A note from our editor, Elizabeth MacBride:

When I was writing about finance, I relied on Vanguard research for clues about the world economy’s trajectory. So, good news out today: Vanguard sees a strong economic rebound in 2021, with China at 9% GDP growth, emerging markets at 6% overall, and 5% in Europe and the United States.

I think they’ll be right on the strength of the comeback. I’m not as sure as other people about where the sources of economic strength lie. How much further will the work-from-home, shop-from-home shift go? We won’t go backward; there won’t be a return to “normal.” But my guess is the next big innovation will be one that minimizes the technology in our lives while maintaining the convenience we’ve come to enjoy, so that we can get back to being together. We are all sick of technology. And look at what happened after the 1918 pandemic: The Roaring Twenties.

I also hope that the big corporations, especially the big tech corporations, that have such control over our political landscape don’t have so much power that they stifle whatever innovation lies around the bend. I’m not confident in the ability of their corporate cultures to adapt to post-pandemic world.

We put off the work we were doing on women in the economic rebound as we focused on our first list at Times of Entrepreneurship, produced with George Washington University’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. See the Top 20 U.S. University Entrepreneurship Competitions list, below. And congrats to all the schools on the list!

— Elizabeth MacBride, founder of Times of Entrepreneurship

Times of Entrepreneurship Stories of the Week

The Top 20 University Entrepreneurship Competitions

A joint project of George Washington University Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Times of Entrepreneurship.

Read the Story »

The U.S. May Have Lost A Generation of High-Impact Entrepreneurs

The number of international students has fallen by nearly half. Plus: Unshackled Ventures offers pre-seed funding for immigrant entrepreneurs.

Read the Story »

Insight Into The Top University Entrepreneurship Competitions

The largest collegiate competitions offer student innovators and entrepreneurs cash, in-kind contributions and networks—and help launch companies.

Read the Story »

Is The Capital Gap For Women A Pipeline Problem? These University Pitch Stats Say Different

After university programs made slight changes to messaging, women’s’ representation surged. Part of the answer seems to be “de-risking” the idea of pitching or entrepreneurship.

Read the Story »

Op-Ed: Americans Stepped Up To Save Small Business. Now, it’s Time To Do More.

Orv Kimbrough, chairman and CEO of Midwest Bank Centre, offers practical thoughts and inspiration for helping communities as 2020 winds to a close.

Read the Story »

Important Stories from Elsewhere

Biden Details Plan To Combat Coronavirus Pandemic In First 100 Days
Initiative would get 100 million Americans vaccinated in first 100 days in office, sign a face mask mandate and make efforts to get kids back to school safely. Meanwhile, the stimulus package stalled again.

This Scientist’s Decades Of mRNA Research Led To Both COVID Vaccines
Academia didn’t always treat her kindly, and entrepreneurship didn’t work out, but pioneer Katalin Kariko—who fled Communist Hungary at age 30—didn’t let anyone derail her. Now her work is the basis for vaccines by BioNTech and Moderna.

DoorDash Soars In IPO
The company and others in the meal-delivery business have benefitted during the pandemic but been criticized for taking a slice out of struggling restaurants’ sales.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh Went On Buying Spree In Park City, Utah
He spent at least $50 million as part of his plan to relocate.

Tesla’s Elon Musk Moves To Texas, Citing Friction With California Regulators
After threatening to move Tesla and SpaceX earlier this year, the electric car company CEO has personally moved out of California.

10,000 Restaurants Could Close In Next Three Weeks Because Of COVID
About 17% of America’s restaurants have already permanently closed this year. The National Restaurant Association is pleading with Congress to launch a new stimulus package.

Amid Pandemic, Digital Platforms Are Salvation For Many New And Small Businesses
The key to conquering the virus—technology-has saved many tiny businesses since March. The recovery depends on helping these businesses thrive online.

