This time last year, did you expect to be dealing with a fully remote workforce, or scrambling to find that perfect Zoom spot in your house away from kids, dogs, and harsh lighting?
It’s been an undeniably crazy year. Businesses everywhere spent 2020 recalibrating in response to a massively shifting workforce, market, and social consciousness. Business operations needed to adapt. Some pivoted, some slowed, some accelerated. We stayed busy, but “busy” felt heavier than ever.
At Oracle, we were already focused on helping startups scale their technology and their business, but we needed to find new ways to support founders in the new landscape. Many young companies were struggling. We wanted to help them navigate new and existing obstacles, so we covered the cloud bill for paying startups in our program for the first few months of the pandemic. It was an easy decision, and we were delighted to see how quickly startups turned around and paid it forward by supporting their own customers and partners with discounted offerings to keep business moving.
Watching startup ingenuity and kindness in action was a treat, and the influx of amazing startup stories inspired us to launch a podcast! Well, kind of. It's more of a mini-podcast. Micro, even. Entrepreneurs are some of the busiest people around, so we make each episode only two minutes long.
Despite the limited runtime, each show offers a quick but meaningful snapshot of how startups are innovating in their region, technology space, and industry. Here are a few of our favorite bite-size audios.
We also diversified into video! I started hosting a brand new YouTube series dedicated entirely to startups. I spend ten minutes Zoom chatting with founders in the Oracle startup program, discussing what drives them as entrepreneurs and what they're most excited about for their startups. Each conversation is low-key but powerful and reminds us that ultimately, business is about people.
Another major shift was in how we handled events. As live conferences got cancelled or indefinitely rescheduled, our team continued to offer meetups, sessions, and keynotes virtually. As a result, we collected a huge selection of on-demand webinars of startup-focused content including best practices for funding, scaling, and selling to the enterprise.
As entrepreneurs stayed home, many took advantage of opportunities to focus on professional growth. We noticed and met the rising demand for mentorship with more experts in more regions around the world. At the same time, our team of dedicated cloud architects expanded and doubled-down on helping startups migrate onto Oracle Cloud infrastructure.
We were inspired as we watched a network of Oracle employees volunteer their time to support startups in their regions (like Turkey, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore) as Oracle for Startups ambassadors. 2020 called for a collaborative effort, and we did our best to come together and deliver, for the good of innovation everywhere.
Everyone got pushed to adapt to new realities of living and working. It was a challenging, exciting, terrifying blast. I don’t know about you, but I'm tired. I'm proud of how Oracle for Startups pivoted to support startups despite changing landscapes (it's almost like we saw this coming). Now though, it’s time to take a break.
On December 23rd, we’re going quiet. We believe that the stories we share are meaningful, but we are going to stop publishing so we can make room for everyone to step away from work and recalibrate. Our social handles, blog, and Soundcloud will be quiet until the week of January 4th, at which point we will return recharged to bring you more inspiring, innovative, and insightful tales of startup success.
Our team will still be reachable for startups who need support, even over the holidays. That said, we hope you can find time to get away, too.
Thank you for being a part of our journey, and we'll see you in 2021.