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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.

larryellison tbiI am posting this as a MBA Mondays post. But I did not learn this little lesson at business school. I learned it from a very experienced venture capitalist early in my post-MBA career.

I was working on a CEO search for one of our struggling portfolio comapnies. We had a bunch of them.

I started in the venture capital business just as the PC hardware bubble of the early 80s was busting. Our portfolio was a mess. It was a great time to enter the business. I cleaned up messes for my first few years. I learned a lot.

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On Christmas Day last year, I posted a list of ten great free e-books for innovators. Today isn’t as festive, but I have another ten great free e-books that can help you become more innovative. Connecting ideas is the fundamental creative act in innovation, and one of the ways to do this is to read widely in order to gain exposure to a wide variety of ideas. This is a list of great resources that will help you do precisely that.

Making Do: Innovation in Kenya’s Informal Economy by Steve Daniels – We’re starting to hear more and more about highly innovative people in developing countries – when the innovations they develop migrate to developed countries, some call it reverse innovation, a phrase I’m not too fond of. This book tells the story of many interesting innovations in Kenya, including looking at the knowledge networks that facilitate collaboration within communities. No matter what you call it, innovation takes place everywhere. For other great stories, check out the Afrigadget blog, or do some research on Jugaad in India.

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This amazing little video charts the location of every asteroid discovered since 1980. As we move into the 1990s, the rate of discovery picks up quite dramatically because we’re now working with vastly improved sky scanning systems. And that means that you will especially want to watch the second half of the video. Below the jump, I’ve pasted some more information that explains what you’re seeing. Thanks to @WesAlwan and Mike for sending this great little clip our way.

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There has been an explosive conversation in the blogosphere this weekend about the under representation of women in tech entrepreneurship and web entrepreneurship more broadly. Is the situation better in social entrepreneurship?

This iteration of the conversation started off with a piece in the Wall Street Journal that rehashed many of the back-and-forths on this issue from the last few months, including the debate around whether the forthcoming TEDWomen conference was actually a step back for gender equality because of a sort of "seperate-but-(un)equal" thing. It also included a pretty lazy potshot at Techcrunch, the leading web 2.0 media publication.

Michael Arrington, the founder of Techcrunch, didn't like that one much at all and wrote a post titled: "Too Few Women in Tech? Stop Blaming the Men." In it, he effectively argues that venture investors, tech conferences and the media clamor for female entrepreneurs because they're eager to redress the imbalance and highlight more female innovators in order to inspire a younger generation of women to build companies.

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In order to better understand the link between intellectual property rights, technology transfer and development, an analysis was recently conducted of the expectations of developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, of technology transfer. The analysis shows that in order to foster development through technology, it is necessary to put into place an efficient and flexible intellectual property rights system and to promote local innovation.

This study draws on research and on answers to a questionnaire sent to regional universities and research and development centres.

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DENVER, Pa. - Zachary Gosling, 18, will begin majoring in business at Drexel University next month but is already quite the businessman.

In first grade, he sold rocks from his driveway to unwitting classmates, claiming that he had spiffed them up in a "rock cleaner."

At age 8, he opened his first Scottrade account.

But his real coup came at 13, when he launched an online auction website from his bedroom in rural Denver, Pa., near Lancaster, supported by advertising and sponsorships rather than the fees charged by giant auction sites. The site got as many as five million page views per quarter just two years later. Had it not been sabotaged by hackers, its exponential rise might have given eBay pause.

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ON EMPTY: You’ll spend more than you think. Don’t be caught short.There’s hardly a worker on Earth who hasn’t mused of running his own company, calling his own shots and freeing himself from the yoke of his middling, Celine Dion-loving immediate supervisor.

For most, it’s just a fantasy. But for some — those brave folk we call entrepreneurs — starting a business stops being a pipe dream and turns into a full-time reality.

The risks are grave, and there’s little room for error. Though statistics vary, they all indicate it’s better than even money an entrepreneurial enterprise will go belly up within a year.

And while some of those ill-fated dreamers may be finding innovative ways to blow it, many are making mistakes straight from the Book of Common Blunders. So before you punt your old life away to pursue the dream of selling a solar flashlight, you need to know what they are.

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On Saturday, I attended WISH 2010 in Tokyo (where I live) to see a total of 15 Japanese startups presenting their services onstage to a panel of judges and an audience of 550 people. The event was organized by online marketing company Agile Media Network (“Japan’s Federated Media“).

Eight of the companies won prizes from various national media (i.e. TechCrunch Japan), and there was one big winner (an e-book publishing platform called Puboo). But here are thumbnail sketches of all of the companies that presented at WISH 2010. (Please note that not all of these services are available in English.)

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The Oxford English Dictionary, currently a 20 volume, 750-pound monstrosity, has been the authoritive word on the words of the English language for 126 years. The OED3, the first new edition since 1989, may also be the first to forgo print entirely, reports the AP.

The Internet is on a physical-media-killing rampage. First BlockBuster, now the venerable OED?

Nigel Portwood, chief executive of the Oxford University Press (isn't that the perfect name for him?), says online revenue has been so high that it is highly unlikely that the third edition of the OED will be physically printed. The full 20-volume set costs $995 at Amazon, and of course it requires supplementals regularly to account for valuable words like "bootylicious."

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Many entrepreneurs start their business with 1 of 2 possible mindsets. Either they will set the world on fire and utilize venture capital funding and eventually sell stock to the public or be acquired by a publicly traded company, or they will utilize their friends and family to invest in the business and grow slowly and organically. Both of these groups should now consider angel investors. Here are 5 facts that every entrepreneur should know:

$20 Billion in Annual Angel Investment - According to the Angel Capital Education Foundation angel investors pledge $20 billion to startup businesses; whereas, total venture capital funding is only $300 million and state funding comes in at about $500 million. Friends and family are responsible for approximately $60 billion in small business investment each year.

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