As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates in Canada and around the world, businesses are taking steps to help flatten the curve and support customers through new products, services, and free offerings. This list will outline what Canadian tech companies are offering during the outbreak.
The list will be updated each Friday as more information comes in. Reach out via email so BetaKit can add to the list.
Inabuggy launches new delivery feature to support independent businesses during pandemic
Grocery delivery startup Inabuggy has launched Inabuggy-Mart to offer customers hyperlocal delivery from neighbourhood convenience stores, flower shops, and butchers within 30 minutes. The new marketplace will support small family-owned or independent shops during the pandemic, many of which don’t have the resources to make deliveries.
GroundLevel Insights launches free tool for restaurants, retailers to collect data for contact tracing
GroundLevel Insights, a Pickering, Ontario-based tech startup, has launched a free tool for small businesses to capture customer data needed for contract tracing. The service will be free for all small businesses in Canada until the end of the year.
Through a QR Code, contact tracing data is collected and stored, and deleted after 30 days. Businesses can request for the data to be sent to their local health authority in the event a positive case has been identified at their establishment.
Flipp partners with Freshii on planning and savings app
Retail tech startup Flipp has partnered with Canadian food franchise Freshii to offer Canadian savings content on the Flipp app. Through this content, users will be able to find deals until September 10.
Flipp launched the Restaurant section on the app in 2020, offering Canadians deals on iconic Canadian brands. The partnership with Freshii marks the first ‘health food’ partnership for the app.
Blue J offering tools to help users determine COVID-19 relief eligibility
Toronto-based legal tech startup Blue J, has launched a set of COVID-19 relief programs and credits guided analysis tools for the United States and Canada. The tools are aimed to help individuals and organizations identify the available relief programs and credits for which they may be eligible. Information on these programs will be frequently updated to help users make relevant and timely decisions.
Adastra and Ataccama offering AI-driven program in fight against COVID-19
Ontario data companies Adastra and Ataccama are partnering to offer a data governance acceleration program at no cost to organizations during the pandemic. The program is aimed to help organizations regulate their data to ensure the delivery of accurate and timely information and insights, execute strategic decision making, and accelerate the development of COVID-19-related solutions quickly.
Wello creates new tool to help prevent COVID-19 workplace spread
Canadian telemedicine provider, Wello, has developed an integrated self-screening and reporting protocol to help manage the risk of bringing COVID-19 into the workplace. Return to Workplace is an online tool that provides companies with accurate, real‐time data on the eligibility of their workforce to return to the physical workplace safely.
The Canadian Shield donates 750,000 face shields to Canadian teachers
Kitchener-Waterloo-based personal protective equipment manufacturer The Canadian Shield is donating 750,000 reusable face shields to ensure educators are protected from COVID-19 and other serious health risks as schools reopen in the Fall. According to the company, the value of the donation is approximately $7.5 million. The Canadian Shield was spun up by EdTech startup InkSmith at the onset of the pandemic.
B-Line launches new contact tracing feature to prevent the spread of COVID-19
B-Line, a survey platform that aims to help building owners measure how people commute and engage with others, has introduced a contact tracing feature to its platform. B-Line’s software measures how people travel and engage with others. The addition of the contact tracing feature will allow users access to detailed location traces for up to 28 days before the onset of illness symptoms.
URelles and Le Wagon create training program for women in technology
Le Wagon Montreal, an international coding school, and URelles, a consulting firm specializing in the strategy and implementation of policies focused on diversity in technology, are partnering to offer training to women in technology. In one day of training, participants will learn the basic concepts of programming, as well as how to build their own website. The new program is intended to support local companies in their digital shift during the pandemic, and to diversify the technological workforce.
Borrowell launches Boost, a new digital tool to help users navigate bill payments
Toronto-based FinTech startup Borrowell has launched Boost, a new digital subscription-based tool designed to help users track, manage, and pay bills on time. Available through the company’s existing app, Boost sends customers low balance alerts and provides an interest-free $75 cash advance to help them avoid missing payments and collecting overdraft fees. Borrowell is offering a free, 30-day trial to Boost. Access thereafter costs $4.99 monthly. The FinTech startup launched the tool in response to the current “financial stress felt by Canadians.”
