C19 Startup Survival Podcast

Drawing on 30+ years’ experience of starting + growing companies, this Startup Survival Podcast seeks to provide fresh insight, practical ideas and key references for entrepreneurs seeking to navigate the crisis – and ultimately discover and create new opportunities.


startup survival podcast LSE Generate Logo

Working with LSE on Startup Survival

Working with LSE Generate within the London School of Economics*, this Startup Survival series explores key issues and benefits from interviews with expert guests – all with a mind to helping you through the crisis.

With a focus on attitude and thinking beyond and behind the immediate, the series covers: Mindset, Resilience, Building Trust, Effective Communications, Making Sales, Inspirational Leadership, Managing Money, Effective Teamwork and International Perspectives. Ultimately the final episode asks the question: What does Startup Success really mean?

Since the Startup Survival podcast is an ongoing, open project, your feedback, questions and thoughts are needed. Please leave your comments below. You can also reach me through twitter, search for ‘PeteSimVenture’ or via my Linkedin Site – https://www.linkedin.com/in/petesimventure/


Startup Survival Podcast Series

Podcast 1 – Mindset

Podcast 1 – Mindset: Learn how to adopt a mindset that allows you to handle this crisis with purpose. Understand how customers are thinking and feeling and how you should approach them. Discover a direction for your venture and learn what speed to move at and how best to use your time.

For the benefit of all, you can also download a transcript of this episode.


Podcast 2 – Resilience

Podcast 2 – Resilience: Meet mindfulness expert Martin Summerfield who shares his insight and thoughts for developing resilience in challenging times. By listening to this podcast you’ll learn more about the mind as well as tools to help you navigate through the crisis. You’ll also discover valuable reference texts, all recommended to help you make sense of what’s happening in your startup world.

For the benefit of all, you can also download a transcript of this episode.


Podcast 3 – Building Trust

Podcast 3 – Building Trust: Using latest research and expert references, enjoy a deeper dive into this most important of subjects and discover how and why mastering trust during the startup business phase is so critical. Amongst other people, you’ll learn from Harvard Business School Professor, Frances Frei and trust specialist, Rachel Botsman.

For the benefit of all, you can also download a transcript of this episode.


Podcast 4 – Effective Communications

Podcast 4 – Effective Communications: When a crisis such as C19 strikes, how do you best communicate with people? Listen to Occupational Psychologist Shauna McVeigh as well as social media specialist Cilla Richards as they share their thoughts. Learn about effective use of social media, how to communicate within your organisation and discover how to reach out to clients and prospects.

Apologies to avid episode 1 listeners who heard me say this episode would be dedicated to external communication. Due to the wealth of material, I had to divide this podcast into 3 parts. However, if you want more key information on external comms, I’ve published a supporting blog post about making the complex simple which expands on the work by Chip and Dan Heath. 

For the benefit of all, you can also download a transcript of this episode.


Podcast 5 – Making Sales

Podcast 5 – Making Sales: Join me as I chat with expert guest and start-up survivor Richard Hughes-Jones. Together we consider why so many salespeople are often bad at selling and consider the implications for startups. But don’t be dismayed, the podcast also shares the fundamental principles for getting sales and personal selling right both during the crisis and beyond. Drawing on decades of personal experience, research-backed advice and an appropriate dose of theory, don’t miss this episode especially if you want your venture to survive and preferably thrive.

To support this podcast, a separate blog post has been written to help highlight why episode 5 doesn’t seek to share new tactics, approaches and methods for selling in a crisis. For more information, read, Empathetic, Patient Selling.

For the benefit of all, you can also download a transcript of this episode.


Podcast 6 – Inspirational Leadership (Part 1)

Podcast 6 – Inspirational Leadership (Part 1): How can a young entrepreneurial leader achieve all this in under 3 months?

  • Arrange for 18,000+ PPE items to be sent to the NHS & secondary line services
  • Provide 1,000+ care packs and 20,000 meals to isolated and compromised individuals
  • Recruit & mobilise over 250 people so all work is done
  • Fund-raise over £40k to pay for the whole initiative
  • Work a 16-hour day. Day in day out.
  • And choose not to receive a penny for his endeavours.

Find out answers and join me as I share the extraordinary feats of Jon Lo, an inspirational leader who stepped up and put his volunteering mind and soul on the line when the crisis broke.

For the benefit of all, a transcript for this episode will be published.


Podcast 6 – Inspirational Leadership (Part 2)

Podcast 6 – Inspirational Leadership (Part 2):  Warning – this Startup Survival podcast episode will change you. Discover what motivates crisis hero Jon Lo. Listen to a deeper philosophy and how he believes the drivers of altruism and selfishness can both be fused to get things done. Learn about the highs and lows of this young leader’s journey and crucially how his entrepreneurial achievements in 2020 are a springboard for much greater ambition. Society needs people like Jon; not simply for reliance, but more importantly, for learning and inspiration. As with all Podcast resources, both leadership episodes can be used and shared for free. If you teach, use this story as a case study. Again, again and again…

For the benefit of all, a transcript for this episode will be published.


