Kicking Off The Virtual Board Core Community
What happens when you get a group of driven entrepreneurs-turned-board members together for a Zoom cocktail reception? Three things:
- you get great new ideas for making the best of “shelter in place,”
- you expand your thinking on how our world may change as a result of the pandemic, and
- you are inspired by the tremendous ingenuity of entrepreneurs who are working to aid our healthcare workers
Not bad for 90 minutes!
Last week, Underscore VC convened 15 start-up executives and local board directors to envision our world post-Covid-19. We kicked off the calls with introductions and an invitation to share one pleasure each of us is pursuing under the current “shelter-in-place” orders.
The ways we are taking advantage of this time ranged tremendously. We had writers rekindling their passion, travelers “visiting” a new country each week with local meals, drinks, and foreign films. We had step-parents and grandparents deepening relationships with children and teens. One was enjoying a weekly “covidtini.” Another was baking sourdough to deliver to neighbors, while someone else was discovering that they can put finely ground vegetables into nearly any meal to “trick” their kids into eating vegetables!
Beyond the fun, this group is making things happen. One member has been working with an organization to make PPE for healthcare workers out of snorkel masks – so ingenious! These masks were designed and manufactured in volume in less than four weeks. The non-profit organization making the re-usable, sanitizable masks has distributed over 7,000+ to 275 different institutions.
Another, after hearing about the plight of one of his childhood friends, researched and developed a portable case to sanitize masks for re-use, without having to take the masks out of the field. He is now working with local universities to get the devices tested. The goal is to open-source the design so that it is accessible to underserved communities and small practices that are always last on the list for PPE.
As a group, we debated how the experiences of today and the lessons we are learning will impact how we think about supply chains, education, the nature of knowledge work, and more.
We debated the potential impacts of online learning. Will online learning make higher education more accessible to the masses? How will more work-from-home impact commercial real estate, work-life balance, and how we construct our homes? Will supply chain thinking shift from “just-in-time” to “just-in-case,” elevating the importance of flexibility and resiliency?
As you can imagine, we could not possibly cover it all in 90 minutes. But there is a passion among the group to continue discussing and debating the impacts of this moment – this unprecedented global event.
So, stay tuned! We’ll be holding more idea-igniting events and sharing the thinking via the Underscore VC Core Community Wire. To that end, we would like to ask you, what learnings do you want us to uncover and share back? What insights do you hope to glean from the Underscore Board Core? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting at us here.
Additionally, if you’re a board director that is interested in getting involved, you can apply to the Board Core community here.