From $1,000 in Mexico to sanitization drones: Israeli COVID-19 enterprise

With minimal time to react, governments and private enterprises were forced to mitigate an unforeseeable crisis in the making and take on heavy losses.

Coronavirus & Israeli Tech (photo credit: JERUSALEM POST)
Coronavirus & Israeli Tech
(photo credit: JERUSALEM POST)
One thousand dollars and a trip down to Mexico. It sounds a lot like the start of a Thelma and Louise-esque flick, but that’s exactly how COVID-19 started for eccentric Israeli entrepreneur Omri Shafran. It was in Mexico that Shafran developed his vision to dedicate his entrepreneurial mind to solving pressing issues in hospitals and in public spaces, where healthcare workers were struggling with basic supplies and businesses were struggling to keep areas safe for customers.
Fast forward to 2021 and Shafran is in the driver’s seat of his newly founded company, Texas Medical Technology, a medical supplier of all things COVID-related, and working out of Houston to deliver what medical facilities ultimately need to fight the good fight. The journey to realize his vision is one of quick pivoting and a real entrepreneurial spirit – the perfect Israeli concoction.
Shafran’s journey took him on a wild ride of business ventures, having covered over two-dozen projects, including solutions for parking – naturally – considering the challenges of finding it in his native country. His most notable project, a company called SureSpot Inc, provides parking service to companies who own parking garages or require more sophisticated parking solutions. Beforehand, he had dabbled in the construction industry, founding a company called Bluebay Construction LLC. For years, Shafran worked to develop and improve the operations of both entities, finding that he was slowly forming into the business mogul he had always dreamed of becoming.
Over the years, Shafran became involved in advisory positions within small companies, offering advice on business development while maintaining a quiet life with his family in Texas. But his calling didn’t truly come until 2020, when the world found itself turned upside down.
The sudden onset of COVID-19 forced everyone to change course. With minimal time to react, governments and private enterprises were forced to mitigate an unforeseeable crisis in the making and take on heavy losses. Similar to their plight, Shafran faced a tough situation with his own businesses, but understood that there was a new opportunity to fill in one of the missing links in a medical system struggling to cope with the virus: supply. The other was the technology to keep public spaces corona-free.
With just $1,000 and drive, Shafran made his way down to Mexico to seek out manufacturing opportunities to start creating a stream of supplies, while also exploring the potential capacity of technology to help businesses reopen. Starting small, Shafran’s operations began manufacturing supplies, sending them north of the border to Texas. Texas Medical Technology was born.
Much like his fellow Israeli entrepreneurs across the pond, Shafran’s vision started with identifying a necessary niche and filling it. Personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies became the central focus of a company that rose out of dire need. With such a rapid rise to prominence, Texas Medical Technology was awarded a contract by the Kansas Department of Administration to supply PPE across the state. But Shafran and his company also understood that PPE would not be enough to do the trick in fighting the novel coronavirus.
As a supplier, one of the most unique characteristics about the ascension of Texas Medical Technology was in understanding of where the real needs were, not just PPE solutions, but also tech solutions that could protect people. To address emerging needs, supplies needed to extend into other sectors: big tech. One of them was through utilizing drones.
Drone technology as of late, has become a transformative technology for a number of sectors and Texas Medical Technology found a way to harness its value for health purposes. Named SaniDrone, the sanitizing drone is capable of disinfecting an entire stadium or park by spraying a formula sanitizer that forms an anti-microbial barrier on surfaces.
On the ground, Texas Medical Technology also supplies the GermsRover, a wheeled robot that utilizes high-power ultraviolet lamps and spatial sensors to sanitize indoor facilities, such as malls, airports and schools.
Only time will tell if Shafran’s company exists to fill a temporary problem, or if it will stand the test of time long beyond COVID-19. Shafran’s ability to quickly pinpoint needs and to pivot to address those gaps is what brought his quick rise to business prominence. In Texas, they would say Shafran is as “handy as a latch on the outhouse door.” That’s because he quickly identifies which issues affect us and how best to tackle them.