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innovation DAILY

Here we highlight selected innovation related articles from around the world on a daily basis.  These articles related to innovation and funding for innovative companies, and best practices for innovation based economic development.

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Dominant companies always look invulnerable–until they’re very vulnerable. That’s been the case throughout the modern history of technology, with IBM, Microsoft, Yahoo, and MySpace all once upon a time seeming secure at the top of the mountain. And then, one by one, each was toppled (though Microsoft is still a $638 billion company).

Such is the case today, as four companies–Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon–vie for tech’s Iron Throne (with a combined market cap of $2.61 trillion). But while there are no credible contenders for the crown today, who knows what will happen a few years down the line.

Image: Flickr user Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

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meeting

Several months ago, a CEO I’ll call Elana, who is deaf, approached me for coaching. As we talked through her leadership skills and organizational political landscape, I quickly realized she was a fantastic listener. As a deaf person, Elana is more intentional about how she listens. In our meetings, Elana and I talk at a slower pace. Elana doesn’t interrupt, and I pause whenever I notice Elana taking notes so that she has the chance to read my lips. We tend to have less confusion because Elana is quick to ask for a clarification if she doesn’t understand a word.

 

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food

Diet and dietary practices differentially affect mental health in young adults versus older adults, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Lina Begdache, assistant professor of health and wellness studies at Binghamton University, along with fellow Binghamton researchers, conducted an anonymous internet survey, asking people around the world to complete the Food-Mood Questionnaire (FMQ), which includes questions on food groups that have been associated with neurochemistry and neurobiology.

 

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people

Google has released its list of the top 10 trending people of 2017, including former Today show host Matt Lauer, royal-to-be Meghan Markle and actor Kathy Griffin.

Lauer tops the list following his November firing from Today over allegations of sexual misconduct and is joined by a few of the other celebrities who have been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior over the past year like Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey and former Fox anchor Bill O’Reilly.

 

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bitcoin

Despite the ICO craze of 2017, cryptocurrency startups are still landing venture capital funding. Per the PitchBook Platform, VC interest in the sector is increasing: 2017 has, unsurprisingly, brought a record amount of venture capital—more than $1 billion—to startups in the sector.

In the last two years, 179 investors have participated in at least one VC deal for a crypto startup, according to PitchBook data. In the last week alone, Bitwise raised $4 million from Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst and others for its cryptocurrency index fund. BitGo, which helps businesses integrate cryptocurrencies into their financial systems, secured a $42.5 million Series B led by Valor Equity Partners. And bitcoin payments provider BitPay raised a $30 million Series B led by Aquiline Technology Growth.

 

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negotiation

Much of business -- and life -- is about negotiation. We need to be able to find common ground to make connections, work together and sell to one another. That's why it's important for a business leader to be a strong negotiator. When making deals or deciding on contracts, a business leader needs to be the company's best advocate. That means fighting for the best possible deal.

 

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Machine learning isn't as widely adopted as some may think, mainly because there are serious barriers to adoption. Researchers are making progress in reducing those barriers.

Companies across industries are experimenting with and using machine learning, but the actual adoption rates are lower than it might be seem. According to a 2017 SAP Digital Transformation Study, fewer than 10% of 3,100 executives from small, medium and large companies said their organizations were investing in machine learning. That will change dramatically in the coming years, according to a new Deloitte report, because researchers and vendors are making progress in five key areas that may make machine learning more practical for businesses of all sizes.

Image: David Schatsky, Deloitte - https://www.informationweek.com

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Most people are familiar with the major venture capital firms backing Silicon Valley’s start-ups: we’re talkin’ Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, and the rest of the gang.

But on the more granular level of early-stage investing, a relatively low-profile Chinese billionaire named Shan Xiangshuang has stealthily built the largest seed fund in tech.

In 3 years, he’s covertly funded more than 350 early-stage companies with $40m worth of “small” investments ranging from $23k to $250k.

Image: https://thehustle.co

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CHICAGO — In the Chicago Public Schools system, enrollment has been declining, the budget is seldom enough, and three in four children come from low-income homes, a profile that would seemingly consign the district to low expectations. But students here appear to be learning faster than those in almost every other school system in the country, according to new data from researchers at Stanford.

Image: Students in gym class at Mildred I. Lavizzo Elementary School in Chicago. “Whatever kids come in here, we know we can grow them,” the school’s principal, Tracey Stelly, says. Lyndon French for The New York Times - https://www.nytimes.com

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internet

A group of 21 of the internet's most esteemed pioneers have written an open letter to the FCC's Congressional overseers that critiques the agency's foolish, self-serving description of how the net works in eye-watering detail.

The signatories including past chairs of ISOC and the IETF, co-inventors of TCP/IP, the inventor of the web, the founder of the first search-engine, the inventor of public-key cryptography, the creators of the world's most widely used cryptographic systems, hypertext pioneers, and the co-founder of Apple, among many others.

 

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arctic

Each year for the past 12 years, an international team of scientists have issued a "report card" on the Arctic climate system. The report amounts to a physical exam of the vast, rapidly changing region, including details on everything from surface air temperatures to sea ice melt and permafrost loss. 

With each passing year, the report cards have become more dire, depicting a region that is moving into a totally new regime as sea ice melts, air temperatures warm, and the once permanently frozen ground gives way. The report is the product of 85 scientists from 12 different countries.

 

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family

Parents tend to see the world a little differently.

Especially when your kids are young, you need the place you choose to call home to reach different thresholds for convenience, excellence, and affordability. Proximity to restaurants and bars may get less important, for instance, while library access and school quality become key factors.

While MONEY’s original Best Places to Live analysis takes into account many of the factors that families look for in an ideal spot, we wanted to turn the focus more directly on the things that attract those looking to raise a family.

 

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