Triangle Startups Help Those Stuck At Home With Food, Fitness and Fun

The Benecomms PR and marketing agency is helping nonprofits distribute treasure hunts for kids.

With everyone cooped up inside their homes, these Triangle-based companies are doing their part to keep everyone’s lives as close to normal as possible.

WAAM Fitness App, Myxx Solutions and the Benecomms PR and marketing agency are each trying to help people stuck at home in their own ways. (We’ve previously written about WAAM and Myxx.)

WAAM’s logo

The Raleigh-based WAAM app lets trainers, athletes and celebrities post workouts for people to engage with on their phones at any time—and anywhere, including home. Notable trainers who use the app include Victoria Secret model Sofie Rovenstine’s trainer Josh Rogers and Route King, the trainer for New England Patriots Wide Receiver Mohamed Sanu Sr.

Now that gyms are closed across the state, the app is more relevant than ever.

“Our main focus with this technology is connecting and engaging with others through movement,” said WAAM founder Karly Pavlinac. “Since Covid-19, that has been more important than ever. People are stuck inside and having a resource to turn to in order to move and have fun has been really important.”

On a different note, Cary-based Myxx is an AI platform for food that includes both technology for brands and retailers as well as myxxrecipes.com, which is for shoppers. The recipes make it easy for shoppers to immediately add the needed products to their shopping cart to make an online purchase, or add the items to a virtual shopping list. Brands and retailers can use the platform to promote and market their items in a seamless way that benefits both parties.

Myxx COO Dede Houston, left, and CEO Monica Wood.

A positive for the company amid the current crisis has been the rise of consumers cooking at home and ordering their groceries online. Myxx CEO Monica Wood also said that they’re seeing brands becoming more aware of the need to create D2C strategies, and therefore partnering with Myxx.

However, the website is facing some of the same problems as the rest of the world. Grocery stores are running out of stock, and fast. This makes it hard to keep the availability information accurate for online products. But, the startup is profitable, so Myxx should be able to weather the storm.

Similarly, Wake Forest-based Benecomms is a fully established, profitable company, so they are using their time and efforts to help nonprofits during this trying time.

Founder Helen Bertelli, while living in England, used to make up “treasure hunts” for her small children to pass the time. The hunts were small scavenger hunts around the house that were fun for the kids while also having an educational benefit.

When the Covid-19 crisis started, Bertelli immediately thought of all the young children who were now stuck at home with little to do—and the parents trying to take care of them while also working from home. She also thought of several nonprofits who would be particularly hit hard, given that no in-person fundraising events could be held.

Bertelli combined the two problems and came up with a simple solution. She gave the non-profits, one of which is local nonprofit First Fruits Farm, treasure hunts that she had saved and allowed them to post them on their websites for families to download. In exchange, the charities are asking for small donations if the families are able to donate.

“It’s a phenomenal way to move while you learn,” Bertelli said of the treasure hunts. “It gets kids off their computer screens and makes them smile. What’s happening is impacting kids a lot, and it is important for families to try and entertain their kids.”

Each company is trying to play a positive role in their respective communities. WAAM is helping small businesses like trainers and gym owners to be able to continue working everyday.

“The only way to get through something like this is through the support of your community,” Pavlinac said.

Myxx is providing price comparisons to help people manage their spending. They are also trying to keep online inventory levels accurate to reduce unnecessary shopping trips.

“As a growing organization we feel very lucky to have a solution that helps our stakeholders through this extremely challenging time in history,” Wood said. “We are hopeful that we can not only help provide these solutions, but also that our organization can grow and offer new jobs in our community and give back whenever we can to help those in need.”

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About Laura Brummett 31 Articles
Laura covers tech and startup news for GrepBeat. She is a business journalism major at UNC-Chapel Hill, minoring in studio art and history. Reach her by email at laura@grepbeat.com or find her on Twitter @laura_brummett.