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There has never been a better time to launch a startup.

This Covid-19 era has presented some unique opportunities for disruptive new businesses largely because the market is itself disrupted. New routines, fewer meetings and fresh perspective all makes for a fertile environment to position or launch a startup and enjoy more willing evaluation from open minded consumers.

Whether or not your product is evaluated positively depends of course on how well you’re solving a problem, but the opportunity for evaluation is undeniably higher in a time when people are more vigilant for solutions in the widest sense.

Show resilience.

Some of the startups we’re working with are nearing a new launch phase and pondering their relevance. In one case, our client Fortress Esports opened its doors as the Southern Hemisphere’s largest esports and games venue, only to temporarily close within a week while Melbourne is in lockdown. They’re involving us in their pivot to an online experience that was always a planned extension but has now been fast tracked.

Time to ‘pivot’.

The art of the ‘pivot’ has never been more practiced of late. In Australia, taxi business 13Cabs rebirthed as a touchless courier service and followed up with a ‘13 things’ campaign that helped further cement the brand name. One of our startup clients, the babysitting service: Juggle St, abandoned their equity crowdfunding campaign in March and is pivoting with our help, to focus on online tutoring. Covid-19 created the need but it also created the urgency. Speed and timeliness are certainly major growth accelerants and we’re seeing more and more examples of such.

Again, in Australia, hatch.team were progressing nicely with their BETA for a marketplace where students could secure meaningful work experience and employers could leverage the back office services hatch provided. When Covid-19 struck, the Hatch guys pivoted to create hatch.exchange within just one week. They now offer a solution for employees to be loaned out to hiring organisations from downsizing businesses who can hire them back when the dust settles. 

Rethinking the retail landscape.

Better That is a client of ours intent on disrupting retail with drop auctions and other digital functions that help major retailers intelligently manage inventory and small local shops compete on a level playing field. It was an exciting proposition beforehand, but now in a world in lockdown, they have impetus from all sides: consumers wanting to pay less and shop in fun ways and retailers forced to explore innovative platforms that help maintain revenues. It’s the perfect storm.

Time to launch a startup.

The Covid-19 crisis is arguably so deep that we are all beyond risk aversion and that can only benefit startups with new propositions and business models intent on staking a claim when the cards are reshuffled.

By Matt Lawton
Managing Director, Australia

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