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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.

It's a well-worn cliché that men dominate the top ranks of the biotech industry. But over the past decade a group of extraordinary women has put that cliché to the test. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of our selection of 10 women who have excelled in the industry is that there were so many outstanding women in biotechnology to choose from.

One of this year's group runs a large cancer drug business. One not only founds biotech companies, she also places some savvy venture bets on future stars. Several are CEOs pursuing excellent science and top clinical trial prospects. Some came up through the scientific ranks, others through the business development side of the business.

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A reader asks: I’m the founder of a mobile apps startup, and we’re starting to get some incredible traction. I’ve been bootstrapping the venture for the last year, but I’d really like to raise about $2 million to scale this thing. If a VC invests $2 million, what percentage of the company will he own?

Answer: It depends upon the value of your company prior to the investment (commonly referred to as the “pre-money valuation” or “pre”). The VC’s percentage ownership is calculated by dividing the amount of its investment by the post-money valuation of the company (which is equal to the pre plus the amount of the investment).

For example, if the pre were $4 million, the VC would get one-third ($2,000,000 divided by $6,000,000); on the other hand, if the pre were $1 million, the VC would get two-thirds ($2,000,000 divided by $3,000,000).

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The Chilean economy has been recognized as the most competitive of Latin America. In general, Chile has been characterized by political and economic stability and relatively low levels of corruption and offers one of the most advanced physical infrastructure systems in the region. The potential and proven track record of this economy has led to Chile’s recent accession to the OECD as its 31st member and its first member in South America. Not surprisingly, Chile is often a case study in economic development. The question is whether its model will show the power of entrepreneurship as an engine for prosperity?

Unfortunately, Chile is not yet a startup culture, and innovation still plays a minor role in the creation of new enterprises, according to the infoDev Incubator Support Center (iDisc) service from the World Bank. This may come as surprise since the Chilean government’s investment in R&D has increased 70% since 2005 and much of it has flown into universities. It has also created the InnovaChile program to support innovation in various sectors, including biotechnology, energy and ITC. The slow pace of innovation in Chile calls for programs and policies that unlock the transfer of R&D into innovations that can be commercialized. Some experts believe that much of the bottleneck lies in the very weak links between Chilean universities and businesses but as Kauffman research has shown, this is a complex piece of the puzzle to make work.

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Cheap, plentiful biofuels could ameliorate a host of global problems: carbon emissions, trade imbalances, agricultural employment in the middle of the country and in emerging nations.

And there is no doubting the demand. The world consumes the equivalent of 1.06 cubic miles of oil globally a year, according to A Cubic Mile of Oil, the new book by Hew Crane, Ed Kinderman and Ripu Malhotra at SRI International. That’s close to 1.1 trillion gallons a year, or more than enough to fill 1,500 sports stadiums. Today, Kior, a company in the Khosla Ventures portfolio, announced it has received $75 million in loans from the state of Mississippi.

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classroom.jpg"Revolutionary." "Disruptive." These terms are used with such frequency that they may have lost much of their meaning. That's not to say that there aren't plenty of products and services that are innovative, and plenty of systems, plenty of organizations that are ripe for disruption or "revolution." Take education, for example. Our modern education system is, after all, not so modern, with many of its practices strongly rooted in a "factory" model circa the Industrial Revolution. But what does revolutionizing education really look like? And which startups working in education technology are really "disruptive"?

A recent thread on Quora bypasses the "revolutionary" and "disruptive" adjectives, asking instead "What are some interesting startups in the education space?" But a recent blog post at The Teaching Master does invoke these adjective, listing the "Top 25 Web Startups Revolutionizing Teaching." Neither the Quora nor the Teaching Master post offer metrics. There's no indication of what makes a "top" startup or what constitutes "interesting," let alone "revolutionary" work in the ed-tech space.

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The PIPELINE technology entrepreneur fellowship program opened applications for its 2011 fellowship today. Now in its fourth year of operations, the Kansas-based PIPELINE Entrepreneurial Fellowship Program is a nationally-acclaimed leader in the field of entrepreneurial development for high growth entrepreneurs.

PIPELINE is an “immersion program” which blends the best techniques from the fields of leadership training, business coaching and venture capital, and the latest thinking from America’s leading entrepreneurial experts. It combines these ingredients with extensive network building for the Pipeline fellows – and helps them to develop strong peer networks to support them over the course of their entire career.

