Startups in Times of Crisis – A Rapid Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 2020

39 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2020

See all articles by Andreas Kuckertz

Andreas Kuckertz

University of Hohenheim

Leif Brändle

University of Hohenheim - Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences

Anja Gaudig

University of Hohenheim

Sebastian Hinderer

University of Hohenheim

Arturo Morales

University of Hohenheim

Alicia Prochotta

University of Hohenheim

Kathrin Steinbrink

University of Hohenheim

Elisabeth S.C. Berger

University of Hohenheim

Date Written: April 20, 2020

Abstract

Research summary: The discovery of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the spread of COVID-19 have led many governments to take drastic measures. The lockdown of large parts of society and economic life has come as an exogenous shock to many economic actors, not least innovative startups. This rapid response research combines a qualitative research design informed by entrepreneurial ecosystem actors with an analysis of policy measures called for, announced, and reportedly implemented in the international press. Interviews from an entrepre-neurial ecosystem offer a first-hand account of the adversity startups face during a crisis and how by utilizing bricolage responses they cope, and the analysis of policy measures can serve as an inspiration to design support initiatives to protect startups from the consequences of the current lockdown and to alleviate the effects of future crises.

Managerial summary: The lockdown measures as a response to the spread of the new corona-virus threaten the existence of many innovative startups. Our rapid response research first illus-trates the challenges entrepreneurs face as a consequence of the crisis. Second, we illustrate how entrepreneurs are dealing with the effects of the crisis and what they are doing to protect their ventures. Finally, we present measures that could be utilized by policymakers to assist entrepreneurs facing challenges. The research conducted suggests that while startups are suc-cessfully leveraging their available resources as a first response to the crisis, their growth and innovation potential are at risk. Therefore, policy measures should not only provide first aid to startups by alleviating the pressure caused by constrained cashflow, but also involve long-term measures embedded in and supported by the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem to ensure rapid recovery and growth.

Keywords: Bricolage, coronavirus, COVID-19, crisis, entrepreneurship, policy

JEL Classification: M13

Suggested Citation

Kuckertz, Andreas and Brändle, Leif and Gaudig, Anja and Hinderer, Sebastian and Morales Reyes, Carlos Arturo and Prochotta, Alicia and Steinbrink, Kathrin and Berger, Elisabeth S.C., Startups in Times of Crisis – A Rapid Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 20, 2020). Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3580647 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3580647

Andreas Kuckertz (Contact Author)

University of Hohenheim ( email )

Wollgrasweg 49
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany
+49 711 459-24820 (Phone)
+49 711 459-24826 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://entrepreneurship.uni-hohenheim.de/

Leif Brändle

University of Hohenheim - Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences ( email )

Germany

Anja Gaudig

University of Hohenheim ( email )

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

Sebastian Hinderer

University of Hohenheim ( email )

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

Carlos Arturo Morales Reyes

University of Hohenheim ( email )

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

Alicia Prochotta

University of Hohenheim ( email )

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

Kathrin Steinbrink

University of Hohenheim ( email )

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

Elisabeth S.C. Berger

University of Hohenheim ( email )

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

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