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Startup Gathering: Weather the storm #1

Updated: Apr 15


In consideration of the COVID-19 crisis we organized a virtual startup gathering to find answers to questions circulating in the community. Below is a summary of the first Startup Gathering event that happened this weekend (March 28th 2020 @10AM)


Questions for Panel


McKeever Conwell @TEDCO | Robin Dvorak @Blue Egg Marketing | Steven Rodriguez @Techstars | Lokesh Kumar @Urgent.ly | Shiva Thirumazhusai @Startups Ignite | Moderated by Stephen Gheysens @segheysens


1) What to expect when continuing or starting to fundraise during this crisis?


  • The amount of cash already in funds won’t change. However, funds may “hold on” to their $$ a bit tighter for the next 2-3 quarters.

  • We may see less funds being created, so the amount of VC entering the market will slow down. Startups raise money, but investors (funds) also have to raise money - with uncertainty in the economy, the ability for firms to fundraise will slow down, meaning the funds available for startups will go down. Investors are anxious - if you are in negotiations, work to close your round faster.

  • The industry and problems you are solving really matter. There are opportunities for startups solving problems specifically to this crisis and some are having no problem raising money (i.e. direct virus response solutions). In contrast, in B2B software – which was a strong sector prior to the crisis – sales cycles are already long and will probably become longer.


2) Should I pivot my startup to address this crisis?


  • Don’t pivot what you do, pivot how you do it. You have to adapt and move fast. Transitioning your team from in person to remote, transitioning how you deliver value to customers who are critical to surviving this crisis as a business. Now is not the time to rethink your value proposition, or make your business model more complex. Try to draw bright short lines from action to revenue. Focus on that. Constraints catalyze creativity!


3) How should our startup approach marketing and sales right now?


  • If you have reserves, double down - create your online strategy if you don’t have one. If you don’t have reserves : you need to get creative. Focus is your friend. Focus on your core value proposition. If you are pivoting your delivery, ensure your core value prop isn’t suffering as a result of your pivot. Now is the time to ask for sales. Evaluate tactics and channels that you may not have done before, that you may have been “too busy” for before. Focus your tactics - try one thing at a time. Be Hyper-focused around a specific customer need. Create messaging to deliver on that need.


Community shared resources and links via event chat


Growth and Marketing



Resources and Forums for COVID-19



Startup Communities & Events in DMV:





Join us for the next Session


We meet on Saturdays at 10am (EST) over Zoom. Availability is limited so please sign up to request a private invitation.


https://www.startups-ignite.com/build-startup-resilience

We can keep this effort going with your help!

Join the team dedicated to supporting startups through this crisis.


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