Q&A: How does COVID-19 impact your startup?

 

Q&A: How does COVID-19
impact your startup?

 

virus

Written by Vera Løvø Giver
March 30, 2020
Read time 3 min

Everything seems pretty upside down these days. Deserted streets. Closed shops. Empty restaurants. COVID-19 impacts our whole society, including the business sector – especially startups.

Many of the entrepreneurs residing in The Kitchen are even studying besides running a startup and must therefore joggle massive uncertainty in two big aspects of their lives. Many of them have worked hard to build their startups big enough to be able to make a living from them after their studies.

But now what? How does COVID-19 impact their businesses? Will the national lockdown turn out to be the end station of their startup journeys? Or will they manage to overcome this major challenge?

We’ve asked three student startups to let us in on their current situation.

Mikkel Fenneberg, co-founder of Dronaar

Dronaar is a bureau that facilitates collaborations
between companies in need of drone pilots and drone
pilots with the right qualifications and specialization.
What does a typical day in your life look like right now?

Everything is happening at home. School from 8.00 to 10.00-ish. Then work from 10.00 to lunch and then school again from lunch and the rest of the day. A lot of my work in the company in the everyday life is having meetings, making sales pitches, educating and stuff like that – stuff that demands a certain “let’s get outside and meet some people”-approach to the world. But this crisis right now is actually not that bad for us. It gives me a lot of time to focus on my bachelor-thesis and getting as much done on it as possible before the crisis ends and we can give our everything on growing our business again.

 

 

How is your everyday-life different from before?

Well, as a student entrepreneur there really is no normal day. But if I should come up with the most used “model” in my everyday life it would start of with a good run before breakfast at 7.15. Then to the office running my startup at 8.00 until around 17.00. Here there is a possibility of two hours of classes interrupting the work in the middle of the day. But school needs to be handled as well.

 

 

How has COVID-19 and the lockdown in our society affected your startup?

Of course it has had some effect. But it’s not as bad as some of the stories that we hear from our network. We are having a project with Vestas that has seen some change in the last couple of weeks due to the crisis and the international perspective on the project. But else a lot of the business is the same. As mentioned, I can’t meet with as much people as usual. So we are not growing as much as we usual would be. But it’s okay to take it easy sometimes as well.

 

 

How have your tasks in your startup changed as a consequence to COVID-19?

I can’t meet with all the people I want to 🙁

  

What do you do for your startup to keep on going, surviving and continue to succeed?

We are staying in contact with the other companies that we are collaborating with. Besides this we are having our weekly routines with digital meetings in the team. As a grand solution I think it’s also just seeing the opportunities and keeping up the good spirit. We are approaching our customers in another way due to the crisis now compared to the way we did it before. A process that we are learning a lot from.

 

 

What is your best advice to other startups in a similar situation as yours?

Stay safe, stay happy and find your best routines and keep them!!

 

 

How can others – partners, startups, costumers – help you and your company in these days?

Help us all getting over this crisis and support the companies that are having a business around our nounhood! The local businesses are the most valuable thing we have!

Support Dronaar by taking care so that
we can get over this crisis and the business life
can get back to normal as soon as possible.

Solveig Kolstad, co-founder of FLID

FLID makes tools with focus on aesthetic
designs  and functionality for women.
What does a typical day in your life look like right now?

With two young kids at home I only have half the working hours i used too. that means that I have to focus super hard on the most important task. So getting up at six, making the first cup of coffee and then execute! (for four hours until i am on kids duty) Having one meeting with my team during the day checkking in, but not much time for small talk.

 

 

How is it different from before?

Well kids. they are just so time-consuming 🙂 I can thank them for becoming so damn good at getting shit done 😀

 

 

How has COVID-19 and the lockdown in our society affected your startup/business?

So we are luckily still in the early face of building a business and dont have       employees and a lot of expenses. We can still work remote.

But of course, Ditte and Julia our two designers cant really go to the workshop to prototype or first handtools before we set op production. So now we are trying to find other ways to prototype… Its generally slowing us down.

We cant do all the photoshoots and networking we planned, because we cant go see people obviously. So Finding alternative ways to make content.

