources to navigate these challenging times.
We are also pleased to announce that their Sharpen Founder platform is now available free for entrepreneurs in South Carolina.
ProctorFree is an on-demand, convenient, and cost-effective online proctoring solution for education and corporate environments.
As elementary schools to colleges to corporations moved their education online, ProctorFree made the decision to waive fees and offer discounts to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19. On top of that, the team has been working around the clock to launch new organizations in less than 24 hours.
Sentio is a data-driven hiring tool for franchises with a focus on hiring the right employees and reducing turnover.
Sentio management has turned its technology toward home health services, which have had problems rapidly increasing staff. As the economy begins to open, their tool will be vital for efficiently screening the high number of applicants that will be applying for jobs at quick service restaurants and chains.
ActivEd is an ed-tech company that offers an innovative movement-based platform that accelerates learning while improving health.
With the sudden learning environment shift for pre-k and elementary age students, ActivEd has decided to offer their Walkabouts product for free. The goal of the offer is to help minimize the learning disruption caused by the pandemic.