The battle against the coronavirus outbreak is being fought on all fronts. With the advent of the first coronavirus patients in our country, the Turkish startup ecosystem has acted by initiating the Coronathon Turkey Initiative with the mission of seeking creative solutions to the problems caused by the virus. Twelve projects were deemed worthy of awards from Coronathon Turkey, which was organized in collaboration with Turkey’s leading entrepreneurs, universities, nongovernmental organizations, ministries and private companies with the mission of creating solutions for the problems caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Medibook, a telehealth startup that provides health care services with video and remote monitoring modules to patients who are asked to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic but need to receive health care, held the highest score in the event.
Winners go live
In the event, which received about 150 applications, the projects underwent a two-stage evaluation. In the first stage, all mentors reviewed the details of all projects and voted for the projects to pass to the next stage. Accordingly, the first 30 projects identified were then evaluated by a jury with stakeholders and the organization’s team. At this stage, the project’s impact, strength, feasibility, team competence and the team’s efforts to make this work were taken into account. Accordingly, it was decided to award cash prizes to 12 projects.
In addition to the cash reward, other types of support provided by stakeholders were also determined. The institutions that gave the awards include the Ankara Chamber of Commerce, the Ankara Chamber of Industry, the Ankara Commodity Exchange, the 212 Venture Capital Fund, Gedik Yatırım, Facebook and Eczacıbaşı. Startup monitor Startups.watch also offered IBM cloud computing support, while Seedstar gave an international accelerator award.
Remote health care
Having set out with the partnership and support of leading entrepreneurs, universities, nongovernmental organizations, ministries and private companies in Turkey, Coronathon Turkey completed the evaluation process of projects. The Coronathon Turkey Initiative, which announced the first 30 projects on its website, revealed the projects awarded with a live broadcast on Youtube and Instagram on Wednesday, March 25 at 12 p.m. Accordingly, the telehealthcare provider Medibook, which held the highest score in all votes, received the special prize of the jury as well as the TL 20,000 ($3,100) cash prize.
Medibook provides health care services with video and remote monitoring modules for groups that are asked to stay home during the pandemic but need to receive health services. Thus, both patients and medical personnel can remotely monitor the situation without risking their own health.
The other 11 startups, on the other hand, received a cash prize of TL 10,000 without ranking. In the next period, the projects will continue to receive online acceleration and mentoring support with the support of stakeholders. At this point, Girişimciye Dönüş, Workinlot and Fongogo platforms will provide support.
All civil organizations hand in hand
Having set out with the slogan “Be a Part of the Solution,” Coronathon Turkey brought together many valuable stakeholders to find entrepreneurs who offer innovative ideas and solutions to the social, logistics and infrastructure problems created by the outbreak.
Along with the Industry and Technology Ministry, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and some public institutions also supported the initiative. Likewise, entrepreneurship centers and technology transfer offices from Boğaziçi, Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ) and Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ) came together. Stakeholders such as Turkish Informatics Foundation (TBV), Habitat Association, Balangıç Noktası, Technology Development Foundation of Turkey, UNDP Accelerator Lab Turkey, Endeavor Turkey, Entrepreneurship Foundation, Ashoka, İmece, and Atölye from civil society were included.
Platform open to all stakeholders
Dr. Oğuzhan Aygören, the Coronathon Turkey Initiative spokesperson and director of the Entrepreneurship Center of Boğaziçi University, touched on the continuation of this initiative. “The most important feature of Coronathon is that it was owned by a very wide network of stakeholders. We want to continue to cooperate with so many stakeholders without losing this value and to encourage the masses and continue to support them with our stakeholders to find innovative solutions to social problems,” Aygören said. “In this sense, we intend to create more value as an organization that cooperates with everyone, every segment and every stakeholder. To do this, we first want to provide a basis for the solution to the coronavirus outbreak to help find fast and effective solutions and then be ready for the post-coronavirus world.”
The ecosystem does its best
Industry and Technology Deputy Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacır announced that they would support the Coronathon Turkey Initiative. “Thousands of young people are developing ideas to fight against #coronavirus outbreak in #coronathonturkey,” Kaçır shared on Twitter. “Institutions, nongovernmental organizations, universities, mentors support these ideas. Our startup ecosystem does its best.”
Other awarded projects
Biotel: An application that contributes to the use of the idle capacity for virus testing by listing the measuring machines in molecular biology and genetics departments in Turkey. Thus, your chances of seeing idle devices increase.
Keep on living with live lessons
Studio Live Lessons App: Brings people together with good life specialists, mindfulness, meditation, psychology, coaching, yoga and fitness experts, to reduce the social and psychological effects of the quarantine period. Live 1/1 interview and lecture application. They have specialized programs for adults and children.
