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.
Leaders of startup communities across the world have formed a working group to: share best practices, develop a common advocacy strategy, put startup to the service of COVID-19 solutions and the economic recovery.
For the last few weeks we have been in touch with our members, partners and other stakeholders to understand the effects of Covid19 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. We also wrote a letter to Commissioner Vestager. In this letter we asked her to ensure that urgent COVID-19-related liquidity support for startup ecosystems is not delayed or blocked by EU legislation, in particular the Temporary Framework for State Aid.
Our response was heard loud and clear across the world, especially in Europe, where the European Commission reacted and the media picked up some of our work (see below). In addition, we have asked the European Commission to make startups central to a green and digital economic growth.
We have expanded our thought-leadership on the issue by writing 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.
01. Postpone monthly social and fiscal taxes deadlines
02. Delay in the repayment of government-based loans & maintenance of government-based investments in startups
03. Set up of a national taskforce to ensure a continued dialogue between the government and small companies, as well as solidarity between small companies
04. Introduction of a moratorium on social and tax contributions for the most fragile companies
05. Establishment of a one-stop shop to inform startups how to deal with the crisis
01. Creation of a global Health Data Bank where reliable, instant information can be shared related to COVID-19
02. Open source release of COVID-19-related data for startups wishing to develop non-profit applications
03. 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?
04. Creation of a global health fund to urgently invest in e-health startups that are working around the clock to develop solutions
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 and the Generalitat of Catalunya. Also we contact with 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.
The 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.
One of our Portuguese members partnered with The Next Big Idea, and Sapo24 to create relevant content to tackle the Covid19 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.
Our Belgian member has dedicated space on their website that they regularly update to inform the ecosystem of Covid19 and startup news and relevant updates. On there you will be able to find timely information on their actions, events, questionnaires and useful resources for startups in Belgium in both French and Dutch. You may find it here.
Startups are calling for more flexibility in EU state aid rules to allow national governments to provide liquidity for the region’s fledgling digital businesses during the Covid19 crisis…
European startups are calling for more flexibility in EU state aid rules to allow national governments to provide liquidity for the region’s fledgling digital businesses during the Covid19 crisis…
European tech industry groups are stepping up their lobbying efforts to ensure the EU supports start-ups hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. In a joint letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen…