Erica Studer-Byrnes is the new assistant dean at University of Florida Warrington’s Heavener School of Business

Welcome to The Hub, your spot for ecosystem and accelerator news. In this news roundup, we provide you with the latest on organizations working to support, educate and fund innovators and their ideas. We’ll highlight cohort applications, people to know in the incubator world and programs working to give resources to those who typically don’t have access elsewhere. As always, we’re focused on underrepresented entrepreneurs — such as women, people of color, and those geographically outside power centers — and organizations supporting these demographics. 

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Record Year for Tel Aviv Tech

Tel Aviv’s tech sector boomed last year, despite the pandemic, a June report written by Tel Aviv Yafo’s Municipality’s Center for Economic & Social Research, Tel Aviv Global & Tourism and IVC Research Center outlines. 

As is true with the rest of the region, Tel Aviv tech companies have seen more funding flowing in. 2020 was a record year for Tel Aviv, with $6.8 billion raised by tech companies, which includes companies headquartered in the city or with a branch office in the city. Additionally, the year marks a record year of exits, with a total exit value of $4.4 billion across 53 deals.

RELATED: A Familiar Pattern Emerges In MENA Tech

The number of tech companies in the city has grown at a faster rate than the rest of Israel. In Tel Aviv, the number increased by 25% during the past five years, 2,203 to 2,750 according to the report. Plus, 116 of those were created in 2020. Meanwhile, the number of tech companies increased by 16% in the entire country.

The number of foreign research and development centers in the city has also been on the rise. The city’s total is now 115, up 35 centers from 2016’s 80 centers. 

Scaleup companies in the region receive $4.1 billion, compared to $2.82 billion the year prior. About 40% of the city’s scaleups secured an average of $66 million per deal, according to the report. 

Investors mainly come from foreign countries, mainly from the U.S, but from 35 countries such as Germany, the UK and Canada, according to the report.

“Tel Aviv’s talent is a magnet for multinational corporations and foreign investors who join the growing local scene of innovators,” says Ron Huldai, the mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo in a news release. “The tech industry demonstrated its value to our city and country throughout this challenging year.”


$1 Million for Entrepreneurship at Arkansas Liberal Arts School Lyon College 

The Wilson family, a prominent Arkansan family, made a $1 million donation to Batesville, Arkansas liberal arts school Lyon College to jump start its entrepreneurship program, Arkansas Business reports. Perry Wilson is a Little Rock-based attorney and chairman of the college’s board. The donation will create the endowed Michael E. Wilson Professorship of Business, Management and Social Entrepreneurship, which Wilson named after his father, who served on the board for years before he died in 2008, according to the article.  

The donation is one of many the school hopes to procure, as it builds its Institute for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, according to the article. It plans to establish a full program, including a business incubator, according to the article. 

RELATED: Transylvania U To Launch Entrepreneurship Center

North England Women Investor Collective Partners With Major UK Bank 

North England-based regional volunteer collective Fund Her North has partnered with London-based bank NatWest in hopes to support more women entrepreneurs in Northern England, BusinessLive reports. The move is the first of its kind in the country. Fund Her North, which was founded in October, is a collective of more than 28 female investors with a combined investment power of more than about $619 million (or £450 million). The partnership falls into NatWest’s commitment to fund more enterprises in the fallout of the virus, according to the article.  

Names to Know

Erica Studer-Byrnes is the new assistant dean and director at the University of Florida Warrington’s Heavener School of Business, according to a university announcement. She is the first woman to hold the position, according to the article. Studer-Byrnes has bachelor, masters and PhD degrees from the university, and previously was the business school’s associate director, according to the announcement.  

Darlene Mabins stepped into the role of executive director at Springfield, Missouri-based Minorities in Business July 1, KY3 News reports. The organization, which operates out of the Missouri State University accelerator efactory, supports women and other minority owned businesses. Previously, Mabins spent 17 years in bank management. She’s also the co-owner of Springfield-based Drain Pro Plumbing, according to the article.

Open Applications

Which Techstars Works For You?

Applications for a handful of Boulder, Colorado-based Techstars programs across the U.S. are due July 28. All of Techstars’ programs are geared toward early-stage entrepreneurs and offer $20,000 in funding for 6% equity and networking, according to its FAQ section. Accepted companies in mentor-driven accelerators also are offered an optional $100,000 convertible note. The program locations due this week are Boston, Baltimore, Washington D.C, Denver and Minneapolis. Each program has a slightly different focus:

  • The Boston program is one of Techstars’ general programs and is open to any entrepreneur in the area who is interested. 
  • The Baltimore program is seeking entrepreneurs in “underestimated communities” or those developing technology that aims to “increase access and equity across society. 
  • The Washington D.C. program is in partnership with Melinda French Gates’ Pivotal Ventures and is seeking entrepreneurs looking to innovate unmet needs of older adults and their caregivers.
  • The Denver program is looking for entrepreneurs focused on solving labor market challenges.
  • The Minneapolis program, a partnership with the Minnesota Twins, is focused on innovation in technology, sports and entertainment. 

READ MORE: Minneapolis Twins Team Up with TechStars for New Accelerator

Applications for these programs and more that are due later this year are on Techstars’ website.

Winning Woman Entrepreneur Will Compete For $100k In Dubai 

TiE Boston, an entrepreneurship networking group, is hosting a pitch competition for women founders based in New England on Sept. 15, according to its website. The winner will receive $5,000, second place will receive $3,000 and third place will receive $1,000. The winner will also travel to Dubai to compete at the TiE Women Global Pitch Competition to compete for $100,000, representing Boston. Applications are open.

Fellowship For Social Enterprise 

IDEX, an accelerator launched by Atlanta-based Gray Capital Matters, is searching for it’s next class of fellows, according to its website. The six-month, virtual program will provide training to professionals to meet the demands of the social enterprise and impact sector, its website outlines. Selected professionals can expect to dedicate eight to 10 hours per week.  Applications are due Oct. 31.

Dallas Nonprofit To Launch Social Innovation Accelerator

The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is launching a social innovation incubator to address systemic racism and gender inequalities this fall, NTX Inno reports. The incubator will be the second program the organization runs focused on social innovation — it’s run a social innovation accelerator with Accenture for years, according to the article. The 12-week program is sponsored by Dallas-based Comercia, and will offer mentorship, and training to women and people of color. Non- and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Selected entrepreneurs will receive seed funding, as well as a chance to win $5,000 at a pitch competition, according to the article. Applications are due August 1.

$10,000 Western Iowa Pitch Competition

Applications are open for the annual $10,000 REV pitch competition in Council Bluffs, Iowa, according to a news release. Treynor, Iowa-based TS Bank started the event in 2015 and is the primary sponsor, as well as ten other local organizations. The event will be hosted by Council Bluffs-based Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation. Five selected teams will pitch to a panel of judges, who will decide how they’d like to divy up the $10,000. Last year, the winning team was awarded $5,000. The event will be held in person on Oct. 19.  Applications are due Sept. 10.

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 and connect with and