🕶e8: Holiday Razzle Dazzle Edition! 💉 Vaccine?! Vaccine?! Vaccine?!

👋 Good Morning and Happy Sunday! Welcome to the e8 newsletter, a hand-picked collection of business and start-up news, resources for entrepreneurs, job/internship postings, and noteworthy trends that are happening this week! I hope you find this weekly newsletter informative and engaging!

Business/Start-Up News

🦃 Holiday Razzle Dazzle Edition! Wait, they’re saying I have to cook my OWN turkey this year?! The CDC has issued new recommendations for this holiday season which include bringing your own food and drinks when attending a gathering. As we get closer to the winter festivities and regulations seem far from loosening up, this holiday season is shaping up to be one of the weirdest ones any of us have experienced. While airlines experience a decrease in travelers, some people are choosing to isolate in vacation destinations, while others are choosing not to celebrate the holiday at all. Let’s take a closer look at this holiday rundown!

Traveling this year?

  • Recent survey by TripAdvisor indicates that 56% of Americans will travel for Thanksgiving this year, down from a 70% in 2019

    • 43% of people plan to travel on Thanksgiving, based on a survey by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (TravelUpdate). 

    • 76% of people will be travelling by car while 11% will be hopping on  flights. (TripAdvisor)

Pounds and Dollars!

  • How much turkey do you need for your Thanksgiving feast?

    • 1 pound per person, according to USDA

  • How many calories are consumed on Thanksgiving? 

    • On average, a whopping 4,500 per person (WorldStride)

  • How many cranberries are eaten on Thanksgiving?

    • 80 million pounds (equivalent to 36 million kilograms), according to FT

  • How much is the average Thanksgiving expenditure?

    • $186.05 in 2019 (Lendedu). This number is expected to dip slightly this year!


  • Which region in the U.S. has the highest increase in drinking on Blackout Wednesday?

    • Based on the increased sales, this is how each region ranks according to Upserve insights:

    • 34% Midwest

    • 31% South

    • 27% Northeast

    • 23% West

  • How important is Drinksgiving for the liquor stores and alcohol industry?

    • Third largest sales day for the liquor stores, based on Womply data. Only New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve are ahead of it

    • 130% increase of in sales on Drinksgiving compared to the average daily sales at the liquor stores (Womply)

Shop til you drop?

  • What is the amount of online sales for Thanksgiving?

    • According to data from Adobe:

      • $2.9B in 2019 on the day before Thanksgiving showing 22% year-on-year growth in sales against 2018

      • $4.2B in 2019 on Thanksgiving Day showing 14.5% year-on-year growth in sales against 2018

      • $7.4B in 2019 on the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) This showing 19.6% year-on-year growth in sales against 2018

  • What is the average online order value for the days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday?

    • $140 according to ReadyCloud

  • How many consumers in the U.S. did some shopping between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2019?

    • 189.6 million consumers. This was a 14% increase from 2018 (NRF)

Friendsgiving is the move?

  • How many people prefer Friendsgiving over Thanksgiving?

    • 68% or almost 7 in 10 people among the population aged 18 to 38 years, 62% of this demographic segment actually doesn’t enjoy hosting or being a Thanksgiving guest(NYPost)

  • Why do some people prefer Friendsgiving over Thanksgiving?

    • 58% want to avoid personal questions coming from the family members (NYPost)

    • 38% want to avoid getting into situations that will make them offend a family member (NYPost)

Ev’s Take

This year has been such a difficult one, so not being able to appreciate all of my friends and family in person this week is extra tough. Thankfully, I’m still going to be able to enjoy a hearty meal. I hope you enjoyed this rendition of the holiday edition sharing some facts that I thought were pretty fascinating (funny that most young people prefer friendsgiving...but I can see why - blackout Wednesday should def be a nationwide holiday!)

💉 Vaccine?! Vaccine?! Vaccine?!

Wowow, strap in! Time to talk about this past week’s promising news on the advancements of the Covid-19 Vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna reported that their vaccines were effective in protecting against Covid-19 while requesting special clearance from the FDA to approve it for the general public. Both showed effectiveness of 95% without any alarming signs of safety concerns. As we dive deeper about the logistics and distribution strategies behind this vaccine, it’s important to consider the cash flow dynamics between multiple pharmaceutical companies and what these government contracts will do to those relationships. Let’s explore what’s happening with this fuel of optimism awkward phrasing?, and take a look at some of the challenges that must be overcome for the vaccines to prove effective.

