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Support for start-ups amidst the COVID-19 outbreak

Here at FLG, we have been putting in work to help support start-ups and the wider genomics ecosystem for a while but with the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognise the need to support start ups more than ever.

Next week, we are updating our website with a section dedicated to supporting genomic start-ups (watch this space!) but in the meantime, start ups and would-be entrepreneurs are likely worrying about the uncertain economy in the next few months.

In light of this, we have scoured the internet to try to bring you the latest information about the help and support available for start ups, and we hope this will help to genomic start ups afloat during this pandemic.

In the face of a global health emergency, we need innovation! Particularly if your start up could provide help in the face of the crisis.  Last week, the European Commission asked start-ups with solutions that could help tackle the COVID-19 outbreak should apply for European Innovation Council funding. While this has closed, there have been many groups of scientists rallying together to fight the disease and there is a scientist volunteer form for anyone with expertise in certain fields (many are omics based) then feel free to join the fight.

In the US, the Small Business Association announced it will offer “disaster assistance loans” for small businesses affected by the coronavirus. Also, Forbes has collated information state by state on what relief small businesses can get. 

All around Europe, different countries have pulled together to help support small businesses and start-ups. Examples of what countries are offering include the UK offering to underwrite loans to businesses being adversely affected by the coronavirus, Germany offering unlimited liquidity assistance to companies that need money from the state development bank and Italy has offered a state guarantee of up to €5m for small and medium-sized businesses.

More practical advice though has been offered by Dan Rosen, the long-time chairman of the Seattle-based start up investment group “Alliance of Angels” who wrote a blog post to help start-ups deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Among the advice he writes about: forget about raising money, do not expect contracts in the pipeline to close, think about opportunities that can help the COVID-19 crisis and downsize if needed.

Venturebeat also wrote a “survival strategy plan” for start-ups during this time with plans you can make to help your start up survive if the COVID-19 pandemic lasts 3 months, one year or three years.

One thing is for sure during this difficult time, we need to pull together, and start-ups are playing a monumental role in this. Here are six start-ups that are helping to fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

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