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3 Under-the-Radar Innovations Taking on Covid-19’s Most Daunting Challenges

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October 17, 2020 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The pandemic has posed an array of challenges to virtually every industry, but the medical community especially has become exhausted by the overwhelming number of cases. To meet the burdening demands of the pandemic, thousands of medical startups and companies have refocused their attention to develop new products capable of tackling the most burdensome issues. Others have addressed the less emergent yet critical challenges standing in the way of the world’s fight to win back normalcy. 

Whether testing or protecting the medical staff fighting valiantly to save lives, public and private sectors are working together on the frontlines of the pandemic. Here are three companies to keep an eye on that are providing a boost in both areas overlooked and areas most regarded in med tech during Covid-19.

Hunting for Covid-19 infections

Testing for COVID-19 has proven to be an arduous task in many countries, especially those who lack the resources to keep up with growing numbers of potential infections. Conducting tests has become a greater imperative now as the coronavirus rapidly resurfaces across Europe, the and governments brace for new lockdown measures along with their contact, trace, and isolate practices.

Related: 4 Crisis-Proofing Lessons for Small Business Owners

Lockdowns, however, place the entertainment and hospitality industries in a situation they simply can’t accept for much longer, with many out of work and struggling to make ends meet under government-imposed shutdowns. Just days ago, Parisian restaurant and bar employees marched in a sort of mock funeral as a symbolic allusion to their lost livelihoods and frustrations. They’re not alone. Event hosts, organizers, and related business proprietors around the world have lost out on billions in revenue-not to mention the air travel revenues lost from the closure of borders and drop in demand for commercial flights. Two European companies might offer temporary remedies, though, for these economic ailments.

GeneMe, guided by the advisory firm Nex.D and based in Poland, developed its testing solution called “FRANKD,” which is said to give accurate results in 30 minutes. GeneMe recently partnered with Virgin Atlantic to test all of the airline’s staff pre-flight. The next logical step will likely be the passengers, as evidenced by the UK’s recent launch of a task force to determine how to reopen travel. 

The test only takes an estimated 90 seconds, compared with the standard PCR test that requires an hour and a half to analyze. GeneMe fuses DNA polymerase with the NeqSSB protein that helps the company’s labs produce enzymes, which in turn refines the testing process. In non-medical speak, the company’s process enables testing to be specific and scalable for the masses. 

Not far south from Poland’s borders, Vienna’s new hot testing kit testFRWD, founded by DJ and music-festival powerhouse Hennes Weiss and serial entrepreneur Veit-Ander Aichbichler, aims to reopen the tourism, culture, and events industries to customers by offering a hyper-accurate testing solution. The company’s do-it-yourself at home mouthwash test, which it claims is 99 percent accurate, makes it easy for individuals to test themselves for COVID at home with a simple gargle test. The method allows more tests to be conducted at once, reducing the local administrative burden of systems across the globe. 

Related: Why Business Owners Need to Show Employees It’s Okay Not to Be Okay

Ultimately, the goal is for event-goers, travelers, and other individuals to buy test kits at local retailers or receive one from the event organizers, self-test, and then send via a cooperating courier to a local lab. 

Protective measures

Healthcare professionals continue to ride out the storm at healthcare facilities around the world, awaiting relief. Many hospitals continue to struggle to manage a continuing limited supply of resources against the increasing volume of patients, as reported in the Harvard Business Review. Those in facilities with a shortage of resources suffered serious health risks, too. A UC Berkeley study estimated that “at least 35% of medical workers and other essential workers in California who tested positive for COVID-19 were infected at work, amid shortages.” In the midst of the crisis, saving waste has become critical.

Texas Medical Center Supply has taken the supply challenges and placed them on its shoulders by shifting attention to Covid-related PPE. At the center of Texas Medical’s campaign is an array of advanced tech and non-tech equipment to empower administrators to monitor potential medical crises and protect employees. These developments include its AI-driven resource-management solution that allows administrators to react earlier to medical staff infections, and PPE tech like the glove dispenser and SaniCart disinfection cabin, which control and monitor resources and protect staff. 

Related: Motivating Trends: Building Small-Business Resiliency in a Pandemic

Beyond the confines of medical care spaces, Texas Medical is working to sanitize public spaces. Its drone, dubbed the “SaniDrone,” is designed to spray public venues and other spaces. Similarly, the company’s UV disinfection vehicle, the “Germsrover Pro,” sanitizes a number of different confined indoor and outdoor spaces. Only time will tell how much some of the more advanced products come in demand as medical facilities struggle to manage more basic resources.

