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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.

10 Technology Incubators That Are Changing The WorldIn Depth: 10 Technology Incubators That Are Changing The World

Business incubators--more than 300 in the U.S., many attached to universities--are increasingly drawing intellectual capital from around the world. With the help of CB Insights, a Manhattan firm that tracks private-company funding trends (including venture capital, private equity and government-backed deals), we assembled 10 especially crackling innovation hubs.

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Venture Capitalist DiagramEssentially, for any new venture, the venture capital investing process is all about minimizing risks and maximizing rewards. This investing process is discussed in this article from the entrance stage to the exit stage.

Venture capitalists play the role as an important financial intermediary by providing capital to firms that might otherwise experience difficulties in attracting funds from pre-inception to post operations. Subject to other things being equal, firms seeking venture capitalist backing are generally small but typically young and high risk oriented because of their possessing inadequate. New firms usually have little or no tangible assets and are characterized by a knowledge gap between what the entrepreneurs and investors know about each other. A natural corollary of this, venture capitalists finance in real terms, and seek high risk oriented projects that have a potential for big rewards. The mode of finance usually involves the purchase of equity or equity linked stakes from such privately held firms. In order to minimize the risk and maximize the rewards, the venture capital industry has developed a variety of mechanisms, which in other words, can be stated as the venture capital investing processes.

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How Do You Handle Taking A Stop Gap Job and Your Personal Brand?The harsh fact of today’s economy is reflected in the Bureau of Labor Statistics report (July 10, 2010):

  • There are 14.6 million unemployed in the US according to the June report, The Employment Situation.
  • The share of families with an unemployed member rose from 7.8 percent in 2008 to 12.0 percent in 2009, the highest proportion since the data series began in 1994.
  • In June, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was unchanged at 6.8 million. These individuals made up 45.5 percent of unemployed persons.

I was the speaker at a Georgetown School of Continuing Studies event called “Build Your Brand — Build Your Career.” (You can find my presentation on Slideshare) on July 14, 2010 and had a great audience of students and faculty members. One of the audience members referred to the current long-term unemployment figures and asked if taking a lower-level job would hurt a person’s brand and how they should reflect that in their online profiles.

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Third Rock Ventures, the life sciences venture capital firm based on Newbury Street, is planning to open a small San Francisco office next month. The new office, in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood, will house a principal and a partner who are moving out from Boston, and a new partner being hired on the west coast, according to chief financial officer Kevin Gillis. Third Rock, founded in 2007, launched with a $378 million investment fund, and is currently out raising a $400 million fund.

Third Rock principal Jake Bauer will move out to San Francisco, but Gillis wasn't ready to name the two partners who'll run the office, saying that a press release is planned for early September.

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In the U.S., we take it for granted that starting a business should be quick and simple. But abroad, it can be mind-numbingly complex--and that's one reason why economists often use the number of days it takes to start a business to gauge a country's entrepreneurial competitiveness, its prevalence of red tape, and its straight-up corruption. (Since corruption often starts when there's more red tape--and more opportunities for bribes.)

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Building on a tool that they developed in yeast four years ago, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine scanned the human genome and discovered what they believe is the reason people have such a variety of physical traits and disease risks.

In a report published in the June 25 issue of Cell, the team identified a near complete catalog of the DNA segments that copy themselves, move around in, and insert themselves here and there in our genome. The insertion locations of these moveable segments — transposons — in each individual’s genome helps determine why some are short or tall, blond or brunette, and more likely or less likely to have cancer or heart disease. The Johns Hopkins researchers say that tracking the locations of transposons in people with specific diseases might lead to the discovery of new disease genes or mutations.

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As Executive Director of the National Angel Capital Organization, I am constantly asked what business angel investors are looking for by entrepreneurs.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Entrepreneurs must always remember that angels, acting alone or in groups, are all individuals, with their own motivations for and interests in investing.

Some angels will only invest in one industry. Some angels will invest in many industries. Some angels will be extremely hands on – even taking senior roles within their investee company – mentoring the company and leveraging their network and expertise to help ensure its success. Some angels will invest in a company and leave it to other investors to help ensure the company’s success. No one size or set of motivations describes all angels.

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gullwingA Swedish driver just registered the world's highest speeding ticket while driving a $500,000 Mercedes-Benz Gullwing on Swiss roads at 190 miles per hour. The 37-year-old faces a shocking $1.1 million fine.

Here's how: Switzerland bases fines on a formula that includes speed and the driver's income. The Swedish speedster tipped the scale on both.

According to the Telegraph, police had tried to catch the speedster for weeks, but didn't have radar equipment that could measure that kind of speed.

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Car,audi, robotAudi is sending a robotic version of its TTS sports car to navigate to the top of Pikes Peak only guided by computers and GPS

In September a driverless Audi TTS will speed to the top of Colorado's Pikes Peak at just under 100 kilometers per hour—that's right, no driver. It is an early step toward a robo-car that can drive itself, perhaps better than you can.

The World Health Organization projects traffic fatalities to be the third leading cause of mortality worldwide by 2020. And drivers themselves are responsible for 73 percent of these deaths. So automakers are looking at ways they could make cars safer by taking driving out of human hands. Self-driving cars could offer other benefits: TNO, an international research firm based in the Netherlands, says that they could reduce the time lost to traffic jams by up to 50 percent, and reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by 5 percent.

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At least Mark Zuckerberg wrote a few lines of computer code at Harvard before he left to launch Facebook. Now Andrew Mason, a relaxed and lanky 29-year-old music major from Northwestern, has managed to build the fastest-growing company in Web history. Groupon represents what the dot-com boom was supposed to be all about: huge sales, easy profits and solid connection between bricks-and-mortar retailers and online consumers.

Groupon, a name that blends "group" and "coupon," presents an online audience with deep discounts on a product or service. Act now, says the pitch: You have only so many hours before this offer expires. That's a familiar come-on, but it's coupled with a novel element: You get the deal only if a certain number of fellow citizens buy the same thing on the same day. It's a cents-off coupon married to a Friday-after-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy.

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As the U.S. economy emerges from recession, a new crop of start-ups is blooming. From microblogging to location-based services to green auto technology, social gaming, genetic testing, e-commerce and digital music, a new generation of start-ups is poised to lead the technology world into the next decade.

It's not surprising. Recessions breed innovation. The creative destruction wrought by economic downturns creates the conditions for new ideas to flourish and new firms to hatch. The slowdown of the early 1990s preceded the rapid growth of the first generation of iconic Internet companies -- AOL (AOL), which owns and operates DailyFinance, Netscape, Yahoo (YHOO), Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY) and Google (GOOG) -- until the technology bubble laid waste to the industry, sparing only the hardiest firms.

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