Startup Founders – what to do About Covid-19?

Hi Friends,

Many of you might be wondering what to do about the Covid-19 pandemic. Well here is a statement signed by many of the startup leaders here in the Colorado startup community that appeared on Feld Thoughts today. Remember if we do our job it will seem like we over-reacted. We need to be willing to be seen as over-reacting. Hope this is helpful – Will

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We are leaders of 35 different technology companies with headquarters or offices in the Denver and Boulder metro areas. This week, our companies stepped up efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 here in Colorado and beyond. Reflecting the spirit of collaboration that characterizes our startup community, we all came together as a group, shared best practices, and agreed to take the following decisive actions in the interest of protecting the most vulnerable members of our community:

  • First​, we are strongly encouraging the majority of our workers to work from home as soon as possible, leaving behind the minimum possible in-office presence.
  • Second​, we are restricting work travel by our employees, both domestically and internationally. We are also strongly advising our employees to be thoughtful about all personal travel, particularly where they would be congregating in larger groups.
  • Third​, we ​are moving all clients, visitors, and interviews to remote only meetings and not currently welcoming onsite visitors.
  • Fourth​, wherever possible we are strongly encouraging our vendors, service providers and partner businesses to take similar precautions.
  • Fifth​, we are each consulting with our teams to find ways of supporting our local healthcare workers by helping to purchase critical medical resources, such as additional tests and protective equipment, and supporting the work of​ local nonprofit organizations that are helping at-risk communities who will be severely impacted by this pandemic.
  • Finally​, we are calling on government officials and other business leaders to restrict large group gatherings, including in the largest entertainment venues along the Front Range.

Why are we taking these unprecedented steps? The spread of COVID-19 is past the point of containment. Without​ swift action, we may soon witness the failure of our healthcare system’s capacity to deal with the virus’s complications. Our healthcare system is not built to handle enormous loads of critically ill people all at once. Therefore, we urgently need to flatten the curve of disease transmission to prevent unnecessary deaths. Wuhan City had 4.3 hospital beds per thousand people. In the United States, we have 2.8. There are not enough health care providers to care for all the sick. There are fewer than 100,000 full ventilators in the US. We are already seeing this play out with tragic consequences in Italy, where the mortality rate is shockingly high, as their healthcare system has struggled to keep pace with the sudden crushing load of hospitalized patients, leading to otherwise preventable deaths.

Our actions alone will not be enough, and we cannot wait for our government agencies and elected officials to mandate these restrictions. Every hour counts. We therefore call on others in Colorado — and in other startup communities across the country — to follow our lead and implement these procedures, effective immediately.

Signed:

Bryan Leach, Founder and CEO, Ibotta
Brad Feld, Partner, Foundry Group
David Brown, CEO, Techstars
Sameer Dholakia, CEO, Twilio SendGrid
Ben Wright, CEO, Velocity Global
Jake Bolling, CEO, Skupos
Bart Lorang, CEO, FullContact
Conor Swanson, Co-Founder, Code-Talent
John Levisay, Founder & CEO, Bluprint
Matt Talbot, CEO, GoSpotCheck
Joni Klippert, CEO, StackHawk
Rajat Bhargava, CEO, JumpCloud
Fred Kneip, CEO, CyberGRX
Brent Handler, CEO, Inspirato
Lee Mayer, CEO, Havenly
Brett Jurgens, CEO, Notion
Walter Knapp, CEO, Sovrn
Brian Egan, CEO, Evolve Vacation Rental
Chris Cabrera, Founder & CEO, Xactly Corporation
David Levin, Co-Founder & CEO, Four Winds Interactive
Matthew Glotzbach, CEO, Quizlet
Nick Martin, CEO, The Pro’s Closet
Seth Levine, Partner, Foundry Group
Stewart McGrath, CEO, Section
Matthew Klein, CEO, Backbone
Carm Huntress, CEO, RxRevu
Mike Gionfriddo, CTO, Pie Insurance
Paul Berberian, CEO, Sphero
Joshua Reeves, CEO, Gusto
Chris Klein, CEO, Rachio
Mark Frank, CEO, SonderMind
Pete Holst, CEO, Oblong
Rachel Carlson, CEO, Guild Education
Josh Dorsey, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Bank
Amit Shah, VP Operations, Virta Health

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