Becky Corbin

A note from our editor, Elizabeth MacBride

I’m thrilled to say that Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square (Block), founder of Invisibly and deputy chair of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, is joining us at our first Times of E event. I’ll interview him on the first day about innovation, data and fair finance. Join us for that and other great panels:

• Reimagining capitalism with the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
• Making the case for The New Builders, the next generation of entrepreneurs, with Seth Levine
• The Top 20 University Entrepreneurship Competitions, sponsored by YouNoodle
• Where to find funding for student entrepreneurs, and how to ask
• AND a rare honest discussion around how to navigate the business world as a woman (with Stacey Vanek Smith and Dina Sherif).

We have a few more free FoundersClub memberships to give out. Sign up for the event here:

Iterations of Hope

I used to read my children a wonderful book, My Ol’ Man, by Patricia Polacco, one of those authors who turns children’s books into literature by making reality, with all its joys, hopes and fears, manageable for children.

My Ol’ Man was about a traveling salesman who kept his hope alive – magically – during the Great Depression and ended up as a radio host, sharing stories of hope with others.

We call that generation, those who sustained their humanity through the Depression and World War II, “The Greatest.” Look at this story by Skyler Rossi about glass recyclers in New Orleans if you want a dose of sparkly hope this week.

And take a moment to consider whether this generation, coming of age during the pandemic, who will need to face down climate change and political hatred, will be another Greatest. I believe they will.

Deep in the deadly, bitter winter of the Northern Hemisphere, I’m also keeping in mind the wisdom of certain elders. Here’s Vaclav Havel, who suggested that there is another kind of hope, which I think awakens for most people as they age.

Hope … is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. The more unpromising the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper that hope is. Hope is not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. In short, I think that the deepest and most important form of hope, the only one that can keep us above water and urge us to good works, and the only true source of the breathtaking dimension of the human spirit and its efforts, is something we get, as it were, from “elsewhere.” It is also this hope, above all, that gives us the strength to live and continually to try new things, even in conditions that seem as hopeless as ours do, here and now.

Everyone has a role to play in maintaining hope in the face of pandemic waves, political hatred and climate pain. Entrepreneurs more than most. The best entrepreneurs, young and old, derive power from hope to reshape the world.

Times of Entrepreneurship
Stories of the Week

A $750,000 Act of Kindness Helped a Woman Launch a Healing House for the Formerly Incarcerated

Stacey Borden Had Spent Decades In and Out of Prison. An Entrepreneurship Course Enabled Her to Realize a Dream of Helping Other Women Avoid that Cycle.

Read the Story »

Forgotten No More: How Verloop’s Founder Turned Deadstock Yarn into a Bold Brand

How a Hong Kong-based Company with a Dutch Name Grew into a Staple in Museum Shops.

Read the Story »

Changemakers: Meet The Young Entrepreneurs Tackling New Orleans’ Glass Problem

On a Whim, Two University Students Started Recycling Wine Bottles in Their Backyard. Now, They Have a Quarter-Million-Dollar Business.

Read the Story »

Report: The Downsides of ‘Nebraska Nice’

Influential Business Leaders in the Cornhusker State Offer Surprising Fixes to Spur Entrepreneurship. A One-Stop Shop Would Help, They Say.

Read the Story »

You may have missed 

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. Read it here.

Eco-Depression is on the Rise. Here’s How University Students are Coping Most New Ventures in Universities Include a Sustainability Component. Read it here.

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. Read it here.

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. Read it here.

Living the dream 

Best Practices: Times of E is hosting Challenges Met, Opportunities Ahead, the premier virtual event this year for learning about the future of entrepreneurship in universities for professionals, professors, and students, from Jan. 26-28. The event includes the unveiling of this year’s Top List of University Entrepreneurship Competitions. Get your tickets for less than $100.

Buzzworthy: Poet Amanda Gorman reflects on this moment in time in her first poetry collection, Call Us What We Carry. Her poetry focuses on the collective grief of the pandemic, exploring history, language, identity, and erasure. The collection includes “The Hill We Climb,” which she performed at President Biden’s inauguration.


The 4.5 hour workweek: A productivity hack

The Guardian columnist Oliver Burkeman spent years trying and reflecting on time management techniques, but he couldn’t manage his time in a meaningful way until he let go, he told Guardian podcast producer Hannah Moore. Once you accept you’ll never get to the end of your to-do list and you’re not going to have time for everything, you can focus on spending time on the things that matter most, he said.

Wanderlust : a restaurant or activity from our Top Ecosystems list

Next time you’re visiting Seattle, stop by Zylberschtein’s for a sandwich or fresh baked goods. The Jewish deli and bakery owned by Josh Grunig offers breads, bagels, smoked meats and other tasty foods from family recipes. The spot has “some of the best bagels in town,” according to Eater.

Made in the USA

Looking to upgrade your cooking gear? Consider a set of All-Clad pots and pans, bonded, engineered and assembled in the U.S. This set of six pots and pans plus lids is made from the company’s D3 everyday stainless steel and goes for $599.99. The Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based company has been manufacturing its cookware since 1967.

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. $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

3. 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.

 Date: N/A
 Location: Miami and Missouri
 Miami Link:
 Missouri Link:

4. 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.

5. 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

6. 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


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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

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