Vancouver-based healthtech Curatio creates Stronger Together mobile app
Digital health company Curatio has debuted Stronger Together, a free mobile app that aims to connect patients to the support and resources they require via artificial intelligence, “intelligent matchmaking,” and machine learning. The in-patient support and advanced remote monitoring app also provides access to content related to healthy living and mental support during COVID-19. It also provides live events and the podcast series Curatio Connects. Curatio touts the platform as “fully configurable and customizable,” and thus able to fit the needs of a variety of healthcare organizations, patient populations, and initiatives. The app is currently available for download on Android and iOS.
TD’s 2020 TD Ready Challenge focuses on solutions addressing impact of COVID-19
The third annual TD Ready Challenge will provide $10 million CAD in grants to charitable and non-profit organizations tackling community issues related to COVID-19. Prizes range from $350,000 to $1 million in value. Applications are open until August 13.
Foko Retail releases resources to help retailers navigate during and after the pandemic
Quebec-based Foko Retail has released the COVID Kit, a suite of free and paid tools and resources designed to help retailers navigate COVID-19. The kit includes MyCheck-In, a self-assessment survey for retail employees that sends an automated questionnaire to workers before each shift to screen them for potential COVID-19 symptoms. The kit also includes queue management software MyQueue, and online scheduling tool MyReservation. Retailers will also receive free access to Foko Retail’s communication platform until September.
BetaKit partners with Jobbio and TalentMinded to help unemployed Canadians find their next job
BetaKit has partnered with Jobbio and TalentMinded have launched BounceBack, a tool that lets the recently unemployed receive notifications for open job roles in their chosen field as they become available. Those who sign up are also eligible to receive free one-on-one consultations with TalentMinded. Users can also find relevant jobs when they become available, and content that will help them stay positive and improve their chances of getting hired.
Traction on Demand creates two new platforms to assist Canadians during crisis
Vancouver-based Traction on Demand has created an online platform designed to view, track and allocate healthcare personnel, personal protective equipment, ventilator availability, and other critical supplies in real-time. The company has also developed a virtual events platform that brings event elements to businesses and nonprofits needing to adjust their event strategies for the year.
PureFilters, Now Creative Group launch Maskwell to fill protective mask shortage
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, air filter e-commerce startup PureFilters and marketing agency Now Creative Group have partnered to produce reusable masks featuring high-efficiency air filters. Launched in April 2020, Maskwell aims to offer an accessible, affordable Canadian option for high-quality filter masks. Each mask comes with a set of replaceable filters, and the ability to subscribe for fresh filter refills.
VoGro launches app connecting volunteers to seniors, at-risk people
A group of students from the University of Waterloo have created an app that lets volunteers connect with elderly and at-risk people who don’t feel safe leaving home during the COVID-19 pandemic. VoGro, as the app is called, lets volunteers pick and choose tasks, such as getting groceries, walking pets, or receiving mail or essential items.
Codecademy offering 1,000 unemployed Toronto residents free access to Pro platform
Codecademy is offering furloughed or unemployed Toronto area residents free access to its premium Pro platform, which normally costs $20 per month, to help users grow their skillset in coding. This is part of a larger national effort to give 100,000 unemployed and furloughed workers free access to Codecademy’s education resources.
Bold Commerce launches ‘Buylocal.ly’ to help businesses connect with customers
Bold Commerce has launched Buylocal.ly, an online directory aimed to help local restaurants and stores let their community know that they are operational, along with business hours, pickup and delivery instructions, location information, and their business category.
ThinkData Works builds COVID-19 data repository
ThinkData Works is providing a repository of data to 4.3 million machine learning scientists for the online COVID-19 challenge administered by the White House and Kaggle. The data is gathered, standardized, and centralized so researchers can draw insights, build models, and understand and stop the spread of COVID-19.
No-contact food pickup service ClickDishes launches in Tokyo
ClickDishes, a Vancouver-based startup that provides cashless and no-contact fast-service food pickup, has launched its service in Tokyo, Japan. The team accelerated the Tokyo launch date to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The startup aims to have 4,000 stores on its platform by the end of the year.
