Accelerator unleashes 18 partners in the fight against COVID-19


Less than four months after launching the initiative to find innovative solutions to the coronavirus pandemic, Black & Veatch has chosen 18 partners for its ambitious IgniteX COVID-19 Response Accelerator intent on developing and deploying emerging technologies to the fight against the disease.

You are invited to hear directly from these companies next week at the IgniteX COVID-19 Response Accelerator Virtual Demo Day from 1-2:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 and 22. Register here for either day, or both programs.

Cohort members – an array of startups, established businesses and universities – were selected from more than 300 applications.  The accelerator was designed to attract entrepreneurs to join the IgniteX effort to build, grow and scale solutions that would soften COVID-19’s impact on communities. The response accelerator also sought to prepare the Black & Veatch’s core businesses for a post-pandemic future.


Applications came from engineering, construction, health tech spaces and beyond, with Black & Veatch choosing the 18 partners after a rigorous three-month evaluation process. Currently, Black & Veatch has elevated five live pilots in the field, including attention to health screening, contact tracing, virus detection and disinfection.

Black and Veatch is providing $250,000 total in grants or in-kind services as a part of the program, as well as access to their network of more than 10,000 employees in over 100 offices around the globe, enabling both a faster runway to commercialization but also valuable connections between mentors, customers and investors. IgniteX also brings outside partners from diverse industries, including Advance Concepts Studios, Brightidea, KC Digital Drive, LaunchKC and the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering.

The LaunchKC accelerator platform is a nonprofit initiative of the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City. LaunchKC first joined with Black & Veatch in 2019, as it powered the IgniteX Cleantech Accelerator, which included a live Demo Day in the Power & Light District last fall.


“As the pandemic struck and began impacting our lives and work across the globe in untold number of ways that are creating a new normal, we recognized we needed new approaches to fight these new challenges,” said Steve Edwards, Black & Veatch’s CEO.

“We turned to our Growth Accelerator team to apply their innovative mindset to crowdsourcing solutions, and they have brought aboard 18 exciting partners with technologies that we think can push back against the devastating effects of COVID-19 on our economy, our health and our daily lives.”

The partners in the inaugural IgniteX COVID-19 Response Accelerator include innovative solutions in categories ranging from disinfection and filtration to health screening, tracking and tracing, wearables, data intelligence and communications.

The cohort includes:

  • Aquisense: Desktop ultraviolet (UV) disinfection of masks
  • Motega: Developed a multi-day persistent sanitizer for surfaces and hands.  Company has formulation specialists in pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, foods and chemicals.
  • NanoGuard: Reactive gas (ozone) disinfection for food and other markets
  • Windgo: Smart UV lighting
  • University of Missouri: Biosensor for rapid pathogen detection
  • InnovaPrep: Concentration device for pathogen detection
  • Fluid Robotics: Automated sampling devices and wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE)
  • Transcend H2O: Automatic site design for the portable, quickly deployable Rapid Modular Health System (RaMHS)
  • Field2Base: Mobile data collection partner for COVOPERATE
  • Translational Pulmonary & Immunology Research Center: Health partner for return-to-X assessments
  • OneScreen: Infrared temperature scanner
  • Energy Cloud: Air filtration system
  • MySidewalk: City intelligence platform
  • OnFrontiers: Platform for enterprise knowledge networks
  • Cykyl Springs: Constant force/air pressure for medical and other devices
  • Avatour: 360-degree virtual telepresence
  • Ubudu: Small wearable for social distance compliance and contact tracing
  • EB Systems: Indoor/On-Site tracking, contact tracing, and real-time alerting systems

Click here to learn more and to register now.