Over 10 days, 182 startups and founders contributed to our short innovation ecosystem “pulse” survey and shared how they are responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
This provided valuable insights and information regarding the current position startups and founders have found themselves in, and what would be beneficial to helping them survive during this time.
The majority of startups are taking a hit, with 33.52% of respondents reporting a decrease in revenue and an additional 33.52% reporting a dramatic decrease. A further 25.27% of respondents reported that their revenue is remaining steady, while 7.69% said they are seeing increases.
These drops in revenue were mostly attributed to a slowing down of new business; existing business dropping off or making late payments; procurement issues; and some startups being classified as ‘non-essential’ offerings, meaning the market isn’t currently a priority or their businesses have been shut.
It is great to see, however, that while in this financial position, the majority (59.34%) of the survey participants are following Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp’s advice and are not currently reducing staff numbers. In fact, just over 20% of respondents are still planning to employ more staff in the next six months.
Those planning to hire are looking at a diverse range of skills, from marketing to software development to customer service.
The survey found that 41.76% of participants are not currently renting a commercial space, and of those who are, 14.29% have received assistance from their landlord, with additional participants currently in negotiations.
Almost half (47.8%) of respondents said their current funding and runway was only enough to get them through up to two months, with 32.97% confident that they are in a position to sustain themselves for up to six months, and 19.23% reporting that they could get by for at least a year. Of those who are currently seeking venture capital, the majority have found that it isn't more challenging to be seen or heard than usual.
Over half of the participants (53.30%) believe access to business experts would be helpful at this time, with the majority of startups looking to seek help for grant application writing and many looking towards marketing, accountants and lawyers.
It has been amazing to see how many of the respondents have stepped up and are happy to donate their time and expertise to other startups and entrepreneurs. While the priority for some right now is understandably to keep their heads above water, it is great to see our community rallying and supporting one another wherever they can.
If you have anything further that you would like us to consider as we continue to develop and adapt our plan of attack, please reach out to the office at email@example.com.
Do check out the Chief’s advice for all founders here.