Update as of April 8, 2020:

In the wake of the unprecedented crisis that is COVID-19, we continue to be amazed by our network’s innovation, resourcefulness, and ability to make a difference. From keeping team members motivated to giving back to the community and pivoting business models, here’s how the companies in our network are responding in the face of a global pandemic:

Coming Together as a Community

    • Forte Foundation hosted a free webinar in March titled “Women Lead: Coping with COVID-19: How to Lead Courageously in Uncertain Times.”
    • SparkCognition has implemented a number of charitable measures, including:
      • Donating a significant amount of our compute resources to Folding@Home to help them discover therapeutics to stop Coronavirus. Their IT team has already activated this effort over the weekend. They are utilizing spare servers in the on-premise data center in Building 4, cloud resources, and even extra laptops and desktops that are presently unused.
      • The SparkCognition Labs team is using their 3D printer capacity to produce (open-source) mask covers and deliver these to emergency workers via their SkyGrid/Austin EMS relationship. it’s estimated they can produce several thousand mask covers a month if required and ramp this rate up further as needed. These covers extend the life of an N95 mask and thereby increase capacity.
      • In lieu of the Friday lunches, we have made a donation to Hope4Austin, which is a non-profit organization based in Austin and currently swamped with requests for meals by families and schools affected by the lockdown. You can find out more at: http://www.hope4austin.org/
    • Gatherhouse Concepts is bidding to convert one of their locations to a sanitary kitchen to provide meals to local first responders.
    • Chi’Lantro is giving back through donations to hospitals through the creation of a microwavable bowl program, and banks that can pay it forward to hospitals by donating to charitable organizations of free food.
    • Enotech Engineering Consultants is supplying local medical professionals with proper PPE, including masks.

Back to Business

    • Luminare, Inc. started the QuickScreen Project: a Coronavirus response package to help hospitals better assist patients and visitors before entering the emergency room, going as far as providing this service at no charge for both hospitals and government agencies.
    • Capstone Fire and Safety Management is business as usual, for which we are all very grateful, providing 7 of the 16 identified Critical Infrastructure Sectors listed by DHS, including fire, rescue, safety, non-transport EMS, physical, and cybersecurity solutions.
    • Camp Gladiator has moved all camps online, and also offered a special promotion for new users for the next 6 weeks in an effort to help people relieve stress and stay healthy.
    • Ronald McDonald House of Central Texas changed their donation platforms to strictly online. Donors may now purchase items from their Amazon Wish List, or send individually-portioned meals from restaurants that deliver.
    • Shalom Austin is exploring new ways of bringing the community together in a meaningful way, including: virtual programming, distance learning, tele-connecting. The Jewish Family Service is available for family support to those that are feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
    • Schoox has released numerous free educational courses on topics such as virtual meetings, email and communication skills, cybersecurity, crisis preperation, COVID-19 FAQs, remote workforce management, time management and productivity, wellness and stress management, communication effectiveness, and more.
    • CLS Express continues to offer their delivery and logistics services, further encouraging people to stay home and stay safe. They’ve also increased their already strict disinfecting practices.
    • Footsteps2Brilliance is helping U.S. districts who are facing school closures due to COVID-19. They are offering free 90-day access to their award-winning pre-K through 3rd grade curriculum so that students can keep learning at home. They are also offering webinar support so that teachers can successfully transition to virtual classrooms.
    • Aurora Mental Health Center has redesigned their care delivery practices to continue servirng their patients and the community through phone calls, video conferencing, and other technologies, and also provides helpful hints for encouraging overall better mental health during this time.
    • LaCome Events, Inc. is readily available to partners and clients to lay out recommended next steps with events as new developments continue to unfold.
    • BrainCheck is using at-home cognitive assessments to ensure that vulnerable patience can get proper care while remaining as protected as possible from the pandemic.
    • Mental Health Partners has compiled an extensive list of resources for those struggling with addiction or other mental health challenges; is still accepting new clients; is keeping the 24/7 walk in center and crisis hotline open.
    • Amanzi Party Rentals has pivoted their party rentals business model to provide supplies such as emergency delivery services, disaster tent shelters, generators, sanitation services, barricades, and more.
    • Chi’Lantro is stepping up their customer service game by offering curbside pickup, as well as with their upcoming creation of the Chi’ Convenience Store, which is soon to sell microwaveable Chi’Lantro fare, ingredients customers can take home, and goods such as paper towels.
    • Gravy has started to provide ‘revenue relief’ during this crisis, so far returning an astounding $1 million in lost revenues.

Internal Initiatives

    • Gravy is setting the bar high when it comes to employee engagement by providing the following benefits:
      • An on-call chaplain
      • Paying for one month of Netflix for employees
      • Paying for two at-home movies
      • Providing a $25 Amazon gift card for a children’s shopping spree
      • Covering additional childcare costs