MyVillage founders
Elizabeth Szymanski (right) and Erica Mackey

Good morning, Times of E readers. These are the week’s key headlines. 

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Can A Franchise Model Out Of Colorado Disrupt Daycare?

Changing the daycare system has turned out to be harder than it looks, with several startups hitting a basic problem: the platform model that is one of Silicon Valley’s go-to solutions may not work as well in daycare. Two veteran social entrepreneurs in Colorado and Montana might have found the answer.
An Emerging Markets Entrepreneur Negotiates After His Motorbike Hailing Startup Comes to Screeching Halt 
After the Lagos Ministry of Transport unexpectedly extended a ban to motorbike taxis, two co-founders are negotiating with the government. They need to get their 1,000 drivers back on the road and have $9 million in venture capital to live up to. The story sheds light on a little-recognized risk in emerging markets: Policy risk. Meanwhile, Nigeria announced a $268 million to back agriculture and technology innovators. 
Tall Order: Getting Investors To Back Their Principles With Cash
Portland entrepreneur Nitin Rai vowed he would never raise money again—but launching the Elevate Capital Inclusive Fund proved too tempting. It turned out to be the hardest thing he ever did, with investors hesitating to put their money where their mouths were. But his work is finally paying off: 65% of the founders the fund has backed are women, and 61% are entrepreneurs of color. 
Arabic-Language Parenting Portal Exits 
SuperMama raised two rounds of funding from strategic investors and grew to more than 5.5 million views monthly before making an exit. Now co-founder Yasmin ElMehairy is onto startup #2. Here, she shares her insights with other entrepreneurs.
Can Two True Entrepreneurs Govern Together?
Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg reached out to Andrew Yang about taking the vice-presidential slot, The Wall Street Journalreported.
Daymond John Turns His Attention To Veterans-Turned-Entrepreneurs 
The hip-hop clothing mogul behind FUBU will be guiding military veterans on refining their pitches in the Heroes to CEOs competition. His rationale? “They dedicated their lives to service, so they come with the perspective of ‘What can I do for this customer?’”
Turning Empty Storefronts into Startups in Akron 
The city of Akron, Ohio is offering $160,000 in grant money on the Rubber City Match Program, a new initiative to encourage founders to move into key neighborhood business districts. It follows the successful launch of the Great Streets program to spruce up commercial properties. 
Homie Eyes New Markets After Funding Success 
The real estate and mortgage lending startup Homie has moved into growth mode after closing a $23 million Series B round, with plans to expand beyond that Utah and Arizona and launch in Las Vegas, Boise, Colorado Springs, Seattle and Dallas.
Upcoming Events/Registration deadlines
Harvard Social Enterprise Conference
Location: Boston and Cambridge, Mass. 
March 7-8, 2020
Information is available here.
Presented by students at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, this two-day conference includes a pitch competition for entrepreneurs with life-transforming ideas or social enterprises that want to scale. 
Lauder Institute TrendLab Africa Symposium
Location: Philadelphia
March 19-20
Information is available here
This inaugural event is focused on bringing together profit and purpose, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, innovative financing and economic and social development. 
MIT Africa Innovate Conference
Location: Cambridge, Mass.
April 11, 2020
Information available here. Early-bird prices end March 11.
The 10thannual conference, hosted by the MIT Sloan Business Club, focuses on boosting Africa’s digital economy. 
SXSW’s Startup Tracks
Location: Austin, Texas
March 13-17, 2020
Information available here
Startup founders can learn about how to pivot after an exit, how deaf entrepreneurs are changing perception, and about the Zebras vs. Unicorns debate in this year’s sessions. One highlight is a pitching competition, where founders can compete for capital. 
Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator
Location: Birmingham, Ala.
Application deadline: April 5, 2020
Apply here
This 13-week program in Birmingham, Alabama, provides mentoring to startups creating innovative electrical and utility solutions. 
Young Entrepreneur Convention
Location: Ames, Iowa
Information available here.
The theme is “founders helping founders” at this one-day event, aimed at business owners in their teens and twenties, at Iowa State University.
— Compiled by Elaine Pofeldt 
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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