Pandemic Startup Heroes

Pandemic Startup Heroes

Since the COVID-19 Pandemic emerged, we have seen some leading organisations deprioritise their innovation activities. At 4YFN we are strong believers that innovation and entrepreneurship are essential when facing global challenges and what better proof is there than looking at the inspirational examples of startups in our community who have rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty in the battle against COVID-19.  

In our “Pandemic Startup Heroes” series we ask the startup communities forming part of the 4YFN Community Club, as well as our partners from the 4YFN Programmes, to tell us about their own startup heroes, working from different parts of the world to make the world a better place during challenging times. 

Part 4, April 2021

In our April edition we put our focus back on Spanish startups who have been innovating across sectors like logistics, education and health during the pandemic.


? San Sebastian, Spain

? SeedRocket

Smowl helps institutions improve their academic integrity online by using facial recognition to prevent fraud and meet quality requirements.

According to UNESCO, more than 80% of students were affected during the closure of schools by COVID. Snowl responded by adapting and applying various technologies to allow the continuity of learning remotely. Snowl is now being used across various fields: health, legal, economic, engineering, etc.


? Valencia, Spain

? FundingBox

WiTrac offer s global platform for visibility, total traceability and asset control in the value chain. It locates and monitors anything, anywhere, in real time with IoT and AI. Its main focus is on the automotive and agrifood industries.

WiTrac adapted its business model to support the traceability of the COVID-19 vaccines. It monitors vaccine distribution for several regions in Spain, controlling the temperature and detecting potential damages.

E Process Med

? Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

? Bind 4.0

E Process Med develops solutions for the Digitalization of Medical Processes, aiming to optimize time and increase patient interaction. It offers solutions in areas like informed consent and patient management.

During COVID-19 the company offered it’s Smart Passport tool to improve patients’ and health care authorities’ access to COVID test results and vaccine tracking.


? San Sebastian, Spain

? Bind 4.0

This biotech startup uses nucleases as effective biomarkers for detecting different diseases. Its main specialisation is in the rapid diagnosis of Sepsis using lateral flow.

Using a grant from the European Commission H2020 programme, SOMAprobes developed “Corona Quick” – a rapid test for the detection of COVID-19.

Part 3, March 2021

In our March edition we highlight Digital Health startups nominated by our partners and communities supporting the 4YFN Digital Health Hub.


?Kranj, Slovenia

? ECHAlliance

Caretronic offers the world’s most advanced IP nurse call system. In the fight to limit the the spread of the Covid-19 virus, Caretronic promoted the fast and easy installation of its system in COVID-19 departments. The system enables speech communication between staff and patients and therefore minimises unnecessary contacts. 

Needlesmart limited

?Liverpool, United Kingdom

? ECHAlliance

Needlesmart sells a medical device which safely destroys syringe needles reducing stick injuries to clinical staff. With the pandemic, the company pivoted to create a Digital Vaccination System recording essential data about who, when and with what vaccine someone was vaccinated by adapting the Needlesmart device to be IOT enabled.


?Riga, Latvia

? EIT Health Europe

Longenesis developed a technological toolkit that solves both legal challenges of patient access and the ability to safely showcase their data to clinical investigators and researchers. In response to the current global pandemic, Longenesis i utilizing their technological toolkit to facilitate worldwide access to patients and to boost data-driven COVID-19 research. The toolkit now allows hospitals, biobanks, and other healthcare institutions to connect with COVID-19 patients and recovered patients for prospective data generation and research.

COVID Warriors

?Barcelona, Spain

? Barcelona Health Hub

Winning the title “Best startup initiative to tackle Covid-19” at the BHH 2020 summit, COVIDWarriors is a non-profit association that harnesses the the power of interconnecting human intelligence in the fight against COVID-19. It is made of innovators, professional volunteers, senior executives and patrons from all fields,

Pebbel Analytics

?Barcelona, Spain

? Biocat

Pebble is a citizen science-based startup that predicts social risks and their impact. Since the Pandemic started, it launched “Ànima”: a one-stop-platform that provides solutions for disease surveillance. Its integrated technology helps people, institutions, and businesses identify risks related to epidemics before it’s too late. Pebble has also launched its mobile app CoughWatchSA, a long-term solution to track a range of acute respiratory infections, including COVID-19. 


