How 4 innovative Alabama companies are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak

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INFLCR team. Photo courtesy of INFLCR

We’re all feeling the impact of COVID-19. A few Alabama companies—and winners of Alabama Launchpad, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama‘s (EDPA) early-stage seed fund program—are stepping up to help.  Here’s how!

INFLCR

INFLCR Founder and CEO, Jim Cavale, delivering a $100,000 winning pitch at Alabama Launchpad in 2017. Photo courtesy of EDPA

INFLCR is a software platform that allows sports teams to deliver content across social platforms. Athletes, coaches and other brand ambassadors can access curated content to share across their social channels and promote engagement.

Amid COVID-19, INFLCR founder and CEO Jim Cavale announced the company will be providing free access to the platform for any collegiate department, professional team, organization, or agency to streamline external communication and engage with fans on social media.

“As everyone works through their contingency plans during these unprecedented times, we wanted to ensure that everything in our strategy was centered around the INFLCR purpose To Serve Storytellers, most notably the 20,000+ #Ath1etes who use their INFLCR app to access content of themselves and tell their story on social.

Thousands of collegiate student-athletes are dealing with the disappointment of having seasons and careers come to an abrupt ending. INFLCR will help teams leverage the content they’ve produced around these student-athletes throughout their careers and to honor their respective stories not only on their team social media accounts, but the social accounts of the student-athletes, their coaches, and others who support the team on social media.”

Jim Cavale, founder & CEO, INFLCR

You can learn more about INFLCR’s software on their website.

IMMEDIATE

IMMEDIATE was an Alabama Launchpad winner in 2019. Photo courtesy of EDPA

IMMEDIATE is a financial health platform delivering early access to earned but not yet paid wages. Through IMMEDIATE’s app, ImmediatePay, workers can access their wages early and transfer a specified amount to their account of choice. Typically IMMEDIATE charges a small fee for this service, but because of the COVID-19 outbreak, they’re waiving these fees until further notice.

“IMMEDIATE exists to improve financial wellbeing by providing ImmediatePay users with responsible early access to their earnings. During this time of uncertainty, we realize that the financial stress placed on our community is even greater than normal, so we have coordinated with both our investors and bank (Atlantic Capital) to waive all ImmediatePay early access fees—for both existing and new customers—during the COVID-19 season. 

We believe removing obstacles to accessing money will undoubtedly help our users in keeping as much normalcy as possible during this time of need and, importantly, reducing the temptation of turning to predatory lenders such as title and payday loans.”

Matt Pierce, founder & CEO, IMMEDIATE

Wyndy

Birmingham parents’ favorite babysitting app, Wyndy, has also been sending out helpful info and resources in these uncertain times. With schools closing across the state, many parents have been left scrambling for childcare.

Wyndy first launched a service for employers to reimburse employees for Wyndy sitters while schools and daycares are closed.

The company also brought on Dr. Ellen Eaton, an infectious disease physician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), as an advisor during this challenging time. Dr. Eaton, a mother of two young children and a Wyndy user, is assisting Wyndy’s leadership team in developing and implementing best practices to best serve its users and the communities where Wyndy has a presence. 

Alongside Dr. Eaton, Wyndy issued guidelines for using their services during the outbreak to ensure the health of both sitters and families, including:

  • Refrain from using a Wyndy sitter for 14 days if a member of your family has a cough, fever or contact with someone who has COVID-19
  • Use Wyndy sitters for essential needs only
  • Communicate with your Wyndy sitter about any symptoms they might be experiencing

“One of our core values at Wyndy is service. We exist to serve our users, our Wyndy sitters, and the communities where they live. At present, we believe the best way we can serve communities is by ensuring that medical professionals and others who serve essential roles in the local efforts to address COVID-19 are able to continue to work while also ensuring their children are safely cared for. If we can be helpful to these segments of the community without creating unreasonable risks to our users, sitters, or the community at large, we want to do so. But our top priority is ensuring the well-being of the community as a whole.” 

Tommy Mayfield, founder & CEO, Wyndy

VentorLux

Alabama, EDPA, Launchpad, Selma
Nathan Carr (L) and Drew Barwick (R) (front row) with Alabama Launchpad judges. Photo by Bruce Nix

Based in Phenix City, AL, VentorLux has a product that could be HUGE in combating COVID-19. The company has developed ultraviolet-C LED lights that disinfect the air and greatly reduce airborne pathogens—including viruses like COVID-19. VentorLux was an Alabama Launchpad winner last year.

“The 100k we got from Alabama Launchpad really did just that—it launched us. It allowed us to build the product as we saw fit.”

Nathan Carr, founder, VentorLux

Preliminary testing showed that VentorLux’s lights eradicated mold and E. coli bacteria at a facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The lights are now being tested in Cook County, Illinois, on five types of pathogens—virus, bacteria, mold, protozoa and yeast. This technology could be a game-changer in COVID-19 response. Stay tuned!

Helpful COVID-19 Resources

Vulcan
#BhamStrong. Photo via Vulcan Park + Museum’s Facebook page

For the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak in Alabama, visit  www.alcovid.com.

To support Birmingham’s small businesses in this trying time, visit www.localdistancing.com.

For Birmingham-specific info on how to give or get help, visit this link.

Small businesses can also sign up to be included in Bham Now’s local guides for curbside pickup, virtual offerings and more for free here!

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