Startup Solutions for Covid-19 Business Challenges
Here at Sente, we work with startups in many different industries. We know Covid-19 has impacted businesses large and small around the world. We checked in with some of our startups to see how they are developing solutions for companies to deal with the global pandemic.
The Covid-19 Buzzword – Pivot
First up is Anu-Maaria Sandmeir and Julia Floven from Vibe Vision in Helsinki, Finland, who shares a personal account of the effects of Covid-19 on their business.
“At the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, we were scheduled to be in Istanbul for Phase 2 of our startup program with Sente and Yildiz Holding.
The London Phase1 week that happened earlier in the year was great and intense, and I had high expectations for my time in the vivid, marvelous, beautiful Istanbul. However, the move from in-person to online meetings turned out to be pretty smooth, and we quickly adapted to the online format.
At Vibe Vision, we noticed growing online sales, so we slightly pivoted our business. We had planned to focus on R&D in the future, but with everyone in home offices, the time was right to do it. We made our widget ready for online customer use, and we tested emotion analysis in webinars and online meetings.
We also had a project underway with industry and university partners. This project also changed because of the pandemic. Our analyses showed people feeling fear, stress, loneliness, and anger because of being confined to their homes for work and school. However, They also felt happiness and appreciation for time with family and connections to friends - even if only online.
Now the wheels are rolling again. We have a new project with the Finnish Marketing Company Taloustutkimus about the emotions different brands are waking in customers. Remarkably, at the moment, it looks like we will reach our financial goal for this year - or even exceed it.
At the beginning of the next year, we plan to start our investment round. How Covid-19 affects investor activity and our business revenue remains to be seen, but we feel hopeful.”
Vibe Vision provides businesses with reliable and easy-to-understand information: what kind of emotions are involved in your experience, and why.
Commitment to the Mission and a Positive Outlook Lead to New Opportunities
London-based Rene Perkins from CityMaas explains how their team has remained positive during Covid-19 and have found new opportunities during these uncertain times.
“The start of the Coronavirus and the enforced lockdown proved to be a challenging and emotional time for all of us. Nevertheless, we remain dedicated to working hard towards our goals.
To demonstrate our team’s commitment to put technology to good use, we joined the Hack from Home Global Virtual Hackathon, a collaborative effort to make a difference against Covid-19. Our project – the CityMaaS Resource & Information for Staying Put (CRiSP) – received a positive reaction and was ranked second in its category.
CityMaaS’s mission is to enable businesses to increase sales and save costs by being inclusive of people with disabilities. Right now, this mission is more important than ever.
We are, therefore, pleased to announce a couple of exciting updates from the past few weeks:
The UK Department of Transport funded our project to deliver accessible travel. It is a superb opportunity for us to develop our technologies. It will enable us to deliver a digitally inclusive platform using AI & crowd-sourced data to enable efficient travel for people with limited mobility in smart cities.
We are excited about the prospect of opening in new markets. CityMaaS will be tackling transport poverty in Portugal and other European countries through a Horizon 2020 funded HiReach Project. We will develop new tools and business models to improve accessibility and inclusion in transport for areas and communities in need.
We are launching our web app soon!
There is a lot of uncertainty about the future and business. During these difficult times, we must continue to search for innovative solutions and opportunities. A global crisis opens the door for global collaborative solutions, unlike anything we have seen before.”
CityMaaS provides an inclusive frictionless travel for disabled people.
Rethinking Traditional Business Leads to Transformation
“Due to COVID-19, like other B2B businesses, we have had to rethink traditional sales methods such as face-to-face meetings," says Takus Lo from TradeMonday based in Hong Kong.
"Typically, in-person meetings lead to a B2B company selling its products to a B2C company that sells them to consumers. Think Pladis selling Carr’s crackers to the local grocery store chain who then sells them to consumers.
With the absence of these meetings plus excess product inventory due to disrupted supply channels like store closings, many companies have had to transform to a B2B2C setup using online channels.
We developed a cost-effective way to generate revenue and help these companies sustain their operations by helping them to understand the demand of the end consumers.
TradeMonday offers customer sentiment, and sales demand analytics on major marketplaces. This helps B2B companies to quickly identify what products consumers want and their estimated sales volume. B2B companies can quickly simulate different product assortments and distribution strategies in various marketplaces.
During the pandemic, we have helped companies in the grocery, cosmetics, and electronics industries. Yes, we had to transform due to Covid-19, but the transformation led to new business lines.”
TradeMonday provides a SaaS-based machine learning market intelligence platform.