AccessNow launches directory of accessible businesses
AccessNow has launched a directory that helps people connect to businesses, such as food delivery, supplies, virtual experiences, and online banking, from home. The online resource, called Access From Home, is also aimed to build awareness about the importance of inclusive business practices.
GroceryHero offers free grocery delivery to medical staff across Canada
GroceryHero is offering a free delivery matching service to help Canadian frontline medical professionals focused on fighting COVID-19. Through GroceryHero, volunteers across Canada are matched with a medical professional in their neighbourhood by postal code, and put in touch directly to arrange free grocery delivery.
Faire launches financial planning tool for retailers amidst COVID-19
Faire has launched a COVID-19 impact calculator that provides small business owners with essential information and resources to help keep their business running. This new calculator will provide retailers with a better sense of their financial status and operating runway given the current climate, as well as recommendations on how to make adjustments and reduce costs.
Goodlawyer, to offer free legal advice to SMBs across Canada
Calgary-based Goodlawyer, which has built a platform for on-demand, online legal services targeting small businesses, including startups, is offering free legal advice for small businesses dealing with challenges regarding rent and real estate, employee or employer relations, and government support.
TextNow offers free phone service to those affected by COVID-19
TextNow is giving away its free talk and text cellular phone service in Canada to support those affected by the pandemic. The company can provide users with a 10-digit phone number or port in their existing number. As a part of this initiative, TextNow is also sending devices preloaded with services to House of Friendship, a non-profit in Kitchener-Waterloo.
Vendasta launches Protect Local to help businesses during COVID-19 crisis
Vendasta, which offers an enterprise cloud platform, developing resources and products for local businesses to weather the storm. The company has launched resources to help companies protect their local business clients through Protect Local. These resources include toolkits for working from home and career advancement.
Nicoya provides free access to tools for researchers working on COVID vaccine
Kitchener-Waterloo-based healthtech startup Nicoya will be offering Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) technical support to all researchers for free during COVID-19. SPR technology allows researchers to obtain high-quality binding kinetics data faster so they can better understand disease pathways, lead generation, and candidate validation.
Trufan giving small and medium-sized businesses free access to social insights
Trufan launched a free offering that allows businesses with under 25,000 followers to get 45 day free access to its audience segmentation platform SocialRank, which the company acquired last November. Through Trufan’s platform, businesses can identify their most engaged and influential social fans, engage their competitor or industry’s top social fans, and understand what their social audience is interested in.
Vidyard helping schools connect during COVID-19 with free video tools
Vidyard is providing all school districts and teachers with free early access to its secure video messaging and screen sharing solution, Vidyard for Schools. The company hopes to help school staff and teachers stay connected and productive while physical schools remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Essay Jack extends free trial for writing tools indefinitely
EdTech startup Essay Jack has extended its free trial indefinitely and is allowing students to access essay writing tools to continue with their educational commitments. EssayJack is an interactive web platform that pre-structures student essays, allows educator customization and feedback, and aims to reduce writing anxiety, and
Click Armor offering a free online assessment during pandemic
Click Armor is offering a free online assessment for employees to determine how well they can identify phishing attacks, disinformation and cybersecurity threats. The Coronavirus Edition of “Can I Be Phished?” uses gamification to test and improve cybersecurity skills. Players see several emails whose senders may or may not be malicious attackers and must review each one and assess if it’s safe or suspicious.
Empower Health launches webpage with up-to-date facts on pandemic
Empower Health has launched a dedicated webpage of up-to-date facts to inform the public on COVID-19 and has created a readable map to locate assessment centers, and a directory of hours of pharmacies and healthcare center operations. Empower Health’s offering displays nearby healthcare providers, including family doctors accepting patients, holiday hours for healthcare services across regions.
Jewlr manufacturing face shields for Ontario’s frontline workers
Toronto-based online jewelry company Jewlr usually uses its laser to craft personalized adornments for its customer base. It is now using that same laser to manufacture face shields for Ontario’s frontline workers. To date, the company has crafted and shipped over 2,500 face shields to frontline workers across Ontario.
