Seedstars Responds to the Outbreak of COVID-19

March 18, 2020

Dear community,

As the world seems to be put on hold, I am amazed to witness the resilience of our community and its ability to put forward new and innovative ways to organize our societies.

I am fortunate to be part of a vibrant and incredibly proactive community. It has been extremely inspiring to watch Seedstars team members, entrepreneurs, mentors, ecosystem enablers, ambassadors and partners roll up their sleeves and take up the challenge of reshaping programs and events. As Seedstars’ Global Summit, themed BEYOND, is approaching, we could not be prouder to be part of a community that is eager and capable of taking concrete and constructive steps:putting forward innovative mechanism, sharing best practices, spreading positivity, being independent (yet standing in solidarity), and keeping the positivity to go BEYOND physicality and have an impact DIGITALLY.

The spirit of our core values — #IndependentlyTogether, #GetSh*tDone, #HackTheSystem, #InExperimentsWeTrust, #OutsideTheComfortZone — has never been more relevant. As a remote team providing online programs, Seedstars transcends borders (even closed ones!) and continues to bring change by catalyzing innovation, building capacity, and impacting lives through tech and entrepreneurship.

Considering the many pressing issues the world is facing in various sectors, I strongly believe that it is the drive and commitment of a community like Seedstars’ that will pave the way for a different today and tomorrow. Our goal is to enact and catalyze positive impact on people’s lives!

How to set up your preparedness plan to join us in catalyzing change?

  • Do a SWOT of your business due to consumers staying at home.
  • Make sense of where the components of your (or your customers’ or suppliers’) supply chain are located and how this will affect your business.
  • Which of your customers could be especially affected by either a supply shock or demand shock?
  • Put together scenarios for “back to certain normality” by date (e.g. 1 May, 1 June, 1 July, etc) and only take into consideration the source of revenue you are certain of (commitment and payment).
  • What’s your plan if you see a path to a minor, consequent, massive reduction in revenues, or large increases in receivables outstanding?
  • Search for new leading indicators of risks or business loss.
  • Develop plans for further cost reduction: evaluate cancelling rent, evaluate reducing salaries vs. firing your team, engage in discussions with your providers, get payments in advance from recurring customers by offering discounts, etc.).
  • Is there any way to raise more cash now, before you need it, in the form of debt or equity from existing investors?
  • What mitigation measures can you take right away to reduce impacts on your business? If not now, what indicators will trigger you to take these actions?
  • After a near term reduction is in place, how can you reduce burning further in the next 3-6 months?
  • Plan to replan – to regularly review, reframe and adapt your plan as you gain new information and see patterns arise in this rapidly changing situation.
  • Take the business slow-down time to fix bugs in your processes.
  • Never lose contact with your customers, even if sales are on hold.
  • Communicate with your teams.

Onwards and upwards,
Pierre-Alain Masson
Partner
The Seedstars Group

They tried to bury us, but they did not know we were seeds” - Mexican Proverb