Whether fighting shortages or keeping up with increasing testing needs, the battle to defeat the coronavirus seems like it continues uphill. Yet with the help of from all over the world, the incline becomes a little more shallow. They say that a dog is man’s best friend. During the pandemic, though, medtech innovation may have temporarily taken the title away.

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Money is love too: 5 lessons from immigrants to manage your wallet

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October 24, 2020 5 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Adina Chelminsky’s grandfather left Poland when he was just 13 years old and unable to speak a single word of Spanish. However, when he arrived at the port of Minatitlán in Veracruz, he had no money, but he began to work tirelessly until he managed to open a tlapalería that, believe it or not, continues to operate in Corregidora in Mexico City.

“The most important thing I know about finances I learned from my immigrant grandparents who came to Mexico with nothing,” said Chelminsky in her participation in MoneyFest 2020 . “My grandfather was a true entrepreneur because he knew that entrepreneurship was 50% sweat and not just having a ‘millionaire’ idea”.

Adina Chelminsky is not only an accomplished economist and entrepreneur, she is also the author of the popular finance book Cabrona y Millonaria . However, despite his academic training, he points out that the best lessons he has had on money management always come from immigrants ”.

“People like my grandparents who came to Mexico in search of opportunities understand better than anyone how to handle money in a crisis, because they know how to face adversity and prosper in a world they understand,” said the expert.

Image: Money Fest 2020

5 love lessons told with money

Adina’s two paternal grandparents, both immigrants, taught her five basic universal financial principles. “They not only left me with an unpronounceable last name [he says laughing], but also strategies that can be applied always and by everyone.”

1. There is no asset more valuable than education: Whether for one or the children, education is one of the smartest investments that can be made because it is a portable instrument that does not lose returns over time.

“When I was born, my grandfather opened an account for me to pay for a master’s degree. No BA, a MASTER’S DEGREE . This so that there would be no doubt about what I could achieve ”.

2. “Whoever has a store to attend to it”: And in the same way, whoever has savings and investments, keep an eye on them.

“My other grandfather was the smartest person to make investments because he was always informed. It taught me never to go into a business that I didn’t understand or to sign a contract that I hadn’t read.

3. Don’t screw your kids and plan your retirement: “My grandparents came to Mexico and they knew they wanted to die in it. At that time there were no Afores or retirement plans, but month after month they saved for that moment, even if it was at the cost of a luxury ”.

Adina pointed out that her grandparents always knew that they did not want to be a burden for their children when the time came and on the contrary, they always made an effort to have a dignified old age.

4. Finances are ALWAYS a family affair and especially a couple: Sometimes talking about money with your partner can unleash a pitched battle, but it is about being a team.

“There wasn’t a time when my grandmothers didn’t have a say in financial discussions because they ran the house. In those times, my grandparents had the last word, but they always decided between all of us ”, Adina recalls and points out that especially in times of crisis, her grandparents were precisely a COUPLE , partners.

“Today there is a lot of financial infidelity, individual debts, hidden problems and half truths. It makes me think that my grandparents were ahead of their time ”.

5. There is nothing more patriotic than building well-being for others: Adina’s grandparents lived committed to Mexico and providing jobs was always one of their most active priorities.

“As an immigrant you want to help the country that made you its own. There is nothing more patriotic than building well-being for others ”.

It doesn’t matter where we come from, Adina noted, whether from immigrants, born savers, born profligates, or parents who simply did what they could with what they had. “Learning from the past and the financial history that shaped us is essential to build your future.

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Learn to read the news to earn money

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It seems that the economy is going crazy, but as an entrepreneur you must be aware of what is happening in the world. Journalist Isabella Cota tells us how to understand those numbers and trends that we see every day.

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October 24, 2020 4 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

“Where were you when you realized that the pandemic was going to change your life?”

For Isabella Cota , a journalist specializing in macroeconomic issues, that moment of cold drop came when she was attending a wedding at the end of February and a friend involved in the health industry told her that at some point in the year the stock markets were going to collapse, large amounts of infections would occur and that, if the government did not act soon, a health crisis like no other would occur.

Just a few days later, the National Healthy Distance Day would begin, which practically stopped the country’s non-essential economic activity.

Perhaps the force of the spread of COVID-19 took many by surprise, but Cota asserts that “many people who were used to reading the news saw the pandemic coming and were able to take protective measures even before the authorities.”

For the journalist, information is the best tool that people can access for free to make critical decisions for their health and finances.

