StarVest Portfolio Companies Reacting To COVID-19

Persado COVID 19 Communications Resources

RetailNext COVID 19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources and News

Strategies and articles of interest surrounding the current coronavirus pandemic.

Here is one of the best things we have seen on managing in the crisis: a McKinsey presentation via Zoom for Fortune 500 CEOs and board members earlier this week. It provides tools for  scenario planning (starting on pg 11 – showing scenarios for economic impact. It  also suggests having a “Plan Ahead” team – in addition to the “Crisis Management ” Team.

Key take-aways:

  • Must think in both Crisis Mode and Plan Ahead Mode (to be ready for the upturn and provides hope)
  • Need a laser focus on:  Employees/ Customers/Cash
    • Employees (their health and continued support and employment)
    • Customers (how can we help them be ready for the upturn and show support and understanding during this time). Idea: one SaaS company offered when requested a 90 days deferral, adding that pro rat to the remaining 9 months. Constant communication with customers so they know “we are here for you”
    • Cash (cover expenses, especially staff and the maintenance of the year). Many companies have drawn on their lines, consider a “cash war room”.
  • Leadership: Speed of action, Explicit sacrifice (CEO /others suspend own pay for 3-6 mos; makes HC cuts/other measures more understandable for employees), Frequent Communication, Scenario planning, Look ahead/near term forecast: next 7 days and next 30 days and next 3 months/ 6 months (one company has a 7 day and 30 day outlook that it publishes every day!).

What resonated most from the deck:

  • Recovery scenarios starting on pg 11
  • The 5 Rs on pg 17 – a good way to think of how the crisis will play out and how it can be utilized to effect change and better position companies for the future:
  • Resolve
  • Resilience
  • Return
  • Reimagination
  • Reform

Key takeaways:

  •  We need money spent on this Pandemic science and data problem to figure-out the go-forward strategy.
  • Governors have a difficult challenge needing data to assess tradeoffs especially when to re-open schools.  Would hire top 50 top scientists in each state to help tackle modeling on a local level.
  • We are in the midst of a massive experiment in telemedicine (greatly aided by reimbursement changes esp including in mental health), remote education and shopping. Further clarifies the need for digital retraining and re-skilling.
  • Need to invest in 5G to remain globally competitive. National emergency.
  • Huge global humanitarian crisis in the works. US still has the opportunity to leverage our capabilities to lead developing nations in how to proceed out of this.
  • Governors are going to have to start getting as much data as possible through modeling to make tough decisions on what to re-open first.
  • Highly concerned about this moving into a solvency crisis.  Keeping closed down for 1-2 months is not a viable option.

StarVest Partner Deborah Farrington is pleased to participate as a member of a group called Extraordinary Women on Boards, and has valued the Crisis Resources that founder Lisa Shalett has put together to keep Board Directors on the pulse of useful data and insights. Among the many valuable resources is a presentation by Deborah Weinswig, CEO of Coresight Research, on “Trends & Insights: Retail/Consumer/China/Supply Chain,”  which particularly resonated with us and we felt it would be helpful to our portfolio companies.

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Nextdoor Insights Presentation


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