We are pretty sure this will not kill our momentum, just slowing us down a bit. And hopefully we will manage to have our product ready in the fall anyways. Just getting there in a different way than we thought we would three weeks ago.

 

 

How have your tasks in your startup changed as a consequence to COVID-19?

We have chosen to launch our web shop sooner than we planned to. Working on it these days. Since we cant go anywhere we have to do whats possible from the homeoffice. Making a web shop is one of them.

 

 

What do you for your startup to keep on going, surviving and continue to succeed?

Like making content for instagram from my own garden was not a part of the original plan 🙂

 

 

What is your best advice to other startups in a similar situation as yours?

I guess it’s all very different from one startup to another. And this is gonna sound so cheesy. But stay focuses. What is your main gold? How can you see opportunities in the given surcumstances, that can help you get there? finding different ways to get what you need. Reach out and let us help each other. Amen.

 

 

How can others – partners, startups, costumers – help you and your company in these days?

Show your support on social media and help us spread the word of our brand and product. <3

 

Support Solveig Kolstad and her startup FLID by
following and liking their content on Facebook and Instagram.

Casper Vinther Frederiksen, co-founder of Privatbar

Privatbar creates cocktail events for private
as well as corporate costumers
What does a typical day in your life look like right now?

A mix of study, a whole lot of work, some exercising and Nintendo Wii. My everyday life is very different – i attend my classes and papers from home, all my work with my startup is very different than usually.

 

 

How has COVID-19 and the lockdown in our society affected your startup/business?

Well, in very many ways. First of all, me and my partner had to flee from Spain in a hurry, as we were on a holiday when all this began. Therefore, we lost quite a bit of money.

What more is, that our business is all about creating events where we set up bars and serve cocktails for private parties, our concept fell apart the day that the lockdown was announced. We had to cancel or postpone all events, which means that are losing revenue every day. And we still have to pay our bills.

 

 

How have your tasks in your startup changed as a consequence to COVID-19?

Instead of creating events, we are opening a delivery service where private consumers can order liquor and bar-equipment.This means, that most of my time goes with writing and talking with foreign suppliers who makes the equipment. Ofcourse, we are still trying to book in more events for the future after Covid-19, but our whole market is suffering very hard right now. So, remember to support the local bars and restaurants – especially us

Also, we are using this time to plan a lot of marketing activities when this period is over so that we are ready to take over the market as soon as we can!

 

 

What do you do for your startup to keep on going, surviving and continue to succeed?

We are trying to book events in for the future after Covid-19, but we are also thinking out of the box and adapting to this situation by setting up our delivery service. Hopefully, people who have to stay at home at the moment sees this as an opportunity for trying out new things. And we hope that one of those things will be home bartending with our equipment and liqeurs.

 

 
What is your best advice to other startups in a similar situation as yours?

First of all, do what is necessary to survive. You must make some tough decisions if you have creditors who wants their money. BUT, I have had good luck talking with mine, and asking for the possibility to pay them later on. Most of mine understood the situation, and especially the argument of them getting all their money in the future. The other outcome could be that I had to go bankrupt, and they would never see the money at all. So, my advice is: Talk to your creditors. We are all involved in Covid-19 worldwide, so they might just be able to work with you to save your business.

 

 

How can others – partners, startups, costumers – help you and your company in these days?

If everybody would follow the directions that the government are making. We have to listen. Then we can all get over this as quickly as possible, and I can start paying my rent again!

And, well, by buying our bar equipment when we launch our online shop soon as well as book us for events after Covid-19

 

Support Casper Vinther Frederiksen and his startup Privatbar by following
on Facebook or ordering some cocktail equipment or liquor or book them
for a future cocktail event after COVID-19 on their website www.privatbar.dk.

Monday 07:30 – 16:00

Tuesday 07:30 – 16:00

Wednesday 07:30 – 16:00

Thursday 07:30 – 16:00

Friday 07:30 – 16:00

Nørrebrogade 44
8000 Aarhus C

 

Press: vera@au.dk

Monday 07:30 – 16:00

Tuesday 07:30 – 16:00

Wednesday 07:30 – 16:00

Thursday 07:30 – 16:00

Friday 07:30 – 16:00

Nørrebrogade 44
8000 Aarhus C

Press: vera@au.dk