COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resource Guide

Last updated: Jul 1st, 2020

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice. All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

At Techstars, our top priority is everyone’s health and safety. We will continue to do all we can to minimize the risks of COVID-19 and help us all get through this crisis. 

In addition, many in our network have been through tough times before and will help you navigate through this one. That’s why we compiled — and will continue to update — the latest resources and advice to help support you through this time. You can find it all on this page.

Upcoming Online Events

Virtual Roundtable: Innovation in the time of COVID with Fortune 500 Leaders

Friday, June 26th at 12:00pm ET: Why innovation? Why now? How can organizations of all sizes maximize innovation in the COVID era? Join Techstars, Western Union, MetLife and Stanley Black and Decker for a virtual roundtable with innovation leaders with a history of innovation for a candid dialogue about best practices and lessons learned in driving innovation through times of crisis to emerge in a position of strength post-crisis.  

General Advice

Video: Pivot To Virtual: Getting The Most Out Of A Remote Accelerator

Techstars Anywhere Managing Director Ryan Kuder and Jon Bradford, investor, advisor, and founder of Techstars London, unpack approaches and strategies to get the most out of a remote accelerator experience.

Advice: Techstars Advice for Startups in an Economic Crisis

David Cohen, Techstars cofounder and managing partner, shares his top 10 pieces of advice for the leaders of early stage startups during this economic crisis.

Encouragement: An Open Letter to Startup Founders Everywhere in a Time of Crisis

David Cohen's open letter to founders. Iconic companies are going to come out of this dark time.

AMA Replay: Actionable Advice from Experienced CEOs

In uncertain times, the perspective of people who’ve been there before is incredibly important. In this one-hour video, our own David Cohen, Brad Feld, and a host of other investors and CEOs sat down to share some actionable advice about how to best navigate downturns and crises.

Advice & Pledge: Stop the Spread — A Response to COVID-19

David Cohen & Brad Feld ask that all company leaders read this article and join Techstars in taking the pledge to #leadboldly to #stopthespread. 

Resource List: A Resource Guide for Founders and Investors During This Uncertain Time

Grasshopper Bank’s regularly updated — and substantial — list of resources.

Advice: Time for Creative Ingenuity

Jenny Lawton, chief innovation officer for Techstars, explains why innovation and strong leadership are critical at this time.

Advice: 11 Tips for Startup Survival During COVID-19

Hilla Ovil-Brenner, a serial entrepreneur and managing director of Techstars Tel Aviv, has weathered the economic downturns of 2000 and 2008. Here’s her advice for startup survival during uncertain times.

Resource: Twilio COVID-19 founder resources

Twilio is working to help organizations respond to COVID-19. On this page you will find information regarding product donations and discounts, grant funding, technical resources, and volunteering.

AMA Replay: Techstars AMA: Making the most out of your network

Watch this AMA with the Techstars team discussing building a community and activating your own network.

Techstars Portfolio Companies

Techstars Portfolio Companies

Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers. Incredibly proud and humbled to see so many of our alumni companies pivoting to help tackle COVID-19. Check out this ever-growing list.

Accelerator Program Updates

If you’re in a program — or soon to be — you have likely heard from us, a lot. Ensuring everyone is healthy and safe truly is our top priority. The good news is we’ve been operating events and programs in virtual environments for years, and we are successfully completing many more programs that transitioned to virtual mid-term.

This is the update as of August 7, 2020 on how we will run programs by term:

  • Term 6 programs (November - February 2021) will be operate in a mostly virtual format, except in locations where local ordinances and virus outbreaks allow for safe in-person gatherings. This will vary from location to location. We are taking this approach due to the varying changes of restrictions and concerns across different geographies. Final plans for program format will be shared with applicants in our final review stage. The safety of everyone involved will continue to be our utmost priority. No one will be required to attend in-person programming if they are not comfortable doing so, and all participants will have access to equal access to remote programming if they choose not to attend in person (video conferencing, etc.). Term 6 Demo Days will be online but may have complementary live or in-person programming. Term 6 programs include:

  • Term 1 2021 programs (January - April 2021) we are continuing to evaluate if these programs will operate in in-person or virtual formats. Decisions regarding the format of these programs will depend entirely on the condition of the cities, states and countries where these programs are located, those geography's state of safety, and those geography's local laws, ordinances and regulations.

