Eric Swartz

On Monday night, 1776's 75-city Challenge Cup competition launched with 19 startups pitching their businesses in Washington. Mobile Passport, which helps authenticate government-issued IDs, was the winner of this round, meaning the company heads to the finals in New York this fall.

Here are three other startups that I found intriguing from the two-minute pitches:

  • Entrada provides a platform for employers to help low-income immigrants learn English as they work. It's aimed at the hospitality an service industry where it's in the interests of both the employer and employee to master the language while on the job (think of a housekeeper listening to an English lesson while making a hotel bed.)
  • MemoryWell hires journalists to write short life stories of patients with Alzheimer's Disease and dementia, so caretakers can better engage with them in nursing home settings.
  • Shop Or Not is a text message shopping platform that texts you one item a week that the company thinks you might be interested in, and you reply "yes" to purchase. It's had success with brands that are local favorites in small towns that don't have national distribution.

What they have in common: These ideas aren't using cutting edge technologies — in fact they are decidedly low-tech. But they're creative ideas for filling a specific gap in the market and are finding success by catering to specific communities.

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Updated 8 mins ago - World

Scoop: Decisive meeting could lead to Israeli-Sudanese normalization

Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Sudan's head of the Sovereign Council, meets with Bahraini aid officials in Khartoum, Sept. 15. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty Images

U.S., Emirati and Sudanese officials will hold a decisive meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday on a possible normalization agreement between Sudan and Israel, Sudanese sources told me.

Why it matters: If the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates accommodate Sudan’s requests for economic aid, an announcement on a normalization agreement with Israel similar to the ones struck with the UAE and Bahrain could be made within days, sources briefed on the process tell me.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:45 p.m. ET: 30,838,610 — Total deaths: 958,090— Total recoveries: 21,088,552Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:45 p.m. ET: 6,777,026 — Total deaths: 199,352 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Trump's health secretary asserts control over all new rules.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.
Updated 2 hours ago - Health

7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Seven states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Wisconsin and Nebraska surpassed records set the previous week.

Why it matters: Problem spots are sticking in the Midwest, although the U.S. is moving in the right direction overall after massive infection spikes this summer.