I want to reach out to see who has been affected by the Coronavirus / COVID-19 and let everyone know how the Capital Factory community is rising to the challenge. This is a terrible disaster that we still don’t understand the full implications of yet, but we need to adapt to the “new normal” and try to keep our lives moving forward safely. We are entrepreneurs!
If a member of our community has the virus or has been exposed to it, we want to know about it and we want to help. We might know about resources you don’t. Please leave a comment and let us know or email me at [email protected]
As you can imagine, the Capital Factory network is buzzing with ideas and actions. Money is being raised, supplies are being delivered, and technology is being developed around the clock.
If you are working on a solution to help people affected by the Coronavirus, we want to know and we want to help. Please leave a comment and let us know or email me at [email protected]
The world has never needed our community more than we do today. Isolated in our homes, our community is what connects us together. Without coworking and meetups, we need new ways to meet new people and discover business opportunities. Faced with some of the biggest challenges our global society has ever faced, we need leaders to step forward and innovate our way out of this.
We need the Army, the Air Force and the National Guard. We need capital from investors with vision. We need political and business leaders. We need entrepreneurs.
This is an incredibly challenging time. But this is when entrepreneurs are at their best. Capital Factory was started in 2009 right after the 2008 housing market crash and the last recession. There was nowhere to go but up. Many businesses will fail but many new ones will be created. Will you call it quits or will you rise to the challenge? I’m proud to say that I see the Austin community and the startup community doing the latter.
Here are some examples of what our community is working on:
- MDBox is offering Coronavirus consultations over telemedicine
- Lazarus3D is printing masks and face guards for health care workers
- Athena Security and Eagle Eye Networks are developing thermal sensing cameras
- Eugene Sepulveda helped create the Stand With Austin Fund to support small businesses & individuals affected by the SXSW cancellation.
- CareSnap has an online marketplace for in-home healthcare services
- Nanohmics is developing a 5-minute Coronavirus test that works on asymptomatic patients
- Skin Probiotics offers an anti-viral sanitizing spray that incorporates silver ions for prolonged protection
- FabuLingua offers a Spanish language learning solution that can be used in a home-schooling environment
- CureCompanion has developed a portable telemedicine kit
- Everlywell has developed a home-administered Coronavirus test that is shipping this week
- Living Security released a video with tips on how to have good security hygiene while working from home
We were thrust into the forefront of this issue because the virus coincided with SXSW. As one of the busiest local venues we were faced with a dilemma; do we continue with our SXSW activities in the face of Coronavirus, even though SXSW was still moving forward with the approval of the Austin Public Health Department? It seems like an obvious decision now, a few weeks later, but at the time it wasn’t so clear. I’m glad that we made the right decision.
We put our SXSW initiatives on hold…and immediately got to work figuring out how to make lemons into lemonade. For us, that starts with moving to “virtual first” delivery of all of our programs.
Here is some of what has happened in the past two weeks:
- More than 100 Mentors have held virtual office hours over Hangouts, Webex or Zoom
- In 48 hours we helped the Air Force AFWERX pivot from an in-person pitch day for hundreds of people into a virtual pitch day with more than 2,000 people with 84 startups presenting to Air Force leaders including the Secretary of the Air Force.
- We hosted HackCorona, the first hackathon to specifically target and solve the new healthcare and technology challenges in a “town hall”, with members of the innovation community from healthcare, technology, and public policy.
- Capital Factory’s staff of 98 has continued to operate at full capacity while remote, supporting our community of members, mentors, partners, and founders through virtual events, meetings, and operational support.
Here is some of what is happening in the next two months:
- We are talking to all of our community members to help them have an impactful virtual experience while waiting for us to be able to leave our homes.
- We are reaching out to every event that was going to happen in person and helping them figure out how to execute it virtually instead.
- We’ll be getting the rest of our Mentors on virtual office hours which means a dozen different people to pick from on many days. There are 50 mentors signed up for 200 virtual mentor sessions this coming week!
- We are figuring out how to deliver all of our most important programming virtually. Epic Office Hours, Open Coffee, Robot University, AMA’s… even the Startup Crawl.
- On Wednesday, Gordon Daugherty will be hosting a Coronavirus Fundraising AMA for Entrepreneurs on Instagram
- We’ll be hosting the biggest Founders Academy with Gordon Daugherty yet. This will be the first time anyone can register and we expect hundreds of participants from around Texas.
- We are hosting a Virtual Black in Tech Summit + $100K Investment Challenge with the dedication of increasing diversity in the tech community
- Our Virtual Founders Stories in Dallas and Austin where we talk with startup founders about what it takes to start a successful company
- A Pilot SBIR Accelerator with 24 cohort companies was launched and is being conducted 100% virtually
Stay tuned for more updates weekly and please reply and let me know if you are affected by the Coronavirus and how Capital Factory can best support you during these difficult times.
Founder & CEO
p.s. Capital Factory is famous for our t-shirts. We printed a limited number of SXSW 2020 shirts before SXSW was canceled and this is your only chance to get one of the most exclusive Capital Factory shirts ever! All proceeds go to the Stand With Austin Fund — which makes grants to nonprofits assisting individuals and small businesses most negatively impacted by the cancellation of SXSW and least able to recover on their own. Grab yours before they are all gone!