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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.

BW: Does the US Face an Innovation Crisis?

Ever since the late 1950s the United States has suffered bouts of insecurity about its innovation lead. The Russians in space. The Japanese in industry after Industry. And now the Indians and Chinese. The latest flurry of worries was clearly brought on by a combination of the dot-com bust and the acceleration of outsourcing. It has blossomed into a full-blown anxiety attack with the global recession and the clear signal that a lot of the most obvious US innovation in the first eight years of this decade was so-called financial innovation—which brought disastrous results. Now the calls for action are louder, including this package we at BusinessWeek put together in the last issue.

Debate Swirls Around SBIR Program

When Congress returns next week, reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant program will be one of the many decisions policymakers need to address. BioWorld Today explored the VC loophole in a story today (“Squabbling Over VC Loophole Leaves SBIR Program in Limbo”). The article fairly presents both sides of the argument regarding whether majority VC-backed firms should have limited eligibility for the program.

Hope Is Not A Strategy for Venture Capital

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, VC was viewed as a small, exotic and risky opportunity. During the tech boom of the late 1990s, VC was widely viewed as a surefire ticket to riches. Now, two stock-market crashes later, many investors are concerned about the anemic returns they have received from their VC investments over the past 10 years – Venture’s Lost Decade. Is venture capital likely to continue its recent record of underperformance?

Skoll Foundation Invests in Leading Social Entrepreneurs

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Skoll Foundation announced today second round investments in fifteen social entrepreneurs in its portfolio driving large-scale impact worldwide. In addition, the Foundation announced the first Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in its 2010 round, a $765,000 grant to Civic Ventures, plus investments in two key partners who promote social entrepreneurship and social innovation, Ashoka and ShoreCap II. In aggregate, the new grants and program-related investments total $14,165,000.

Entrepreneurs Prefer In-person and Online Seminars Over Degree ...

New York, NY (Vocus/PRWEB ) September 1, 2009 -- New research finds that small business owners learn in many different ways, but they have a strong preference for seminars over undergraduate business and MBA university courses. Use and Value of Resources by Small Business Owners and Nonprofit Leaders: A Survey Conducted by Ventureneer. a soon to be report, also finds that going online is a popular way of taking seminars.

McKinsey Innovation Heat Map

McKinsey has partnered with the World Economic Forum to create an “Innovation Heat Map,” by identifying factors that are common to successful innovation hubs. As part of this effort, they have examined the evolution of hundreds of such clusters around the world and analyzed over 700 variables, including those driving innovation (business environment, government and regulation, human capital, infrastructure, and local demand) along with proxies for innovation output (for example, economic value added, journal publications, patent applications) to identify trends among the success stories.

Exploring Innovation Clusters

The OECD has a new publication exploring the challenges OECD countries now face in sustaining their positions and the lessons for other places seeking to build successful clusters. Titled “Clusters, Innovation and Entrepreneurship”, the book addresses the following questions: What are the key factors for cluster success? What problems are emerging on the horizon? Which is the appropriate role of the public sector in supporting the expansion of clusters and overcoming the obstacles?

What Tweaks Me…

So I am just sitting here in the rain – actually I am in our house and it is raining outside – just thinking about a couple of things that really tweak me. Here is my current Top Five list…

NYT: Op-Ed Contributors Stopping Start-Ups

VARIOUS pieces of legislation now making their way through Congress would require private pools of investment capital to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The goal is to curtail abuses and protect the public from questionable practices. The proposed laws would cover the range of funds that deal in derivatives, auction-rate and mortgage-backed securities, highly leveraged transactions and a slew of other instruments so complicated as to defy description.