A note from our editor, Elizabeth MacBride:

The business press is full of reasons the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against Google doesn’t matter. Competition will take care of Google’s power in the market, The Information’s reporters point out.  DealBook says partisan infighting will take the heat off big tech.

Both lines of thinking miss the forest for the trees. The lawsuit – the DOJ called Google a “monopoly gatekeeper of the internet” with 92% of traffic worldwide — may not be practically important. Actions by the U.S. Congress are a lagging indicator (in fact, other governments have been taking antitrust actions against the tech companies for years). But it is a sign of a sea change in the business world. Two layers of the narrative are evolving, which tells me the next wave of societal-business innovation is around the corner.

First, the Chicago school of economics is falling out of favor. That movement, which rationalized the ruthless pursuit of corporate profits and ushered in an era of go-big-or-go-home, ended what Maurice Stucke and Ariel Ezrachi argued was the golden age of anti-trust, from the 1940s to the late 1970s. In that era, they wrote in HBR, antitrust “came to represent the Magna Carta of free enterprise – it was seen as the key to preserving economic and political freedom.” Are we flipping the page now, to refocus on fair competition and innovation, rather than efficiency-driven profit? Perhaps.

It’s always emotion that drives real change. The second layer of changing narrative: We’ve been stuck at home for seven months, living with the growing realization that you cannot replace human beings with technology. Fiddling with your phone is no substitute for being with the people you love. Teaching happens best in person. And it’s clear how vulnerable so many people were in an economy that had has for 50 years placed the ideas of efficiency, size and financial return above values like fairness and compassion.

Whoever had the idea software should eat people? It was a bunch of young guys in Silicon Valley acting in concert with practiced minds at New York finance firms, enabled by Milton Friedman’s brilliant rationalization of ruthlessness. It’s so much easier for a society of business people not to care, but it only works for a while. The antitrust case is a reminder that we — by we, I mean all of us — govern the invisible hand. By the time the shifts emerge into consciousness, they’re already made.

— Elizabeth MacBride, founder of Times of Entrepreneurship

Times of Entrepreneurship Stories of the Week

Rare In Every Way, A Clean Tech Company Emerges From Southwest Virginia’s Coal Country

Karen “Tornado Lady” Sorber powered the company’s growth through 13 years and $6 million in grants.

Read the Story »

Portrait of R.Shelton

This Illinois Company Developed A New Way To Diagnose Ear Infections That Could Help Millions

Photonicare’s story shows what kinds of support are critical for founders in science innovation.

Read the Story»

Under Development: New $100 Million Fund Of Funds For VCs Of Color

The Kauffman Foundation makes a $1.67 million grant to Living Cities to support research into fund structure.

Read the Story»

Important Stories from Elsewhere

McConnell Casts Doubt On Massive Pre-Election Day Stimulus Deal As Pelosi Sounds Upbeat About Talks With Administration
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to resume talks with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin today. Pelosi said Tuesday the two were close to resolving a sticking point over money for coronavirus testing and contact tracing.

Google Abuses Its Monopoly Power Over Search, Justice Department Says in Lawsuit
The federal government takes its most significant legal action in more than two decades to confront a technology giant’s power.

Billionaires By The Numbers
Track the growth in total wealth by U.S. billionaires since the pandemic. During this time, more than 50 million people lost their jobs.

A Female Founder Takes On PE’s Patriarchs
Suzanne Yoon is managing partner at one of the few private equity firms founded or co-founded by women. Here is her take on how to break out of groupthink in the investing industry.

Abby Disney Calls Out America’s Corporations, Including Disney
Days of putting profits over public interest, prioritizing shareholders over other stakeholders and offering unreasonable executive compensation instead of providing for frontline employees must end, she said. (Disclosure: Disney is a supporter of Times of E).

Quarterly VC Funding For Female Founders Drops To Three-Year Low
“When it comes to unraveling systemic racial and gender bias in the investment community, this data affirms that we are only at the beginning of a very long and difficult fight,” said Melissa Withers, who co-founded RevUp Capital in 2015.

The Underappreciated Value Of America’s Community Colleges
They can play a larger role in rebuilding economies, breathing life into broken communities and enhancing diversity.

The Four Quadrants of Conformism
Venture capitalist Paul Graham’s take on why independent thinkers are getting muzzled—and what will happen when they do.

Detroit Demo Day Awards $1 Million To Local Entrepreneurs
Paralee Boyd received the top $200,000 prize for its streamlined salon.

You May Have Missed

Chasing the Sun
A solar entrepreneur who grew up in rural Arkansas hits headwinds in the U.S.’s politically driven innovation landscape
How To Turn A Solar Panel Into A Status Symbol
A Massachusetts-based entrepreneur makes solar “skins” to overcome aesthetic objections.
‘We’re On A Rocket Ship:’ Fiveable, Reaching 100,000 Students A Week, Lands $2.3 Million. One Investor Is Chelsea Clinton
The company offers Advanced Placement test prep, and a social network for students.

