A Resource Guide For Founders and Investors During This Uncertain Time

STAY UPDATED: We update this guide every few days. Just click here to receive an automatic update each time we publish new and relevant content or send us an an email to resourceguide@grasshopper.bank.

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The startup community has always done a wonderful job of coming together and sharing tips and insights, and is especially evident during this challenging time of COVID-19.

As so much fantastic content is being shared across various networks and mediums, the goal of this resource is to consolidate the most helpful and relevant information (written, podcast, and twitter) to ensure that founders and investors will always have a single place to find the content. Topics include but are not limited to raising capital in this time, remote work management and tips, lowering burn, health/wellness, alternative funding sources, etc.

We’ll continue to update this with new content as it is published, and we hope you’ll find this a valuable source of information. All new content will be highlighted (**NEW) so you can easily jump to the latest pieces.

Below you’ll find articles, podcasts, and tweet storms on a variety of topics, all tied to helping you manage your business, grow and thrive, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will evolve as a broader resource for critical content to support the ecosystem.

Please be aware that by clicking on any of the links below, you are leaving the Grasshopper.bank website. Third party sites may not incorporate the same security measures and protections you have in our site. The information and opinions shared in these links are those of the author and not necessarily those of Grasshopper Bank. This document is not intended to give advice on legal or medical issues related to COVID 19.

If you come across new unique content you feel is relevant to help founders and investors, please submit it here!

Stay safe, stay healthy.

- Grasshopper Bank

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Topics:

  1. Managing Remote Teams
  2. Working Remotely
  3. Video Conference Tips & Tricks
  4. State of the Market
  5. Raising Capital for Startups
  6. Raising Capital for Investors
  7. How to Lower Your Burn
  8. Mental Health/Wellness
  9. How to Gain Traction/Customers During This Time
  10. Event Planning
  11. Tips for Parents
  12. General Advice
  13. Alternative Funding Sources

1) Managing Remote Teams

How to Manage Remote Direct Reports (HBR)

Set expectations and routines, nurture familiarity and enable impromptu interactions to help bring remote workers together as a team. Case study examples inside.

What I Learned Building and Leading a Team Remotely for 5 Years (Jacqueline Hawk)

Be direct, supportive, and understand that everyone experiences change differently. Tips for both remote employees and leaders of remote teams.

5 Ways Recruiting Teams Are Adjusting to Coronavirus (Mike Joyner)

A resource guide from 30 talent leaders, on adaptations in recruiting and onboarding during this challenging time

Google Research Reveals 7 Secrets of Successful Remote Teams (Gustavo Razzetti)

Google’s Innovation Lab’s spent two years studying 5,000 remote employees to uncover what makes remote teams successful.

Slack on Slack: Adapting the Way We Work When Offices Need to Close (Slack)

How Slack uses Slack - tips from the insiders. Plus, bonus links within, to Slack resource guides and webinars.

A Guide to Managing Remote Teams, For Managers (links directly to e-book download by Claire Lew)

How best to communicate, collaborate, build social connections, onboard, train, and more, when you’re managing a remote workforce. If you’re a direct report,

2. Working Remotely

Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Teams Up for Success (LinkedIn) This LinkedIn produced learning path offers 16 different short form videos created to help you and your teams learn how to effectively work remotely, adjust to changes in your working environment, and explore the tools you need to stay connected.

Suggestions For Creating Guard Rails When Working From Home (Feedback to Jeremy Shure’s Twitter Question)

In an “always-on” age, we can always use tips to help us disconnect, especially now. Check out this Twitter thread for some great suggestions you may want to adopt!

**NEW: Remote Team Tooling Guide (Elaine Zelby)

AirTable with ~50 tools for tackling various aspects of remote/distributed work

**NEW: 100+ free products and services from startups in response to Covid-19 (Eze Vidra)

More free tools and services from companies all around the world.

