Editor’s note: Jay Bigelow is vice president for entrepreneurship at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development. 

DURHAM – Scholars will tell you the most fascinating periods in history were filled with tumult and upheaval. Tales of treachery, wars, and chaos provide compelling reading, but the participants who were living through the momentous changes were probably experiencing trepidation, hunger, and pain.

Between COVID-19, the oil wars between Saudi Arabia and Russia and the stock market rapidly switching from the longest bull market in history to a bear market seemingly overnight. I would say trepidation, and uncertainty are clearly the order of the day for anyone trying to run a business through these “interesting time.”


VC’s are discussing a “black swan” event and strongly recommending that portfolio companies hunker down, cut all variable cost and cut sales projections. Conserve cash now, wait out the downtrends and expect to see “bargains” available in the near term. While dry powered for both PE shops and VC funds are at an all-time high, expectations are deal closings will slow down and investors will put more energy into due diligence and expect to “pay down” definitely not “pay up.”


Well no one knows for sure, but one thing you can do is talk it through with someone who has been there before.

CED runs two Mindshare groups, three industry clusters, and an Entrepreneur in Residence and Mentoring program.  Our own in-house entrepreneur-in-residence [Bigelow] started his first business during a recession, led marketing at a venture-backed tech company during the dotcom bust, and did a recap of his company during the height of the last great recession in 2008/2009.

And has the scars to prove it.


This blog is reprinted with permission. It was originally published at this site.

Wingo’s advice to startups during virus crisis: Prepare for the worst, pray for the best