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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.

Thus, to such extent I thought you would enjoy watching through the following YouTube video clip that I bumped into earlier on (In Twitter, of course!) and which I think would make plenty of people think twice about how they can not only get things started, but move along at a lovely pace, too, with the rest of the employee workforce!

I am sure you will notice the subtle touch of humour behind LearningTOC‘s "Overcoming Resistance to Change – Isn’t It Obvious?"; it’s a short video clip of a bit over 6 minutes that clearly explains how Theory of Constraints can help in clearing up the mud that provoking those kinds of changes within the workplace can well invoke. I’m not going to talk much more about it; I think it will be rather self-explanatory as you move along playing the video itself. So, without much further ado, here you have got the embedded version of the clip, so you can start playing it right away…

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How has Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) been able to maintain its innovative edge? I recently asked Inder Sidhu, senior vice president of strategy and planning for worldwide operations at Cisco (NYSE: CSCO), and the author of Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today’s Profit and Drives Tomorrow’s Growth.

Mac Greer: You began the book by talking innovation. I was expecting to read about Apple or Google and instead you cited the example of Procter & Gamble and laundry detergent. So my question is, what does “laundry detergent compaction” have to do with innovation and why is it such a big deal for retailers like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and Target (NYSE: TGT)?

Inder Sidhu: Laundry detergent compaction basically is a technique for really just compressing more and more cleaning powder into even smaller and smaller sizes or smaller and smaller concentrations, higher concentration, smaller size, right?  Basically in early 2000, what P&G did is they perfected a technique that could compact two or three times as much cleaning power into a liquid concentration.

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The economy, job loss and increased competition for promotions and new jobs have all contributed to the trend of older people (55+) making the decision to start a business.

Older entrepreneurs have the advantages of time and experience on their side when it comes to starting a new business. But on the other hand, they may face a wide variety of challenges, including higher technological learning curves to use popular social media sites. (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo).

Older folks might lack experience as a business owner and it normally takes three-to-five-years before the business is generating sufficient funds to provide potential entrepreneurs with a “market rate” salary.

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July 2010 -- Welcome to the twenty-second edition of the Angel Capital Education Foundation newsletter, reporting matters of interest to angel group leaders and others involved in angel investing with a special focus on best practices. Click on the titles below to read the full articles.
Evolving Models of Angel Groups
As an investment class, angel groups continue to proliferate, evolve, and mature. Growth, financial stability, and investment success are priorities. Groups train for deal leads, raise sidecar funds, seek earlier exits, contribute to broader support for entrepreneurship, and manage through up and down economies. Some group members pursue angel investing as a career.
Ask an Angel: How Does an Angel Group Effectively Assess Startup CEOs?
Angels know that the CEO is critical to the success of any startup company. ACEF asked Tom LeFevre, a twelve-year member of the Angels' Forum in Palo Alto, CA and co-founder of Intuit, to share his perspective on assessing startup CEOs.
Group Profile: ICE Angels
ICE Angels was founded in 2003 and is one of the first New Zealand angel groups. The group has more than ninety members and affiliates who have invested more than NZ$14 million (US$9.8 million) in forty-two investment rounds that totaled more than NZ$26 million (US$18 million). There are seventeen companies in ICE Angels' portfolio. In 2009 the Kiwis had a record year.
2010 Hans Severiens Award and Inaugural Luis Villalobos Award Announced
The Angel Capital Association and Angel Capital Education Foundation named John May-managing partner of the New Vantage Group, ACA co-founder and chair-emeritus, and active participant in five angel groups-as the recipient of the 2010 Hans Severiens Award. ACA also announced Modumetal of Seattle, WA, as inaugural winner of the Luis Villalobos Award.
Education Contributes to the Sustainability of Angel Groups
Continuing education and skills building contribute to stronger connections and relationships between members of angel groups while helping angel group members become better angel investors. Groups become better at conducting due diligence, understanding the concepts and approaches to term sheets, and leading the valuation process.
Privacy and Data Protection for Angel Groups
The same privacy protection and data security issues that affect individuals and companies create important considerations for angel groups. Collecting and storing only necessary private information, understanding providers' privacy policies, and granting access to information only on an as-needed basis are all good practices.
"Angel Amendment" Protects Efficient Capital Access for Entrepreneurs
In July, Congress approved the final Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (now called the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) based on an important amendment in the Senate. The amendment, which was included in the House-Senate conference committee, will ensure that high growth entrepreneurs continue to have access to a strong pool of angel capital and that investors are better protected from fraud. The final bill had not been signed by the President as of the publication of this article.
2010 ACA Summit Held
The Angel Capital Association's annual Summit was held May 5 - 7 in San Francisco. More than 400 attended, the largest gathering of angel investing groups in the world. Presentation, panel discussion, and roundtable topics included syndication, working with venture capitalists, accelerated exits, trends in angel investing and group models.
Harvard-MIT Paper: Angels Improve Entrepreneurial Success
"The Consequences of Entrepreneurial Finance: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis," a working paper published by Harvard Business School (HBS) quantifies the positive impact of angel investors on the new ventures they fund. Overall, the study results suggest that investments by angels improve entrepreneurial success.
Interesting Events
Learn more about four conferences: Auto Venture Forum, National Angel Capital Organization Annual Summit, National Association of Seed and Venture Funds Conference, and Investors' Circle National Venture Fair and Symposium.

