Josef Siebert //

COVID-19, the CARES Act, and startups stepping up

The world is in the grip of a pandemic that is testing our health systems, our governments, and our economies. COVID-19, known simply as the coronavirus, has hit 700,000 cases worldwide, with the U.S. now topping the list of countries affected. 

While a cure continues to elude us, there are practical steps being taken to limit the spread including social distancing, closing certain businesses, and encouraging/requiring people to stay at home. The resultant challenges for businesses, founders, and workers are great, and have driven immediate policy action including the recent passage of the CARES Act. 

To help you cut through the noise, we have curated helpful links below for those in the tech startup ecosystem. 

Resources for Startups

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act includes relief for founders, and small- and medium-sized businesses, including emergency funds, forgivable loans, and tax credits. Here is a complete overview of the CARES Act by The Center for American Entrepreneurship. They also have a section-by-section guide available, and provide other links including to the New Business Preservation Act that they hope will become part of the “Phase 4” response. 

The National Law Review published this summary of the CARES Act legislation. It’s written by a law firm and focused on employers, so it gets more detailed with taxes, credits, deductions, and etc.

The NVCA (National Venture Capital Association) has a COVID-19 page that includes Legislative Action Important to VC-backed Companies, Federal Agency Resources and Action, and other Resources for VCs and Startups. If you’re a startup looking to apply for SBA money, check out their guidance for navigating the SBA lending process.

International Government's Stimulus COVID-19
Governments around the world have started creating stimulus measures and loan programs. For more information on this, and on macro-economic impact, check out this presentation. (Source: “The economics of a pandemic: the case of Covid-19” by Paolo Surico and Andrea Galeotti, Professors of Economics at London Business School.)

General COVID-19 Resources

To keep people up-to-date on new developments during the pandemic, Axios runs a frequently-updated, concise dashboard here with only the latest developments. 

The New York Times is providing free access to stories on the coronavirus outbreak. 

Singularity University has uploaded recordings of it’s recent, three-day COVID-19 summit to YouTube. The summit featured global experts talking about the current state of the pandemic, future implications, and “Business Impact, Leadership, and Strategies for Today”, and attracted 23,000+. 

And of course, the CDC and WHO have special pages full of guidance and information regarding health concerns, questions, and research on the coronavirus. 

Events

Many events mentioned in previous newsletters have been rescheduled or cancelled, including gener8tor’s OnRamp Insurance Conference, Minnestar’s Minnebar 15, Medical Alley’s Annual Dinner, and MHTA’s annual Spring Conference. 

While we are sure to see a lot of autumn events, some are shifting to virtual delivery. 

  • Apr. 2nd is gBETA Medtech Virtual Pitch Night. The companies will do a five-minute pitch followed by Q&A. The companies are: Anatomi, Laplace Interventional, Sandstone, StimSherpa, and Visana Health. 
  • Apr. 14-16th is IoT Fuse. This year’s conference has moved to a virtual format, with tickets now $20 (dropped from $80). “IoT Fuse is a non-profit (501.c.3) professional network of makers, innovators, and business leaders in the Internet of Things space. Based in Minneapolis, IoT Fuse is the largest group of its kind in the United States.” It includes two days of IoT workshops prior to the conference portion on the 16th, where Rob Weber is speaking on a VC panel.

Portfolio News

In non-pandemic news, Dispatch was named #5 on Forbes’s list of America’s Best Startup Employers! The list includes the top 500 to work for in the country, and was whittled down from over 2500 startups. 

2ndKitchen launched a new service to offer delivery for bars and breweries, which is a lifeline for these businesses when they have to be closed. 2go allows bars and breweries to sell beer, food, and merchandise for pickup or delivery- for free.

PrintWithMe is holding a Face Mask Drive. They are collecting unused N95 masks as well as simple surgical masks for Chicago hospitals.

Clinician Nexuspartnered with COVIDsitters to connect volunteer medical students with healthcare workers to provide free childcare.

Advisor News

Casey Allen has offered free help to recently unemployed tech people in Minnesota. The response has been large enough that he’s starting a newsletter that showcases MN tech startup people that are laid off.

Job Board

Dispatch is hiring a Business Development Rep in the Twin Cities; a Director of Sales, Senior Manager of Enterprise Sales, and Interns for Accounting, Business Development, Content Marketing, Customer Success, Human Resources, and Software Engineering in Bloomington, MN.

FactoryFixis hiring a Full Stack Developer, Infrastructure Developer- DevOps, and Team Lead- Full Stack Developer in Madison, WI; a Recruiter, and Business Development Rep in Chicago.

TeamGenius is hiring a Customer Success Associate. 

Misty Roboticsis hiring a Lead Qualification & Inside Sales Specialist, and an Inside Sales Specialist (contract) in Boulder, CO. 

2ndKitchenis hiring a Production and Inventory Associate,  Business Development Rep, and Account Executive in Chicago. 

PrintWithMe ishiring a Web Developer (Python) in Chicago; and Super User Technicians in Portland and Houston.

Parallax is hiring a Customer Success Specialist, Quality Assurance Engineer, Senior Software Engineer, and  Growth/Customer Acquisition in Minneapolis. 

NoiseAwareis hiring a COO, VP of Global Sales & Account Management, Product Marketing Manager, UI/UX Designer, Account Manager, and Customer Advocate in Dallas.