3. Video Conference Tips & Tricks

What It Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting (Bob Frisch and Cary Greene)

Incorporate tips like including using video, assigning a facilitator and more to your meeting best practices for virtual meetings that are not good, but great.

8 Tips for Better Video Conference Calls (Jason Cohen)

Be aware of your surroundings, manage your bandwidth and more useful tips for hosting or attending frictionless conference calls.

Zoom Meetings - A Guide For Leaders (links directly to PDF by Janine Davis, Evolution VC)

Best practice guide for creating more connective, productive and energizing meetings.

4. State of the Market

A Deep Dive Into Remote Work for Our Future of Work (Jun Wu)

A major key to successful remote work is empowerment. Find out how both technology and thoughtfully planned workflows can help us get there.

Is this the black swan moment to solve big problems (The Kauffman Fellows Journal)

Young companies are job creation powerhouses. In fact, many of the top companies of today were forged during an economic slump. Read this for tips on how to foster an entrepreneurial climate during these tough times.

**NEW: This Founder Built Startups in 2008, 2016 and 2018. Here’s What He’s Learned About Resiliency (First Round) The issues driving today’s market downturn are unique, but founders have seen troubled economic times before. Entrepreneur Bob Moore discusses what he learned from starting companies during tough times and how to weather the storm.

**NEW: Regulation Crowdfunding vs. Public Markets (Woodie Niess, Crowdfund Capital Advisors)

In the first few weeks of the Coronavirus pandemic, crowdfunding held its ground, as opposed to public markets, and was up year-over-year.

5) Raising Capital for Startups

A Quick Guide to Startup Fundraising in a Pandemic World (Semil Shah, Haystack)

What if you can’t get face to face with your early stage investors? Is your company antifragile and potentially at a slight advantage now? Things will change, just try to anticipate and adjust accordingly.

Coronavirus: The Black Swan Of 2020 (Sequoia Capital)

Re-evaluate all of your assumptions. In downturns, revenue and cash levels always fall faster than expenses. Those most adaptable to change will survive.

Funding In the Time of Coronavirus (Mark Suster, Upfront Ventures)

“If it’s not a ‘black swan’ event, the worst case scenario is you were overly conservative”

How to Virtually Pitch a VC (Tweetstorm by Maren Bannon, Jane Venture Capital)

10 quick steps to help ensure your virtual pitches are as good as your in-person ones. Practice now, because this could become the new norm!

Series A Guide (Y Combinator)

Do you need to raise a Series A, and are you ready? How to prepare, what materials to produce, the structure and process involved, and how to close the deal. A comprehensive guide from YC’s Series A team.

Gloom Over a New Recession Shifts The VC Narrative for 2020 (Priyamvada Mathur, Pitchbook)

“The good news is that global VC investors are sitting on nearly 189 billion of dry powder as of the end of June 2019 … investors are unlikely to significantly reduce capital deployment.”

Complete Guide to Raising Capital in Emerging Cities (Alex Iskold)

It’s unlikely you’ll get around a face-to-face meeting with an investor at some point before they commit - here’s some advice on how to get started with outreach and video chats, aimed at startups in emerging cities without direct access to NYC and SF investors.

When The Music Stops: SAFEs & Convertible Notes Give VCs Massive Price Protection (Forbes)

In the wake of the COVID-19 induced economic downturn in March 2020, consider how an extended bear market impacts the conversion prices of SAFEs and Convertible Notes. Will this result in founders choosing priced rounds over notes in the future?

Running Your Business and Raising in Tough Circumstances (Jenny Fielding and Eamonn Carey)

VIDEO: Fireside chat with Techstars Managing Directors - learn from their experience, Jenny and Eamonn share advice on fundraising and running your business through difficult and uncertain times.

Investment Decisions in a Pandemic World (Semil Shah, Haystack)

Outlines the effect that the pandemic will have on investment decisions, including how partners will adjust to working from home; an increased focus on portfolio triage; new dynamics to partner and pitch meetings; the impact to valuations, especially at the seed; increased complexities around LP capital; and new unknowns as news potentially worsens.