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Between online video, DVRs, and on-demand cable the amount of time people spend watching live TV (you know, with all of those commercials that advertisers spend $70 billion a year on) is shrinking fast. Only 52 percent of American’s viewing time is spent on live TV compared to online and time-shifting alternatives, according to a new survey of 1,000 American consumers by market research firm Morpace. And that percentage decreases the younger the audience, with the key 18-to-34-year-old demographic watching live TV only 41 percent of the time, versus 64 percent of the time for those 55 and older.

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Incorporating a business is not difficult it can be done online or physically. Anyone who has a business can incorporate his business irrespective of size. There are many types of corporations available in the US so before you incorporate your business learn about the different kinds of business structures available in the US. You must also find out what the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating business in different states are. Incorporation of a business can be handled by a qualified lawyer or professional incorporating services. The main document that has to be filed for incorporating a business is known as the ‘articles of incorporation.” And, filing fees need to be paid to appropriate state agencies.

Incorporating a business has several advantages. Even if your operation is a single person one forming a corporation means creating a separate legal entity which is a separate individual. According to business gurus incorporating is a must as it:

1. Protects the owners from personal liabilities. This means you and your family or partners will not be legally liable for any business related payments in case of debt. Incorporating a business protects your home and personal assets from risks.

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altAgainst the backdrop of Biotechnology Region Rhein Neckar, Germany's award winning top-cluster, The Technopolicy Network is organizing its 7th Annual Conference on 30 September & 1 October. Experts from over 15 countries will focus on the aspects that are needed to create a knowledge region that is truly of world-class. Topics include clustering strategies, benchmarking, ingredients of a successful knowledge region and the importance of international alliances. Poh Kam Wong (Singapore University and Silicon Valley Entrepreneur), Richard Bendis (venture capitalist and US cluster policy advisor), Peter Nijkamp (regional economist and Dutch government advisor) and Tony Rahilly (DG National Research Council Canada) are among the many eminent speakers.
The conference is hosted by Bioregion Rhein Neckar (BioRN). This leading life science region has developed into one of the leading clusters in Europe in the field of personalized medicine and cancer. Christian Tidona, cluster manager of BioRN, will be introducing this impressive cluster. Within a radius of 30 kilometers around the University of Heidelberg, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) are amongst the 60 highly innovative biotech and pharma companies with a total of nearly 20,000 employees, working on new drugs, diagnostics, technology platforms and services.

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Forget the "Ground Zero mosque," Michelle Obama's Spanish holiday and even the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. When future historians look back to the summer of 2010, the event they are most likely to focus on is China's emergence as the world's second-largest economy.

Mostly, this is a very good thing. The rise of China, and the related,
albeit slightly slower, emergence of India, is the story of hundreds of
millions of very poor people joining the global economy and getting a
little richer. Gross domestic product per capita in those two countries
was basically stagnant from 1820 to 1950. Then, it increased 68 percent
from 1950 to 1973, and a whopping 245 percent from 1973 to 2002.

But we need to be careful not to draw the wrong lessons from China's
resurrection. The most dangerous one is that authoritarianism works.

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If you think it's tough being a manager these days, try being an employee. Most are in the position of having to go with the flow because of the current economic conditions. But that doesn't necessarily mean they do so with a smile on their face. Here are ten things your employees wish you knew about them:

1. They are happy to have a job. But that doesn't necessarily mean they are happy in their job. Big difference. People who are happy in their jobs act a lot different than those grateful to have a job. They are highly engaged and will do whatever it takes to delight the customer. The other group simply floats along praying for the day they can tell you really what they are thinking. Most likely they will do this as they hand in their notice. That is if they even give notice.

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Mark SusterConvertible notes -- debt instruments that can be converted into stock at the option of the holder or the issuer -- are  a popular choice among VCs when they participate in early funding.

On this point, Y-combinator cofounder Paul Grahm tweeted:

“Convertible notes have won. Every investment so far in this YC batch (and there have been a lot) has been done on a convertible note.”

But have they really won?

This question was asked on Q&A site Quora yesterday:

Why would an early-stage investor specifically NOT prefer a convertible note structure to straight equity (e.g. a priced/valued preferred stock financing)?

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