Goodfood raises $50,000 for Breakfast Club of Canada COVID-19 Emergency Fund
Montreal-based food delivery service Goodfood matched its members’ donations to the Breakfast Club of Canada COVID-19 Emergency Fund, up to $10,000, during the first two weeks of April. This fundraising campaign contributed over $50,000 for children and families. GoodFood is also partnering with the University of Montreal Health Centre Foundation to supply medical personnel and volunteers with ready-to-eat meals during the month of April.
CareGuide gives Canadian frontline healthcare free access to childcare matching platforms
Toronto-based CareGuide is offering all healthcare workers free access to its childcare platforms, CanadianNanny.ca for nannies, and Sitter.com for babysitters. These platforms are aimed to help families find and hire local caregivers with a wide range of skill sets, from casual babysitters to long-term and special needs providers. CareGuide hopes to support those taking on the added responsibility of sourcing healthcare in the current landscape.
AlayaCare develops COVID-19 screener for care workers and clinicians
AlayaCare has released a COVID-19 screener as part of its home care mobile platform. The application gives front-line workers an electronic tool to assess risk before they provide home and community-based services to the elderly and vulnerable patients. The tool can be used before each visit and is available to personal care workers and clinicians.
MediSeen offers free virtual care and screening software to all regulated health and wellness providers
MediSeen will offer physicians and certified health and wellness practitioners in Canada free access to its virtual care platform. The platform can be used as a tool to provide online assessments and in-home visits when necessary for patients to reduce the need for in-clinic visits due to COVID-19. The decision was made in an effort to ensure patients are able to access health and wellness practitioners during the current period of social distancing.
Outpost Health offers free virtual visit software app to healthcare providers
Outpost is offering its healthcare app for free to all healthcare providers globally for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will allow healthcare providers to triage cases and give care to patients while minimizing the risk of exposure to the virus. The initiative is aimed to prevent the spread of illness by allowing a provider’s current patients to seek the information they need from their homes.
Nesto gives Canadians one year of free mobile access to doctors and nurses
Nesto is offering one year of free access to Dialogue, which will allow users to have live chats with nurses, video consultations with doctors, prescription renewals, and free medication delivery. Users can now get specialist referrals when medically indicated, get help in navigating the healthcare system, and follow-up with a medical team. The service is available to users and their immediate family members.
Vidyard introduces free video messaging to improve internal communications during pandemic
Vidyard has introduced a new free offering, Vidyard for Internal Communications, to help remote workers stay connected through secure video content and messaging. The offer allows executives and employees to record, secure, and share private videos from their web browser and email app. CEO Michael Litt said it was a solution Vidyard was intending to release as a paid offering, but the company decided to accelerate the launch and make an early access version available at no cost in light of the pandemic.
Thoughtexchange opens free access to crowdsourcing platform
Thoughtexchange has opened free access to its platform for those who want to address COVID-19 with their remote employees, customers, and communities. The crowdsourcing technology allows leaders to connect with every member of their team or community and crowdsource anonymized answers to open-ended questions.
League offers enterprises free access to healthcare benefits experience platform
League is offering a complimentary trial of its Health Benefits Experience platform to enterprises in need. The three-month program is aimed to help alleviate the current healthcare and administrative burden on human resources teams during the COVID-19 outbreak. The platform will give employers health and technology resources to provide enhanced healthcare navigation, access, and resources to newly-decentralized workforces.
What Canadian telecom companies are doing to help customers during COVID-19
MobileSyrup highlighted of what telecom providers in Canada and the United States are doing to assist their customers amid the outbreak. In Canada, Rogers and Vidéotron have reportedly lifted all data caps in response to COVID-19. Telus will waive home internet overage charges through until the end of April, and waiving any additional usage fees.
Hockeystick launches list of active funders as COVID-19 creates cash crunch for Canadian startups
Hockeystick has released a new list of the active equity funders, lenders, and government funders in Canada. Raymond Luk, the founder and CEO of Hockeystick spoke about the rising sense of uncertainty in Canada’s tech community due to the COVID-19 outbreak. He said cash is top of mind for founders and entrepreneurs now more than ever, and his goal with creating the list of active funders was to make it easier for startups to quickly access funding resources.
