But we wanted to learn more about how this outbreak is being felt on a more micro level. How is it impacting individual startups? We’ve been collecting stories from different companies to share with you here. And we want to hear from you. How is coronavirus changing your business? Drop us a line and let us know.
(Ed. Note: Kickstarter projects like BEERMKR’s were among the first to get hit by the virus as manufacturing in China slowed down. This is taken from an update the company posted to its Kickstarter campaign page on Feb. 25th.)
Per the last update, we’ll be sending out weekly updates until this whole coronavirus situation resolves itself. Last week we saw our contract manufacturer come back online but in a very limited way. They still have a lot of people who haven’t been able to make it back to work, and those who did make it back to the region are now in mandatory quarantines for 2 weeks before being allowed to return to the office or factory. They expect this slow trickle to continue for the next few weeks.
The shop that handles our seals is coming back online this week. We’re optimistic that they can get going on the changes we need done, but they have not yet shared estimated production schedules with us. We should know more at some point this week.
We wanted to give on the spoon further insight on how the coronavirus is effecting our startup, Figo. Recently we have found sourcing internal electronic components a lot more difficult, along with longer lead times. Communications are event disrupted as some people are working and some are still in a state of quarantine. Delays with imported parts are major issues of most hardware manufacture businesses; however, other pieces of the company are being affected as well. More specifically Research and design, as injection molding and 3D printer part manufacturers are backed up for weeks. This is not only is the virus causing longer lead times, but companies are also responding with higher prices for their services. (One of the reasons we bought a 3D printer from the US this week and it got here in 3 days, so now we can rapid prototype internally.
I’m the founder of Grounded (Ed. note: Grounded makes plant-based cheese). Coming from Australia, we’d already witnessed a major surge in demand—all well as investment—in plant based proteins from the Asia market. Which I believe is less a consumer driven trend and more about future food security.
When coronavirus hit, however, I imagine dairy supply came under more threat than ever (especially coupled with supply shortages arising from Australia’s post-bushfire economy). I think that’s why Grounded suddenly had such a spike in interest. There’s a lot of focus around our products providing a more resilient alternative to dairy, and one that’s not so reliant on international trade forces.
(Ed. note: The makers of the eponymous connected coffee maker posted this update on its production in February)
Most of you are aware of the outbreak in China of the respiratory disease caused by the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Chinese government has advised placing measures of isolation into practice in an effort to contain the propagation of the virus. In addition, shops and offices have been closed, working from home is encouraged, public events have been canceled and wearing masks in public is mandatory.
Following the two-week break for Chinese New Year, and as a consequence of the current climate, our factory in Shenzhen has not been operating as usual.
Our production facility reopened its doors on February 10th. However, not all workers are able to commute due to government restrictions imposed in certain areas. As a result, most factories, including ours, are not reaching their full capacity.
We are doing what we can to continue our line of production and helping our colleagues wherever necessary. It is important to note that our Shenzhen factory is part of a larger supply chain of motors, sensors, and numerous other parts that have all been put on hold. The impact of COVID-19 in the coming weeks is still unclear. As soon as we have more information from our local channels, we will share it with you.
This post will be updated as we hear from more companies.