In response to the pandemic, the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego launched the Rady School Business Recovery Coalition to help businesses in the region navigate the challenges created by COVID-19.
The coalition’s purpose is to provide immediate free assistance and guidance to business in need of additional support.
“There is tremendous need from businesses to receive guidance as they traverse an uncertain future,” said Robert S. Sullivan, founding dean of the Rady School.
The Business Recovery Coalition will tap into the wealth of talent offered by faculty from the Rady School and throughout UCSD to provide virtual consultation, insight and response to businesses.
The services of the coalition will be managed by the school’s Beyster Institute and the California Institute for Innovation and Development (CIID).
Founded in 1986, the Beyster Institute is a nonprofit organization that works to advance the understanding and practice of employee ownership as an effective and responsible business model. The CIID was founded to support and catalyze the University of California’s innovation leadership and entrepreneurship initiatives.
“Our hope is to help companies with how their businesses will operate in the future, what innovative tactics their businesses can implement and help them thrive in the afterlife, rather than just surviving,” said Kim Blaugher, executive director of the Beyster Institute.
The immediate needs the initiative aims to tackle include business problems around financial planning, resource challenges and Paycheck Protection Program evaluations, among others.
In addition, organizations can seek guidance on how to navigate safe and successful reopenings, operations and future innovation, consumer confidence, business strategy and identifying growth opportunities.
Leading through Innovation
“Beyster Institute is an important part of this because they already have the right consulting infrastructure and resources existing in the Rady school,” said Lada Rasochova executive director, California Institute for Innovation and Development.
Although, not the only one offering community support in light of pandemic, Rasochova said the coalition’s big differentiator is the innovation leadership they offer.
“We can help businesses think creatively about their future. This includes the diversification of revenue, going digital or how they can restart and gain a customer confidence,” she said.
UCSD student teams will also be engaged to support businesses, offering students the opportunity to give back to the community while gaining real-world consulting experience.
For students, participating a coalition-led projects is an opportunity for them to be involved, gain hands on experience and solve difficult business problems.
“We think that it will differentiate them in the job marketplace when they are looking for jobs, especially now as some internships were canceled. It’s a great opportunity for them,” she said.
The Rady School which is home to the StartR Accelerator, has made significant economic impact in the San Diego innovation over the last decade.
To date, roughly 200 startups have cycled through its programs and in total raised more than $118 million in capital funding from investors. More notably, four companies have been acquired and eight alumni are now onto their second startup, according to the university.
A large portion of the companies are in the biotech and consumer products industries along with a significant number in technology, medical device, health, consumer service, clean-tech and software.
For the program’s next cohort of startups, special consideration will be given to companies that are tackling covid-19 related problems.
Call to Action
The university’s executive leadership said the overall goal of the Business Recovery Coalition is to help as many businesses as possible.
In regards to partnerships, people across UC San Diego and alumni step up to offer assistance. The Rady School will also partner with other universities, local organization including San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Roundtable, among several others.
Interested partners are encouraged to reach out.
To receive consultation, visit Rady’s COVID Small Business Recovery website, fill out a short survey and an associate will reach out to assist your specific needs. No additional requirements are needed.
“It’s a wonderful business community here in San Diego. If you’re a struggling company, reach out to us,” said Blaugher. “If you need other expertise and assistance, we can refer you over to the Cal CPA, Federal Census Bureau or to one of our partners to make sure that you’re getting help you need.”
San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive, Jerry Sanders, commended the Rady Business Recovery Coalition for its efforts to provide critical services to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In no time in recent history has our economy experienced the catastrophic and sudden impact on industries, companies, jobs and on lives that has been caused by COVID-19,” Sanders said. “The Rady School Business Recovery Coalition will provide vital support to these businesses as they decide how to best prepare for reopening, recovery and strategic growth.”