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The realities of COVID-19 present new challenges for almost every business on the planet - some lucky companies are challenged only to scale-up their solutions to meet newly increased demand - but many other startups today face challenges that require them to make substantial changes to their businesses. 

Times of rapid change and market disruption are often when epic startup journeys begin, and when a new cohort of great entrepreneurs are forged. The world now faces a torrent of new problems, and so it is time for entrepreneurs to build the future. 

To help entrepreneurs navigate the flood of post-COVID resources available, below are some great general guides to get started, all from top startup experts or organizational leaders, and that the FI HQ team has found valuable in clarity that cuts through the noise. Founders who are in search of more specific guidance can find further topic-lists of resources available on the Founder Institute #BeyondCOVID portal.  

Guides & General Resources

  1. 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.
  2. This First Round Review ‘field guide’ offers a highly logical, if lengthier, step-by-step approach to a post-COVID positioning.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. A well-referenced post by former Airbnb Growth PM Lenny Rachitsky offers a step-by-step methodology for founder self-evaluation
  6. 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. 
  7. Winnie Co-Founder & CEO Sara Mauskopf published in Inc about 4 ways for startups to cut costs immediately without cutting into productivity or revenue.
  8. A short guide by the World Health Organization on how to manage your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Special thanks especially to our friends at TechStars, the good folks at Grasshopper Bank, and to JetBlue Technology Ventures’ Ashley Lowes and Sarah Mattina, each of whose own resource lists and guides the Founder Institute team referenced in the creation of this COVID-19 compilation survival guide.

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Founder Institute portfolio companies are creating positive social and environmental impact around the world, using structured processes to define impact KPIs that scale sustainably with their business. Read the most recent featured reports on our impact companies at, or learn about the Founder Institute's own global impact at

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