Categories: Innovate

FIBA companies innovate to deal with Covid-19, Catalina tracks what’s selling and other info you need to know

Three companies that have taken part in the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator have put their innovation to use during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

• GlobeKeeper Tech Ltd. is working with Israel’s Ministry of Health on a voluntary surveillance app for monitoring coronavirus cases.

• Uniper-Care Technologies, a telehealth and social engagement company, launched a cross-platform service that allows older adults and at-risk individuals in isolation to connect and engage with healthcare professionals, access live and interactive health and wellness programs, and communicate with family and friends.

• MedFlyt held a webinar to demonstrate how its emergency solution can help home care agencies with daily Covid-19 health screenings.

Catalina, a St. Petersburg tech firm that collects and analyzes shopping data, is tracking how the pandemic is impacting retailers and consumer packaged goods brands. During the week ended March 22, shoppers made fewer trips to grocery, drug and convenience stores nationwide but they spent more per visit compared to the prior week and to the same period in 2019.

“These numbers coincide with more states and metropolitan areas issuing ‘shelter in place’ or ‘stay at home’ directives that currently impact more than 100 million people across the country,” said Marta Cyhan, chief marketing officer.

Even though “sheltering in place” guidelines typically allow people to continue to shop at grocery and drug stores, the top 10 categories that have seen the greatest increase in sales show that people continue to stock their pantries with food and cleaning supplies. And, for the first time, yeast products are best-sellers, likely due to people having the time and finding comfort in baking, Catalina said.


During this time of social distancing, the Girls Scouts of West Central Florida introduced Girl Scouts at Home – a virtual programming option available to all families through the Girl Scouts website. It’s a collection of online programs, activities and challenges designed to keep girls engaged in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. There are also free resources for parents/guardians and troop leaders.

University of South Florida has created a fund to help provide financial relief to students who are facing unexpected challenges. The USF United Support Fund will help students, many of whom are far from home, with urgent needs such as food, toiletries, rent money and other basic essentials that are beyond their reach, USF said. As of mid-day Friday, the fund had raised $88,000 from 447 donors.

USF St. Petersburg Chancellor Martin Tadlock made an additional appeal on Twitter for support for the student food pantry, Support-A-Bull Market.

The Tampa Bay Lighting and Tampa-based The Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS) have partnered to donate $200,000 to local food banks through the Goals for Food program.

The Laxer Family Foundation is donating $20,000 to Feeding Tampa Bay. The foundation was is founded by the owners of Bern’s Steak House and Haven, David and Christina Laxer. 

Margie Manning

Margie started her journalism career as a radio news reporter in St. Louis, before putting down her microphone and picking up a pen to work at the St. Louis Business Journal. Unable to resist the call of warm weather and beaches, Margie took an entrepreneurial detour to run an ice cream shop in Treasure Island with her husband. Before joining the Catalyst, Margie spent 14 years at the Tampa Bay Business Journal where she wrote about business successes, failures and the exciting world of innovation and start-ups. Her writing coaches are Bonnie the Dog and Coffee the Cat, joined recently by a new edition, Jack the Cat. Margie can be contacted at

Recent Posts

President Trump announces funding of St. Pete BRT project via Twitter

Transit advocates across the county are celebrating a big win as President Donald Trump took…

1 hour ago

Community Voices: An open letter from the Florida Holocaust Museum

The Florida Holocaust Museum has always had a dual mission: one is housed in our…

5 hours ago

Imagine Museum shares reopening practices, plants flag for way forward

The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce presents: Coronavirus Impact Insights. Click the play arrow above…

6 hours ago

Pinellas County lifts restrictions on beaches, extends CARES individual financial aid program

Pinellas County officials say they are shifting away from regulation and emphasizing personal responsibility as…

7 hours ago

Silver linings and sobering statistics emerge in Tampa Bay Partnership State of the Region

Record high unemployment, declines in homes sales and a murky prognosis for air travel are…

10 hours ago

‘Catalyst Sessions’ recap: Opera singer and role-playing gamer Kelli Butler

New York-based opera singer Kelli Butler has made two unforgettable appearances with St. Petersburg Opera…

12 hours ago