What Does It Take to Launch a Successful Startup During the Pandemic? Flexibility and Compassion

·3 min read

Startup Fortune, December 16, 2020: It takes creativity, innovation and flexibility to launch a start-up, even during the best of times. But, these skills have proven even more crucial for founders who launched new ventures during the pandemic.

According to NPR, 2020 has given rise to an unexpected boom in startups; in fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the third quarter of 2020 has seen the highest number of new business applications on record.

Crisis situations always give birth to opportunities. Whether it’s a stock market crash, a mortgage meltdown, or a pandemic, any event that upsets the economy creates new problems to be solved.

The current health emergency happened to come along at a time when the trend in entrepreneurship is toward public good, as well as personal success. Today’s startup founders have honed in on the enduring concept of “doing well by doing good” and taken it in exciting new directions during 2020.

Key concepts driving successful startups in the pandemic era are flexibility and the power of relationships. The ability to pivot in a rapidly changing environment is vital to a startup trying to navigate the aftermath of economic fallout and global uncertainty. Company founders who assume change as the norm from the very beginning have the best chance at success.

Related to rapid change is the increasing importance of relationships and communicating with empathy. In crisis times, numbers do not tell the whole story. Metrics are important, of course, but when so many people are isolated, being able to leverage the power of connectedness will make one startup stand out where others get lost in the pile.

Piñata is one example of a startup that’s navigating the pandemic with agility and connectedness. Piñata is an online platform that is facilitating a new type of relationship between property managers and renters. Anyone who has been following the national news about real estate knows that job layoffs and losses have led to a nationwide rent crisis, and some kind of relief is necessary.

Rather than looking at this dire situation as a zero-sum landlords vs tenants game, Piñata founder Lily Liu has come up with a way to have both sides leverage the situation for mutual benefit. Piñata offers renters the membership rewards and perks that consumers are used to getting from airlines and retail loyalty programs. Renters get rewards for signing up on the app and on every rent day when they pay on time. This incentive makes timely rent payments a win-win for the renter and the property manager or owner. Piñata’s rewards are also a bonus for the property manager looking to attract tenants. Being able to offer perks will increase interest in a rental property and also help boost tenant retention.

As a startup founder, Lily Liu also introduced innovation in social entrepreneurship through a unique rent relief program. Again, working with the concept of connectedness and relationships, she is asking property owners to nominate renters who they would like to see get some support in paying their rent. The payments are funded by private contributions which are tax-deductible. There is no qualification process for this program.

By asking the property owner for nominations, everyone involved can feel good about who is getting the help and under what circumstances. Owners and managers can support otherwise good renters who have fallen on hard times, with an eye towards the long-term. This is a way to offer some kind of relief for the renter without burdening the building owner.

Startups in the time of the pandemic are demonstrating the truth of the saying, the best time to start a socially responsible company is always now.

This content is provided for news syndication by Startup Fortune

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