We will communicate any changes to applicants as they continue to advance in the review process. Our virtual demo day is so successful, we have decided to continue it for all programs for the rest of the year. We will be handling in-person events based upon local ordinances and how it will best support our founders and partners in the program.

If you have specific questions, please reach out directly to your program staff or contact info@techstars.com.  

Community Program Updates

Online Startup Weekend: Unite to Fight COVID-19 Startup Weekend

Come together with inventors, innovators, developers and anyone with a passion to tackle COVID-19 in their country in this first-of-its-kind Online Startup Weekend. 

Weekends in April, 2020 - For the latest on participating countries and dates, check the website and click “Get Involved” to sign up for updates.  

AMA Replay: How to Fight COVID-19: Lessons from Taiwan, America & Beyond

Learn lessons from Taiwan & the world's responses to the epidemic & advice on the path forward, as well as tools & tech available for creating innovative solutions to help solve the crisis.

Crowdsourcing Solutions

Additive Manufacturing: COVID-19 Health Care Needs and AM Capabilities Repository

A platform for quickly deploying the United States' Additive Manufacturing resources to address the national health crisis, helping to ensure the additive manufacturing industry can effectively and safely meet the needs of America’s health care workers on the front lines of the Coronavirus crisis.

Tech Platform: Global Innovation Exchange

This platform for sharing and seeking solutions invites participants to explore and add potential ideas and Innovations that may be relevant to COVID-19.

Hackathon: COVID-19 Global Hackathon

The COVID-19 Global Hackathon is an opportunity for developers to build software solutions that drive social impact, with the aim of tackling some of the challenges related to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Get Involved: Unite and Fight

In a time of unprecedented change and disruption, the Department of the Defense has established the Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF) for COVID-19 initiative to assess and rapidly respond to challenges presented by this pandemic. Join the fight today.

Fundraising

Techstars Commitments to Weathering the COVID-19 Crisis Together

Techstars' financial commitments to our portfolio companies, past and present, during the COVID-19 crisis.

AMA Replay: The Dos and Don'ts of Fundraising 

Watch Techstars Chief Investment Officer Nicole Glaros, Techstars Boulder Managing Director Natty Zola, and Director of Investment Platforms Kevin Liu discuss how to avoid pitfalls when raising capital. Gain access to new educational founder resources to help you raise capital faster and smarter. 

Webinar Replay: CARES Act: PPP Impact on Venture-Backed Companies, with Cooley

Join Cooley to unpack PPP eligibility for venture-backed companies, key loan terms and the mechanics for applications. 

Resource List: Stay Strong: A round-up of resources to help your startup through this challenge

Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University put together a great resource guide for funding opportunities and information

AMA Replay: Funded & Fearless Females: Surviving and Thriving During the Downturn

Watch as Techstars Los Angeles Managing Director Anna Barber, Techstars NYC Managing Director Jenny Fielding, and Joanne Wilson, a former retail exec add angel investor in more than 100 companies, share their insights on how to receive funding and thrive during tough times.

AMA Replay: Running your Business and Raising in Tough Circumstances

Watch as Techstars NYC Managing Director Jenny Fielding and Techstars London Managing Director Eamonn Carey share their experience and insights around running a company in uncertain times.

AMA Replay: How To Apply For An SBIR Grant, with Director of SBIR Center of Excellence, Stacy Swider

Director of SBIR Center of Excellence, Stacy Swider, discusses how to apply for an SBIR grant. This session is about how to find the right grant and how to apply.

Advice: State SBA Crisis Loan Resources - COVID-19

Techstars Kansas City Managing Director Lesa Mitchell offers her advice on applying for loans from the SBA.

