WARF Ventures has been working with local and national partners to provide relevant resources and information to support startups at this time. These links provide information on grant opportunities, advice on prioritizing your current capital and more. We encourage you to visit back, as information is being updated daily.
- WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation)
List of resources, including the WEDC SB2020 grant program for businesses that are currently loan recipients in good standing with an approved CDFIs
- City of Madison
Resources for small businesses
- SBA (Federal)
Small business guidance and disaster loan program
NOTE: our partners at gener8tor created this step-by-step guide on how to apply for SBA disaster loans
- Innovate Network (UW-Madison Campus)
Links to virtual resources for UW-Madison community
- Scenario planning framework from Sequoia Capital
- Cooley’s Resource Hub
This includes CARES Act impact on venture-backed companies
- WI COVID-19 Startup Talent
Platform to help connect job opportunities at local startups to those that have been displaced by economic impacts from COVID-19
Recommendations from WARF Ventures
Look after your team.
Without a doubt, our people are our best assets. People need a leader who understands and appreciates the various challenges that team members face. Be flexible. Encourage social distancing where possible. I find that providing some semblance of normalcy such as having routine meetings (albeit by phone/Zoom), continuing operations and scheduling, gives teams comfort. Try to be structured, but flexible.
Examine and re-examine your cash position.
Consider deferring all non-mission-critical expenditures. Look at your cash position and where you are in the development plan. See if a fresh perspective on how and where you spend your precious remaining capital can extend your runway. Cash preservation should always be a priority, but you should double down on finding ways to stretch your funds.
Re-examine any financing plans.
You should not rely on bringing a new investor on board in the near future. All funders will be impacted, if not consumed, by the current situation. Most institutional investors will likely be reserving capital for their existing portfolio. This doesn’t mean you should not plan meetings/pitches with them but manage your expectations. Consider all other funding options (SBA loans, grants, philanthropic organizations, strategic partners), and keep an eye out and take advantage of any federal, state and local emergency funding programs.
Expect a slowdown in customer and market interactions.
Particularly for companies in the healthcare space, many hospitals, clinics and physician offices are not allowing non-essential personnel onsite. These delays can be dramatic and impactful to your development plans. New projects with startup companies will likely be at the bottom of their priority list right now. Adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly. This will also help you preserve your funds in the short term.
Importance of record-keeping.
Track income and expenses to be able to react if you need to make a future insurance claim or if you are eligible for federal assistance.
You are not in this alone.
Stay connected to your mentors, advisors, industry experts and other entrepreneurs. Constant and consistent communication will help us all feel more supported during these uncertain times.