The managing director of Venture Investors told businesses to “be creative” throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

John Neis addressed startup and small business leaders during a Wisconsin Tech Council webinar called “Crossing the coronavirus chasm: Tips from investors for the COVID-19 era.

“Be creative — change creates opportunity. There certainly are some immediate needs that are created during this crisis,” he said.

He noted Venture Investors has four portfolio companies that are directly trying to respond to COVID-19 with solutions from diagnostics to training for medical professionals during surges.

Neis speculates there will be “significant changes” to business models because of COVID-19. He recommends business owners reevaluate how they reach customers, communicate, service or install.

“This is going to be a tremendous learning experience for society,” he said. “I think we can all feel confident that there is going to be a dialogue about creating readiness for future pandemics, and I think that will create some business opportunities for many.”

Neis reflected back to 9/11 and the 2008 recession when he said it seemed those at risk were a narrow group.

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