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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.


Tammy Snyder Murphy said the issue is clear. 

“We know that female entrepreneurs have raised significantly less private capital than their male counterparts,” she said. 

The reason, she added, is not as clear. 

Women-owned businesses account for nearly 40% of new companies, according to American Express. But Golden Seeds, a nationwide angel investor network dedicated to investing in women-led companies, estimates less than 20% of startup capital goes to women-led businesses, despite repeated studies reporting higher financial returns for businesses with women at the helm.

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Last November the District of Columbia’s Office of Revenue Analysis (ORA) released its “Review of Economic Development Tax Expenditures,” including an assessment of the city’s incentives for Qualified High Technology Companies (QHTC). By May, the DC Council had approved amendments to the QHTC program, and the administering agency was implementing changes to the data collection and certification process.


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A Brookings Institute report found that “chronic underinvestment” in research and development in Pennsylvania has slowed innovation — but state funding and partnerships between government, universities and companies could turn that around.

Increasingly, said the report, Pennsylvania is dealing with a divergence between large metropolitan areas and the rest of the state, similar to what’s happening across the country. More than 98% of the state’s higher education R&D is concentrated in three metro areas: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and State College, said the report.

Image: Happy Valley LaunchBox, on South Allen Street in State College, supports startups through funding, training and technical assistance. ABBY DREY This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Sara Potler LaHayne

A few weeks ago, I was playing with my daughter, the television was on, somebody was yelling on the street outside, and my phone started ringing. 

So. Much. Noise. 

It’s common to have several sounds competing for your attention — especially as an entrepreneur and new mother. Even before my daughter was born, silence was hard to find as social entrepreneur living in New York City, where there isn’t a horn that lacks for honking. 


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Air conditioning, a necessity of modern life, is unique because it perpetuates the very problem it solves. As the planet warms and as it prospers, more people demand air conditioning. Traditional systems consume a lot of energy, which requires burning fossil fuels. That leads to greater carbon dioxide emissions, further warming the planet and intensifying the demand for air conditioning.

Image: Photograph by Richard Geoffrey / EyeEm  

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Venture capital investment hit a record last year, largely thanks to a new lineage of corporate investors. Exceeding even the high-water mark of the dot-com era, venture investors sank $131 billion into 8,949 deals. 

The most surprising part of Pitchbook and the National Venture Capital Association’s analysis, though, isn’t the headline number — it’s the size and breadth of corporate venture deals. Last year, private equity groups invested $38.5 billion in almost 800 deals. Over the same time frame, corporations spent nearly twice that, $66.8 billion, across 1,443 investments. The remainder came from individual, nonprofit, and public sources.


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Internships are supposed to have a simple purpose: to provide students with the experience and taste  f what working in a particular industry (and in some cases, a specific role) would be like. The U.S. Department of Labor’s guidelines says an internship is supposed to provide “training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by an educational institution.”


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Talking Heads

One thing we all have to learn in business is how to work with and lead people that are not like you, and don’t think like you. In my experience as a business advisor, that’s probably the biggest hurdle to success encountered by every new business owner. Your biggest challenge may be members of your own family, some of your best customers, or a key business partner or investor.


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Surfers are sticking large eyes on the bottom of their surfboards to deter sharks from attacking them, as more and more sharks are sighted off the coast of the US.

The technique is one of several, listed by the Wall Street Journal, being used by surfers to stay safe from attacks, which are still extremely rare but can be fatal.

Great whites are ambush predators, and researchers believe that they are less likely to attack if they believe they have been seen — hence the eyes.

Image: Two "Shark Eyes" stickers on the underside of a surfboard. The manufacturer says it makes the shark think it has lost the element of surprise. Shark Eyes/Vimeo

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Despite the explosive growth of institutional venture capital in recent years, independent Angel investors remain vital components of the high risk/reward entrepreneurship ecosystem. Good Angels fill a role – hands on, value added capital in small amounts at the earliest, riskiest stage of the entrepreneurship cycle – that most of today’s larger venture funds, focused as so many of them are on deals (and entrepreneurs) that are ready for bigger chunks of capital sooner rather than later, just don’t have time for.


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It’s the eternal Catch-22 of the working world: You can’t get a job without experience, but you can’t get experience without a job.

While babysitting, waiting tables, and other part-time jobs have long been the purview of teens looking to pocket some money while waiting to land a “real job,” the skills gained in such positions don’t always equip you for an entry-level gig in a specific profession. This is where internships come in.

Image: Library of Congressf/Wikimedia Commons; Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-G0925-0036-001/ Stöhr/CC-BY-SA 3.0; monkeybusinessimages/iStock

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