Just like most of the people, you might be wondering what the COVID-19 crisis means for the startup ecosystems in the Netherlands and Germany. One thing is for sure, there is a lot of uncertainty. However, there are also a lot of opportunities, so let’s focus on the positive aspects. We talked to flowpilot, Dieuwke Hoogland, ChipsTV and Rayk Hahne. Continue reading to find out what opportunities they recognise in the current crisis!
Bernd Thöne, flowpilot:
‘The current situation leads to shrinking turnover and production hassles, while stable companies face a sudden burn rate situation. Businesses have to act quickly in their financial planning if they want to survive. At flowpilot, we facilitate the CFO’s life with a fast way to receive a liquidity plan, which is automated from the book data. We quickly get AI-supported proposals for future planning (which is way beyond the often established, excel-based, cash planning).
Due to the current crisis, we face increased demand, not only to make lives easier but to urgently create a tool which evaluates the needed cuts and designs a survival plan. Our request numbers have quadrupled in the past couple of weeks. The bottleneck of the organisation shifted from feature request to how to manage the onboarding, which we are automating. The 1:1 sales have been modified to ‘crisis webinars’, which include a batch demo of our product. We see a 30-40% conversion rate; which proves that our product really helps.’
Dieuwke Hoogland, Masters of Scale:
‘The consensus is that the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis will take many months. People started working from home and minimizing their exposure during shopping, entertainment and leisure activities. Any company that can pivot to cater to their needs, under these circumstances, will likely have a market. Think about food boxes, online grocery shopping or cooking games. Businesswise, companies who support remote workspaces, creativity sharing and virtual augmented meeting rooms will have great opportunities as well. Lastly, there will be a significant demand for AI-supported infection tracing, health control, self-checking and risk mitigation, that solve the privacy concerns posed by tracing every move that a citizen makes. Apart from government superimposed programs, many people will want to have apps that warn them about infectious areas when they go outdoors.’
Benedikt Löffler, ChipsTV:
‘The current crisis urges us as a young tech startup to focus on what matters: our users! Organic sign-ups on ChipsTV in March have doubled compared to February. We need to make people aware of our product during this crisis. All business decisions are currently based on whether they will make people aware of our existence. We postponed all nice-to-have and long-term ideas, and we cut the costs to the bare minimum. However, the opportunity that the crisis brought for us is clarity: focus is paramount.’
Rayk Hahne, Unternehmerwissen in 15 Min:
‘Due to the current crisis, many people will lose their jobs and a lot of business will crash. Even though that’s horrible, this situation also generates a lot of new opportunities. People who are currently sitting at home have the time to start focusing on their talents and do something new. There is a need for a lot of products and services right now. For example: in terms of digitalisation, German small and medium-sized enterprises haven’t invested in that until the last 10-15 years, and we know how huge the demand for that is.
I believe that Germany can climb the ladder and become a leading country once again. If you look at the crisis in 2008; three years later, Germany achieved so many great things and took the economy to a whole new level. So in two years from now, we will see a lot of new services and products that we wouldn’t have even though of if the crisis hadn’t happened.’
There is no doubt the COVID-19 crisis will make it difficult for some businesses to survive. But it also brings a bunch of opportunities for startup founders, who can take this time to create products and services people need.