Online solution against loneliness
Expona: Home-to-home online workshop platform. Experience a marketplace platform that can be offered online from home to people who are alone, who cannot socialize or who want their children to do different things.
Take measures against the virus
CoroWarner: CoroWarner is a mobile application that alerts you instantly and anonymously for COVID-19 cases in any open environment or social interaction with a person who has tested positive and then makes autonomous advice guidance with an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm in line with your current level of interacting in your current situation.
Track the outbreak
CoronApp: A mobile application that will alert people who have been in contact with a person with the virus by following the interactions with built-in sensors such as Bluetooth signals, to follow the outbreak.
Disease analysis with AI
Neoanka: It is aimed to classify the health complaints into the right specialty branch with the symptom analysis algorithms developed based on artificial intelligence and to analyze the symptoms of the disease and to benefit from the health care service by making online interviews with the physician from the related specialty branch.
Keep clear from contact
Stay safe! COVID-19: A mobile application that determines human density with geolocation support and presents this data to its users, while keeping statistics of symptom and intensity data and allowing users to check their own health status through known and unknown symptoms of the disease.
Hand in hand for volunteer support
Kolkola: Kolkola is a “volunteer” marketplace that brings together volunteers, nongovernmental organizations and sponsors. They install a “task” that they plan and are responsible for, instead of an organization or a formation market, e.g. to shop for elderly people who are forbidden to go outside due to the virus.
Health support to working institutions
CoGuard: A chatbot application that brings together experts and institutions to respond to people’s COVID-19 originated and similar health questions and requests. The application used to eliminate the density of health care professionals will enable many people to find the correct answers to their questions.
Continuous fight against false news
Fact-Checker: It envisages establishing a system to help news validators to counter false news against the information pollution existing in our country, especially when it comes to the COVID-19 outbreak. In this way, it aims to prevent people who panic with false news from accumulating in hospitals.
Friends on the street are not forgotten
BirCan: A platform that brings together volunteers, nongovernmental organizations, municipalities, veterinarians, pet owners and other stakeholders to support street animals. It aims to mobilize all kinds of support to take precautions without forgetting stray animals.
Internet usage habits change
Ümit Önal, CEO of Turkey’s leading information and communication technologies company Türk Telekom, stated that internet usage habits have changed in this process. “Time zones in which internet traffic increased have changed. We are ready for this process with all our infrastructure, and we stand by all our citizens,” Önal said, touching on the measures taken by Türk Telekom employees and business partners to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.
“As Türk Telekom, we continue to do our part for ‘uninterrupted communication’ in the critical process we are in. We are here with all our teams, from our management staff to numerous subunits, without any disruption to the services we offer to our 47 million customers,” he continued. “Our friends, who carry out their duties devotedly in the field and our offices, take on a critical role and responsibility, as well as our health care workers who struggle with superhuman performance in the coronavirus challenge. We connect our people, who have to put a physical distance between their loved ones, to their loved ones with our strong communication infrastructure. It is up to ‘us’ to bring the hearts closer while increasing the distance. Thanks to ‘us,’ our children can continue their education online. ‘We’ facilitate the life of our state officials, our health personnel working under extraordinary conditions, with our services.”
Package for health care workers
Önal also announced that they agreed with other operators on a special communication package for health professionals. “For our health care professionals who show great sacrifices in this process, we are working with other operators under the leadership of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, on a package consisting of 5 GB of data and 500 minutes of sound. We can never do enough for whatever we do as a country for our healthcare professionals. Likewise, as operators, we continue our work with united working culture, again under the leadership of the public regulator, on basic issues that will meet similar basic communication needs,” he added.
Visors for health care workers with 3D printing
Technocity companies also back voluntary support. A good example of the collaboration was the Tridi Atölye, which was realized at İTÜ Arıteknokent. With the support of many startups, a visor was produced in the 3D printer for health care workers.
In the workshop created at İTÜ MAGNETFAB to support İTÜ Ariteknokent health care workers, a face shield visor began to be produced on a 3D printer. ArıTeknokent companies and all startups born in İTÜ Seed came together to support health care professionals. Orthero, which is among Arıteknokent companies and has 3D production capability, also participated in face shield visor production. The local 3D printer manufacturer Zaxe3D and Fibilo3d companies, which provide 3D printing services, contributes to the project, which will provide additional protection to health care workers, with all their machine capacities. While Scotty Turkey offered logistics support in the transportation of products and materials, Porima3D, born in İTÜ Seed, met the raw material needs.