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No clue how to handle coronavirus as a startup founder? Here’s what we’re doing

Hopefully this helps you find what's the right reaction for your own company.

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Patrick de Laive
Story by
Patrick de Laive

CPO and co-founder, TNWPatrick de Laive is an experienced entrepreneur and daddy of Bo and Denne. He is co-founder of TNW and sporadicly invests in startups. He is a frequently asked spea… (show all) Patrick de Laive is an experienced entrepreneur and daddy of Bo and Denne. He is co-founder of TNW and sporadicly invests in startups. He is a frequently asked speaker at (tech) events across the globe. Check his LinkedIn profile and @Patrick on Twitter for more information.

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It was a Thursday evening, only two weeks ago that I was looking into the possible spread of the coronavirus in Europe. Italy had less than 100 cases, the Netherlands (where I’m based and TNW‘s main office is) zero. We had a big decision to make: Looking at the growth rate of the virus, it was clear to me it would only be a matter of time all of Europe would feel the full affects of the epidemic. We made the call and postponed TNW conference from June to October 1-2, which seemed very excessive at that time.

Now 12 days later, the world is in a different place. Almost every single conference has been canceled or postponed, while the few that are holding out think… uhm yeah, what are they thinking actually? (are they waiting to governmental intervention so they can rely on the Force Majeure clause???)

Travel restrictions are common as most governments have cracked down on people going to and from countries. It’s only a matter of time before most of the population will be WFH (working from home).

Today we announced a mandatory WFH policy for TNW. If you’re running a startup, it’s hard to keep up with the latest news and you might not have time to create your own policies, so in case you’d like a template for how we communicate it to our staff and to our community (TNW runs curated tech hubs in Amsterdam), here you go.

COVID-19 measures — updated March 12

Note: we will update this post in case we make changes (which will happen for sure). Feel free to save the URL somewhere in Pocket, Slack, or whatever you’re using to keep track of posts.

To our staff:

Only fast actions like that can stop the spread of the virus. Take good care of yourselves, follow the newest updates and prepare to have the essentials at home. Your health and stopping the spread of the virus as much as we can are our highest priority, please let us know if you have any questions or if you are not feeling well (the situation can feel overwhelming). That’s why it’s now mandatory to work from home as of today at least until end of next week (can be extended and we will be updating on that).

To our community:

COVID-19 precautions: TNW reception and club areas not staffed from tomorrow

In light of current developments around Coronavirus/COVID-19, we will not be staffing our reception and club spaces at TNW City and TNW South as of tomorrow:

  • No TNW staff will be present at our spaces, but residents will still have access to the building and their offices.
  • Members are unable to access either building.
  • All events for next week will be cancelled.
  • No lunch will be served.

There are no reported infections within the community. We are taking this action to do our part in stopping the virus from spreading further. We want to proactively take responsible measures rather than wait for the situation to worsen. For the community’s sake.

The only way to prevent this virus from growing exponentially is social distancing. For this reason, the TNW team will be working from home. Residents still have access to the building via keycard. We encourage you to take your own precautions.

We will be off site for at least one week. We hope to reopen our club and reception as soon as possible, and will update you as soon as we know when that will be. If you decide to work from TNW, be aware that:

  • There will be no one to receive packages
  • You will need to pick up your guests from the front door

The TNW team will still be available on Slack and via email during business hours.

In case of any changes or further updates, we will inform you via email and Slack. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in ensuring the health and safety of your colleagues and our community.

With ❤️,

TNW team

Published March 12, 2020 — 16:31 UTC

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