Guide: How startups can benefit from the new federal stimulus bill

Pilot’s guide to the Paycheck Protection Program and CARES Act for startups.

Guide: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now.

Small Business Guide and Checklist: Coronavirus Emergency Loans prepared by the U.S Chamber of Commerce

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

Resource: An Overview on Affiliation

An overview of some basic principles of affiliation as set forth in SBA’s regulations and decisions from SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals.

AMA Replay: Running and Financing your Startup in Tough Circumstances: Southeast Special Edition

Techstars Managing Directors and Southeast US investors discuss the fundraising landscape and how to work through your fundraising and managing your startup.

Money Management: Simple Startup is donating 400 seats (worth $120k in total) on their 1-week Cash Management course to the startup and small business community. If you feel so inclined, you can contribute $5-299 and all proceeds go to No Kid Hungry and Meals on Wheels - feeding the 2 most vulnerable segments of our population.

Here is How it Works: 

  1. Visit the Cash Management course page

  2. Select the course date that works best for you

  3. Choose the amount you want to contribute

Find out more and grab your place HERE.

Tech

Webinar Replay: Technical Session: How to Optimize Cloud Spend to Extend Your Runway

AWS Startups team webinar for CTOs, Data Scientists, Dev Ops, and Engineers on how to do more with less in a downturn.

Webinar: SaaS in a COVID world

During this unwelcome and unprecedented phase, SaaS companies are hit with quite a lot of surprises and too many questions - one may not have all the answers, but collectively we might? We at Chargebee have decided to leverage our community, to try and provide the SaaS world with certain directions to those countless questions. Please subscribe for future updates.

AMA Replay: How to Fight COVID-19: Lessons from Taiwan, America & Beyond

Learn lessons from Taiwan & the world's responses to the epidemic & advice on the path forward, as well as tools & tech available for creating innovative solutions to help solve the crisis.

Talent

The Techstars Talent team is committed to supporting the valued members of our network that have been impacted by Covid-19. See our Talent webpage with resources and an aggregate layoff list of portfolio talent here. We are also sharing those resources directly below:

Impacted by Layoffs? 

If you are a founder dealing with the difficult situation of reducing your workforce, we have compiled a list of resources to help you support your impacted team members here

If you were personally impacted by a layoff at a Techstars portfolio company, or are close to someone that was, please share or add yourself to our aggregate layoff list of portfolio talent to get visibility in front of hundreds of Techstars companies still hiring. 

Hiring?

If you're a portfolio company who is lucky enough to be hiring right now, please let us know who you need in our Talent Assessment. We'd love to support you with the great talent in our network.

If you have questions about how the Techstars Talent team can help you, check out our site or reach out to talent@techstars.com directly.

Resource: (UK) How to create a furlough notice and place an employee on furlough leave

Useful guide for companies in the UK who may want to put some members of their team on the Government's furlough scheme.

Toolkit: RIF Toolkit - JetBlue Ventures (Linked is a reduction in force toolkit, purpose-built for startups facing the necessity of layoffs as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This includes templates such as separation agreements, communications, logistics plans, manager training, selection scoring, etc.

Resource: What are Alternatives to Layoffs

Before laying off employees, consider how much layoffs will cost your company in the long run. On top of paying severance, alienating employees and risking litigation, the morale hit may hurt productivity among survivors. Plus, when business improves, you’ll be saddled with the cost of recruiting and training new employees. Here are some alternatives to layoffs.

Resource: Cost Saving Options - COVID 19 (US based)

Epstein Becker Green have created this checklist to highlight several potential payroll cost-cutting options employers may consider when navigating these uncertain times, while flagging key wage and hour regulatory issues related to each, to help guide your decision-making process.

Guide: Aggregated guide of VC resources from JetBlue Ventures

This is a crowdsourced list of resources, guidance, and information assembled by JetBlue Technology Ventures for startups and entrepreneurs to reference as they navigate COVID-19.