**NEW: Considering SBA Disaster Loans for your small business or startup? (Eric Engelmann)

There are advantages and disadvantages to SBA Disaster Loans. What it really comes down to is careful consideration to determine if an SBA Disaster Loan is your best option. Here are some things to consider.

**NEW: Guidance For Startups/VCs From VCs Around The Globe During COVID-19 (Ed Zimmerman, Lowenstein Sandler Venture Crush)

Deals are still happening, contrary to ‘08, the dot-com, and ‘97 crises - have a look at what experienced VC’s who have worked through these past events have to say about deploying capital in the current situation.

**NEW: Don’t Delay Your Fundraising Announcement (Danny Crichton, TechCrunch )

The announcement signals to your investors, employees, and customers that you’re open for business, secure financially, and ready to continue to grow (or at least survive), despite the events of the past few weeks.

6) Raising Capital for Investors:

The Hard Questions Venture Capital GPs Need to Be Prepared For (Jaclyn Hester, Foundry Group via Kauffman Fellows)

Preparing for the hard questions LPs will ask can help your story and your people shine. Here’s how.

LP Perspective On Current Environment for Those Raising New Funds (Podcast with Beezer Clarkson, Sapphire Ventures, and Semil Shah, Haystack)

Semil Shah and Beezer Clark talk about the LP perspective on the current business environment for GPs raising new funds and more!

7) How to Lower Your Burn

A Top VC Firm Urged Founders to Immediately Cut Spending. Here are 4 Easy Ways to Do That (Sara Mauskopf, Winnie)

Cut costs without cutting into your productivity or revenue.

Founders - now that you see the Black Swan, do this next (Saujin Yi, Flex Team)

A practical guide to auditing your costs and making your company more nimble and ready for the future.

**NEW: How to steer a startup through a major downturn (Mark Selcow, Costanoa Ventures)

Leading a company through a significant financial crisis for the 4th time, Mark shares 10 ways to make quick decisions and protect your business.

8) Mental Health/Wellness

If I’m a CEO and Have An Anxiety Attack, What Should I Do? (Brad Feld, Foundry Group)

How to handle moments of crisis, from seeking help to board disclosure - timely advice from 5 years before COVID-19.

What Can Happen to Your Mental Health When You Work From Home (And How to Address It) (Erica Hayes, Ginger)

Working from home can challenge not only productivity, but also mental health. Tips like getting dressed in the morning, setting spatial boundaries and more can help to keep your mind healthy.

Care for Your Corona Virus Anxiety (Shine Text)

If all the Coronavirus talk is making you anxious, check out these resources to help stay calm in the midst of uncertainty.

Disappearing Into the Fire (Jerry Colonna, Reboot)

Poetic advice from leading coach on separating challenges from fears, and having the mindfulness to endure both.

A Brain Hack to Break the Coronavirus Anxiety Cycle (Jud Brewer, NY Times)

Leverage certainty to calm an anxious mind. When your brain knows there are two potential outcomes to a given scenario, it will instinctively choose the more rewarding option, leaving you less worried.

Lessons From a Virus (Janine Davis)

We’re all connected, and thus all affected; leaders cannot ignore issues; we unite around common purpose - lessons like these must not go to waste, use the worksheet linked within to create a playbook for self reflection, alignment to core values, and long term objectives.

What Should We Do - At Home (What Should We Do)

Fun ways to experience everything New York City has to offer, without ever leaving your couch.

Covid-19 Podcasts About Crises and Mental Health (Brad Feld)

Series of podcasts to help entrepreneurs, leaders, and employees at startups to help think through how to respond in a crisis, featuring Brad Feld, David Cohen, is with Scott Dorsey, Paul Berberian, Berne Strom, Greg Keller and more!

Medley Groups (Medley)

60 minute group video chats designed to provide space and actionable tools for each member of the group. For the month of March Medley chats are free and topics include routines, boundaries, showing up, and connections.

