25 Mar 2020

Responding to COVID-19 at BGV

By Paul Miller

At BGV, we’re carefully monitoring the challenges the current coronavirus pandemic is creating for people and planet. Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is going to be a long-haul effort and has already made its mark on our way of life. It also highlights the many challenges faced by the most vulnerable in our society and the future of work. BGV’s highest priority is to continue providing the best support possible to our founders, while keeping everyone safe.

Last week we announced our decision to host the Spring 2020 programme online and we’re working around the clock to ensure the teams joining us on 1st April for a 12-week period will receive the highest quality (remote) support in building their tech for good business through these challenging times. We can’t predict whether our Autumn 2020 programme will run remotely, or will be held on-site, but we can assure you that we’ll open applications for our Autumn programme at the end of May to help amazing tech for good founders with funding and life-long support from BGV.  

For our founders (old and new), partners and wider community we’ve pulled together a document outlining how we’re coping with COVID-19 at BGV, which tools we’re using to stay connected (ain’t no party, like a Zoom tea party), business support available in the UK and how our portfolio companies are responding to COVID-19 (also below). 


How our ventures are tackling COVID19

– Aparito founder Elin shares her views on the impact of COVID19 on the future of clinical trials for rare diseases.

Birdsong shared an update on how they’re continuing to support their workers from low-income backgrounds.

– Commonplace added web conferencing to their platform enabling councils to move meetings online. They’ll launch 20 free licenses for councils to use in their COVID-19 response, and run a series of webinars aimed at councils and community groups on using digital tools for community engagement. 

– Clubsoda released a guide on how to stop drinking at home during quarantine – they are also regularly sharing how people can keep getting their favourite (non-alcoholic) drinks. 

Devie is sharing tips for parents facing extra challenges due to the coronavirus. 

DrDoctor, a patient platform for effective care used by the NHS and reaching 6m patients, are rapidly scaling up their features to enable NHS organisations to utilise the platform to help mitigate issues related to COVID-19. More info here

– Firesouls are sharing insights on how the impact of the virus can be mitigated through community actions. (n.b. Not their content). 

– Helsa reduced the costs of therapy sessions connecting LGBTQ+ folk with therapists to £45.  

Hospify, the first secure messaging app on the NHS library, are increasingly being used by NHS staff. Here is how they are supporting the NHS in this crisis.

– Immersive Rehab, transforming neuro-rehabilitation using VR to improve patient outcomes, shared a blog with online neuro-rehabilitation resources.

– LettUs Grow released Growing through Covid-19 together, on how the vertical farming sector can adapt and thrive in response to the changing situation.  

– MindMoose is sharing tips for keeping kids happy and mindful in this stressful time. 

– Musemio, an immersive educational platform that provides cultural education for children, are offering free-at-home learning resources via their weekly newsletter and a discount of 40% (code home2020) for headset purchases.

– Onaria shared a blog with tips to manage your dental health during a coronavirus lockdown.

– Organise, the UK’s place for workplace campaigning with 100,000 members, supported campaigns by workers raising fairer work conditions of delivery drivers of Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat, as well as campaigns urging warehouses to protect drivers from Coronavirus. A recent campaign victory includes suspending membership fees for creatives on Spotlight.

– Overleaf shared a blog providing guidance on how to collaborate remotely during the pandemic.

– Salve added video call functionality to their services to keep clinics in contact with their patients. 

– SecondNature wrote up their top tips on how to protect one’s physical and mental health on their blog.

– TalkLife, a global peer support network for young people, have been rolling out their product TalkLife Campus to universities supporting students with their mental health and wellbeing across five continents across 25 languages. Currently onboarding more universities who are taking their classes virtual and want to offer a peer support network for their students. Also published a blog with tips on how to manage anxiety in times of crisis. 

– Tranquiliti are moving their mental health support services for schools fully online.   

– UpSkill Me shared a top-10 of educational videos for young people.

– Written Medicine are offering free access to NHS organisations to their accessible/bilingual medication information portal. Their products can be used in secondary care, primary care and community pharmacies and integrate into EHR, PMR and GP IT systems, using APIs.