Podcast 7 – Effective Teamwork

Episode 7 – Effective Teamwork: Startups wishing to grow or scale must build a team that is productive and well led. Yet the complexities and nuances of effective teamwork require leaders to continually learn from the myriad of different situations that occur within a workforce. But regardless of your journey, nothing prepares you or your team for a pandemic. Join me, as I meet Joey Tait and Kevin Hammond from Ampersand Consulting who had to think anew about effective team-working in order to save their company. Discover how this practical backdrop, regular reference to meaningful theory as well as personal experience are fused into this 27 minute show.

For the benefit of all, a transcript for this episode will be published.


Listen on Apple, Spotify, Google and more… 

This podcast series is also available for listening and download on Apple, Spotify, Google and other platforms. The link below takes you to the BuzzSprout site from where you can access the podcast elsewhere.

Access the Startup Survival Podcast Series from other platforms 


Podcast Music

To accompany this Startup Survival podcast project I wanted a piece of music. Not simply a song for startups; moreover a song that resonated with the mood, the new found collaborative spirit, the struggles, the loss and of course the light of care, hope and love people have experienced through these difficult and for some, very darkest of times. I am hugely grateful to my friend, Pete Thomas, for this beautiful piece of work.


*Startup Survival Podcast References

Peter Harrington is CEO at VSL where the SimVenture Team supplies advanced on-line business and entrepreneurship simulations and learning solutions to universities and corporate clients in 40+ countries. Peter is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at the London School of Economics and London South Bank University.

Within Podcast 1 (Mindset), the following sources are all referenced: Mark Schaefer, Steve Blank, Dave Jarman, Pema Chodron and Seth Godin. Thank you for being out there.

Within Podcast 2 (Resilience), the following sources are all referenced: Phil Knight and Shoedog, Matthew Syed, Amy Edmondson, Victor Frankl, James Stockdale and the Stockdale Paradox, Yohan Iddawela, Matthew Walker, Headspace, Ten Percent Happier, Mark Williams and of course the generous and extremely insightful Martin Summerfield.

Within Podcast 3 (Building Trust), the following sources are all referenced: Frances Frei, Rachel Botsman, Stephen R Covey, Eddie Izzard, Seth Godin and London South Bank University. Of course, this section would be incomplete if I failed to hitch you up with the early love of my life and the brilliant BlaBlaCar.

Within Podcast 4 (Effective Communications), the following sources are all referenced: Cilla Richards, Shauna McVeigh, HCubed, SCARF, Thanks for the Feedback by Stone & Heen, The Trusted Advisor by David Maister, Robert Galfrod and Charles Green, Clear is Kind by Brene Brown, How Fearless Organisations Succeed and Psychological Safety by Amy Edmonson, Find your Why by Simon Sinek, Hubspot Customer Insight & Persona, Contagious by Jonah Berger, Coursera, Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath and Carol Dweck.

Within Podcast 5 (Making Sales), the following sources are all referenced: Richard Hughes Jones, Leadership & Startup Coach, Active Listening, Five Levels of Listening from Stephen R Covey, To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink, Influence: Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini and All in Startup by Diana Kander. Keen listeners will have also heard reference to ‘Broad Stand’ in the first minute of this episode. If you have yet to ascend either of England’s two highest mountains ‘Scafell Pike’ (3,210 feet) and ‘Scafell’ (3,162 feet) you will probably be unaware that between these peaks is a place known as ‘Broad Stand’. It is here that the ‘walking stops and the climbing starts’ (climbing only recommended with appropriate equipment and skills). The vast majority of walkers make the sensible choice and take a lengthy detour via Foxes Tarn or tackle the ominous Lord’s Rake). Apologies, I digress.

Within Podcast 6 (Inspirational Leadership Parts 1 & 2), the following sources are all referenced: Jon Lo, entrepreneur and founder of Dare to Care Packages, Jon Lo featured on the BBC, Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss, Airtable, OptimoRoute and WooCommerce. Jon also references the notion that ideas occur at the intersection of disciplines which is thinking relating to the Medici Effect. Jon highlights the quote ‘You won’t always be motivated, you must learn to be disciplined’ as well as Makers 4 the NHS. Frank and Fev Dawson founded Castlehead Field Centre in 1978. This Cumbrian Centre is based in the Southern Lakes and is now owned by the Field Studies Council.

Within Podcast 7 (Effective Teamwork), the following sources are all referenced: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing by Bruce Tuckman; Kevin Hammond and Joey Tait from Ampersand Consulting; Five Dysfunctions of a Team from Patrick Lencioni; Vital Conversations by Alec Grimsley, Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman; The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters, the Business Data Platform Statista; and finally, the Simpsons episode that reveals the key to motivation.


Additional Reference Material

As word has spread about this podcast series, so additional reference material has been shared and suggested. If you would like to recommend any relevant resources, please message Peter Harrington via Linkedin. All suitable resources will be included below. Thank you for all support.


Thank You to the Champions

From inspiration through to support and distribution, this Startup Survival Podcast series would not have been possible but for the help of many. As a team ‘thank you’ I’m sharing details of all the champions who have helped to make this uncertain adventure a reality.