Resource of the week

White Paper: Early-Stage Funding: Options, Sources and Consequences 
from University of Arizona’s Forge

Venture Capital Spotlight

Arch Venture Partners
Chicago (locations also in Seattle, San Francisco and Dublin, Ireland)

What it is: Founded in 1986, Arch Venture Partners focuses on investing in transformative, early stage biotechnology and advanced life and physical science technology companies. The firm focuses on commercializing technologies developed at universities and colleges, corporate research groups and national laboratories. ARCH invests primarily in companies it co-founds with scientists and entrepreneurs. The firm closed on two new funds, ARCH Venture Fund X and ARCH Venture Fund X Overage, totaling $1.46 billion in April 2020. 

Leadership: Founded by Keith Crandell and Robert Nelsen, managing directors and long-time financiers.

Investment style/track record: The firm makes investments ranging from $50,000 to $150 million in science companies. Some of their early stage investments are companies that have gone public or were acquired and include Illumina, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Juno Therapeutics, Receptos, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Vir Biotechnology, Sage Therapeutics, bluebird bio, Codiak Biosciences, Denali Therapeutics, GRAIL, Karuna Therapeutics, Beam Therapeutics, and Lyell Immunopharma.

The firm’s previous funds raised $1.6 billion – ARCH Venture Fund IX and ARCH Venture Fund IX Overage both closed in 2016 with a combined $1.1 billion while in 2014 ARCH Venture Fund VIII and ARCH Venture Fund VIII Overage closed with a combined $560 million.

Quote: “Generations that have become used to apps like Uber and Instacart are going to get really annoyed with the way healthcare is currently set up,” said Kristina Burow, managing partner in a Forbes article. “You’ll make money if the science is there and you’re making an impact on patients’ lives.”


Freelance Business Month Virtual
Dates: Oct. 1-31, 2020
Location: Virtual
Information available here.

This free month-long event, designed to unite the European freelance ecosystem, offers daily events, including online sessions, workshops and masterclasses for freelancers who want to build their businesses. 

Plantiers World Gathering
Date: October 16-21, 2020
Location: Lisbon, Spain or virtual
Information available here.

This giant sustainability conference is focused on educating the next generation on the importance of sustainability through live talks and workshops. Startups will have the opportunity spend two days networking with investors.   

SOCAP Virtual: A Global Impact Summit 
Location: Virtual
Dates: October 19-23
Information available here.

The Future of Work, Accelerated
Date: October 22, Noon-1 pm ET
Location: Virtual
Information available here.

At this event hosted by Columbia Business School, Kay Fernandez, SVP of marketing for Konica  Minolta; Stephen Gorman, professor of business at Columbia Business School and Michael Quiroga, CEO of Visible, will discuss how to build effective relationships between companies, employees and society at large during COVID-19.

This gathering of global change-makers aims to address the world’s toughest challenges through market-based solutions. 

Universty of Wyoming 21st Annual Entrepreneurship Competition
Registration deadline:  October 23, 2020
Location: Virtual (pitch competition)
Information available here.

Open to college students across Wyoming, this competition includes two tracks: nascent businesses and established businesses. Applicants will compete for $50,000 in prizes.

Young Entrepreneur Convention
Location: Ames, Ohio
Deadline: October 24, 2020
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.

Triangle Tech X Conference
Dates: Oct. 28-30
Location: Virtual
Information available here.

This free three-day virtual summit, focused on introducing attendees to influential leaders in technology and business, explores the importance of breaking down barriers and accelerating inclusivity for women.  

Greentown Labs Climatech Summit
Date: Nov. 5-6
Location: Virtual
Information available here

Entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders, policymakers, startup support organizations and other climate champions will come together to chart a holistic course to building a sustainable future for all.

Nevada Virtual Pitch Competition
Date: Nov. 6, 9 am to 3 pm
Location: Virtual
For more information, write to: NVRuralpitch2020@gmail.com.

Created to stimulate entrepreneurship in rural Nevada, this virtual pitch competition, which will award cash prizes up to $1,000, will include educational resources and learning sessions.

Startup Lehigh Valley Pitch Competition
Date: November 18 (Deadline to apply: October 28, 2020)
Location: Virtual
Information available here.

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania entrepreneurs are invited to compete in this virtual competition. Only 10 spots are available. Prizes total $10,000.

Sight Tech Global
Date: Dec. 2-3, 2020. Registration is free and opening soon. 
Information available here

This virtual conference is dedicated to fostering discussion among technology pioneers about how rapid advances in AI and related technologies will create a more accessible world for people with blindness and visual impairments. 

MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition
Deadline for applications: December 15, 2020
Location: Virtual
Information available here

This annual competition, founded in 2006, is designed to empower entrepreneurs and foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Arab Region. The winners receive equity-free prize money.

Baylor New Venture Competition
Date: March 25-27, 2021; Applications open September 1, 2020
Location: Baylor University; Waco, Texas
Information available here.

Baylor New Venture Competition offers applicants business plan feedback, mentorship, and a chance to compete for more than $250,000 in prizes. Collegiate entrepreneurs from around the globe are eligible to participate in the competition, hosted by Baylor University.


MassCEC’s InnovateMass Program
Deadline: Rolling
Information available here.

This program offers up to $250,000 in grant funding and technical support to applicant teams deploying new clean energy technologies or innovative combinations of existing technologies with a strong potential for commercialization. Applicants must run Massachusetts-based companies or have a location in the state and have a technology that fits specific guidelines.

Submit your event for listing to epofeldt@gmail.com.

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.