APR 2020 | #SGVirtual + AWS Mentorship Month + Coronavirus Updates

Important Topics In This Newsletter

#SGVirtual #OfficialArtAssets
#ChapterDirectorOfTheMonth #AWSMentorshipMonth
#Coronavirus #H12020Cohort
#CommunityTeamUpdates #LevelUp

Greetings Director,

We hope this email finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. 

The world has changed and it is important that we find consistency and comfort in those things that we can control. The community team has spoken with many Directors over the past few weeks and have been inspired by how many have stepped up to continue to keep their startup ecosystems engaged and connected, during what is a challenging time for us all. 

Ben Horowitz’s seminal book entitled ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ has some incredible takeaways. One really stands out for us. 

"There is always a move. Play long enough and you might get lucky. In the technology game, tomorrow looks nothing like today. If you survive long enough to see tomorrow, it may bring you the answer that seems so impossible today."

Everyday that we get the opportunity to wake up, let's count ourselves fortunate and blessed. We have an opportunity to make a move.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong. 

Much love

The Community Team


In the wake of a challenging time, founders and entrepreneurs are always looking to make the most out of a difficult situation. Because of the global concern with COVID-19 and the decision in many countries to ban large gatherings, we have rolled out a new method of hosting events to help keep your communities together. 

Announcing: #SGVirtual

A shout out to all of the Directors who attended our training calls at the beginning of March and have started hosting virtual events already. While we are still early on in this process, please bear with us as we work out all of the kinks. Here are the key things that go into an #SGVirtual event:

  • If you want to sell tickets, create a new “SGVirtual” event. If you plan to host a free event, create a new “SGVirtual [RSVP]” event.
  • If you’d like to host a Zoom-based event, make sure to save your event as Draft instead of publishing it right away.
  • To generate a Zoom link, please visit http://bit.ly/sg-virtual-zoom-links and complete the form. You will receive your Zoom link via email within 24 hours of submitting the form. We have semi-automated this process with some API integrations
  • Once you receive your Zoom link, or any other link if you’re using another platform, add that link to your event Location. Not sure where? Click here.
  • If your event was in Draft, you can now Publish it. If your event was already published, email the link to your attendees.

Have questions? Check out these Knowledge Base articles that have more information and the video training that was offered at the beginning of March.


Our design team is currently working on refreshing some of our community Art Assets. We encourage you to wait on printing any new banners, t-shirts, etc. for your Chapter until those are released. 

As was mentioned last month, Google for Startups is no longer a presenting partner. They are still a partner for other initiatives. What does this mean? Their name will no longer appear in our global and local logos. Your new Chapter Arts Assets have been updated to your Art Assets folder. Please use these across all your digital media going forward. Please also update your email signature using the official one here.


Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit | Startup Grind Barcelona 

"We've consistently hosted monthly events for our startup ecosystem without skipping a single month since March 2014, so we didn't want to take the easy road and abandon our community in these times of uncertainty and need.

It is our mission to bring communities together come hell or high water, and therefore, it is our duty to keep on innovating and helping our community, partners, sponsors, friends and families alike with educational content, inspirational stories and generating business for all the members of our network. We're in this together."


April is officially Mentorship Month Presented with AWS.

Mentorship is the very meaningful art of intentionally investing in another person to help them reach their potential, so we are delighted to partner with AWS to help our startup communities all around the world do just that. 

Participating in Mentorship Month is simple:
  • Host a #SGVirtual Event and dedicate a portion of the event to discuss the importance of mentorship. This can be the guest speaker's own experience or have the speaker host Q&A with the audience
  • Please use the official Art Assets available here
  • We have created a dedicated Directors Playbook with useful information on how to host a successful Mentorship Month event
What’s in it for you and your chapter?
They are two opportunities available to you and your local startup ecosystem. The first is exclusive *access to AWS Experts to receive one-on-one mentor sessions to get guidance on how to grow and develop your business and allow you to get first-hand advice from experts from AWS.

The second is AWS Activate credits up to $100,000. Please  note, this offer is only available to new customers only and is by application.   

*Application required. Selected applicants will have the opportunity to participate in a one-on-one mentor session to get guidance on how to grow and develop your business and allow you to get first-hand advice from experts in your field. 

