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Podcast

A Silicon Valley VC's view on Corona

Saeed Amidi, founder and CEO of international accelerator Plug & Play, about the challenges and chances for founders

Saeed Amidi, CEO and founder of Plug & Play, a leading international accelerator based in Silicon Valley, shares a surprisingly positive perspective on the ongoing economic uncertainties caused by COVID-19.

At Plug & Play he heads work with 400 corporates and more than 10 000 startups worldwide out of Sunnyvale, and he explains that the uncertainties could become an opportunity for founders to develop better products and better companies:

“Now is the time to be positive and to be more proactive. I believe in hard work and I think right now because of that many people are not traveling and working from home, everybody has more time.”

The serial entrepreneur and technology investor certainly worries about the negative effects of Corona for founders, specifically for closing deals and raising funds. But he also sees opportunities along the way:

"There will be economic crunch, but Google was born during the down cycle, and in these times you have more time to develop a good product, you can hire better people, so I hope there is a positive sign in the future.”

Plug & Play experiences the negative effects of the health and economic debacle first hand, as Saeed tells us. The accelerator usually does 20 investments a month, now the team will do "ten to fifteen", Saeed explains. And it also slowed down hiring, because it decided to cut costs:

"It's not a major scaling back, but we feel it is important to preserve cash."

9:07: Virus effects on startups: Chances, risks or opportunities
12:02: Recall 2008: Is now the best opportunity to invest?
16:13: Well, Google was born during a down-cycle
19:54: Beer garden break: Inspiration from Barack Obama
23:28: Work harder. Work more. Work from home.
26:53: How to lead a team through a crisis
29:16: Either-or-game: Marktes will comeback eventually


Production: Regina Körner, Migo Fecke, Hubert Honold.