It's time to build the post-COVID future
Industries are changing. Incumbents are being disrupted. New ways of living and working are being thrust upon us. Many talented people are sitting at home looking for what is next. The needs of both consumers and businesses are changing, and entrepreneurs are in a unique position to build the solutions that define the future.
Let’s make this special moment count. The Founder Institute is here to help.
- For entrepreneurs: Now is the time to build and help shape our collective future. We will award 10 fellowships to the most promising founders creating solutions for a better and bright future #BeyondCOVID. If you are a founder working to build something that matters, you can apply to our pre-seed accelerator programs here. If you know another entrepreneur who is working to build the future, you can also nominate them to apply for a fellowship to join the Founder Institute here.
- For ecosystem leaders: Rally your community to launch startups that will have a positive impact on the world. Apply to lead a world-class pre-seed accelerator in your city.
To keep people safe and #StopTheSpread, the Founder Institute has moved our 30+ operating startup accelerator programs to a virtual format, and all enrolling Founder Institute programs with start dates in 2020 are planned to be 100% online.
Our singular focus is to continue providing the highest quality pre-seed accelerator program in the world, while keeping everyone safe and recognizing local and regional health advisories.
Our mission is to empower communities of talented and motivated people to build technology businesses that positively impact the world, no matter their location, background, race, age, or sexual orientation. Since 2009 we have helped launch over 4,300 companies across six continents.
COVID-19 Resources for Entrepreneurs
- Online Startup Events: To continue helping entrepreneurs get access to training and feedback from the comfort of their home, we are running several free online startup events per week. See all the online startup events we are running in your city at FI.co/events.
- COVID-19 Business Resource Center: Learn what you need to reopen or refuel your small business through this resource Hello Alice provides. They have 150,000 business owners on their site to help you navigate your new normal with access to funding, e-learning guides, and mentorship.
- Sample Coronavirus Plan for Business: When the virus impacts your business, a good plan is essential to the ensure the safety of your employees and the continuity of your operations. With chapters across 60+ countries running in-person programs, ee spent several weeks developing comprehensive policies (and emails to communicate and enforce those policies) to make a transition. We used this experience to create a template for anyone to copy, edit and use.
- Call for COVID-19 Solutions Directory: This document is an open source directory for solutions to COVID-19 related problems. Too many people are waiting for their governments to act, but entrepreneurs and innovators can help. This is an open Google document outlining the various ways startups can help, with examples of those currently taking initiative.
- 60+ Enrolling Accelerator Programs: We have fully transitioned all operating Founder Institute programs to a virtual format, and are planning to start most upcoming cohorts online as well. You can see a list of currently enrolling programs at FI.co/enrolling, and if you have questions about how our virtual programs will operate, please see our Virtual Program FAQ.
- Read about the latest news and insights coming from the FI Network about our #BeyondCOVID future below.
Founder Institute Montreal Announces New "MedStack Digital Health Fellowship" program
The Future of Retail #BeyondCovid
Call for Startups: Founders Building the Future #BeyondCovid
Let's look #BeyondCOVID: Online Startup Events to help you grow in our 'New Normal'
The Future of Travel #BeyondCOVID
Coronavirus: FI Strategy to Stop the Spread
Startup Management: Resources & Guides for a COVID-19 World
Startup Business Development Guides for the COVID-19 World
How to think about Startup Funding Post-COVID-19
COVID-19 Startup Survival Guides & Resource Lists
COVID Startup Grants, Loans, and Emergency Financing Programs
General COVID-19 Resources
To help entrepreneurs navigate the sea of resources available, below is a categorized reference list for founders in search of topic-specific guidance
- This Sequoia post on Medium offers good, quick advice for helping founders conceptualize the practicalities of a ‘Black Swan’ event like coronavirus and this macroeconomic scenario + cashflow runway matrix offers cold, practical clarities.
- This First Round Review ‘field guide’ offers a highly logical, if lengthier, step-by-step approach to a post-COVID positioning.
- This Founder Institute open COVID-19 Call for Solutions was organized by FI Startup Resident Ellen Gunnarsson, and the Founder Institute has published an open-source sample Coronavirus Action Plan for businesses to copy-paste and immediately put into practice.
- JetBlue Technology Ventures’ Ashley Lowes and Sarah Mattina have published an extensive list of COVID resources.
- This guide by NFX Managing Partner James Currier offers a psychological approach for founders to apply in approaching the downturn, and another post explores a founder and investor sentiment survey.
- A well-referenced post by former Airbnb Growth PM Lenny Rachitsky offers a step-by-step methodology for founder self-evaluation.
- Steve Blank offers a practical, if sobering, approach for planning through the likely ‘cold winter’ ahead, with advice especially applicable for currently-funded founders on dealing with investors and controlling burn, as well as these reflections on keeping your company alive through the pandemic by making decisions and taking action.
- Winnie Co-Founder & CEO Sara Mauskopf published in Inc about 4 ways for startups to cut costs immediately without cutting into productivity or revenue.
- A short guide by the World Health Organization on how to manage your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Managing a startup in a post-COVID world
- In First Round Review, NerdWallet VP of Content Maggie Leung offers management advice for going from surviving to thriving in distributed workplace team environments.
- Front Co-Founder & CEO Mathilde Collin offers a great list of HR-centric ideas for approaching remote team management via a fun and practical mindset.