Firstly, a huge ‘thank-you’ to LJ Silverman at LSE Generate who deserves all praise and recognition for suggesting the original Startup Survival podcast idea. Then there’s Duncan Bennetts whose generosity, wonderful production skills and stunning ‘script to podcast’ turnaround speed made everything a reality.

And thank you to Temi for providing such a great audio to transcription service.

And to the growing group of wonderful people whose ideas, support, encouragement, contribution, distribution, promotion, critique and ‘good’ or ‘get better’ feedback has made this series such a joy and inspiration to be part of…

Kate Beresford, Alison Price, Jon Powell, Ruth Rowe, Philip Clegg, Martin Summerfield, Ngiam Tee Woh, Sadek Farrag, Yasmine Aggour, Sharon Heleine, Hang Do, Tony Robinson, Gilbert Zana Naab, Lucy Hatt, Colin Jones, Rachel Willcox, Caroline McCall, Katie Atkinson, Rob McWilliam, Septi Bakula, Vito Veneziano, Alison Gee, David Townsend, Tom Cooney, Rob Edwards, Matthew Draycott, David Bozward, Richard Hughes Jones, Andrea Bonacker, Kate Broadhurst, Simon Brown, Gill Gourlay, Margaret Korosec, Inge Hill, Simon Bedford, Chris Titley, Rhys Pearce-Palmer, Adrian Collier, Kat Mack, Matthew Anderson, Jay Bal, Jeff Skinner, Linsey Cole, Bonnie Hacking, Paul Brough Jones, Mike Ashwell, John Gamba, Bruce Snider, Samuel Mwaura, Frances Frei, Rachel Botsman, Ben Guthrie, Lesley Strachan, Jules Hall, Shauna McVeigh, Matteo Fortunato Condello, Kajal Sanghrajka, Philip Ashworth, Nicole Dupree, Mile Terziovski, Jon Lo, Yohan Iddawela, Alice Eddie, Vida Patil, Lucian Andrei, Donncha Hughes, Jorge Guedes, Herman Thom, Hitendra Solanki, John Hiscox, Derek Utley, Pelin Demirel, Olga Miler, Peter Allen, Andreas Kuckertz, Kiran Arokiasamy, Antonio Padilla-Meléndez, Amit Mishra, Cilla Richards, Robert Newbery, Mohd Arif, Amina Wakefield, Joshua Anthony, Deepak Kasthwal, Nina Lanzon, Anjali Ramachandran, Marcus O’Dair, Gaurav Singh, Emmanuel Godin, Patrick Dunne, Chris Jackson, Douglas Shand, Dhruv Bijoor,Tita Borshalina, Steven Barpalias, Tatiana Zalan, Polly Macpherson, Alice Eddie, Danielle Phillips, Lan Yin, Jean-Claude Junqua, Christopher Shannon, Jay Patel, Armin Honorasa, Kevin Hammond, Helen Hopper, Emma Chilvers, Maria Grogan, Sophie Neuhut, Cayetana Martinez, Anna Levett, Joeri Mol, Meena Chavan, Shishir Miglani, Antoniya Doneva, Jaco Burger, Nick Russill, Mahan Tavakoli, Eric Anthony Spieth, Matthew Gilbert, Dave Irwin, Mahmoud N. Kelany, Dhruv Goyal, Michael Openshaw, Barb Mason, Jem Henderson, Steve Rice, Suneel Kunamaneni, Joe Mahoney, Oscar Ramirez, Willard Kitchen, Laura Good, Joey Tait, Laura Campbell, Meg Harrington, John Nogrady, Nigel Adams, Kadeza Begum, Simon Krystman, Michael Clouser, Greg Monterrosa, Andrew Hirst, Tom Bowden, Lesley Scott, Vikas Goel, Sunil Samarth. Guillaume De Smedt, Sandra Taylor, Shishir Miglani, Neil Coles, Carl Dawson, Russell Manfield, Robert ‘Firebreath’, Vaishali Pagaria, Patricia Bradshaw, Erwin Schwella, Ramesh Ranjan, David Venter, Shopa Thapa Karki, Farah Fauzi, Jennifer Campbell, Abe Oliver, Justin Souter, Meg Pagani, Anne-Marie Walton, Mat Hughes, Emilie Mendy, Christine Beech, Detoun Ogwo, Andrew Hession-Kunz, Rachel Butler, Alex Green, Anthony Selley, Anthony Gray, Amit Vikram, Patrick Snyder, Ashwin Damera, Amanda Selveratnum, Jonathan Jewell, Christopher Cunningham, Jason Li-Ying, Lissa Gillott, Emmanuel Godin, Loughlin Nestor, Tui McKeown, Kevin Grant, Jonathan Jewell, Niklas Kuegler and hopefully many more…

I thank you.


startup survival

How to think from Crisis to Opportunity

Startup Survival Podcast

Join the conversation

Did you enjoy that?

Why not share it with your friends and followers using the links below...

  1. Facebook icon
  2. Twitter icon
  3. LinkedIn icon
  4. Google+ icon