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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.

canada

$950-million investment positions Canada for an innovation boom in high-growth sectors

OTTAWA, Feb. 15, 2018 /CNW/ - When small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations come together to generate bold ideas, Canadians benefit from more well-paying jobs, groundbreaking research and a world-leading innovation economy.

That's why the Government of Canada is investing up to $950 million under the Innovation Superclusters Initiative.

The investment, which will be matched dollar for dollar by the private sector, is expected to create more than 50,000 middle-class jobs and grow Canada's economy by $50 billion over the next 10 years.

 

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nasa

In a nondescript meeting room in a fluorescent-lit office park in Silicon Valley, a group of computer and planetary scientists were given the problem of deciding what to do with an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.

The group–split into teams representing different world leaders, scientists, and citizens with different ideas of how to deal with impending doom–proposed solutions to the theoretical threat. Role-playing wasn’t necessary, but a Brazilian astronomer did his best Russian leader impression and tried to cajole the others.

 

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Ethel Rubin

Looking for a deal in your backyard? The NIH is the world's largest investor in early stage life sciences companies. Over 1000 companies annually tap into NIH’s SBIR and STTR program for nondilutive funding to the tune of $980M in FY17. Did you know the NIH maintains RePORTER, an online database, of all funded companies and projects? This link will take you to what's been funded this fiscal year, but you can query the database yourself to look for companies specific to your interests. There are over 25 different ways to search and visualize the data with built in analytics (click on the Data & Visualize to create graphs and more you can export directly to PowerPoint and Excel).

 

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Steve Case-led venture capital firm Revolution continues to advance its Rise of the Rest seed fund, announcing nine of the fund’s first investments and adding more big names as investors, including prominent entrepreneurs Michael Bloomberg and Reid Hoffman.

The moves come just two months after Case announced the $150 million seed fund, which aims to invest in startups outside of Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston. The fund’s limited partners already include an array of notable Silicon Valley investors and other tech executives.

Image: Above: Revolution's Steve Case (second from left) and J.D. Vance (fourth from left) during a 'Rise of the Rest' stop in York, Pennsylvania Image Credit: Courtesy Revolution

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Diane Mulcahy has spent much of her career as an independent contractor, working as a writer and speaker, an adjunct professor at universities, and advising and consulting with Fortune 500 companies. About five years ago, she read an article that described the type of work that she and others did as part of the “gig economy” movement.

“I had one of those moments where I got goosebumps on my arms,” says Mulcahy, who was then working as an adjunct at Babson College teaching a core curriculum MBA course. “I’d been thinking about different ways of working for a long time, and now I realized there was a name for it.”

Image: https://poetsandquants.com

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questions

Entrepreneurs often seek external capital to accelerate their growth. This is especially true in hotly contested markets where fast growth can be the difference between success or failure. And yet this outside funding may come with strings attached, which can (and perhaps should) give entrepreneurs pause. Founders will likely find their influence diluted, in terms of both financial equity and their control over the board of directors. They may even find themselves out of a job if their investors decide to fire them and find a replacement.

 

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women

In 2017, the presence of women in venture capital made feeble progress at the country's top firms.

Union Square Ventures and First Round Capital were among two firms last year to take on their first female general partners.

And more and more women are founding female-led firms with an express interest in investing in female-founded startups, in order to break up tech's gender discrepancy.

 

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Des Moines, Iowa

For officials attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, D.C. in late January, the topic of job creation was high on the agenda.

So it was that job creators speaking at the final plenary session on “The Future of Work” attracted much interest with their vision of jumpstarting entrepreneurial activity in cities that are are not on the coasts.

 

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People who don’t go to college are getting sicker and dying younger. That’s the reality playing out in a region of southeastern Missouri known as the Bootheel, one of many poverty-stricken rural areas across the country where few residents have four-year degrees.

Research has shown that education makes a difference in terms of health outcomes: Get a college degree, and you’re more likely to lead a healthier and more prosperous life. Go without, and, for a number of reasons, you’re more likely to face a range of health problems.

Image: Jason Andrew for The Chronicle - Research has shown that education makes a difference in terms of health outcomes. And the health gulf between people who get a college degree and those who don't is widening.

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Focusing on a “critical few” behaviors is one of the fundamental tenets of working effectively with organizational culture. Sometimes called keystone behaviors, these are patterns of acting that are tangible, repeatable, observable, and measurable, and will contribute to achieving an organization’s strategic and operational objectives. The behaviors are critical because they will have a significant impact on business performance when exhibited by large numbers of people; they are few because people can really only remember and change three to five key behaviors at one time.

Image: Kristy Hull is an advisor to executives for Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting business. Based in DC, she is a director with PwC US.

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One of the Erasmus student exchange programme’s latest enrollees is Miguel Castillo, an 80-year-old Spaniard from Valencia who will next week go to the Italian city of Verona as part of his university studies.

The retired notary, who is married with three children and six grandchildren, studies history at the University of Valencia. Shortly after retiring, Castillo suffered a heart attack and underwent a quadruple bypass. Ever since he has had a new lease on life.

Image: 80-year-old Manuel Castillo in class at the University of Valencia. (Manuel Bruque / EPA)

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