Grassroots database launched to help unemployed Canadian startup workers amid COVID-19
In an effort to support out-of-work Canadian startup employees amid COVID-19, a group of Canadian organizations have created a resource to help those employees find work and support. The ‘Talent Help List’ allows workers to add themselves and list their skills and the work they are looking for.
Maple to launch COVID-19 screening for Ontario residents, free virtual clinic platform for doctors
Virtual care company Maple is providing online COVID-19 (coronavirus) screenings with a live physician to Ontario residents. Maple is also currently offering its virtual clinic software to all Ontario and British Columbia (BC) physicians free of charge amid the outbreak. Maple’s virtual clinic platform, which is currently being offered to all Ontario and BC doctors free of charge, will allow physicians in those provinces to launch virtual care capabilities from their home, office, or clinic.
PressReader offers free daily collection of stories regarding COVID-19 news
PressReader has launched a news feed and a digital newspaper of the latest COVID-19 stories from around the world. The digital newspaper, COVID-19 News, features top daily news headlines and expert analyses. The channel and digital newspaper are available for free and can be accessed on the PressReader app or online.
Cribcut to provide monthly stipends to clients losing out on earnings due to COVID-19 pandemic
Halifax-based Cribcut, which helps companies provide cosmetic services to employees, is providing the stylists that use its platform with a monthly stipend to circumvent their lost wages and tips due to business closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement comes after Cribcut decided to suspend 400 office visits and cancel about 3,500 appointments because of the pandemic.
Hootsuite provides free access to platform for small and medium-sized businesses during pandemic
Social media management company Hootsuite is offering free access to its professional plan for non-profit organizations and small businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Until July 1, organizations can use Hootsuite to engage with their audiences, create content, manage crisis communications, and access a library of social media training courses for free.
Shopify to offer $200 million in small business funding to clients
Shopify has added $200 million to Shopify Capital, its fund that supports its merchants with small loans, as a way to support customers affected by COVID-19. Shopify Capital is currently only available to Shopify merchants in the United States, but the company is working with governments to make the funds available in more countries as soon as possible. The additional $200 million in loans being made available is in addition to other steps that Shopify is taking to support its customer base.
Lightspeed introduces initiatives supporting local businesses
Lightspeed is offering free access to three of its paid offerings: Lightspeed Delivery, Lightspeed eCommerce, and Lightspeed Loyalty, for omnichannel customers. The company will also be reimbursing employees in its 14 global offices up to $500 in local currency on purchases employees make from any Lightspeed retail or restaurant customer. The company said the new initiatives are aimed to support its local retail and restaurant customers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
BlackBerry makes support and solutions for remote work available to companies for free
BlackBerry is looking to help customers and other companies implement their remote working programs at no cost. BlackBerry Desktop software and BlackBerry AtHoc, its mass notification system, are now available free of charge for a 60 day period. The move is aimed to ensure every company has the resources necessary to keep their workforce secure, connected, and productive during the pandemic.
Knix launches fundraiser to donate medical equipment to frontline healthcare workers
Toronto-based Knix, which develops intimates for women, is calling for donations on GoFundMe to help the startup purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers on the frontlines in the fight against the outbreak. The startup is looking to donate N95 masks, surgical gowns, gloves and doctor and nurse kits from its own suppliers.
DMZ launches #HackTheCurve to launch solutions addressing COVID-19
Ryerson University’s DMZ is creating an online hackathon aimed to facilitate the development of solutions to help address the pandemic. The challenge, called #HackTheCurve, is aimed to provide an opportunity for individuals to create teams online and build solutions to drive social impact, with the aim of tackling challenges specifically related to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The winner of the challenge will receive $10,000 in cash as well as an expedited application for DMZ membership.
eSight launches online resource for the low vision community, amid the pandemic
Electronic glasses company eSight recently launched #eSightTogether, an online resource for the low vision community as they learn to navigate through their new aspects of daily living amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The resource contains a list of the most pertinent resources for people with visual impairments to stay informed with COVID-19 and access useful tools for managing during the crisis.
