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New Black and Veatch program focuses on launching startups with ideas to tackle COVID-19

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Posted at 6:48 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 08:18:28-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Black and Veatch hopes combining the expertise of the worldwide engineering company with ideas from innovators running startups will result in lives saved during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, the Overland Park, Kansas, based firm launched an incubator it calls the "IgniteX COVID-19 Response Accelerator."

The company is asking entrepreneurs with ideas on a wide range of COVID-19 related topics to apply for the chance to collaborate with the engineering firm.

Some examples of what Black and Veatch has in mind include: telehealth, testing and screening for COVID-19, building temporary hospitals and new ways to disinfect and reuse personal protective equipment.

“We feel really fortunate we’re in a position to host some of these innovators and have a direct effect in our communities with COVID-19 through our solutions, but also look to the future because we know it doesn’t stop here,” explained Dave Johnson, from Black and Veatch.

The company has set aside at least $250,000 in grants and staff time to foster the ideas of startups and help bring those ideas to market.

Time is of the essence. Black and Veatch is accepting applications now and hopes to roll out some ideas within a few weeks.

“We all have a role and a part to play in fighting COVID-19. So we encourage you to play your part, whether that’s applying yourself or passing [the application] on to another civic, academic group or corporation or startup which might want to apply or have something to offer,” explained Sarah Ruhl of Black and Veatch.

Ruhl said the company had similar success with a renewable-focused incubator last year. It had planned to tackle that same topic this year, but changed as the pandemic grew.

Click here for more information and how to apply.

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