Startup Positivity — Week 13
Over the last few weeks we’ve highlighted the fantastic work that the teams at City Light portfolio teams are doing to make the world smarter and safer. This week, we continue with three stories from companies on the frontlines of education and healthcare, including some from fellow travellers’ portfolios.
The entrepreneurs with whom we are fortunate enough to partner are working on solutions that the world needs now more than ever. They are still on the front lines providing care, reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing access to education and energy.
We are not the kind of people or firm that gets quiet or sits on our hands when things get tough. We do not let the news or the red on the stock screens discourage us. We will be smart, empathetic, patient and thoughtful, while also being present, helpful, active and open for business (while upholding all social distancing recommendations). We will be helping our existing companies navigate their new realities, both positive and negative. We will continue to make new investments and to provide follow-on funding as warranted.
Nana is a technology-enabled repair services company teaching hands-on repair skills to those at risk of losing their jobs due to automation.
The closure of businesses and storefronts due to COVID triggered the single largest spike in unemployment claims in the US since the government began to record the data in 1967. More than 40 million Americans filed for unemployment between March and June. Though the number is climbing back as states reopen, the trend hasn’t been consistent for everyone: the overall unemployment rate sat at 11.1% in June, but was 7.0% for those with bachelors’ degrees compared to 15.4% for those with less than a high school diploma. Workers with less than a college degree are not only more vulnerable during a recession, but are also more likely to be displaced by automation in the coming years.
Nana is on a mission to up-skill the 10 million people who will lose their jobs because of tech automation with trade skills. On the surface, Nana is an on-demand home maintenance marketplace focused initially on appliance repair. Behind the scenes, the team is building the future of work through Nana Academy, which runs ongoing education and helps bridge the growing automation gap by creating entirely new skilled professionals. For customers, Nana is a simple way to hire and book appliance services virtually; for professionals, Nana is a platform for increasing earnings potential through better-paid work as well as an opportunity for lifelong learning and development.
Nana is the newest investment in our City Spark 2.0 portfolio.
K4Connect is a mission-centered technology company that creates solutions to serve and empower older adults.
COVID-19 continues to put older adults at unprecedented risk. For those in senior living facilities, life as usual has been upended: care teams, and in particular families, are no longer able to care for residents in the same ways as they did pre-COVID. Many have turned to remote monitoring solutions to enable better care in a newly virtual environment.
K4Connect integrates the best in technology to serve and empower older adults and individuals living with disabilities. In a new partnership with Pryon, an AI company focused on augmented intelligence for the enterprise, K4Connect enables senior living operators to provide each caregiver with an AI assistant that augments their knowledge, helps them make better decisions, and frees time to spend with residents. K4Connect is currently serving tens of thousands of senior living residents and staff at over 800 continuing care, independent living, assisted living and memory care communities across the nation.
Thanks to Better Ventures for this story!
Incredible Health is a software platform enabling hospitals to connect with nurses and other high shortage healthcare professionals to dramatically speed up the hiring process.
The current health crisis has highlighted the incredible and often difficult work that nurses and other healthcare professionals do on a daily basis. With emergency rooms and ICUs flooded by new patients over the last few months, it has become clear that access to trained, reliable staff is critical to making the system work.
Incredible Health not only assists hospitals in finding nursing talent quickly and efficiently via proprietary matching algorithms, but also helps train that talent. In March of 2020, the company announced a first-of-its-kind free online continuing education program available to all nurses in the United States. Millions of nurses in the US are required to take continuing education courses in order to obtain or renew their license; Incredible Health’s program will give away up to $240M annually in education value. All courses are accredited by The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Guam.
Thanks to Precursor and Andressen Horowitz for this story!
These are just a few examples of why we are convinced that tomorrow will be better than today. It can help to take a moment to recognize the amazing work being done by entrepreneurs and their startup companies.
To that end, if you have inspiring stories about entrepreneurs making a difference that you would like to share, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are sure that our community of investors, entrepreneurs and change makers could use a smile and a reminder that we are not alone.