Even during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, entrepreneurs throughout the USA and Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) continue forging ahead and persevering with the same entrepreneurial spirit that will help us make it through this challenging period of time and beyond.
Entrepreneurship is alive and well, regardless of any hardship, seen or unseen.
EIRs interviewed on the EIR Podcast were asked two quick questions:
Are you still mentoring entrepreneurs as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence now with COVID-19?
88.9% answered “yes, remotely”
11.1 % answered “no, full stop”
How has your work as an EIR changed due to COVID-19?
- Companies seem to fall into two buckets, those whose product or service is required or with a pivot will be required and then those companies whose value proposition(s) just are not important given the current situation. Companies in the first group might need help with adjustments to the business model. Those in the 2nd category quickly entered in cash preservation mode. They are faced with tough decisions. A third new group of informal teams working on immediate solutions such as masks and ventilators is emerging.
- Doing more mentoring via Zoom calls..have been asked to do some special programs for students in many fields on entrepreneurship. This reminds me of 2008 when many university’s started entrepreneurship programs. The young people knew they could not get jobs on Wall Street and elsewhere and felt more pressure to learn how to start their own thing. I also am doing a ton of new working to help small business owners survive the mandatory New York closures and navigate the city, state and federal small business help programs.
- More screen time rather than meeting face-to-face.
- More time dealing with needed current changes than with programs for scale & future growth- spending most time on cash management, HR and marketing pivots
- We have gone fully remote, utilizing Zoom.
- Now regularly using WebEX and Skype video conferencing. Just completed a full day of video coaching of Tech-Track semi-finalist entrants in the 2020 GW New Venture Competition.
- All events including pitch competitions have been cancelled. Georgetown Entrepreneurship is conducting events online. Mentoring continues online or by phone.
- No in-person interactions. Less connecting. We have had a couple virtual events over Zoom.
- Besides the obvious shift to remote consultation, the dialogue has shifted almost entirely to business continuation and viability in this new economic reality we find ourselves in.
- Not at all. I am still in constant dialogue with various proteges. We are also about the launch a project later this week designed to help Millennials who have been laid off realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
- Slowed down but otherwise unchanged
- Remote meetings only, campus closed so little research being done
- Some clients have paused their work while other clients are ramping up. There has been a greater focus on retooling business strategy to survive and thrive during this current pandemic crisis.
- Just limiting travel and in-person meetings.
- It hasn’t, because most mentoring was digital in the first place
Full stop? Not really
Of the EIRs who answered “no, full stop”, they said: (2 responses)
- No, our grant was completed
- I teach an Entrepreneurship course at Millikin University, and all classes have moved to online delivery. We are learning together how to do this effectively!
As you can see, EIRs and entrepreneurs are still moving forward, adapting to the new constraints and finding opportunities.
We can connect with advisors and mentors from all over the world just like we communicate today because when we work remotely, it makes location almost irrelevant (especially if you are not creating a physical product). That is a good thing as long as you can connect to who and what you need.
How is entrepreneurship doing in the eyes of the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence within the USA?
Still doing well. Still bootstrapping.
Take all the precautions recommended for the duration…however long it takes.
Use your time, money and energy wisely.
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Here are the EIRs who replied to this survey (in alphabetical order with links to their interviews):
Peter J Burns III, Bruce Conway, Harry Geller, Randy Graves, C’pher Gresham, Angela Hill, Dan Hogan, Gordon Jones, Robert Manasier, Devin Mattson, Anna Nguyenova, Bruce Nims, Barbara Roberts, Rick Robinson, Ken Rother, Steve Runnels, Dave Terzian and Rose Wang.