Times of Entrepreneurship
Stories of the Week

IRR Is A Vanity Metric
New Builders co-author and leading venture capitalist Seth Levine takes a straightforward look at VCs’ use of the internal rate of return as a measure of early fund performance. Take it with a grain of salt, he says.
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What You May Have Missed

The Pandemic Showed Us What Works
Three ideas for investments in infrastructure to make us healthier.
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Top Times of E Stories, May – May

White Men Are Now The Minority Of Business Owners In The United States

Square’s Jim McKelvey On The Messy Business Of Becoming A World-Changing Entrepreneur

How Michigan Grew Its Ecosystem And Became The State With The Fastest-Growing Venture Capital

20 Great Places To Start A Business After The Pandemic

A Palo Alto Networks Exec Emerges With Her Own Startup, Just As The Wartime Stakes Are Rising

A Far-Sighted Foundation And A Private Equity Magnate Pour $200M Into Portland

VC Fund Returns Are More Skewed Than You Think

Reinventing the Business Model For Food Production

A Young Tech Millionaire Moved To Boise. Here’s What He Found.

Why A New Boomtown Could Rise In Trinidad Colorado

This story is trending:
A Surprising New Tech Center Is Emerging In Upstate New York

Living the dream 

Buzzworthy The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and founding sponsor FedEx are launching a fund to provide $5,000 to small businesses affected by disaster, like hurricanes, that are happening more frequently and with more intensity. Small businesses need to get themselves into the database ahead of time, because the grants will be doled out geographically. More information here.

Best Practices Entrepreneur and former Google exec Lars Perkins was tapped to help Portland, Maine, become a tech hub. In a Times of E interview last year, he offered his advice to entrepreneurs getting started: “Don’t fall in love with your idea,” he said. It’s important to be open to learning customers’ needs and shifting business models to fit that.
The business idea is less important than the team. “What we’re really looking for is a team that can come in and learn from the experience.”
He also notes founders ought to have grit. “Startups aren’t for the faint of heart,” he said. “They are all consuming, and you have to be ready for something which is not a job, but a way of life, at least for a period of time. So, you really have to love what you’re doing because you’re going to be doing it a lot.

What I’m Reading

$200M For Minority Entrepreneurs: The Kauffman Foundation invested $10 million in a planned $100 million fund that will be invested with fund managers of color. The idea is that fund managers of color will be more likely to invest in entrepreneurs of color. This week, LISC also announced a $100 million fund for entrepreneurs of color. LISC is a non-profit finance institution.

I’ve been working on a story about redemption in American life (it’ll be published on Forbes soon). As I was reading some business thinkers on the big questions, I came across Clay Christensen’s classic piece in Harvard Business Review on how to measure your life.

PayPal and Venmo fees are rising. A lot of fintechs got big by promising their fees were lower for services provided by traditional financial companies. But it’s tricky to get the incentives in finance right – and over time, the fees tend to drift up.

And this powerful quote, which I found in USA Today, from Tony Allen, the president HBCU Delaware State University. The school’s women’s lacrosse team was traveling home when the bus was stopped by local police in Georgia and the team’s bags searched, ostensibly for drugs.

“It should not be lost on any of us,” Allen wrote, “how thin any day’s line is between customary and extraordinary, between humdrum and exceptional, between safe and victimized. That is true for us all but particularly so for communities of color and the institutions who serve them. The resultant feelings of disempowerment are always the aggressors’ object.”


4.5 Hour Workweek: A Productivity Hack

Now that people are back to in-person meetings, consider upping your note-taking skills. Actually writing, with a pen, will help you remember. And taking detailed notes is a time saver because you don’t have to follow up with questions to clarify what was discussed – or what’s falling on your plate.

Summer Vacation Leads

Travel & Leisure named the 50 best places to travel in 2022. Given inflation, crowds and lingering COVID restrictions, you might want to check out something else that’s NOT hitting the travel web sites. You can take a two-hour dugout canoe trip with the Yurok people in Northern California, visit the moonbows in Kentucky, ride with an outfitter in Montana, or travel with the Quapaw Canoe Company on the lower Mississippi.

Upcoming Opportunities 

To list an opportunity in our newsletter that reaches 13,000 influencers and entrepreneurs, check out our rates here. We cover the emerging economy of diverse founders:

Link: https://bit.ly/TimesofEOpportunities

1. Pepperdine Most Fundable Companies 

Annual startup competition run by Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School. Most Fundable Companies List winners will be featured in Entrepreneur™ Magazine and announced at the October Showcase in Malibu, CA. All US-based startups with <$10M annual revenue, in all industries, are eligible. They can be at any stage from pre-revenue/pre-seed through Series A. Affiliation with Pepperdine not required.

 Application Deadline: May 27
 Location: Application process is virtual. Finals in Malibu in October
 Link: https://pepperdine.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eQVHTLIhNLbdO3b?sp=TE

2. A Course To Reach the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

In this free course developed by entrepreneurship professor John Lynn, professors and other entrepreneurship educators get a curriculum and supporting materials based on the influential book, The New Builders.

 Date: N/A
 Location: N/A
Link: https://docsend.com/view/s/4gah7gde5yrguz8j

3. Black Ambition Prize

The Black Ambition Prize is a tiered opportunity for early-stage Black and Latinx founders to compete for more than $2,000,000 and learn with a network of talented founders and cross-sector business leaders. There’s also a separate Black Ambition HBCU Prize.

 Date: May 8
 Location: N/A
Link: blackambitionprize.com


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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 www.kauffman.org and connect with www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.

A business journalist for 20 years, am the founder of Times of Entrepreneurship and the co-author of The New Builders.