“If you want to invest your money well, you have to understand money and for that, you have to read news about economy, finance and yes, science,” said the expert in her participation in the virtual MoneyFest festival.

However, in Mexico we have a stigma with numbers and it is the job of the media to explain to the reader how economic news affects their daily life.

“If the medium does not land that information, it is the MEDIA that is failing the public, not the other way around.”

Image: MoneyFest 2020

How to read the news to help you earn more money

Isabella Cota gives us a three-point checklist to consume financial news to make better decisions.

1. “Cure your fright” with curiosity: You have to ask yourself questions, but don’t panic. “If there is something that the pandemic has given us all, it is fear. Fear of getting infected, losing a job, saying goodbye to a loved one, etc. ”, says Cota. “We must approach the information without fear and not let ourselves be carried away by alarmist news.”

Given this, it is drastic to remember that the headlines do not report and you have to look for different sources.

2. Google is your friend: “The media are like great libraries of stories,” says Isabella. “Before making any financial decision, you have to ask Google what the media says about a brand or investment opportunity that they advertise, what information the bank can ask you by law, what are your rights before collectors, etc.”

3. You don’t have to believe everything: One of the most unfortunate effects of the pandemic has been the spread of false information that is sold as news and is not. “A study says that there are already 800 people in the world who die because of the fake news about the coronavirus.”

So how can we identify real news?

Isabella offers this “accordion” to quickly identify credible information:

  • When the notes or links come without a real or reputable source, do not open them .
  • If the information comes from a medium that you don’t recognize, don’t read it .
  • Finally, if what the article says does not seem true or reasonable, do not share it .

“The media fails, but they also offer fascinating stories. These stories are important and they teach us something. The information that is consumed with calm, curiosity and an open mind, is the best tool for our money ”, concludes Cota.

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The world has already changed: How to design a new professional and personal reality

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Silvia Singer, general director of the Interactive Museum of Economics, gives us the keys to transform ourselves into this new normal that, like it or not, is here to stay.

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October 24, 2020 4 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

“The world stopped and I feel so bad that I don’t want to talk to anyone. It’s a feeling that we’ve all had in the last few months, ”said Silvia Singer , in her talk at Money Fest , Mexico’s interactive personal finance festival. “However, if there is a crisis, I am sure there must be an opportunity.”

With this phrase, general director of the Interactive Museum of Economics (MIDE) , told us that this is the time to make a change to face the new normal.

“Every museum is due to its public, but what happens when people cannot go?” This was the challenge that MIDE faced in March when Sana Distancia measures began to stop the spread of COVID-19 .

“We had to acknowledge that there was a crisis that was going to last, we needed to make changes and restart,” Singer explained when presenting how MIDE had to transform its strategy to focus on the digital public. “Now the museum is beyond Tacuba 17 in Mexico City; now it is for anyone inside and outside of Mexico who understands Spanish ”.

The MIDE has already opened its doors, but this digital strategy allowed them to transform.

In this regard, Silvia gave us the strategy to replicate the success of the MIDE in our businesses.

Image: MoneyFest 2020

How can we design a new professional and personal reality?

Pablo Picasso used to say that when the muse of inspiration visits you, she has to find you working.

“Entrepreneurship is a creative and at the same time critical act. There are no magic formulas to transform and there are many paths. Which is the best? Yours ”, indicated the general director of MIDE.
To generate your own strategy, according to the expert, it is required:

Being able to observe the environment: “First of all, you have to see the opportunities that are outside, understand what is happening and identify what things or situations require a different solution that works better in this new normal.”

Understand that change is constant: “It sounds obvious, but you have to remain agile and have an open mind to innovate.”

How I reinvent myself

Silvia Singer pointed out that you have to learn to think with a certain structure in order to transform yourself. A simple model that you can follow in your person and your business is:

1. Think about something that you have dreamed and imagined, but with some alternatives on how to achieve it: “I need a clear objective, to know where I want to go and what alternatives I have.”
2. Write down these alternatives honestly in a notebook with the advantages and disadvantages of each one: “Find realistic dreams with goals within reach and agree to be flexible in the method to achieve them.”

3. Be informed to be able to choose an alternative and take the step: “In order to be successful, you must be yourself, but reflect on what you can improve.”
4. Commit to what you have chosen and move on: “We all have huge desires, but our resources are limited. So you have to make a decision and commit to it ”.

In the end, the MIDE director gave great advice for all entrepreneurs who are looking to transform themselves: “You don’t have to suffer the process, you have to enjoy it. I’m sure that in the end everything will be fine ”.

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