Startup Positivity — Week 18

Over the last few months we’ve highlighted the fantastic work that the 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 health and education, including some from fellow travelers’ 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.

Brightline is one of our newest City Spark investments! The company delivers integrated care through innovative technology, virtual behavioral health services, and a collaborative care team focused on supporting children across developmental stages and their families.

This working-teaching-parenting from home situation has been really tough on parents and kids. One in three children living under Covid-19 lockdowns are dealing with feelings of loneliness, nervousness, and irritability, according to the United Nations. A recent study by Save The Children found that fifty percent of children say they were worried, and more than sixty five percent struggled with boredom or feelings of isolation.

One of our newest City Spark 2.0 investments, Brightline, is here to help. Last week, the company announced the launch of a new public health initiative to help parents learn about potential behavioral health impacts of Covid-19 on children’s behavioral health. The Covid-19 Behavioral Health Indicator (“COBI”) is available for free, nationwide, via www.hellobrightline.com/cobi.

COBI is a 30-question survey that helps parents inform themselves about how their family is doing in four key areas that may be linked to children’s wellness, including pre-existing medical and behavioral health conditions, direct effects of Covid-19, psychological stress, and family resilience. COBI is intended to equip parents with information to facilitate a conversation with a health care provider.

Engageli is a digital learning platform designed to provide a superior learning experience for students and instructors to drive strong outcomes.

Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet have become standard tools for teachers who have had to run lessons remotely since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. But they’re not apps necessarily designed for classrooms, and students and teachers alike have suffered negative impacts from using ineffective platforms for education.

Last week, Engageli came out of stealth with a service that it believes fills that need. A video conferencing tool designed from the ground up more as a digital learning platform, with its own unique take on virtual classrooms, Engageli is aimed at higher education to bring better virtual learning to universities. Engageli lets teachers build and run both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) lessons, giving students and teachers the option to catch up or replace a live lesson if necessary. On top of the tools that Engageli has built to record and consume lessons, it’s also building a set of analytics that lets professors (or their assistants) monitor how well audio and video and working both for themselves as we as for their audience, and also collect other kinds of “engagement” information, which could come in the form of getting people to ask or answer questions or take polls and other interactive media.

Congratulations to Jamie Nacht Farrell, co-founder of Engageli and City Light entrepreneur via 2U and Trilogy!

Abridge AI offers a mobile wellness application that allows users to record health care conversations, replay doctors’ advice, and share messages with others.

With most doctor visits happening virtually these days, patients may feel like something is being “lost in translation” during their appointments. In fact, nearly two-thirds of patients surveyed forgot more than 40 percent of the conversations they’ve had with their doctors, including key details, like what to do next to stay healthy.

Abridge focuses on closing the communication gap between clinicians and patients during in-person and virtual visits. The technology and new app create a transcript of the patient’s clinical encounter that they can reference and look back to after their visit to remember the specifics of their health plan.

Abridge has defined more than 400,000 medical terms within its software to help patients sort through medical jargon and give more context to their post visit summaries.

Thanks to Union Square Ventures 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 info@citylight.vc. We are sure that our community of investors, entrepreneurs and change makers could use a smile and a reminder that we are not alone.

City Light is a Venture Capital firm that invests early in impactful companies. https://citylight.vc

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