?Barcelona, Spain

? Biocat & Barcelona Health Hub

By offeringa real-time, reliable, and quality health data, HumanITcare improves clinical decisions and reduces readmissions and unnecessary hospital visits. To help battle COVID-19 HumanITcare accelerated its entrance into new hospitals across Spain, using its platform to support patients in home isolations while keeping them connected to the medical teams.

Part 2, February 2021

Poin Places

?Madrid, Spain

? Tetuan Valley

Platform for finding child-friendly places in Spain.The POiN places team has created a calendar withdifferent online activities to facilitate quarantine for parents and children ordered by age.


?Sacramento, USA

? Founder Institute

Startup developing cart products and technologies for medical field (e.g. medical carts)Pivoted from developing high-tech medical carts to providing PPE-filled single-use and collapsible/pop-up ‘HEROCarts’,designed to supply frontline medical workers with sterile and scalable solutions to meet surging capacity needs – HEROCarts are assembled by veterans and Americans with disabilities.


?Barcelona, Spain


Novameat is developing the next generation of whole muscle cuts made from plants. Their technology has already allowed them to create what has been credited as the most realistic plant-based steak and fibrous pork meat in the world.Novameat has participated with other companies in the 3DCovid19 tech platform to apply its 3D printing technologies in the production of valves for respirators, masks and protective visors.


?Lausanne, Switzerland 

? FundingBox

Rigitech has created a drone delivery to integrate supply chains through hybrid drone hardware and cloud-based logistics. igiTech develops long range delivery drones for diagnostic sample delivery to be more efficient and accessible. Their drones are able to vertically take off and land and reach distances of up to 80km, delivering and collecting Covid tests kits from/to laboratories.

Part 1, January 2021


?Los Angeles, CA, USA 

? Alliance for SoCal Innovation

The network, where parents can use points to trade for help with childcare duties, is home to 25,000 families worldwide and has offered essential services workers a free way to get childcare during the pandemic.


 ?Madrid, Spain

? Tetuan Valley

Zensei’s daily app allows you to monitor COVID19 symptoms, among other respiratory diseases, in order to collect data and keep track on users’ health.


 ?Madrid, Spain

? Tetuan Valley

Nukula allows you to make a healthy purchase from home by comparing products. From Núkula they launched an initiative that facilitated the purchase of essential goods to the neighbours isolated by the COVID 19:

Bluink Ltd.

 ?Ottawa, Canada

? KGAP+ (Keihanna Global Acceleration Program Plus)

Bluink’s eID-Me digital identity service allows citizens to prove their identity in 2 minutes from home and be issued a mobile digital identity to their smartphone.With their eID-Me digital identity, they can login to Government websites providing verified identity information in seconds to receive financial support and government services. eID-Me speeds benefits delivery to citizens who are locked down due to Covid, while eliminating fraud in the system.

Naru Intelligence

 ?San Sebastian, Spain

? BIND 4.O

StepCare by Naru Intellingence is a medical device software that enables rapid reaction and early interventions of the healthcare professionals in those patients with worsening symptoms with COVID-19 isolated at their homes. It has a great capacity to optimize care and resources by decreasing phone call burden and visits to hospital. Additionally, StepCare allows the generation of daily knowledge from the information of each patient, facilitating the evaluation of the results of the action protocols applied to COVID-19 patients


 ?Barcelona, Spain

? SeedRocket

Psonríe is an online psychological care service that provides the support and professional accompaniment necessary to face day-to-day challenges in a more positive and effective way.Psonríe offered free online psychological assistance to 1,000 doctors and nurses who were on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. Many companies have struggled to cope with the effects that the coronavirus pandemic is having on their workers: Psonríe has also focused on helping these organizations, and we offer them a specific online therapy service for employees and managers. They have offered free webinars and consultations through their social media to help spread the word about the health crisis and mental health.


 ?Lausanne, Switzerland 

? FundigBox

The mission of Rovenso is to create agile robots that perform security and safety monitoring of industrial sites.In three weeks, Rovenso developed “a hack,” turning their highly mobile security robot into an autonomous and efficient coronavirus destroyer.  The robot uses a UV-C disinfection system to target desktops, counters, and equipment in common spaces.