Many founders of startups resulting from the Explorer programme have cast aside their personal projects to create immediate solutions to fight COVID-19.
Madrid, 7th April 2020-. Scores of young entrepreneurs from various corners of the world who took part in the Santander Universities Explorer programme have either cast aside their personal projects or adapted them in a matter of days to offer their skills and talent in the search for urgent solutions to help ease the impact the crisis is having on society.
The initiatives which have been developed in record time range from a platform to connect healthcare centres with manufacturers of medical supplies; a tool to purchase vouchers to help small businesses survive; and a virtual reality experience to help explain the disease to children.
Explorer solutions to fight COVID-19
Through the Cooperavirus platform healthcare workers can post their requirements in real time and companies or individuals using 3D printers to produce personal protective equipment can advertise their products."We realised that there was a huge disparity between supply and demand", says José Gago, winner of the 2019 edition. "That logistical shortcoming spurred us on to create this platform." Healthcare centres can use the platform to quickly post urgent requests for material which are then connected to volunteers who are working all over the country.
Yoportitupormi.org is another temporary not-for-profit project created by John Correa and César de la Torre, CEOs of Alta Guardia and DOOD, startups which emerged from the 2018 edition of Explorer. "We want to help out small businesses, bars and restaurants during the crisis", explains Correa. "The concept is very simple, you can buy a voucher for a certain establishment right now and then use it once the COVID-19 crisis is over. This way we're ensuring these establishments don't have to close due to lack of liquidity."
Fixme is the brainchild of María Luke and Xandra Etxabe, and offers online entertainment options specifically for the current confinement. Users can enjoy live streams of a wide range of disciplines.
Nixi For Children from Tomás Lobeu, seeks to help make a difficult situation more bearable. This project has created virtual reality experiences for children explaining all about coronavirus and how to prevent its spread.
The GoPick startup was founded by Explorer Miguel San Antonio and offers users the chance to buy and pay for show tickets without queueing. It has teamed up with a home delivery company and is now offering its platform free-of-charge so bars and restaurants can manage orders during the crisis.
Another Explorer doing their bit is Bosco Soler, founder of significant.com who organised the free online #SomosRemotos (WeAreRemote) conference with experts from Apple, Doist, Metricool and Basecamp to help people working from home be more efficient at this time.
Other examples include Agit from Portugal. Users are set a daily challenge asking them to photograph their exercise routine and upload it to the app; and there is also Grammazzle which normally uses its 3D printers to produce English grammar and phonetics teaching material but has now switched over to making personal protective equipment.
These examples very clearly reflect how entrepreneurs are able to help society, the values inherent in Explorer and the talent and versatility of the young entrepreneurs who have taken part in the programme.
Click on this link for more information on the various initiatives offered by the Explorer entrepreneurs in the fight against coronavirus.
About Banco Santander
Banco Santander is the only European bank in the 2018 "Change the World" ranking of businesses that are helping to make the world a better place (Fortune magazine) through its positive impact on the community, among other metrics.
Its firm commitment to higher education, articulated through Santander Universities, also distinguished Santander as the company that invests the most in education worldwide (Varkey Report / UNESCO / Fortune 500). This is now one of Santander's hallmarks: it has 1,200 partnership agreements in place with universities and institutions in more than 20 countries and has allocated more than EUR 1,700 million to academic initiatives since 2002, and it provided more than 73,000 university scholarships and grants in 2018 alone, with the aim of helping people, businesses and society prosper.
The Explorer pre-incubation "Young people with solutions" initiative promotes young talent and has the backing of Banco Santander through Santander Universities. Explorer has digitalised its itinerary and in the first half of 2020 is developing a fully virtual pilot programme whereby young university entrepreneurs from Spain, Portugal, Mexico and Argentina can undertake 12 weeks of training, support and mentoring during which time they will build and validate solutions to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).