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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.

politicians and the GoogleWho would you elect as our most tech-savvy politician? Our tweeter-in-chief Barack Obama? Think again.

Arizona senator (and 73-year old senior statesman) John McCain has the highest "Digital IQ" in the Senate according to a new joint study by George Washington University and NYU. John McCain. The guy who can't remember how many houses he owns. That One.

In what GW and NYU are calling the "definitive benchmark for online competence," researchers combed through politicians' social media accounts, and calculated their Digital IQ based on the frequency of their YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook use and popularity.

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It's important to preserve relationships and protect everyone involved when tapping your family tree for funding.

Who better to put money into your brilliant business idea than people who can already vouch for you? Friends and family are an obvious source of funding. And in this era of ebbing small business lending by banks, if you don't have an interested investor, why not turn to mom, pop, and the rest of your clan?

"Trust. That's it. Hands down. Family members especially – they've watched you all your life," says Wayne Rivers, president of the Family Business Institute Inc., a family-business consulting firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. When traditional funding sources aren't available, especially to young entrepreneurs who lack collateral, family members can bridge the gap.

Entrepreneurial relatives might say, "I started a business when your age: How much do you need?" But if expectations don't align, more than just your business can end up going under. Even a new endeavor that becomes wildly successful can wreak havoc on relationships.

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Suhas Gopinath is in demand these days. He takes time from his schedule as chief executive officer of the Bangalore-based IT services firm Globals, which he founded in 2000, to speak several days a week at youth entrepreneur events, business schools, and industry conferences. He was in Davos in February for the World Economic Forum and was one of the organizers of the Young Business Leaders conference held in May in Tanzania. After 10 years at the helm of his company, he's looking ahead to new challenges and new ventures.

Not bad for someone 24 years old.

Gopinath gained fame for his precocious success, starting his company in a cybercafé at age 14 and expanding it into a multinational business while his peers were still studying for their high school finals. These days the novelty of Gopinath's youth has worn thin—to him, at least. His ardor for entrepreneurship remains undiminished.

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Last week’s The Economist leader and cover story, “Picking winners, saving losers”, painted an insidious picture of governments’ increasing intervention in market economies, arguing that the hideous Leviathan of the state was gobbling up one sector after another and warning that “picking industrial winners nearly always fails.” Now, put aside the fact that the government was forced into some sectors—such as automobiles and financial services—only after mammoth market failures and pleas for rescues from capitalism’s chieftains.  The more important fact is that the article feeds a Socialism-is-coming hysteria and ignores how picking winners—within limits—has worked in the past for the United States (and Japan, South Korea, etc.) and is needed more than ever to bolster our long-term competitiveness.

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empty_pockets_aug10.jpgIf there's one thing every entrepreneur realizes before launching a new venture, it's that one of the most important steps toward success is getting your name out there. If you're new to the startup game and don't have a reputation upon which to announce a new company, public relations (PR) is likely at the forefront of your mind as you build your startup. Most startups, however, are looking to penny-pinch in any way they can in order to bootstrap their businesses, so how can you get the word out on a budget? Here are a few tips.

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What is behind the growth in women’s entrepreneurship?

The rise of women’s entrepreneurship since the 1980s has been extraordinary. In the late 1970s, women-owned businesses accounted for only 4.5 percent of all businesses. In 2008, more than 40 percent of all businesses were women-owned, according to the Small Business Administration. In the past decade, nearly two out of every three businesses were started by women, and this trend continues.

Beginning with the right to vote (August 1920) through civil rights legislation (1960s), social change has contributed to women’s business ownership. As social and political barriers decreased, access to education, capital, political influence and more role models was created.

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TIME has today released its "50 Best Websites of 2010," an annual list to the best of the Web, which aims to include everything from "the big hitters to the unknowns." Alongside obvious choices like The Onion, Wikileaks, National Geographic, Mayo Clinic and TED, the list has properly outed some of our personal favorites - startups like SpringPad, MOG, Chegg, Mint, Tumblr, SeatGuru and Grooveshark.

One surprising choice, however, was TIME's pick for best location-based social networking service (LBS): Gowalla. While obviously Gowalla is popular among early adopters, it's also an underdog in the LBS world, trailing other services like Foursquare, MyTown and even Loopt in terms of users.

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The past week or so, I’ve been tracking where new jobs will be created in America. Today, I look at the sector of the economy that accounts for the largest share of all jobs – the service class. More than 60 million American workers do this kind of low-skill, low-wage, routine service work, making up 45 percent of the work force. These service class jobs are projected to make up more than roughly half of all projected new jobs out to 2018 – 7.1 million new jobs, including 835,000 projected new home health and personal care aides, 400,000 new customer service positions, 400,000 new food preparation workers, and 375,000 new retail sales clerks.

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PUNE, India — Call it India’s engineering paradox.

Despite this nation’s rise as a technology titan with some of the world’s best engineering minds, India’s full economic potential is stifled by potholed roadways, collapsing bridges, rickety railroads and a power grid so unreliable that many modern office buildings run their own diesel generators to make sure the lights and computers stay on.

It is not for want of money. The Indian government aims to spend $500 billion on infrastructure by 2012 and twice that amount in the following five years.

The problem is a dearth of engineers — or at least the civil engineers with the skill and expertise to make sure those ambitious projects are done on time and up to specifications.

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10 Questions to Determine Your Innovation StyleWhether accidental or intentional, all enterprises drive innovation with an organization model that has significant consequences for participation, results, breakthrough improvements or even initiative failure.

What should you do to get the model right for your enterprise?

Indeed, the substance of innovation consists of value-add contributions – be they product driven, service driven, market driven or business model driven.

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According to a story in today's Wall Street Journal Israel's inability to develop mature companies from its rich base of high-tech start-ups is causing concern for both the industry and the government.

Israel reportedly boasts the most high-tech start-ups per capita in the world. But over the past decade "a tendency has emerged whereby the majority of successful ones are acquired by or merged with larger foreign companies.

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It’s that time of year again: dozens of Silicon Valley’s top investors have packed Y Combinator’s offices in Mountain View, CA for the eleventh Demo Day, where the latest batch of YC companies show off what they’ve built (and look to secure their next round of funding). This is the biggest Demo Day yet, with 36 companies presenting — and the event has become so popular with investors that YC is now offering three different sessions spread across two days.

My notes on the presenting companies are below, along with links to any relevant stories we’ve already written about them. Note that some of the companies presenting today are off-the-record, so they aren’t listed.

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