Don’t Panic, Let’s Talk (Grasshopper Bank & NY Tech Alliance)

Sign up to join a virtual event co-hosted by Grasshopper Bank & NY Tech Alliance on March 26th for founders, business leaders and entrepreneurs in this time of COVID-19, moderated by Micah Baldwin.

**NEW: I Spent a Year in Space, and I Have Tips on Isolation to Share (NYT Opinion)

If you think being stuck at home is challenging, imagine spending a year on the International Space Station. Retired NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly shares valuable advice on how to cope while self-isolating.

9) How to Gain Traction/Customers During This Time

Enterprise Startups: How to Weather the Storm (Jonathan Lehr, Work Bench)

Drawing parallels and tactical tips - A Morgan Stanley employee’s experience during the ‘08 financial crisis and its relevance to today’s Coronavirus epidemic.

Even in the Age of COVID-19, You Need to Stay Focused on the Customer (TechCrunch)

In such an unusual time, it’s easy to feel like all the rules have changed, but a customer-centric approach - thinking about what they need - is more important than ever. Want proof? Read on for inspiration from successful, customer-first companies.

**NEW: 28 Moves to Survive (& Thrive) in a Downturn (Pete Flint, NfX)

From Managing Losses to Gaining Ground and Managing Psychology, Pete Flint, MD at seed-stage venture firm NfX, shares his first hand founder experiences navigating Trulia through crisis.

10) Event Planning

Coronavirus: Guidance for the Event Industry(Leigh Lucas)

Factors to consider about your upcoming events and tips on what to do right now to mitigate your risk and save yourself future headaches.

Planning and Response: Company policies and communications (Coinbase)

Some very useful templates you should consider borrowing to communicate with your employees about the Coronavirus - ongoing updates, working from home tips, FAQs, etc.

Virtual Conferences: How to Engage People Remotely (Russ Norton)

Maintain the feeling, energy, and exclusivity of a live event, work hard(er) to capture audience attention during, package and repurpose content for other audiences, and many more tips for the new norm in events and conferences.

Open-sourcing the playbook that took our 150-person overnight retreat "virtual" (On Deck)

How a company who relies on intimate, offline experiences to build their community managed to shift their overnight retreat to a virtual format - including how they approached it, content examples, tactical tips, and what they’re doing to keep the momentum!

11) Tips for Parents

11 Tips for Work From Home Moms (The Balanced Life)

Some valuable tips from a work from home mom include routines for both parent & baby, how to use your time effectively, and rituals to help keep you on track.

A Guide for Childcare During Coronavirus (Winnie)

A guide to setting up backup care when daycare or preschool closes.

Split-shifting and other hacks for working from home while parenting (Chicago Tribune)

Advice from a working couple with three kids under the age of four. How to foster communication, collaboration and culture to accommodate our new remote working reality.

12) General Advice

How to Survive The Coronavirus and Keep Your Startup Alive (Preston Byrne, Coindesk)

Looking for no-nonsense, straight talk about keeping your startup afloat amid today’s global COVID-19 pandemic? Read this.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Distancing (The Atlantic)

“Should I cancel my date? Can I go to the gym?” And other questions we’re all asking ourselves -- answered by health professionals.

Techstars/Foundry AMA: Covid-1 (Techstars)

Techstars + Foundry Group present an AMA with actionable advice from experienced CEOs regarding what to do during a downturn or crisis as it relates to COVID-19.” This one hour video includes David Cohen, co-founder of Techstars, Brad Feld of Foundry Group & co-founder of Techstars, Scott Dorsey of High Alpha, a venture studio & fund, and more.

COVID-19 Company Playbook (Malinda Coler, Ask Almanac)

Comprehensive checklist for execs on how to effectively communicate company decisions related to COVID-19 to your staff, get people set up for remote work, protect anyone still in the office from health risks, adjusting travel policies, and more.

