Allied for Startups: COVID-19-STARTUP TOOLBOX
Startups have much potential, but they are also smaller and more fragile economic actors. As such, it is important to ensure that they have everything they need to weather the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. For that reason, we have crowdsourced a number of measures with our members that can be applied both nationally and internationally that aim at curbing the financial and economic effects of the virus.
We call on governments and international organisations to take immediate measures in the face of the economic impact COVID-19 is having worldwide. Based on the recommendations of our members, you can find our proposals below. We encourage you to share them with your colleagues and network as well as local and national policy makers.
Based on these recommendations we wrote a joint letter, supported by our members, to the President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen, where we asked her to put startups at the center of economic recovery and to the solution to COVID-19.
- Postpone monthly social and fiscal taxes deadlines;
- Delay in the repayment of government-based loans & maintenance of government-based investments in startups;
- Set up of a national taskforce to ensure a continued dialogue between the government and small companies, as well as solidarity between small companies;
- Introduction of a moratorium on social and tax contributions for the most fragile companies;
- Establishment of a one-stop shop to inform startups how to deal with the crisis.
- Creation of a global Health Data Bank where reliable, instant information can be shared related to COVID-19;
- Open source release of COVID-19-related data for startups wishing to develop non-profit applications;
- Identification of e-health startups and the implementation of public-private cooperation “challenges” to solve the crisis. These should include: how to facilitate the supply of basic resources with AI? Or How to protect against counterfeit vaccines with blockchain?
- Creation of a global health fund to urgently invest in e-health startups that are working around the clock to develop solutions.
ALLIED FOR STARTUPS ACTIONS
For the last few weeks we have been in touch with our members, partners and other stakeholders to understand the effects of COVID-19 on startups and we have taken action.
In a press release we asked policy makers in Europe and beyond to identify startups as key players in their long-term plans for economic growth. We also wrote a joint letter, supported by our members, to the President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen, asking her to put startups at the center of economic recovery and to the solution to COVID-19. Our response was heard loud across the world, especially in Europe, where the media has picked up some of our work. You can find a few examples here, here and here.,
We have expanded our thought-leadership on the issue. Here are a few pieces on reasons why governments should support startups and how the new reality will affect startups. We also share examples of startups fighting the pandemic, especially those in digital health through our DTx umbrella. Everyone is invited to add examples of startups in this doc. You can also download our case studies: COVID-19 & digital health startups: an overview to find out more about startups tackling COVID-19, their challenges and views on the future of digital health.
WHAT OUR MEMBERS SAY
Our Members are publishing important recommendations for startups. We are updating this list as more of our members speak out! Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any suggestions.
Our French member published a series of useful resources and contacts for your startup and your employees while facing the consequences of COVID-19. Through this link you can find, amongst others, essential contacts cheat sheets and the France Digital e-health task force. France Digitale also continuously posts on their twitter account with relevant and timely updates.
Our Irish member published a document that outlines how their priorities have shifted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It outlines 2 focus areas: 1) How the startup ecosystem can best support the Government, the HSE and wider efforts to combat the COVID-19 challenge and 2) How we can work with the Government to protect the startup ecosystem. The document includes a list of resources the Irish Government is providing for startups as well as useful remote working resources.
Our UK Member has also shifted its priorities to provide clarity to UK startups as the pandemic evolves. Their first priority is to find out how innovative companies in the ecosystem can best support the Government, the NHS and wider efforts to combat the COVID-19 challenge. Secondly: How we can protect our ecosystem from the broad systemic damage that the virus will do to the British and global economy. You can find out more here. In addition, COADEC launched its campaign Save our Startups
One of our Spanish members is closely following the economic impact that the health crisis can cause. Given the uncertainty that has been generated in this regard, they have contacted the Government of Spain, the Generalitat of Catalunya, Barcelona City Council, ENISA and ICF, among others, in order to raise the voice of the entrepreneurial sector and of the startups that the Association represents. You can find out more about this here or follow them on twitter.
Our Dutch member has issued a call for startups that can directly or indirectly contribute to resolving the COVID-19 crisis. Think of all startups ranging from healthcare, education, sustainability and remote working to supply chain resilience and more. One action item is collecting a list of startups involved, where they are looking for suggestions! You can find out more here or complete this form.
Our US member Engine has compiled a list of resources to help startups navigating these uncertain times—from guidance on protecting the health and safety of your teams to information about accessing federal economic relief. They will be updating this page as the response to the outbreak continues to unfold.
The rapid spread of the COVID-19 Virus poses unexpected challenges on all of us. Austrian Startups provides you with helpful resources and contact details for your startup and your employees while facing the consequences of economic shutdown. YFind more here.
Our Danish Member, The Danish Entrepreneurs Association, is ready with free guidance about the many questions that entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals might have about what the government implemented schemes mean. You may find more information here.
Our Spanish member made numerous proposals for the government to support startups during the economic downturn. You may find their concrete asks from the Spanish government here.
One of our Portuguese members partnered with The Next Big Idea, and Sapo24 to create relevant content to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. They gathered the available official information related to startups in order to break it down and explain to startup entrepreneurs how each measure works, and apply for government support. Find more here.
Our Canadian member published information on how to help Canada’s 3.5 million entrepreneurs. Supporting their network of entrepreneurs has never been more important. They have actively sought input from Canada’s entrepreneurs and are responding to their needs. You can check out the steps they have taken to directly address the ever-changing needs of Canada ‘s entrepreneurs here.
ACCESS TO FUNDING
CLOSED 🚨 The European Commission opened a call for applications for startups and SMEs that could help fight COVID-19. Any startup with a technology that could help treating, testing, monitoring or other aspects of the outbreak should urgently apply to the next round of funding of the EIC Accelerator. More information on the process can be found here.
The European Commission will look to fast track the awarding of EIC grants and blended finance (combining grant and equity investment) to COVID-19 relevant innovations, as well as to facilitate access to other funding and investment sources. The EIC is already supporting a number of startups and SMEs with COVID-19 relevant innovations.
The deadline for applications was Wednesday 18th of March at 17:00 (Brussels local time).
Together with our member associations we are crowdsourcing best-practices that have emerged as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In moments like these the Allied for Startups network has a particular responsibility and opportunity to play its part. That is why we encourage you to reach out with more ideas and suggestions!