Times of Entrepreneurship Stories

Diversity Isn’t Just About Race. It’s Also About Class.

It’s now easier to climb the economic ladder in Europe than in the United States. Here’s the story of one person, Sam Reiman, who went from poverty to wealth, in Pennsylvania. He’s now director of one of the world’s 50 largest foundations.

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An Entrepreneur Reinvents The Dream of Homeownership

Unlike many entrepreneurs who’ve made their fortunes in the digital economy, Mark Wolf has made his through bricks-and-mortar. Over the past decade he’s built a $1.6 billion real estate development company that builds communities where people rent instead of own.

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Venture Spotlight: Boomerang Ventures in Indiana Focuses on MedTech and Health

Oscar Moralez was one of the founders of the Indianapolis-based Biostorage Technologies, which was sold in 2015 for $127 million. Now he’s launching a healthtech venture studio, Boomerang Ventures.

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What You May Have Missed

Vermont Farmer Creates A New Drink Category With Roots In The Past

Shrubbly founder Matt Sayre created the first sparkling shrub drink, ready to drink out of the can, no mixing necessary. It’s delicious, and it has another selling point. The key ingredient in Shrubbly are aronia berries, which might be the next pomegranate or acai berry.

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A Venture Capitalist Asks: Do Venture Capitalists Add Value?

CEOs sometimes say, “no.” Venture capitalist Seth Levine looks at the communication gap between CEOs and investors.

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News With A Future Spin

Stop the Madness, It’s Just Another Invention. The New York Times’ Frank Bruni writes eloquently about the potential implications of ChatGPT.” Is ChatGPT a sorcerer or an assassin? It and its kin promise to save us time, sweat and error, but potentially at a price. It’s called pointlessness.” Read his column here.

It Was a Week of AI.
Melissa Meikkilä, a writer for MIT Technology Review, asked AI app Lensa to create avatars of herself – as her male coworkers were doing. Out of 100, 30 were sexualized or nude. The headline: The viral AI avatar app lensa undressed me without my consent. Read the story here.
A Mission-Driven Venture Studio at Notre Dame. We’re digging into the Indianapolis ecoystem, as part two of our three-part sponsorship by Armory Square Ventures, Deep Dives into Secondary Cities. In our research we came across this news: Notre Dame and vc firm High Alpha are starting a new venture studio. Read more here.
US scientists announce fusion breakthrough. It’s taken decades, but this could be a game-changer in terms of producing energy to replace fossil fuels. Read more here.

Living the dream


Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream.
In this fun-to-read book, Jane Plitt, a visiting scholar at the University of Rochester, tells the story of Harper, an uneducated servant who invented the hair salon, the reclining chair and the franchise model in the early 20th century and was extolled in her life but forgotten afterwards. “Allowing Martha Matilda Harper’s story to vanish was a metaphor for how undervalued women’s lives have been in our society,” Plitt writes. Harper also had floor-length hair. Here’s the book.
Best Practices: How To Ask For What You Want As A Woman
Women and men were equally likely to ask for raises, but men were more likely to get them, 59% versus 52%, CNBC reported. Here’s one suggestion that can be applied to any kind of ask. Come prepared with a one-pager detailing your arguments. If your boss, the potential investor, or the client, seems to be leaning toward the negative, suggest they take time to think and leave your one-pager behind. If you’re rejected outright, leave the one-pager anyway and ask them if you can followup in six months.
A Time-Saving Hack
Fireflies AI records meetings and transcribes the notes for you, saving you time by allowing you to invite the notetaker on your calendar app. Here’s the link.


One Place To Go: Starting to speak of Christmas, there’s a town in Indiana called Santa Claus, which draws tourists this time of year. You might be tempted to think this is an example of capitalism run amok, but according to Encyclopedia Britannica the townspeople who laid out the town in 1846 landed on the name as a joke, after their first choice, Sante Fe, was already taken. Here’s the tourism web site.

Holiday Gifts:
Shop at Ten Thousand Villages, one of the grandmothers of the fair trade, shop-for-good movement, which features art and handcrafts from makers around the world. A bonus: their guide to parties without plastic.

Upcoming Opportunities ⭐

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1. Techstars New DC Accelerator
Techstars, in a partnership with JP Morgan, opened a three-month Washington DC accelerator with the aim of helping advance equitable entrepreneurship.
Date: May 8, 2023
Location: Washington, D.C.
Deadline to Apply: Feb. 1
Link: here.
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://bit.ly/3dE6rZh
3. Nestle Youth Accelerator
Nestle launched its platform for youth entrepreneurs, including an R&D accelerator. An open challenge for food and beverage startups is currently accepting applicants and will be for the news four months or so. The platform is here. Info about the acclerator at the link below.
Deadline to apply: December
4. BK-XL
A new accelerator launched by Clara Wu Tsai invests as much as $500,000 in founders of color. Entrepreneurs from around the world are eligible and asked to move to Brooklyn for mentoring.
Applications opened: https://bk-xl.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.