Building resilient networks for innovation in times of crisis: VC4A’s response to COVID-19

As you know, there is a global pandemic underway with COVID-19. In order to combat this virus, we must take immediate action.

VC4A is working to respond to this crisis while supporting members with the virtual services available. Together we can push forward with entrepreneurship support during this time of crisis.

VC4A is operating as a remote organization now, which includes putting a hold on all physical meetings and halting all travel until further notice. The organization asks its team, associates and members to restrict unnecessary movement and follow government instructions for as long as needed.

Committed to supporting networks and innovative solutions

This will undoubtedly be a tough and difficult period for our organization and network, but also for our partners and the industry at large. More importantly, the storm brings major headwinds to VC4A entrepreneurs and their ventures – representing thousands of important initiatives working to bring high-growth high-impact solutions to society. In this time of crisis, we must do our part to support entrepreneurs to innovate and scale their industry-changing products and services.

The scope and magnitude of COVID-19 are immense and still scaling rapidly in its reach. There is no other response but to build aggressively on our virtual infrastructures. On the side of VC4A, we are actively working to reformat our offline programming and have brainstormed possibilities for a virtual investor summit, for example. But beyond trying to shift industry activity, to find other ways of keeping channels of support open, there could be greater challenges on the horizon. As an organization and network, we are committing ourselves to take on this challenge by maintaining our focus on supporting the combined networks across the industry in order to provide a resilient resource base we can all depend on for answers and solutions.

At the same time, now we must also see (and seize) the opportunities…

Across the industry there were too many conferences. There were too many forced workshops that failed to deliver impact. There were too many meetings that didn’t lead to tangible results. The canceling of millions of flights is the best news we have had for the environment and the global effort (however struggling) to reduce Co2 emissions. In the face of this global catastrophe, we have to seize the opportunity and reject the old models and ways of working. There are better and smarter ways. For VC4A, that means continuing to build strong ecosystems that are more resilient, sustainable, inclusive and accessible to all.

Free access to VC4A resources

Entrepreneurs should have free access to online resources and networking tools regardless of their location, gender, age or stage of growth. Regardless of where you live – in the city or in a small village far outside of town – anyone with an internet connection should have free access to:

  1. Learning materials, practical templates and exercises like the Startup Academy
  2. Quality mentorship and advisory support such as through the Mentorship Marketplace, and
  3. The ability to find talent, mentors, partners and investors, via Venture Profiles.
  4. Chances to apply to programs and events (note that many events are moving to the virtual space for the foreseeable period).
  5. Access funding opportunities.

It is through VC4A.com that entrepreneurs can connect their companies to a global network of resources and support.

Join us

Finally, as investors lockdown on their travel, and events and conferences are canceled, we have to double down on the virtual channels for facilitating meaningful connections. We invite entrepreneurs to register their fundraising needs while we welcome investors to use the VC4A platform as a research tool and networking utility. Our team is on hand to support members as needed. We call on the government, the donor community, funding partners and corporate sector to maintain their commitment to this space as we push forward, even more emboldened by the mission at hand. We also call on all VC4A members and industry partners to engage. Step forward now and join our combined effort to support societies’ entrepreneurs in this time of crisis.

We call on the government, the donor community, funding partners and corporate sector to maintain their commitment to this space as we push forward, even more emboldened by the mission at hand. We also call on all VC4A members and industry partners to engage. Step forward now and join our combined effort to support societies’ entrepreneurs in this time of crisis.