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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.

Quick Facts: How Successful Angels Invest

Savvy investors know they aren’t psychics and aren’t living in an ideal world. They know that many startups will fail so they use a portfolio approach to balance their risks. They invest in a number of companies rather than just one and only scope for those that have a potential payoff of at least 5 to as much as 30x their invested capital in 3 to 5 years. This way, the startups that succeed would generate a return handsome enough to not only recoup their losses but also fatten up their bank accounts.

Russia faces long road to diversify economy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia must deliver on pledges to reform the tax system and encourage the creation of home-grown seed capital if it wants to make long-standing dreams of reducing its reliance on oil a reality.

Economic diversification has for years been the holy grail for a Russian economy that grew fat on the proceeds from oil, gas and metals revenues, but these goals have proved just as elusive in the financial crisis as they did in the boom years.

Nigeria: Dedicate Annual Budget to Micro Credit, Napep Tells States

Abuja — The National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) has advised state governments to dedicate a portion of their yearly budgets to the provision micro-credit for Nigerians, to ensure that substantial funds are made available to the poor in the society.

While addressing newsmen in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to President/National Coordinator of NAPEP, Dr. Magnus Kpakol, stressed that NAPEP is also partnering states to ensure the success of the Village Trust Fund Scheme (VTFS).

Forbes: Best Part Of Being An Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs certainly experience extreme highs and lows at unpredictable frequencies. The highs have been numerous, and that's probably what keeps entrepreneurs as entrepreneurs once they have tried it. For example, after VEXTEC had developed a significant portion of our VLM technology core, the federal government arranged for some "blind" testing of our predictive capabilities. The large government contractors in the military world have proprietary materials that only they know the behavior of. It was arranged that VEXTEC predict a proprietary aerospace material--one that we could never have access to--and the large corporate entity who agreed to participate in this would only share information about the material after VEXTEC sent its prediction results to the government.

Secretary Vilsack comments on Innovation at NASVF Conference

OKLAHOMA CITY – America’s agricultural core is in the midst of a massive economic and environmental change, producing equally large opportunities for venture capital investment, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday

Climate change and ever-tighter market competition will drive new technologies in areas such as soil testing, petroleum alternatives, energy transmission, water management and supply chain refinement, Vilsack said at the annual conference of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds. About 300 people attended the event in downtown Oklahoma City this week.

Governor's task force examines startup funding gap

Upstate university and business leaders Tuesday urged a state task force to help bridge the "valley of death" — the seed-funding wasteland that lies between higher-education research and profitable commercialization.

Speakers at a public hearing Tuesday at the University of Rochester Medical Center emphasized that New York lacks adequate private venture capital and public financing to get startup companies arising from university research into the competitive marketplace. The state ranks 25th nationwide in the amount of public dollars dedicated to startup capital and seed funding.

Angel investors: Wings clipped, but still taking their time in the candy store

I checked in with veteran angel investor and expert John May about the state of angel investing. May, who is Managing Partner of the New Vantage Group, which manages the accounts of a number of angel funds, and who founded a bunch of angel groups and is chairman emeritus of the Angel Capital Association, not only has a broad perspective on the topic but also is usually an upbeat person.

Halfway through its money and its first decade, Ohio's Third Frontier Initiative has helped generate a $6.6 billion impact for the state, according to an independent assessment released by the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) on Tuesday. The report also credits the initiative's investments for creating 41,300 jobs within Ohio over the past five years. Making an Impact: Assessing the Benefits of Ohio's Investment in Technology-Based Economic Development Programsprovides a supporting backdrop as Gov. Ted Strickland and the state legislature consider whether or not to place a possible extension of the Third Frontier Initiative on the May 2010 ballot. A large component of the Third Frontier's funding comes from a $500 million bond package Ohio voters passed four years ago.

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Report: San Diego’s Innovation Economy Shows Q2 Uptick in Startups, Patents, and Investments

A just-released report on San Diego’s innovation economy shows 102 new technology companies were created during the three months that ended on June 30—a 53 percent increase over the 66 startups launched during the first three months of 2009, and 34 percent more than the 76 companies started during the second quarter of 2008.

A key factor in the startup surge was a 90 percent increase in venture capital investments in the region over the three-month period, according to the report, which was released by Connect, a San Diego nonprofit group that promotes technology innovation and entrepreneurship. The report found that venture firms invested a total of $172 million in 22 San Diego area companies, based on regional data from the National Venture Capital Association, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Thomson Reuters.

The Power of Daydreaming (Daydreams as a Source of Innovation & Motivation)

Barack Obama certainly had a dream . . . that one day he would be president. I'm sure that in his younger years many people would have mocked him for this audacious dream, but he followed his inner vision and now he's the 44th President of the United States.

The most dynamic and innovative people in any endeavor--business, science, athletics, politics, or the arts--are visionaries. And what exactly is a "vision?" At the end of the day I argue that a "vision" is just an upscale word for "daydream," and "visionary," an upscale word for daydreamer.

SSTIArgentina, Iran Push TBED Strategies

Earlier this month, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved $750 million in financing over the next five years to Argentina's federal government for the country's Technology Innovation Program.

Argentina's R&D intensity as gauged by the ratio of R&D expenditures to GDP has increased in recent years, from 0.4 in 2003 to 0.51 in 2007. However, compared to a R&D intensity of 2.3 percent of GDP for OCED countries, Argentina lags considerably behind.

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Does cloud computing affect innovation?

Earlier this summer, Jonathan Zittrain wrote a New York Times OpEd piece that discussed his concerns with the cloud computing paradigm. Zittrain stated that, while it may seem on the surface that cloud adoption is as "inevitable as the move from answering machines to voice mail," he sees some real dangers.

Zittrain covered the usual concerns about data ownership, privacy, and the access that data placed in the cloud gives governments all over the world--a concern I certainly share. He went on to point out that these problems are solvable "with a little effort and political will," a view that I also adhere to.