While veterans have already served their country, many that have transitioned to civilian life and launched a business are serving their country once again by providing solutions to the COVID-19 crisis.
From working with the FDA to increase production of specialized storage tubes to real-time tracking of the virus for mariners, here are a few veteran-owned businesses that are offering innovative solutions:
Veteran-Owned Biotechnology Company in Bethesda Working Closely With FDA on Testing Materials: Bethesda’s Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics is a small, veteran-owned company that has kicked into high gear in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 since it was tapped by the FDA in February to increase production of specialized storage tubes to meet the needs of high-volume testing. They produce an FDA-approved device that stores nasal and oral swab samples, developed back in 2006 “in preparation for an influenza pandemic” and “ideally suited for the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to President Jeff Fischer.
Rogue Fitness Hires New Workers to Make Medical Supplies: Rogue Fitness, a manufacturer of workout equipment based in Columbus, OH, is hiring 100 new people and boosting wages by $2 an hour, so its hourly employees now start at $17 an hour. The company also purchased three industrial 3D printers to make medical supplies like masks, gowns, shields and ventilators. Rogue Fitness Founder and Owner Bill Henninger is a veteran of the Ohio National Guard.
IMSA Offers Realtime COVID-19 Tracking to the Maritime Industry: International Maritime Security Associates (IMSA) is a veteran-owned maritime risk management, technology and software development company that provides clients with maritime risk intelligence data and analysis from its operations center in Chattanooga, TN. IMSA software – ARMS – is currently the only shipboard platform providing live, real-time tracking of the virus for mariners. The platform (which consolidates data from various sources, including the CDC) updates every 10 minutes, so mariners have the most up to date information to help them make better decisions protecting their crews, passengers and cargo worldwide. Please see this video and this story for more details. IMSA CEO and Founder Corey Ranslem is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Texas’s Desert Door Distillery Shifts from Spirits to Sanitizer: The founders of Desert Door distillery in Driftwood, Texas, located in the Greater San Marcos region, have turned to producing hand sanitizer that is being donated to first responders, retirement centers and health care workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Navy veteran Judson Kauffman, a co-founder, sees the shift in production to support the community at a time of need as his “civic duty,” a service-minded approach that Americans everywhere are being encouraged to adopt in this moment of national crisis. Please see this story and this story for more details.
Rove Helps Companies Transition to Remote Work: With companies across the country transitioning to work from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Charlotte, NC-based Rove is helping businesses adopt teleworking strategies to keep their operations running successfully during this global crisis. The team also offers a hotline for immediate assistance. Rove CEO Dave Brown is a veteran of the U.S. Army.
Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Meets Heightened Demand for Essential Goods: Jacksonville-based Magellan Transport Logistics has been working overtime to accommodate the needs of Americans who are staying home, transporting goods including essentials like food and medical supplies. The company has been operating similar to how it responds to hurricanes, a frequent occurrence in Florida, with the addition of extra health and cleanliness precautions for drivers and those on the front lines of shipping goods. Founder and CEO Tom Piatak is a Veteran of the US Army and graduate of the United States Military Academy.