Unbounce offering free accounts to critical services during pandemic
Landing page platform company Unbounce is offering organizations in healthcare, education, nonprofit, or government sectors a free Unbounce account for three months. The offer is available for sign-ups before June 1. The startup said the organizations it’s targeting provide mission-critical services, adding that landing pages, pop-ups, and sticky bars could help them share new information with their communities and customers.
MedEssist makes base app to pharmacies free to alleviate pressure on local pharmacists
MedEssist, a startup that helps connect patients with their local pharmacy, has made its base app free to use for all pharmacies across Canada. MedEssist said it has seen a huge lift in refills coming through the app to its existing pharmacy partners due to the outbreak. The company is also working on a free inventory system that any pharmacy can use to help them with the major drug shortage problem.
Willful offering free wills to healthcare workers to help with emergency planning
Toronto-based Willful is giving away 1,000 free Willful plans to healthcare workers across Canada who have been affected by COVID-19. The startup noted that healthcare administrators have called for frontline healthcare professionals to get their documents in order since their jobs entail higher exposure to the virus. Those interested must provide a form of proof that they are employed as a frontline worker.
Wize is making its online tutoring platform free
EdTech startup Wize is making its online tutoring platform free to help first-year university and college students impacted by the crisis. Wize is an online education platform offering instant access to course-tailored exam prep for major universities across North America. Schools across the continent have been forced to close due to the pandemic. Wize’s tutoring platform is aimed to make up for lost education support.
CoLab opens free access to pro plan for its project collaboration platform
Any team working to design and manufacture solutions to help fight COVID-19 will now have free access to CoLab’s software. The startup offers a review and issue tracking platform that aims to help design and manufacturing teams collaborate on projects. CoLab is also compiling resources on how to make the transition to remote working as smooth as possible.
Communo makes platform free for marketing and design freelancers
In an effort to help workers affected by the economic slowdown, Calgary-based Communo is offering its freelancer membership at no charge. Communo’s platform connects freelancers and agencies in the ad, branding, and design sectors, helping people find jobs and make themselves visible to potential employers.
Ample Labs launches chatbot to help vulnerable community members stay safe
Toronto-based Ample Labs has launched COVID-Bot, a free chatbot that helps people find best practices and stay safe.COVID-Bot is aimed to ensure that Toronto’s most vulnerable community members get essential information. The web app offers users real-time information about COVID-19, preventative measures, assessment centres, mental health supports, community care groups and frequently asked questions.
Hyr connects people to essential paid and volunteer work
Mobile app-based staffing platform Hyr has expanded and repurposed its platform so that any non-profit or government organization can use Hyr for free to fill vital volunteer shifts. The app will help connect willing volunteers who sign up on their platform to these positions. Hyr is also helping connect displaced workers to essential service industries. Companies like Loblaws, Walmart, Amazon, etc. can now post and fill job opportunities on the platform for free.
InnerSpace makes inFORCE offering free during pandemic
InnerSpace, which has created a WiFi-based indoor location intelligence platform, is providing its emergency response and public safety solutions to municipalities for free. The company said the solutions are well-suited to understand the movement of people inside public spaces and can support emergency response strategies, social distancing programs, and help smart cities implement effective security and public safety measures.
iComply offers funding to help organizations digitize operations during the crisis
iComply, a Vancouver-based software company that provides intelligent compliance management solutions, is offering a $2.8 million CAD ($2 million USD) service grant to eligible government agencies, registered charities, and community organizations. The program provides funds to cover between 25 to 100 percent of the costs of iComply products, services, and data to digitize operations and help organizations avoid face-to-face interaction during the COVID-19 crisis.
Thrive offers career help platform for free to Canadians impacted by COVID-19
Thrive, a career wellness startup based in Toronto, is offering free three-month access to its career wellness platform. The services being offered include a resume builder, job search software, networking tools, a live chat, and the ability to track and analyze postings across different job boards. The initiative is aimed to help the more than one million Canadians applying for Employment Insurance in the week following Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement of emergency support benefits.
