Will Smith, Kevin Hart, a16z back virtual events startup Run the World


Will Smith and Kevin Hart pose backstage at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on April 9, 2016 in Burbank, California.

Jason Kempin | MTV1415 | Getty Images for MTV

Xiaoyin Qu never predicted how relevant her app would become in a pandemic. The former Facebook employee originally set up Run The World, an online events platform, to reduce the barriers involved in attending big in-person conferences.

She caught a glimpse of the sudden surge in demand for virtual events back in February, as health fears around the coronavirus outbreak resulted in the cancellation of several big

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