Resource: Furloughs and Other Temporary Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disruptions

Among the many issues employers are facing in the wake of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is the possibility of furloughs, temporary office and location closings, and short-term layoffs. This article addresses these strategies in the context of COVID-19-related actions, which for most employers involve temporary rather than permanent responses.

Article: What criteria should be used in selecting employees for a workforce reduction?

Carrying out workforce reductions can pose great challenges and risks to employers in terms of disparate treatment, or adverse impact on protected employee groups. Several options are available when planning necessary workforce reductions, which are discussed in this SHRM article.

Resource: What are Alternatives to Layoffs?

WSJ provides alternatives to layoffs in this guide.

Resource: 50 Alternatives to Layoffs

Medium: How to keep the business afloat without sacrificing employees

Resource: Look at Alternatives to Layoffs

SHRM provides alternative to layoffs during the time of COVID-19.

Business

Tools and Resources: Google For Startups COVID-19 Startup Resources and Tools

A resource hub for tips and recommendations to navigate this unpredictable time.

Webinar Replay: Business Session: Startup Strategies During Uncertain Times

AWS Startup Solutions Architects’ webinar for startup founders on strategies and tactics for dealing with unexpected developments.

Guide: COVID-19 Guide for Startups

For startups, the economic upheaval brought on by COVID-19 can seem like the world turned upside down. We’ve put together a collection of resources to help startups stay current on the latest developments, and take action to secure their financial position in a challenging market.

Advice: 5 Steps to Business Continuity During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) rapidly spreads within the U.S., how do business leaders ensure continuity during this pandemic? Employee, customer and vendor safety is paramount, but as more activities are canceled and face-to-face meeting aren’t advised, how can business leaders take steps to continue serving their customers? While many employers are encouraging employees to work from home, that’s not always possible for industries like manufacturing, retail and many others. During these times, it is essential that you have a business continuity plan.

Resource: Twilio Startups COVID-19 Founder Briefing

Are you working on COVID-19 related features/products? Has your startup been impacted financially by COVID-19? In these uncertain times, Twilio has created special resources for their global founder and startup ecosystem.

Resource: Google For Startups

Helping startups through COVID-19. Tools to keep your startup moving forward.

Resource: Connected Commerce Council: Find Funding Assistance and Relief

Small businesses are in dire need of assistance as many have been forced to close or rethink operations during the coronavirus outbreak. Find funding assistance and relief.

AMA Replay: Corporate Collaborations to Hedge against Turbulent Times with BAE Systems

Join the BAE Systems Technology Scouting team and Techstars for an honest conversation about what motivates and facilitates large corporate/startup collaborations and how utilizing this strategy can help weather the current storm.

Webinar Replay: Investor Advice on How to Operate your Business in a New Reality

Join the conversation about fundraising and operating your startup in the current market and events.

Mental Health

AMA Replay: Embracing the Unknown: Mental Health for Entrepreneurs in Uncertain Times - Live AMA with Jerry Colonna

Watch this replay and discussion with Jerry Colonna, Co-founder and CEO of Reboot.io, and David Brown, Co-founder and CEO of Techstars. Running a company is never easy, but we are facing uncertain times that can make managing a company, teams, and relationship especially tough.

Real Estate

FAQ: COVID-19: FAQs for Tenants During This Unprecedented Time

CBRE Tech & Media Practice Group provides answers for tenants with questions about renting.

Advice: COVID-19 Implications for Commercial Leases

CBRE offers advice for occupiers and owners.

Remote Work

Advice & Resource List: Techstars Talent: Remote Work Resources

Techstars Talent shares their remote work advice and resources for Company Leaders, Managers, and Employees.

Advice: Work from Home Tips: Is Your Company Ready for Extended Work From Home Due to Corona Virus?

Upsuite’s tips for working from home effectively during COVID-19.

AMA Replay: Life on Lockdown Series: Tips from the Inside. Part One

In response to "social distancing", Defy Colorado EITs offer coping strategies learned after many years of isolation from society.