Casey Shultz

To say we live in uncertain times is an understatement. With every day bringing new headlines of commercial doom and gloom (not to mention the personal loss), having some sort of guiding hand or advice is as valuable as anything else. A new online series from BETA and LaunchMN, “Surviving a Recession,” looks to be that kind of resource.

“While this global pandemic is unprecedented, recessions are not,” Casey Shultz, BETA’s Executive Director said. “And they are something that founders have had to navigate multiple times in the last 30 years.”

Shultz said the five-part series, kicking off on May 6 with former Code42 co-founder an current Branch CTO Mitch Coopet, was born from the realization that much of the advice given to entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic focused on the immediate future. How-to topics such as applying for PPP and navigating federal grant programs are certainly needed, but she said it’s also important to look ahead with, “a message of inspiration and hope.”

“We hope that attendees will walk away feeling like they’re not alone and that they have a few more tools in their tool belt,” Shultz said.

Each session will be one part storytelling and one part audience interaction, giving participants the opportunity to seek a bit of advice or guidance from those who have sailed through rough waters before. In an ecosystem that sees its fair share of bluster and peacocking, these types of candid conversations are important steps in peeling back the layers of romanticism to get to the very real — and very difficult ­— core.

“It’s important to create a community that supports each other and talks about how hard it is to be an entrepreneur so that people know they’re not alone,” Shultz said. “Hopefully it helps them overcome whatever challenges they are facing at the time.”

The May 6 event with Mitch Coopet is already sold out, but each session will be recorded and shared publicly. Registration will be opened up the Thursday before each event; sign up for the BETA email list to get a notification. The speakers for sessions four and five are TBD, but details for two and three are:

Session 2 —

Wednesday, May 13. 1 p.m.

Jodi Hubler (Lemhi Ventures)

“When the Economy is Gone with the Wind”

Session 3 —

Wednesday, May 20, 11:30 a.m.

Elaine Rasmussen (Social Impact Strategies Group)

“Lessons from 9/11: How to Survive and Thrive When Your Business Doesn’t”