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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.

Brenner Discusses USDA Research, Technology

Few people know that the Department of Agriculture is one of the leading governmental research organizations with a long history of commercializing what is developed in its labs and jointly. Dr. Rick Brenner, who was named the Assistant Administrator in ARS for Technology Transfer in October 2004 and represents the Secretary of Agriculture on issues pertaining to management of intellectual property arising from USDA research, and has the delegated authority for licensing inventions developed through intramural research in any of the USDA agencies, provides insights into the enormous impact his agency has on the economy of the country.

Venture Capital: Is it on a Diet Pill?

Venture capital outlook for the upcoming years is as obscure as ever due to many external factors such as the government intervention in the private sector to the state of the economy which is very fragile across various industries and sectors. Capitalism is no longer being conceived in a positive manner and no longer are those values being embraced. It is simple, the working model is broke. We need fresh ideas and blood to re-invent the New American Standards across all different platforms.

Innovation should not be the race for the new-new thing

We’re all searching for the new-new thing. Be it a product or a method, we’re looking for that innovation that will let us stand out from the pack, because in a world where we are all good, we need to be original. If an idea becomes a trend before we’re involved, we are not a leader. When we’re first to market, if we capture first mover advantage, then we can define the rules of the game. But how can we tap into valuable ideas for products, services or method before they are seen as trends, when they are just … random?

Age of Innovation

Kjell Nordstrom & Jonas Ridderstrale in their book Funky Business mentioned " The ’surplus society’ has a surplus of similar companies, employing similar people, with similar educational backgrounds, coming up with similar ideas, producing similar things, with similar prices & similar quality."

Startup Uruguay?

VentureBeat has a terrific article today about the first venture capital firm in nation of Uruguay.

The company is called Prosperitas Capital Partners and when it was formed in 2005, there was so little infrastructure that even the lawyers didn't know how to write venture term sheets. The company's first fund was a $10 million dollar fund that invested in healthcare and technology companies. They're working on raising a $100 million fund and partnering with a Bay Area VC firm for another venture fund for Latin America more broadly.

The Top Five Reads For Your Back To School Social Entrepreneur

Going back to school is always a mixed bag. On the one hand, it's a chance to check in with friends, to get back to the activities you love, and to feel one year older and at least one year cooler. On the other hand, it's school, and even for those of us who love learning, school can be a drag. So this year, let's follow Mark Twain's example when he said "I never let my schooling interfere with my education." Here are the top five extracurricular reads for you high school and college social entrepreneurs.

WSJ: The Wall Street Journal 2009 Technical Innovation Awards

Just how difficult it is gets highlighted every time an infectious disease sweeps the globe, as the new strain of swine flu did earlier this year. Current methods of testing for disease-causing microbes are pretty effective at discovering whether an infected fluid or tissue sample contains a known virus or bacteria. But trying to detect previously unknown organisms is a whole different story.

WSJ: Where Are They Now?

For technology innovators, there's the "Eureka!" moment and then there's the business of putting discoveries to work. Here's a look at how some winners from last year—plus the top winner from 2007—have fared since we recognized their achievements.

Nurturing high-tech business

FAIRMONT — At an upcoming conference, people from the state and beyond can learn how to grow their capacity through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

The 2009 Mid-Atlantic SBIR/STTR Conference is scheduled for Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown. The West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation’s INNOVA Commercialization Group and the West Virginia Development Office are hosting the event. Judy McCauley, district director of the SBA’s West Virginia District Office, is serving as an adviser during the planning.

Interview: Vinod Khosla Is On The Hunt For Great Technologies

In venture capital, Vinod Khosla likes to go his own way, which is why he’s been so successful. He was the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems, and then moved to venture capital and became a star partner at Kleiner Perkins, where he backed Juniper Networks, Cerent (sold to Cisco for $7 billion) and NexGen (sold to AMD and formed the basis for its challenge to Intel). About five years ago, after becoming a billionaire, he left Kleiner and started Khosla Ventures to invest his own money. He was mostly drawn to clean tech at a time before it was popular, but still kept his hand in Web and other tech startups (Aliph|Jawbone, iSkoot, RingCentral, Tapulous, iLike, Slide, Xobni). Khosla Ventures already has more than 50 companies in its portfolio (see slides below).

HBS: Financing Constraints and Entrepreneurship

Financing constraints are one of the biggest concerns impacting potential entrepreneurs around the world. Given the important role that entrepreneurship is believed to play in the process of economic growth, alleviating financing constraints for would-be entrepreneurs is also an important goal for policymakers worldwide. In this paper HBS professors William R. Kerr and Ramana Nanda review two major streams of research examining the relevance of financing constraints for entrepreneurship. They then introduce a framework that provides a unified perspective on these research streams, thereby highlighting some important areas for future research and policy analysis in entrepreneurial finance. Key concepts include: