Fostering the Startup Industry to Fight COVID-19

The war against Coronavirus has become global. Now more than ever the world has to come united to defeat the greatest pandemics of our times. As FT’s Sifted points out, “The scale of the crisis in Italy will likely be mirrored across Europe, the US and the rest of the world in the coming weeks.”

In 2015 Bill Gates claimed that the real risk for humanity comes from viruses, not wars. Unfortunately, we are not prepared to cope with such a menace. This is why investments in research and technology are pivotal. This is why we believe entrepreneurship offers a great platform to defeat Covid-19, one where founders and funders can join forces to fuel innovation.

Venture Capital

This is the case of an urgent call for action from Italy, where the impact of Covid-19 has been huge so far. B Heroes, an Italian ecosystem of initiatives for innovation, is looking for startups targeting Covid-19. They can provide 100k euros to startups that have devised a product, a technology, a process to deal with the new coronavirus pandemic. The deadline to apply is 31 March 2020.

Crowdfunding

Still in Italy, through “Cura Italia” decree, the Government has provided a tax break to companies and individuals donating to support the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. This is a great opportunity for startuppers and backers to come together via crowdfunding platforms.

In 2015 Bill Gates claimed the real risk for humanity comes from viruses, not wars.

Meanwhile, in the US, Patrick McHenry, the Republican Leader of the House Financial Services Committee, has advanced new legislation, the Crowdfunding to Combat the Coronavirus Act. Its main is to create a $1 billion prize for developing a COVID-19 vaccine that must be affordable and widely available. Additionally, it eliminates offering ceilings in Regulation Crowdfunding, Reg. A, and Reg. A+ for startups and small businesses working to combat COVID-19, providing support for job creators while encouraging medical innovation that could save lives.

On their hand crowdfunding platforms are providing some support to entrepreneurs by alleviating fundraising rules. This is the case of Kickstarter, for example, which is giving a seven-day extension to creators.

Business Angels

Last but not least the call for action from angels.

This list is not exhaustive, of course, as many new initiatives are developing every other hour. Oliver* will do its best to contribute to spreading the word around. So, if you would like to signal new projects, please get in touch with us. Thank you.

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels