A note from our editor, Elizabeth MacBride
At our virtual event about the Future of Entrepreneurship in Universities, we’re going to talk about questions like: Higher Education Disruption: Will Your Job Be There in 10 Years? And, Stacey Vanek Smith and I will talk about the realities of being a woman in the workplace (I’m looking for a woman in academics to join us in the discussion – please send ideas to [email protected]). And especially for students, join us for the panel on Funding Options for Student Ventures. Due to Omicron, we extended early bird ticket sales. Tickets are $79 and $499 for groups of up to 20. Sign up here.
I also want to draw attention to Nate Wong’s new executive coaching practice — info at the bottom of this email. Nate’s a top thinker in impact investing and entrepreneurship, and I personally found his coaching sharp and supportive as I thought about my impact in the world a few years ago. That journey eventually ended in launching Times of E.
It’s interesting, isn’t it, that the name we remember from the terrible economic depression of late 1700s France is Marie Antoinette? She became a symbol, maybe somewhat wrongly, of the willful ignorance of the wealthy for the realities of life lived by everybody else. Economic fear. Poverty. Hunger.
Watching the conviction of Elizabeth Holmes this week, I wondered if she’s the Marie Antoinette of our time. Women are so easily objectified. Most of the commentary focused on Holmes as a symbol of the way Silicon Valley has walled itself off from reality.
Well, I agree with that. But the way the story is framed puts the focus on what’s happening inside the walls – how could the Silicon Valley investors be so foolish, as to believe a woman’s lies? But the more important events are happening outside the walls.
In other words, you can spend all the time you want fascinated by the corrupt decadence of the monarchy, but the people are the real power. On the anniversary of Jan. 6, it’s convenient to see Donald Trump’s supporters only through a lens of racism and corrupt conservatism, but I think it’s also the profound sense of disconnection – partly economic and partly societal — that is fueling the movement now. Technology in the service of big companies has a lot to do with that sense of disconnection.
A year ago, I was on a reporting trip in the Arkansas Delta. In the decimated town of Helena, Arkansas, an old industrial center, I worried about the tap water. The only place to get bottled water (or groceries at all) was the Wal-Mart. Just past the cash register, I found a small memorial table set up for a worker who’d recently died, maybe of Covid. She had gone undiscovered for a week in her apartment. Her memorial was a blown-up, poor-quality photo next to a vase of artificial flowers. “That so sad,” I said to the cashier who told me the story.
She was surprised that I cared, and shrugged.
I don’t mean to be depressing as we start the New Year, just very cautious about slipping back into any bubbles of happy ignorance. I found some of the brightest sparks of hope on that trip, which we wrote about. There is always hope; and right now, there are a lot of New Builders at work. Here’s another, Stacey Borden, who is building a healing house for formerly incarcerated women.
The trick is to recognize the hope without losing sight of the rest of reality.
Times of Entrepreneurship Stories of the Week
As the Pandemic Bears Down, An Innovator Steps Up To Solve the Digital Divide
What One Successful Entrepreneur in Oakland is up Against: Complexity, the Government and a Lack of Long-Term Funding.
University Pitch Competitions Plan Cautiously for In-Person Events as Global Reach Expands
With One Wary Eye on Omicron, Entrepreneurship Directors Say the Spring Season Looks Distanced, but In-Person.
A Startup from Washington University Wants to Make Clothing Sizes Universal
As E-Commerce Explodes, so Does the Number of Returns. That’s Bad for People, Companies and the Environment.
Suck It Up, Buttercup: Tough Tactics For Women To Win The Workplace
Times of E Founder and Editor, Elizabeth MacBride, Provides Tips for Women and Moms to Own the Workplace.
You may have missed
They’re Crucial to the U.S. Economy. But Small Business Owners Say They Are at the End of Their Ropes as Omicron Sweeps Across U.S. A Complex Array of Government Aid Complicates the Picture; ‘Eerie, Slightly Traumatic, Deja Vu’: How Founders Are Navigating the Latest Wave of the Pandemic. Read it here.
Innovation Surges in Arkansas, but White Men Received 100% of Arkansas’ Venture Capital Funding in 2020, Report Shows University of Arkansas Found Six VC Deals in the State, but Patents Have Been Climbing Steadily. Read it here.
Problem Solved: How New and Holdout Business Owners Can Get Online Plus, the Basics: Rules for Building an Online Presence. Read it here.
The Day Jeff Bezos Sent A Severed Horse Head To Square In This Excerpt from The Innovation Stack, Jim McKelvey Talks About Facing Down a Competitive Threat from Amazon. Read it here.
Living the dream 💭
Best Practices: To avoid burnout, be intentional about how you use your energy, Nate Zinsser, who runs the performance psychology department at West Point, told Bloomberg. Only spend energy in places that serve you well, he says. Don’t waste it on negative emotions, such as anger or fear, when they won’t do you any good. He also suggests teaching yourself to relax on cue – a skill that quiets a chattery mind and avoids sleepless nights, which affect your energy, he says. Zinsser shared these tips as a preview to his upcoming book,The Confident Mind: A Battle-Tested Guide to Unshakable Performance.
Buzzworthy: In her new book The Power of Fun: How To Feel Alive Again, science journalist Catherine Price makes the case for the importance of fun in human well-being – a state many consider as indulgent or unnecessary. She discusses the benefits of real fun – which is not “doom scrolling” or bingeing TV – and how to make time for it without feeling overwhelmed.
The 4.5 hour workweek: A productivity hack
It’s the time of year for resolutions, but do you struggle to keep up with them? Productivity writer and podcaster Tim Ferriss suggests trying a “past year review” strategy instead. Go through your year and list out the most positive and negative parts. Then schedule the top positive experiences into the new year to ensure you’ll dedicate time to them. Business Insider writer Stephen Jones tried the strategy and writes more about it here.
Wanderlust : a restaurant or activity from our Top Ecosystems list
When you’re in Raleigh, North Carolina for a business trip, check out Bella Monica for dinner. The Italian restaurant on Edwards Mill Road offers meatballs, baked ziti and veal bolognese, among other Italian favorites – “an extension of Nana’s table.” Try a cannoli for dessert, too!
Made in the USA
Wanting to up your look in 2022? Consider these earrings from Detroit-based Rebel Nell. The gold set is made from repurposed pieces of graffiti that have fallen off walls and buildings in Detroit. This specific set was made with the “take no sh*t lady in all of us” in mind. The pair costs $70.
Rebel Nell sells bracelets, rings, cufflinks and other jewelry made from crumbled pieces of graffiti. The business, which launched in 2013, employs women who have faced barriers to employment – many who are transitioning out of homelessness.
Find more socially-responsible items on this list of Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship alumni. Sponsored by the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship.
Upcoming Opportunities ⭐
To list an opportunity in our newsletter, check out our rates here. We cover the emerging economy of diverse founders:
1. The Times of E’s first event: Challenges Met, Opportunities Ahead
Gather with other university entrepreneurship professionals, professors and students to hear from NPR’s Planet Money co-host Stacey Vanek Smith, Foundry Group Managing Director Seth Levine, George Washington University’s Associate Director of Student Entrepreneurship Programs Scott Stein, The Ask author Laura Fredericks and Times of E founder and editor Elizabeth MacBride. Levine and MacBride are co-authors of The New Builders.
📅 Date: Jan. 26-Jan. 28, 2021
🏢 Location: Virtual
2. StichCrew’s New Accelerator for Women
StitchCrew has re-launched to focus on women and non-binary founders. The ideal applicant has already achieved some revenue, can show demand through paying customers and are ready to take their company to the next level. You don’t need to have a venture-backable idea. Companies who have raised or are making more than $1,000,000 in revenue do not qualify. We are not trying to exclude anyone but would rather focus on those who can’t afford to join private networks and coaching. StichCrew is based in Oklahoma City but the accelerator is mostly virtual (some meetings could be in-person). See Times of E’s coverage of one of the founders of the new accelerator: A Bad-Ass Woman in Oklahoma City Gets the Credit She Deserves.
📅 Date: Feb. 2022 – Feb. 2023
🏢 Location: Mostly virtual
3. $10K Grant for Restaurants
DoorDash and Hello Allce are running this grant program for restaurants affected by federally declared natural disasters, such as the recent tornados and winds in the Midwest.
📅 Date: Applications close Jan. 31
🏢 Location: N/A
4. Right to Start Seeking Part-time Advocates
Help revitalize the Missouri or Miami economy by supporting entrepreneurs in your community. That includes all types of small businesses, home-based businesses, independent contractors, freelancers, and “side hustlers.” You don’t need a degree in business. You need to be a “connector” — someone who is trusted in the community who can open doors, find the right people, and work closely with small business owners. Join the Right to Start coalition by becoming an Advocate in Miami or Missouri.
5. The Federation of American Scientists Seeking Entrepreneurship and Regional Innovation Lead
The Federation of American Scientists is seeking a lead to manage a growing portfolio of work focused on entrepreneurship and regional innovation, with a focus on helping regional actors access high-impact federal resources. Please spread the word!
📅 Date: N/A
🏢 Location: Washington, D.C.
🔗 Link: https://lnkd.in/dENQ7ga
6. Executive Leadership Coaching with Nathan Wong
If you’re looking for executive leadership coaching, Nate Wong has a few openings for social impact leaders who are redefining what it even means to be a leader (particularly those who may have been considered the first, few, or only in their respective fields). Read and connect with him at the link below.
📅 Date: N/A
🏢 Location: N/A
🔗 Link: https://www.natewong.com/coaching
7. Connect with Unreasonable
Unreasonable is an international company that supports a Fellowship for growth-stage entrepreneurs, channels exclusive deal-flow to investors, and partners with institutions to discover profit in solving global problems. They are currently hiring for multiple open positions.
📅 Date: N/A
🏢 Location: Multiple
🔗 Link: https://unreasonablegroup.com/connect
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This story and others on Times of E are made possible by a sponsorship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that provides access to opportunities that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation uses its grantmaking, research, programs, and initiatives to support the start and growth of new businesses, a more prepared workforce, and stronger communities. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.