The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is impacting businesses across the globe, including Southern startups. We want to know how you’re being affected, as a startup founder, employee, investor or general member of the community. We’re publishing selected stories sent directly from you, only making edits where necessary for grammar and formatting, so if you have a story to share, please send it to us through this form. Good luck!
Today’s story: Ashlee Ammons, President of Mixtroz in Birmingham
What do you think are the short-term and long-term effects quarantine/shelter-in-place societal guidelines will have on businesses/organizations like yours?
I think the world now places a higher value on community; the people, places and things that we got to do and see everyday that were taken for granted before the social distancing guidelines were put in place. For me, that further drives value to our purpose at Mixtroz which is to create valuable connection wherever people gather live or virtually.
How specifically have coronavirus challenges impacted you and your team?
For my team, we’re scrappy and lean and blessed by the fact that we were already using tools like Zoom and Slack to communicate, in and out of the office. We have been extremely busy with the release of Mixtroz Virtual and customers coming to us, and we are humbled and grateful for the opportunity to provide value, during this time and beyond.
[Editor’s Note: Ashee is pictured in all photos with her mother and co-founder Kerry Schrader.]
What has been the most difficult thing to deal with?
I am a 30-something single, never married, no kids and I work as a tech entrepreneur, meaning all I ever need is wifi and a dream. I am incredibly fortunate and blessed as I nor my family have been negatively touched by this, like so many others, and I empathize for them. Knowing that, when asked how I am doing on tens of Zoom meetings a day, I do not have the space to complain or share in any negativity.
Have you strategically pivoted operations in response to these challenges?
As an entrepreneur you stay ready for the unknown and unexpected. That readiness to pivot, to change strategy opposed to vision, has equipped us with the tools we need as a team to gracefully push forward.
What are you anticipating is the best, most optimistic scenario for businesses/organizations like yours when things settle back into some type of new normal?
People will be less likely to say, in an enterprise for example, our people, “don’t do tech.” That is false. If your people do not embrace tech in the age of the internet of everything, they will be left behind and unemployable. Everyone — regardless of age or any other factor — is or should be prepared to embrace software that can in turn in enhance life professionally and personally.
Is there any advice you think would be helpful to others, based on your experiences during this time?
Regardless of your current business stage or size, always the remember the beginning of the journey. Revisit the hustler that got it all started, and led by life experience and the feeling in your gut to point you due north.