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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.

Michelle Haven, vice president of business development for Pfizer, speaks during the seminar Monday at the Sheraton.The terms "production ag" and "venture capital" aren't often heard together in the same sentence.

But in coming years, Mike Jerstad, a partner in PrairieGold Venture Partners, thinks there's potential for that to change.

Jerstad spoke during the Livestock Network: Bringing Industries, Universities and Investors Together seminar Monday at the Sheraton Sioux Falls. The event is organized by the South Dakota Biotech Association ahead of the national Livestock Biotech Summit, which begins today in Sioux Falls.

The presymposium, which drew about 50 people, brought together industry leaders, university officials and investors to discuss private and public research collaborations as well as funding.

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chinesewomanfarmerstraw_Flickr_Passetti[BEIJING] China will double its number of science communicators to four million by 2020, according to the Chinese Association for Science and Technology.

The association will train and support professional communicators to work in rural areas and museums. It also hopes to boost the number of advanced professionals in science writing; research and development; and science industry management, as outlined in the plan, '2010–2020 China's Popular Science Talent Plan'.

According to the association's press release, China believes there is a shortage of science communicators — or 'science popularisation professionals' — in the country, and especially in rural areas, where it plans to have 1.7 million.

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The first step is to shift your perspective: To understand that a career is something that you create, rather than a pre-existing role that you step into. It takes considerable energy to plan your own future, but if you don’t figure out what you want to become, someone else will define it for you. Hunter S. Thompson said it best: “A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” Don’t be that man!

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If SBIR is important to you and your company, it's time to get serious
and realize that this program can, and will go away unless you make a
big noise to let your politician's know how you feel. All of us are
sick of this, and we're now facing a lapse. Eight times this program
has been deemed important enough to keep going (via a CR) but will Nydia
be successful in blocking this ninth attempt?

Read this for more details on how you can help!


Y Combinator, TechStars

"Before, if somebody offered to invest in your company, you just jumped at the chance," says Harjeet Taggar of Y Combinator. "It meant your idea is not going to die. But for the first time, people are starting to grill investors on why they should take the capital, if they can get the capital elsewhere."

Taggar is a venture partner at Y Combinator, a VC that makes small investments in startups (rarely more than $20,000) in exchange for small stakes in the companies (around 2% to 10%). Rather than seduce startups with offers of millions in seed money, Y Combinator is part of a growing trend of investors that offer what Taggar describes as a mix of mentorship, networking, leverage, and brand value.

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onstartups writingWriting has allowed me to meet a slew of smart people. Some of these people are now virtual acquaintances and some are very close friends on a personal and professional level. Each article that you publish is a synthesized thought process that may click with other entrepreneurs instantly. Have you ever had a feeling when reading an article that "Wow, they are thinking exactly what I'm thinking"? By writing, you are likely to encounter a handful of people that experience the same thing. Occasionally one of those people will reach out to you via email or bump into you at an event. You might make a new acquaintance, a new co-founder for the future, potential investor, hire,etc. At the end of the day, being an entrepreneur is about finding other smart (hopefully smarter) people to collaborate with and writing frequently helps make this happen.

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Incredible! And I wish I could say unbelievable! But, sadly, I'm not really surprised.

The illustrious Chairlady of the House Small Business Committee, Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), evidently holds herself above the will of both the Senate and the House. Is this a manifestation of self-importance (with a touch of petulance) or just selfish personal pocket-book protection? Or maybe both. I have my opinion, but you can draw your own conclusions. (Rumor has it she was recently seen shopping at Macy's for a bigger pocket-book.)

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The last decade has seen soaring levels of activity in the field of green energy production. Governments are pushing to decrease carbon dioxide (CO2) emission levels while increasing the delivery of clean energy. Cleantech is now high on the UK government’s agenda and therefore brings with it its own strategic, political and fiscal considerations.

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Ten tech-enabled business trends to watch article, business trends information technology, Business TechnologyTwo-and-a-half years ago, we described eight technology-enabled business trends that were profoundly reshaping strategy across a wide swath of industries.1 We showed how the combined effects of emerging Internet technologies, increased computing power, and fast, pervasive digital communications were spawning new ways to manage talent and assets as well as new thinking about organizational structures.

Since then, the technology landscape has continued to evolve rapidly. Facebook, in just over two short years, has quintupled in size to a network that touches more than 500 million users. More than 4 billion people around the world now use cell phones, and for 450 million of those people the Web is a fully mobile experience. The ways information technologies are deployed are changing too, as new developments such as virtualization and cloud computing reallocate technology costs and usage patterns while creating new ways for individuals to consume goods and services and for entrepreneurs and enterprises to dream up viable business models. The dizzying pace of change has affected our original eight trends, which have continued to spread (though often at a more rapid pace than we anticipated), morph in unexpected ways, and grow in number to an even ten.2

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You’ve probably heard the oft quoted statistic that half of all businesses are gone within five years. While the number is true, it’s an average of what happens to start-ups in all industries, from biotechnology firms to dental offices to taxi services. And new business survival rates differ pretty substantially across sectors of the economy.

To show you how much difference industry sector makes, I have plotted the five year survival curves for the 2000 cohort (the most recent available) of start-up establishments using data from the Longitudinal Business Database of the U.S. Census.

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If I hear one more person ask me ‘How do we keep young entrepreneurs here in Boston?’ I will run headfirst into a wall. Not because it’s a bad question but because in my experience the people asking the question are blowing so much hot air that I can’t take them seriously anymore. My head might actually feel better after plowing through a sheet of drywall.

Now let’s deconstruct why I believe Boston fails the young entrepreneur and how you can help.

1. How to build a business

In Boston, we spend way too much time focusing on how to raise capital and nearly zero time on how to build a business. Ask yourself the last time you saw an event on how to sell a product or how to acquire users. The lean startup events have been a great start, but there is a serious need for more.

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