Left to right: Ashley DeWalt (DivInc Houston Managing Director), Kim Roxie (Founder, LAMIK and DivInc alumna), Isis Ashford (Co-founder, Xplosion Tech and DivInc alumna), Joy Hutton (DivInc Houston Program Director), Grace Rodriguez (CEO and Executive Director of Impact Hub Houston), Preston L. James II (CEO and Co-Founder of DivInc). Photo credit: Nijalon Du’Boi.

Happy weekend! Times of E readers. This is your weekly news roundup.  Every Friday, we’ll give you the rundown on the latest news in the entrepreneurship world so you can stay in touch with promotions, recent studies, pitching opportunities and more. 

If you have a piece of news, please send it to Skyler Rossi, srossi@timesofe.com.

Intern To Become A VC

HBCUvc, a San Francisco-based nonprofit fellowship program that trains and mentors Black, Indigenous and Latinx students in venture capital announced its summer program Friday. The programconnects participants with VC firms. More than 30 firms have committed, including Los Angeles-based Crosscut, Los Angeles-based Slauson & Co. and San Francisco-based Obvious Ventures, according to a news release. HBCUvc will train interns for two weeks before they complete an eight week paid internship with the firms. It’s expanded its program with help from Chicago-based 50 South Capital and San Francisco-based Concrete Rose Community Foundation. Applications are open until March 19. Full-time undergraduate students with at least 30 credit hours completed, full-time graduate students, those accepted into a full-time graduate program that starts in the fall or those who graduated from a university in 2018 or later can apply, according to the release.

Women In Innovation Finds Members Outside The Obvious

Women in Innovation, a New York City-based professional group for anyone identifying as a woman, has been expanding its reach. The group has physical roots in San Francisco, New York City and London and previously was only accessible there, but since the onset of the pandemic, it has introduced virtual options. 

In October, the organization launched the WIN Hub, a remote component to its prior in-person events. The hub got attention from people outside its in-person locations. Over half of its 656 virtual members, 150 or so of which joined last month, are from outside these places, many living in Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, according to WIN global executive director Aubrie Fennecken. The group has physical roots in San Francisco, New York City and London and previously was only accessible there.

The group also launched a podcast last year, called WIN/WIN. It’s a way to open the conversation about leading women innovators to people outside their group, Fennecken said. Its host, Zoia Kozakov, interviews women who “carved careers in the historically male-dominated innovation space,” according to its website.

WIN is still working on how to offer itshow to navigate its virtual component once working from home dies down, but Fennecken says the virtual component is here to stay.  It’s currently testing out a few options, such as its learning cohort partnership with finance education group Ready.Steady.Money, the first of which launches Feb 9. The five-week course will coach its attendees how to have a better relationship with money so they have more choices in their careers. Ready.Steady.Money tailored their course for women in innovation specifically, Fennecken said. Attendees will also have 24/7 access to its coaches to anonymously ask finance-related questions. It’s $170 for WIN community members, (the community is free to join)which is free to join and $450 for non-members.

DivInc Expands With Support From JPMorgan, Verizon

Austin, Texas-based nonprofit DivInc, announced last week that it’s expanding its programs to Houston and will be offering startups seed funding directly for the first time, according to a news release. The accelerator, which was founded in 2016, supports minority entrepreneurs who want to grow their companies. The organization will be housed at midtown Houston’s The Ion, a 280,000 square foot entrepreneurial collaboration space, which secured $605,000 over three years for DivInc to run its program there. DivInc also received $250,000 from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to fund the expansion into Houston and $175,000 from Verizon to fund the accelerator program, according to the release. The Houston location is accepting applications for its virtual spring 2021 cohort, which is focused on innovations in 5G technology, through Feb. 19. 

Hubspot Acquires The Hustle

Hubspot, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company that provides software support and web development to companies, announced it has acquired media company The Hustle Wednesday, according to a news release.  The Hustle produces podcasts, newsletters and videos on business topics for its over 1.5 million readers and listeners. The acquisition will allow HubSpot to provide more relevant content to its clients, according to the release.

Property Technology Program in United Arab Emirates

Aldar Properties, a Abu Dhabi-based developer, launched a global innovation program focused on property technology this week, according to a release. The program will allow selected startups to conduct pilot projects with Aldar and other leading industry players. Selected startups will also be shortlisted for Abu-Dubai’s tech ecosystem Hub71’s Incentive Programme, which offers more than $400,000 worth of equity-free subsidies, free housing, health insurance and WeWork office space for up to three years. The program is a partnership with Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator startAD and powered by contracting group Tamkeen.

$1.2 Billion for Southwest Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh-based Richard King Mellon Foundation, which has a projected 2020 endowment of $3.1 billion, announced last week a 10-year plan to invest $1.2 billion into Southwestern Pennsylvania, according to a news release. Among other goals, the foundation wants to advance economic development and conservation in the area.The foundation announced that nonprofits and businesses focused on social impact should  submit ideas. 

Wealth Trumps Intellect In Likelihood of Becoming an Entrepreneur

Turns out your parents income affects how likely you are to become an entrepreneur, more than your intellect. That’s what a recent study done by Israel’s Finance Ministry found, The Jerusalem Post reported. Researchers, led by chief economist Yona Hackett looked at a group of Israeli entrepreneurs ages 25-35 from a dataset of how many? and compared their academic achievements and demographics. People whose parents were in the top 20% of income and scored in the lower 50% in math on the Meitzav academic achievement test had a better chance of becoming an entrepreneur than people whose parents’ income was in the lower 60% but scored in the top 10% in math, the Jerusalem Post reports the study found. When people come from wealthier families, it provides an “economic safety net in the event of failure,” the Jerusalem Post reports study states. The researchers  also saw a “significant connection” between parents’ level of education and how likely you are to become an entrepreneur, according to the article.

Tweet of the Week

That’s Victor Hwang, former head of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation, who founded the entrepreneurial policy campaign Right to Start last year. With a new administration and beginning stages of the vaccine underway, a point of rebuilding the economy looms. Many, including Hwang, say entrepreneurship is its backbone, and policymakers ought to start there. 

RELATED: Read our coverage of what entrepreneurship will likely look at under the Biden Administration: Hopes And Fears For Entrepreneurs Under Biden Administration

Entrepreneur Spotlight

No one knows how many of the 24 million small businesses in the United States closed last year, but the number, when tallied, is likely to surpass one million. But some tiny companies have turned a corner and head into 2021 shaken and changed, but alive.

Daniel Cruz quit his day job in February to build washbnb, a company that provides linens for Airbnb hosts, vacation rental managers and hotels. His plan was to make ends meet through his Airbnb rentals and his gig as a bartender, he said. Little did he know, a global pandemic was about to hit. When it did, it felt like AirbNb travel might never return, Cruz said. 

Read the full story: 2020 Survivor Story: Milwaukee-based washbnb Spins Toward A New Market, Hotels

Also, read the second profile in this series: 2020 Survivor Story: An Egyptian Vegan Food Maker, Koshari Mama, Cut Back And Started Delivering

Stay tuned for more stories of businesses who survived 2020. 

This story and others on New Builders Dispatch 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.