The Big 4


  • In August, Moderna said it would be charging between $32 and $37 per dose for its vaccine for some customers. At the time, the company said it was in discussions for larger volume agreements that would lower the price. 

  • The United Nations’ Covax facility will subsidize rollouts of coronavirus vaccines to low-income countries, but still could be too costly for some

  • Moderna has said it expects to have roughly 20 million doses of the vaccine ready to ship across the U.S. by the end of the year and remains on track to manufacture between 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021 

  • It has committed to supply the U.S. with 100 million doses of its vaccine. Canada has ordered 56 million doses, the U.K. has bought 50 million, and Switzerland has procured 4.5 million, according to data compiled by researchers at Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Centre


  • Moderna has Pfizer beat in terms of storage. Pfizer’s vaccine can only be kept in a regular fridge for five days, as opposed to thirty for Moderna. This could be a red flag in terms of distribution and properly storing the vaccine without compromising its effectiveness

    • However, they realize the issues can be combated proactively: Pfizer on Tuesday launched a pilot delivery program for its experimental vaccine in Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico, and Tennessee. To address the challenge of  its ultra-cold storage requirements

  • The companies are reportedly charging $20 per vaccine, significantly lower than Moderna

  • Pfizer and BioNTech reportedly plan to load suitcase-sized boxes from distribution sites in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Puurs, Belgium, on to as many as two dozen trucks per day, allowing for the daily transit of roughly 7.6 million doses to nearby airports


What separates these guys is that they are charging a substantially lower price than all the others at around $3 to $4, according to the Financial Times. The company said it will be delivered at a price of no profits, focusing on treating the global public health emergency and not capitalizing on the financial opportunity (GOOD JOB Y’ALL) !!!

Johnson & Johnson

J&J have been a bit behind when it comes to clinical trials and getting their vaccine ready to go, but they have a trick that might push them ahead of the other three -they’ve been developing a single-dose vaccine that requires less storage space and no follow-up shots! Their price point aims to be more fair at around $10 a dose.

Ev’s Take

This news is truly remarkable! If you had told me a few months ago that we would have a vaccine before the end of the year, I probably would not have believed you. (Reminder though: I am no health expert lmao). It’s exciting to finally be at the point where we’re witnessing a shift from the development phase to figuring out the logistics for distribution of the vaccine. From what we know, there will be 40 million doses available by the end of the year which can vaccinate approximately 20 million people (health care workers first in line). This will require a strong systematic procedure - once the first round is delivered, everyone will have to be reminded to return after several weeks for their second shot. On top of that, every issue that arises will need to be recorded. What’s concerning, however, is that 40% of the American population does not want to get vaccinated. I believe we will need top tier scientists to be at the forefront convincing those  millions of Americans that the vaccine is absolutely vital to decreasing the spread. Another big obstacle is the disjointed national approach - the states aren’t coordinating their precautionary measures which could possibly negate the effects of this.

While there is a lot of great news, there are still a lot of hurdles to be cleared. However, I want to quickly touch on the economy. The US Economy is fully dependent on the trajectory of the virus, and we are not looking so hot as with more than 1 million new cases over the last week. This is not good news for certain sectors that rely heavily on consumer spending (cough cough restaurants, bars, hotels, travel, etc). While we could dig into the numbers even further, the bottom line is that with all this trouble going on, the US is still showing some resilience. All in all, I have strong hopes that the vaccine will prove effective. We just need tofigure out a way to successfully distribute the vaccine across all 50 states.

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💼 Jobs/Internships

New York

Los Angeles

  • Capital Markets Summer Internship (JLL)

  • Commercial Partnerships Intern (Spotify)

San Francisco

  • Financial Analyst (Twitter)

  • Finance Process Analyst Intern (Uber)

  • Risk Management Intern (PayPal)


🎷 Fresh Finds

💯Thank You For Reading, See You Next Week!

What's up, my name is Evan Hiltunen! I am a recent finance grad from Indiana University and financial analyst @ Goldman Sachs. I have a strong passion for start-ups, finance, and technology, and I hope you find this newsletter informative!

I’d love your feedback - feel free to email me at thee8newsletter@gmail.com