Legal, regulatory and commercial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic (Cooley)

Thorough guide covering contracts and commercial litigation, debt finance, employment, insurance, investment funds, product liability and supply chain management and more.

AMA: Covid-19 - Actionable advice from experienced CEOs during a downturn or crisis (Techstars)

Techstars + Foundry Group present an AMA with actionable advice from experienced CEOs regarding what to do during a downturn or crisis as it relates to COVID-19.” This one hour video includes David Cohen, co-founder of Techstars, Brad Feld of Foundry Group & co-founder of Techstars, Scott Dorsey of High Alpha, a venture studio & fund, and more.

The Virus Survival Strategy for Your Startup (Steve Blank)

Steve Blank shares the four crucial questions your startup should be asking, discusses how to approach these questions and talks about why they matter. He says “...remember no winter lasts forever, and in this moment, smart founders and VCs will be planting the seeds for the next generation of startups”. Read on to find out more.

An Entrepreneur's Guide to Finding a Coach (Steve Schlafman)

Coaches can help motivate entrepreneurs, focus their thoughts, and empower a leader to thrive - especially true during challenging times. If you’re looking for the right fit, check out Steve’s guide to help you navigate the opaque world of coaching.

Funded, Fearless Females: Surviving and Thriving During a Downturn (Anna Barber, Jenny Fielding, Joanne Wilson)

Listen to the 3 experienced operators-turned-investors answer questions about how to survive and thrive through the current social distancing and possible economic downturn.

**NEW: Coronavirus Resource Center (DLA Piper)

Resource guide covering areas such as corporate governance, disclosure and risk management; Finance, restructuring and transactions; insurance, real estate and commercial contracts and many more.

**NEW: It is time to be the optimist (Richard Sussman)

Why and how to stay optimistic during this time of crisis, and specific advice for startups and investors

**NEW: Lessons learned from running a startup through 2008 (Avichal Garg, Electric Capital)

From how long this might last to contract negotiation, a few tips from someone who’s weathered the storm before.

**NEW: Expect the Unexpected: Commercial Agreements (Dror Futter, Rimon Law)

Quick tips on risk mitigation in commercial contracts during uncertain times - what contracts should you review, and what risks are most concerning

**NEW: COVID-19 Crisis, Business Advice and First Principles (Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures)

Analyze the impact of COVID-19 on your business from a “first principles” approach, allowing you to evaluate risk even before you have data.

**NEW: What To Do When You Lose Your Job (Homebrew)

In the event your company has to make the incredibly difficult decision to lay off staff due to current events, here are some time tested first steps you can take to ease the burden and set you up for a successful job search.

**NEW: Advice for Startups in an Economic Crisis: Covid-19 (David Cohen, Techstars)

A 10 step checklist of what to do first in times of crisis. (Spoiler alert - step one: breathe!)

**NEW: SUBCHAPTER V: A Powerful Tool for Early-Stage, Venture Capital Backed Companies in a Crisis (Andrew Ritter, Wiggin and Dana LLP)

A look into “Subchapter V of Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code and its ability to preserve the interests of common and preferred stockholders in a distressed company”

13) Alternative Funding Sources

Funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA.gov)

Grant Opportunities:

Crowdfunding:

  • Republic - popular crowdfunding platform with investors like Chamillionaire
  • WeFunder - allows the everyday individual to invest in startups they love
  • SeedInvest - investing in highly vetted startups
  • Fundable - helping companies get crowdfunded, part of startups.com platform

The Creator Fund (from ConvertKit) - a safety net for creators in the COVID-19 time of need, apply for $500 in financial assistance from a $50,000 fund (and growing)

Women Who Tech - Women Startup Challenge - Deadline for submission is 3/29/2020

Connecting:

If you are feeling isolated and simply want to have a virtual coffee or lunch, feel free to reach out to Jeremy, Denisha, Micah, or Lauren -- we are always here to support you.

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