5 ways startups can support

each other during COVID-19 

Johnson Corner
04.04.2020
Startup Grind New Plymouth City Community

Communities around the world are starting to build a better picture of the effects of COVID-19. As businesses find a new normal for operating under lockdowns and restrictions, this is the best time for founders and startups to support each other to survive the economic impact and thrive in the next standard marketplace. The lean and agile nature of startups makes them available to serve customers in uncertain times, adjust as needed, and pivot when time is right. However, it will be the community that will play a crucial role in ensuring success and sustainability for startups.  

Based on our experience of activating startup ecosystem, we have put together a few ways founders and startups can support one another; 

 

Exchange useful tools and resources with one another

While all our members are distributed, working from home, Johnson Corner's digital infrastructure has enabled our members to become familiar with online tools and platforms. There are some tools our members have started using recently which are highly effective in creating a digitally connected community. 

  • Slack: For day-to-day communication with teams 

  • Trello: For teams to-do's and task prioritisation 

  • Zoom: For meetings and virtual events 

  • G Suite: For sharing documents and presentations

 

Many technology providers have now made their remote working tools available for free in response to supporting small businesses during COVID-19 crisis. Make sure to make the best use of these technologies to stay connected with other founders as much as possible. 

 

Promote collaboration through community groups

Over the coming few months, collaboration is going to be vital for the success of startup ecosystems, so maintaining a sense of community and collaboration is going to make or break it for startups. Have a plan to find communities to connect to instead of maintaining isolation by working-from-home. For instance, joining an innovation lab or a collaborative workspace that boost your chances of staying connected and accelerating your startup's recovery and growth. 

 

Seeking out local hubs that already exist is the best place to start because after lockdown is lifted, community engagement will remain local before people start travelling again. 

 

Attend virtual community events

The number of virtual events in the last two weeks has skyrocketed, there is no shortage of it and the trend is likely to stay. So make time to attend one event a day or 3 events a week. Go for events that offer breakout room sessions so you can deeply connect with individuals. 

 

Also, organise your own events to support other startups and share your knowledge. Think about hosting meetups, demo days, lunch and learns, workshops, or masterclasses. These events can be a medium to showcase new product features, exchange market research, and more. 

 

Support those who have been made redundant

During this crisis, Johnson Corner has stayed true to its mission of accelerating the transition of a sustainable world of work. Johnson Corner has been working with its startup ecosystem to support people who have been hit the hardest. 

 

By teaming up with like-minded partners, Johnson Corner hopes to support the startup community by providing new ways to; 

  • Accessing funding and a clear path to raising capital 

  • Supporting the creation of new innovative businesses to boost the economy by creating new jobs 

  • Connecting with exceptional talents to help build successful startup companies  

 

There are a handful of other organisations that will be supporting these individuals. Seek them out, share job ads, provide referrals, and helo local talent stay in the ecosystem and strengthen the community. 

 

Stay in touch with your community 

 

Individuals working remotely for a long period may find themselves feeling down. Do your best to check in on fellow sole traders, teammates, and other communities you belong to - have constant open conversations, virtual happy hours and help one another. Founders should be following good mental health practices while in lockdown. 

 

Startups are at high risk of not surviving through this economic downturn. However, with the right collective support, it can make a difference. If you're able to support local businesses, invest in their products and services is the best way to support them. We can get through this together.