A Third Way To Classify Workers Gains Momentum
The passage of Proposition 22 in California means Uber and Lyft can legally classify their workers as contractors, but that they must provide these workers with benefits. Could this lead other states to adopt a new way to classify workers?

New Robotics Operator Program Starts At Heartland Community College
Many small and midsize manufacturing firms can’t find the talent they need. Could programs like this be the answer?

Midwest-Developed Mobile Game Generates Funds To Fight Human Trafficking
A professor and college students at Eastern Illinois University are the team behind Spike Shots, a game that can be downloaded on IOS or Android.

Female Founders Suffer During The Pandemic
Women have seen a disproportionate drop in capital invested relative to the country’s broader venture space, according to new Pitch Book data.

The Free Market Has Failed U.S. Working Parents
The nation is an outlier among Western industrialized countries in its lack of adequate federal polices in four key areas: paid leave; affordable quality healthcare, fair work schedules and living wages. Is it any wonder the pandemic is putting crushing pressure on the people raising the next generation?

Zalando Boss To Quit To Prioritize Wife’s Career
Many see Rubin Ritter’s decision to step down from leading Europe’s largest online fashion site as a sign of changing times, though some have noted it’s never made headlines when women leave the workplace to prioritize their husbands’ careers.

You Might Have Missed:

NOVID Helps Users Understand COVID’s Nearby Spread
With 80,000 downloads and philanthropic funding, NOVID shows the value of Martin Minsky’s dictum: Understand a problem in more than one way.

The Future Of Coworking Could Belong To Women
The rise of spaces targeting women points to a surprisingly strong future for the industry, despite what happened to WeWork.

Resource of the Week: The Guide: What cultural institutions need to know about investing for values and mission.


AWS: Re: Invent
Dates: Nov. 30-December 18
Location: Virtual
Information here.
This cloud-learning event will feature sessions focused on how organizations are using the cloud to serve students.

[Re]Verse Pitch Competition
Deadline: December 9, 2020
Location: Austin, Texas
Information available here.

This program, which aims to reduce waste in Austin, Texas, invites businesses with waste byproducts and surplus materials to supply materials to competing innovators and entrepreneurs, who will use the excess materials to create a new product or business venture.

Into the Wild: Leveraging Nature’s Own Designs To Rapidly Innovate for the Future
Date: December 10, 2020
Location: Virtual
Information available here.
The MIT Enterprise Forum talks with experts on biomimicry—a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies of natural species—who are using it to solve problems and overcome design challenges.

MIT and USPTO: Expanding American Innovation
Date: Dec 11, 3:00 PM ET
Location: Virtual
Register here

Members of the MIT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Community – inventors, entrepreneurs, founders – are invited to a panel discussion with Andrei Lancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director. Topics will include how the National Council for Expanding American Innovation is creating a more inclusive invention/innovation ecosystem.

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.

Annual Ballard Award Competition
Deadline: Applications will be available starting in January 2021; other details forthcoming.
Location: Details forthcoming
Information available here.

Emerging companies in the East Tennessee area can compete for a $50,000 investment of capital and in-kind services to support their innovative ideas in this contest, sponsored by the accounting firm PYA. Applicants must submit a business plan.

Real Change Opportunity Fund and Ideas Pitch Competition
Deadline: January 15 for first round
Location: Virtual
Information available here.

MTN DEW has partnered with Howard University, Hampton University and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities on this program, which will award $1 million in prizes annually over five years.

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.

US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency Cares Act Grant Technical Assistance Program
End date: May 31, 2021
Information available here.

This program, facilitated through eight COVID-19 Technical Assistance Centers in major cities with large Hispanic and minority populations, will provide ongoing readiness and support to help the minority business community navigate the pandemic.


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.

Chandler Innovations
Deadline: Rolling
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Information available here.

Entrepreneurs who live or work in Chandler, Arizona, are eligible to apply for this business incubator. Business ideas must be tech-based.

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.