- YC Alums offer list(s) of Advice for Managing Remote Teams and YC’s Director of Events Lindsay Selvitelle has this post on Hosting a Virtual Event.
- This a16z advice gets to the heart of sometimes-needed but never-fun topics of planning and managing layoffs.
- Founder Shield has published an updated employer resource guide for workforce decision-making and liabilities.
- The coworking space Upsuite asks leaders questions about management and provides a list of tools and equipment needed to work remotely full-time versus once or twice per week.
- Learn how to move your business forward from Entrepreneur's article "How to Position Your Startup to Weather the Storm."
- Get help managing the impact of the Coronavirus with HoneyBook's regularly updated list of resources.
Raising funding in a post-COVID world
- Octopus Ventures has a great, short guide for both founders and investors on tips for approaching remote pitch meetings.
- VC Mark Suster shares a deck from his recent presentation given at SaaStr outlining his own investment outlook, as well as this post on how VC-backed startups can make sense of the PPP loan program.
- In a Medium post, Rockstart ventures CEO Rune Theill advises startups that can to postpone their next fundraising until Q4 2020.
- DocSend has an interesting real-time Pitch Deck Interest Index that tracks investor interest and engagement via reporting from founders actively raising funding.
- FounderSuite CEO Nathan Beckord wrote this post on 'Raising Capital In A Turbulent Market' with four opportunities and four things founders can do now.
- Learn about the do's and don'ts of fundraising in this webinar replay that Techstars hosted.
- The Forbes article "Guidance for Startups/VCs From VCs Around the Globle During COVID-19" reminds founders that deals are still happening, and advises both sides how to move forward and handle agreements.
- Get tips on how to raise capital and survive in this Entrepreneur article written by the CMO of Myia Health.
- For US-based startups here are government sponsored Relief Resources for SMBs.
Finance, Emergency Loans, and Grants to help companies impacted by COVID-19
- EU startups with tech or innovations that could help in treating, testing, monitoring or other aspects of Coronavirus can apply now for funding from the European Innovation Council.
- In the United States, here you can find the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s own Coronavirus Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources.
- On Pilot.com you can use a simple calculator to estimate your U.S. PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan amount as well as this guide to Calculating Your Cash Burn Rate through a downturn projection
- The National Venture Capital Association has published guidance on the PPP Loan Program and guidance for how companies can navigate the SBA lending process and affiliation rules.
- AlleyCorp has also created a PPP loan estimator as well as published an overview of government assistance programs.
- Techstars has a thorough guide that begins with the latest news in timestamped updates, outlining the United States C.A.R.E.S. Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) in Overview and FAQs.
- Company Ventures and Emigrant Bank published this precisely technical resource on the United States CARES Act PPP and EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) programs.
- Fundera published this comprehensive but approachable guide on How to Apply for Coronavirus Business Loans, as well ascreated a wider Small Business Relief Hub with info on SBA's PPP, Disaster Relief, 7(a) Loan programs and other business credit options.
- Red Rocket Ventures’ blog published this short and approachable SBA loan Q&A.
- Get $100M in cash grants and ad credits from Facebook's Small Business Grants Program.
Business Development in a post-COVID world
- Also known as asking for the Coronavirus Discount, Eric Goldschein of Fundera discusses How Businesses Can Negotiate with Lenders and Suppliers During Coronavirus Outbreak.
- Steve Blank offers practical advice on how to go about Customer Discovery In the Time Of the Covid-19 Virus.
- Pilot -- which provides bookkeeping, tax, and CFO services for growing businesses -- provides a collection of resources to help startups take action and to secure their financial position in a challenging market.
- The CPA firm Bennet Thrasher has 5 steps business leaders can use to maintain business continuity and to keep customers happy.
- Bijan Sabet sets business planning expectations to use as a guideline for Q2, Q3, and Q4 of this year, based on original plans companies had for the year.
- Paul D'Souza, an expert in increasing company revenue, offers advice and examples of when startups should pivot in the webinar "The Art of the Pivot."
- SaaS businesses should focus on efficient growth according to the VC firm Andreessen Horowitz.
- Brand Marketing Through the Coronavirus Crisis is a Harvard Business Review article that informs business owners of how to adapt their marketing to the current market.
Acquiring Talent in a post-COVID world
- Layoffs.fyi is tracking all tech startup layoffs since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, with data compiled primarily from public reports in an effort to help companies still hiring identify great talent.
- You may find your next great co-founder on FoundersList.
- One Soft Landing publishes a comprehensive list of recent layoffs, encouraging hiring managers to reach out to the candidates.
- Here is a Canadian Talent Help List (COVID-19 recent)
- Colorado COVID-19 Talent Network publishes an open database of employment opportunity seekers.
- Techstars published an aggregated list of available talent.
- OnTheMarket publishes a list of laid off talent in search of new opportunities.
- Designed for startups, angel investors, and job-seekers alike, Angel List is a transparent, easy-to-use platform to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs.
- For SE Asia talent, view this list (~900 listed).
- WFH But Hiring is a site for both employers and talent seeking a match.
- Join HireClub, a Facebook group with over 30,000 members.
- Get Silver Lining is a support community for companies and talent.
The above lists were compiled from recommendations and a number of resources we found that were particularly helpful, such as these from Techstars, Grasshopper Bank, and JetBlue Technology Ventures’ Ashley Lowes and Sarah Mattina.
Let's build the future, together
The Founder Institute is here to support ambitious Founders that want to build the future.Join the Program