Our partnership with AWS for Mentorship Month in April is on an exclusive basis with a non-compete clause in the contract. This means we cannot showcase any competing partners. Specifically, Google for Startups, Oracle for Startups, Microsoft for Startups or Salesforce. We would be very grateful if you can help us honour this. This means, ensuring that any marketing material you use or publish does not use the “in partnership with Google for Startups” logo. Please do not use your banner for the AWS Mentorship Month event as well. We really appreciate your support with this. These partnerships are important to us as they help us to continue supporting Chapters at a local level and our annual Directors Summits.

Already have your April event planned? Awesome! We would love to have every event in the month of April feature aspects of mentorship to not only align with our partnership, but also to live out our values as we face unprecedented situations across the globe. In addition, AWS has asked that Directors play this short clip at the beginning of each event.


COVID-19 has continued to spread globally, and few places have been left untouched by this virus. First and foremost, our priority is to ensure the safety of our community. We encourage you to transition from in-person events (if they are still allowed in your city) to online events, be innovative in reaching out to your community, and work with your partners to figure out the best way to deepen those relationships even though the overall offering may look different. Please continue safe social practices and stay home if you are able, we hope that the curve will flatten in nations where it is still rising so we can get back to the face to face events that we are all missing so much!

Need some ideas on ways that you can engage your community? Take a look at some of the things that Directors have already started to transition even in the last two weeks:

Barcelona: The Barcelona Chapter is hosting #SGVirtual events twice a week to keep the community engaged, to help everyone #levelup in this unprecedented time, and be a light in the midst of this difficulty.

China: In April, Chapters across china will be collaborating on an #SGVirtual event as a part of AWS Mentorship month. Instead of competing for event slots, the community is coming together to offer great content that is relevant across the nation in a collective effort that should inspire everyone in this time. 

Houston: To engage the community in a broader sense, the Houston Chapter is hosting a variety of events in April. Ranging from a virtual happy hour to a virtual coffee break. Innovative events that help us maintain some grip on normalcy are a great opportunity to bring together members of your community who aren’t always available for fireside chats. 

While this is just a few of the cool things going on, we know there are loads more happening in your communities. While we are all in uncharted waters, please share any cool events or ideas that you are doing in your community with us via ford@startupgrind.com and across the Slack channels to help other Directors continue to #levelup with you!


While in the midst of the current pandemic, we have made the decision to move the start date for our next Director training cohort, H1-2020. While we are disappointed to not be starting to onboard new Directors just yet, we are excited to have more time to refine the new content added to our training, including the new branding information and hosting #SGVirtual events. We plan to launch the cohort in August and invite Directors who did not participate or complete H2-2019 to join us!


We are delighted to welcome Jelte Wingender who has been helping with the management of our Chapters in China for the past year and a half, onto the Community team in an official capacity. Jelte will be working on a part-time basis as our APAC Community Manager. He'll be spending the next couple of weeks getting inducted into the role and will be reaching out to our Chapters in the region in due course. In the meantime, if you have any immediate requirements, please do email ford@startupgrind.com.

As we navigate these challenging times, Phin Mpofu will transition to the Partnerships team to act as a more effective bridge between the Community, Startup Program and Partnerships teams. He is excited for this new challenge and once settled into his new role, will be interested in speaking with Directors from all around the world to explore opportunities to leverage our global community by partnering with various corporate organisations and Government enterprise development agencies that align with our mission of educating, inspiring and connecting the world's startups. 


One of the most valued parts of Startup Grind events is the opportunity to Network with your local community and we know that can be a major challenge when hosting events virtually. Luckily, a variety of platforms have been developed to encourage and create opportunities for online networking to take place. A few of our favorites, tested and tried by the Community Team include:

Toasty - this platform was used to help with networking during the Directors Summit and they have created a virtual networking experience.

Icebreaker - Make virtual connecting more memorable by randomly getting matched with an attendee.

Remo - Network with other attendees, just as you would during an in person event by moving from table to table.

Do you have other favorites? Share them with the community on Slack to help us all #LevelUp

Keep grinding


Derek, G, Bruce, Madeline, Daniel, Jess and Jelte