WASHINGTON (TheStreet) -- Venture-capital investors placed $6.5
billion in 906 deals in the second quarter, the most invested in startup
companies since the third quarter of 2008, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers
and the National Venture Capital Association.

Investments jumped 34% in dollar terms and 22% in deal count compared
with the first quarter, when $4.9 billion was invested in 740 startups,
according to the report, which is based on data from Thompson Reuters(TRI).
Year-over-year performance was significant, too: In the second quarter
of 2009, $4.27 billion was invested in 705 transactions.

The number of seed and early-stage investment deals increased from
the previous quarter, rising 54% to $2.3 billion. The number of
nascent-stage deals rose 32% to 429 deals. First-time financing gains
were more modest, with newbie dollars rising only 7% from the prior
quarter to $1.1 billion, but the number of first-time deals climbed 27%
to 281 deals in the second quarter.

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altEnsuring Iowa competitiveness in the global economy for jobs and business growth, the Iowa Department of Economic Development has empowered a group of Iowa's top business leaders to identify strategic opportunities to spur best practices for long term growth in the state. This new advisory group is known as the Iowa Innovation Council (IIC).

"The Iowa Innovation Council utilizes our state's brightest business minds to ensure we remain competitive in the global business economy," said Governor Chet Culver. "This first meeting marks the beginning of unified efforts between business representatives and government officials to develop methods and policies that will foster innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit."

Moving beyond the parameters of traditional economic development, which often focuses solely on a state's natural attributes, the Iowa Innovation Council will place a renewed emphasis on advancing Iowa's status as a national center of emerging industry. Concentrating on developing an innovation-based economy and working with the state's knowledge-based strengths, such as the community college and university system, the Council will develop strategies to leverage the state's specialized talent pool into available jobs.


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While small business gets talked up in the economic recovery plan, lending to small business is still down--by $40 billion--from what it was two years ago. Entrepreneurs are grumbling. And Karen G. Mills, head of the SBA, is taking questions.

For glass-half-full types, President Barack Obama's proclamation this spring that his administration "is committed to helping small businesses drive our economy toward recovery and long-term growth" was another indication that small business has a true ally in the White House.

For others, however, those words provided another stinging reminder of how policymakers in Washington have failed to back their statements with action. Despite repeated assurances from the administration, accompanied by a flurry of new pro-entrepreneur initiatives, small-business supporters such as Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Association in Washington, D.C., are concerned that policymakers remain largely beholden to big business, just as they were when George W. Bush ran the White House.

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Steve Jobs one more thingOn Friday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs held a press conference to address "Antennagate", or the issues that iPhone 4 users have been having with the phone's antenna.

With the conference, Jobs ended up coming out on top by promising a free solution for customers and emphasizing that the issue was over-hyped (and backing it up with data.)

The online world was charged with discussions about the presentation (and still is) -- and not only because it concerned Apple. There were a few specific things Jobs did that ensured his presentation would go viral.

Fast Company spoke with Dan Zarella, a scientist who studies how presentations turn into viral sensations, about what Jobs did right during his presentation to make sure it was talked about afterwards.

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Entrepreneurship clubs help students turn their ideas and passions into businesses and develop future business leaders.

Ryan Allis and Aaron Houghton met at an entrepreneurship club while attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Within three days of meeting, the two had the idea for their company iContact that helps small businesses manage their e-mail marketing. iContact now has 63,000 customers and generated $26.5 million in revenue last year. With the creation of entrepreneurship clubs, colleges and universities across the country are becoming small business development incubators.

According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, over 2100 colleges and universities were offering entrepreneurship education programs by 2006.  These programs and centers vary in their execution, but often help students cultivate a startup business idea, teach them basic strategies like estimating costs and writing a business plan, and help them network their ideas toward sources of funding.

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When entrepreneurs come to me, I always point out the following:

1) The chances of a venture-backed startup being a hit and returning meaningful wealth are about 1 in 10.

2) You're likely to have about 20-25 years in your career where you can found a company.

3) Each time you found a company, you're going to end up spending 4-5 years of your life on it.

4) Therefore, the equation for entrepreneurial wealth is the following: You have a 10% chance of success per startup, and you get 5 swings to hit it out of the park.

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If a computer could identify your face as you walked into a store and could offer you personalized discounts, would you like it? If you were a store owner, would you want to do that?

Billionaire investor Mark Cuban thinks that’s the future of the “location” trend. He invested recently in a company that can count people in a video capture, and he believes the next step for the application is to add facial-recognition software, he wrote on his blog Sunday. Mr. Cuban wouldn’t reveal the name of the company but said it wasn’t currently using face-recognition technology.

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