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YC Companies Responding to Covid-19 (ycombinator.com)
144 points by no_gravity 12 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 33 comments

Really happy to see this. Really happy to see the extra "Who is Hiring" post the other day. In passing, I also noticed a title about YC going all remote for their upcoming batch. All good stuff. I'm impressed by the proactive response.

If they haven't already, I would love to see something like this focused on any YC companies involved in providing remote work options. I think they have at least one company called Moonlight that does, or did, that kind of thing for programmers. If that company is alive and well, I'm sure there are people here who would love to know more.

> Really happy to see the extra "Who is Hiring" post the other day.

For any one interested, here's that thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22665398

Terrific idea. See also the "Who wants to be hired" post:



A couple more resources:

List of Remote Jobs or Gigs Platforms (google doc -- not mine, just something I know about)


r/GigWorks (I'm the mod)

I saw that Google Doc the other day, and have already forwarded the link to several people looking for work. Good resource!

I know it's the nature of startups that most of these efforts will fail for technical reasons, fail for financial reasons, arrive to late, get preempted, etc. Maybe this is doubly true for hard problems in biology like drug discovery.

Nonetheless, I am filled with pride and optimism that so many talented people are working on these ambitious projects. Humanity the species will get through this yet.

Especially the logistics oriented companies are incredibly important. Flexport, Medina's, Osh.

If wonder why, the German government (procurement was handled by the military procurement agency and a department of German customs) "lost" a suppliers shipment of 6 million FFP2 masks (or 3 million, numbers are not really reliable so far) in Kenia. For everyone wondering why they have been shipped througj Africa, welcome to the club. I have no idea. But it seems logistics was handled by the supplier.

Having control over your supply chain, from sourcing through distribution, is critical right now.

Good to see YC has some of such companies in their portfolio.

That Kenya facemask story looks highly dubious and likely to be fake. The main source seems to be rt.com. Do you have a credible source?

The stories I've seen claim to be quoting der spiegel but I don't see the story on der speigel itself. For example, nothing is showing up on https://www.spiegel.de/suche/?suchbegriff=mask+kenya&seite=1

Confirmed by the German defence ministry, first reported by Speigel who seems to have a copy from the internal report on it (they are citing passages from it in their German article).

But I agree, it is highly dubious. Not having been involved, my only theory right now is that the supplier sold them to someone els. if he ran delivery himself, it is easy to route it through Kenia. Then the shipment get's lost. If he was smart, he has proper insurance for it.

"The authorities are trying to find out what happened,” a German defence ministry spokeswoman said, confirming a report first published by Spiegel Online."

Surce: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-german...

Yes, but the Kenyans say there was no such thing.[1]

Basically the only reason we trust the Germans over the Kenyans is because of reputation, keep in mind that there is no proof for that statement, we basically take their word for it. But in Germany even recently a stash of 100000 masks was stolen from a local hospital and everyone pretends there is no supply shortage.

So I don't know whether the Kenyans are lying, but I do know that the Germans are, because of information updates I get from local health department connections. Might just be the German government trying to talk themselves out of a bad situation. But right now, we don't know either way.

"We, therefore, wish to inform the public that we are treating this report of alleged disappearance of six million type FFP2 protective masks as fake news & that our cargo section continues with normal operations."

[1] https://twitter.com/KenyaAirports/status/1242455090952384512

Talking about mixed signaling, so. Local practices are asking households and carpenters for masks and protective suites. At the same time German authorities are basically refusing external help. "We have our own processes" was the most usefull answer I heard this week from officials.

Luckily, I found a doctor who's heading a regional association today. and at least he was very happy to hear that someone was willing, and able, to help. I almost gave up today, would have been a quite a waste of available air freight and distribution capacities to get these thing from China.

As a side note, based on my experience with the german government in term of procurement and such things, this whole Kenia story is at least in realm of being possibly true. Still, a very strange story... I'm curious to see how it ends.

Are anti-body tests available to purchase on the commercial market yet?

I'd like to know if I already had it so I can get on with my life.

It's illegal to sell them directly to customers in the US as of now. You can buy them in bulk relatively easily.

Can you still carry it / spread it after you’ve had it and recovered?

Probably not, but the reason to get antibody tests is to know you're past it and hopefully wont be a carrier to potentially infect others (e.g., if you live with your elderly parents)

That said, there are no hard rules

- you can still spread it physically (e.g., via clothing, on hands, surfaces)

- it isnt 100% clear you cannot be re-infected

- it isnt clear the length of time immunity is conferred

- it isnt clear if the virus might mutate drastically overstepping immunity from a previous infection

IANAD, of course get final answers from your doctor

When you recover from a virus, antibodies are in your body. These can be detected, Once you're recovered, you can no longer spread the disease. Problem is, people with mild symptoms believe they don't have it, or have recovered.

I'm one of the many, many people who has been ill for a while during the past weeks, and would like to know if I had it. If I can know for sure that I had it, and no longer have it, then I can "move on with my life" indeed. As in, I no longer have to worry about getting this disease, spreading this disease, or getting organ damage from this disease. Most important, I'll know that when I visit my mother (nearly 70, and risk group) that I won't spread the disease to her. Same for my mother in law.

> Once you're recovered, you can no longer spread the disease.

This is a super dangerous statement and absent proof you should probably retract it. There are plenty of viruses that you still shed even after recovery, there is some evidence already that COVID-19 is still contagious after recovery with an unknown for the duration, it could be hours, days or even weeks, without a very good test regime it is very hard to put a safe boundary on this.

WHO recommends 14 days, RIVM 1 day. With no symptoms.

If you're not shedding viruses, you can't spread it.


Don't assume shedding stops once you have had it and got better.

Do folks generally keep with the regular secrecy in this situation?

(regarding ANA's "More than 50 years ago, the FDA approved a drug. Today, we’re evaluating that drug as a treatment for COVID-19")

I also found that extraordinary. With such limited information it is not possible to know if the contacts I have are relevant, and how serious and progressed the company are.

After all if I suggest something I'm putting my reputation (in part) on the line, which I'm not prepared to do without at least understanding this is a serious proposal, and the science being at least superficially credible.

Are life sciences and healthcare familiar verticals for YC?

Good to see money and talent going to such good use.

(Edit) Here's the YC Companies list; which doesn't yet list these new investments:

Biomedical vertical: https://www.ycombinator.com/companies/?vertical=Biomedical

Healthcare vertical: https://www.ycombinator.com/companies/?vertical=Healthcare

"The Y Combinator Database" https://www.ycdb.co/

I'd like to see this for all YC companies. The 'how you can help' was an especially useful artifact of information. For those of us who are bored and in need of intellectual stimulation, I would like to know what other (non medical) startups are working on, with a specific description of 'how I can help'. Im talking specifically about short term projects (e.g., a week to 2 months) as opposed to the 'who's hiring' thread.

It is amazing that talent is going well beyond building cute cat apps.

How do I update our YC application? We are pivoting to help with COVID-19.


The page seems to have vanished in the last few hours. (Whups, now it's back).

Sorry! We had a glitch :)

Inb4 the anti-capitalist/anti-SV crowd comes to preach about how much more the YC ecosystem should be doing to help with covid..

Community reaction seems pretty favorable so far.

It's true that cynical comments often show up early in a thread, but that's partly because thoughtful comments simply take longer to write.

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