Pascal launches free FinTech bundle to help financial advisors through the pandemic
Toronto-based FinTech company Pascal has launched Prevail, a free group of wealth-tech services, to help support financial advisors through the COVID-19 crisis. The “bundle” supports advisors by helping improve client interactions through remote client engagement tools, portfolio stress testing analytics help clients better understand their investments, and InvestorDNA, Pascal’s behavioural finance assessment tool providing client insights on individual levers driving financial decision making.
Parity offering $10,000 for condo boards to help offset the financial burden of COVID-19
Toronto-based Parity is launching its Pay It Forward campaign, which will advance up to $10,000 of clients’ energy savings in cash, which can be paid directly to the client’s condo board. The move is aimed to help offset the immediate and unexpected financial burden of COVID-19. The move is aimed to help condos and other residential buildings manage during the current public health crisis, as whole communities are currently confined to their homes, causing a rise in at-home energy usage.
Vancouver founder launches tool to assist high-risk individuals receive supplies
Sam Chandola, founder of V2 Games and Audacia Ventures, has launched a tool that connects individuals at a high risk of contracting COVID-19, such as seniors, to volunteers who can deliver supplies, such as groceries and medicine. The website sends potential volunteers the email and postal code of the requester and then invites them to connect.
Boss Insights offering free lead qualification services for lenders to cope with surge in applications
Boss Insights, a Toronto-based SaaS company whose data platform is aimed to accelerate the lending process, is offering free lead qualification services for any lender that does due diligence on new and existing loans. The move is aimed to support small and commercial businesses during the economic slowdown brought on by the pandemic and ensure that lenders are well-positioned to support the surge in applications.
BroadbandTV unveils advertising program to support companies focused on COVID-19 relief
Vancouver-based companies BroadbandTV is committing a percentage of client advertising spend to companies that are providing support and relief to those impacted by COVID-19. The funds can be applied directly to the World Health Organization, Feeding America, or Canadian Food banks. Clients can also use the funds to further extend their reach. Well Health was reportedly the first company to take advantage of this initiative.
Hubdoc offers free 90-day access to document management platform
Toronto-based Hubdoc is offering 90-day free access to its platform until June 30 to help businesses get their finances in order amid COVID-19. Hubdoc’s platform automatically extracts key information from bills or receipts so that it’s conveniently copyable into the Xero accounting platform, with the original document attached. The document management startup was acquired by accounting service, Xero, in July 2018.
D2L offers online resources, COVID-19 course for education community
EdTech company D2L has developed a free online course aimed to help the public learn more about COVID-19. The startup is also offering educational information and advice to teachers and schools regarding online learning. The resources are aimed to help those in the education system globally adapt to the current circumstances.
Clout Jam launches campaign to connect influencers to charitable opportunities during pandemic
The co-founders of influencer business management platform Clout Jam, Trevor Mengel and Samantha Cutler, have launched #CloutForGood, a campaign that connects influencers with pro-bono opportunities to raise awareness of charitable organizations on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. So far, Clout Jam has partnered with a handful of non-profit organizations including Second Harvest, Food Banks Canada, and Food4Kids.
FaceDrive provides discounted rides to healthcare workers, develops contact tracing app to help curb spread
Facedrive, a ridesharing platform focused on environmental conservation, has implemented five new initiatives during the pandemic. The startup is delivering medicine and supplies through drivers and has established a training program to ensure its drivers can keep riders safe during the pandemic.
Facedrive is also offering discounted rides for healthcare workers and partnered with the Middlesex-London Health Unit to offer a transportation service for residents travelling to and from the region’s COVID-19 assessment centers.
Finally, Facedrive has developed a contact tracing app in collaboration with the University of Waterloo. Contact tracing is the identification of those who may have come into contact with an infected person. The app exchanges short-distance Bluetooth signals between devices to detect other users in close proximity. The data collected from the app is intended to allow researchers to pick up trends that can help forecast the spread and determine appropriate measures needed to contain the virus.
Image source Unsplash. Photo by National Cancer Institute.