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Founded by Rich Bendis

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.

Freeing our economy from its dangerous addiction to fossil fuels and averting the calamitous risks of climate change will require a major technological transformation in the way we produce, transmit, and consume energy. Inventing, developing, building, and deploying these new technologies will require a new era of American technological innovation. The result will be new industries and jobs, along with more clean energy and less pollution.

The good news is that we know that innovation is a fundamental driver of economic growth, and America has led the world in innovation for the past two centuries—from the mechanization of textile manufacturing in the late 18th century to the invention of the Internet in the late 20th century. Innovation is America’s first and greatest competitive advantage—or, as President Obama said “it’s in our DNA.” Twenty-first century clean energy technologies are already being designed, built, marketed, and installed to replace more than a century’s worth of entrenched fossil fuel infrastructure, and a recent report by the Department of Commerce indicates that there are nearly 2 million clean energy jobs in our economy today, with more on the way.

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On the heels of the latest Android phone, the Sprint HTC EVO, and as we approach iPhone 4, it seems like mobile devices and platforms are innovating at about five times the pace of personal computers.

Rapid advancement in mobile is often attributed to the natural disruption by which emerging industries innovate quickly, while established markets like PCs follow a slower, more sustained trajectory.

But there are deeper fundamentals driving the breathtaking pace of smartphone advancement. Component vendors supplying to smartphone OEMs have evolved a much different DNA than those supplying to PC makers. Smartphones are an evolution of embedded systems, not PCs, and embedded markets have long favored vendors who don’t simply provide the most highly integrated chipsets, but who can also partner with OEMs to drive system-level integration and software at a rapid pace.

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5 Fatal Mistakes That Hold Back Start-up Business Owners5 Fatal Mistakes That Hold Back Start-up Business OwnersThe definition of a sale is when preparation and opportunity meet on the same day. In business, it helps to understand that customers are working to minimize risk when they enter into contracts with small businesses. Some small business owners often loose opportunities because of bad habits and not recognizing that certain things must be in place before they start marketing their products and services. These issues speak directly to trust and credibility for a business owner.

Here are the top five mistakes that hold back start-up entrepreneurs:

1) Not Appreciating Social Intelligence

This is the mistake that small business owners make the most.  Having proper social skills and being in tune with your surroundings will take you a long way in business.

Here are some examples of poor social intelligence:

  • Do you have a tendency to talk too much at networking events, or worse, share too much personal information? No one except the banquet manager cares about how hard it was to find a parking space. Keep your networking chat smart.
  • Are you dressed like someone that has an executive presence? Or, like you should be serving the meal at the event. Everyone should have signature colors and at least three killer outfits. Men, the tie color and the shoes are very important.
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Even in this era of global markets, new ideas, new companies and new jobs are still created on a local level. One of the bright spots for the future of the U.S. economy is growing evidence that a culture of entrepreneurship is beginning to spread beyond Silicon Valley to urban and rural areas across the country.

States as diverse as Ohio, Kansas, Georgia and Pennsylvania are among the regions bringing together three essential ingredients for innovation: specialized talents, networks and knowledge.

Yes, we are living through a time of economic transition. North Dakota, probably not the first state to come to mind, was a national leader in job growth in the last decade. Philadelphia, where I live and work, was once a major manufacturing center; now one of its major sources of jobs is the health care and life sciences industry, a stable employer even in tough economic times.

By Rich Bendis
President, CEO, Innovation America

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Editor's Note: the full PDF is not yet available.  The above PDF link will contain the full presentation as soon as it's available.

trapeze swingerOne of the challenges that I write about in Good Boss, Bad Boss and that Jeff Pfeffer and I discuss in Hard Facts is that leaders walk a fine line between exuding confidence while simultaneously making decisions and updating their actions based on the best possible information.  The best bosses, we argue, have what psychologist's call the attitude of wisdom: They act with confidence, while doubting what they know.  I have written about this here before, and perhaps the best example is in this long post about the wisdom of former Intel CEO Andy Grove.  There is a long quote from Andy in this post, and he demonstrates that attitude of wisdom with this great line, advising bosses:

Act on your temporary conviction as if it was a real conviction, and when your realize that you are wrong, correct course very quickly.

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MENLO PARK, CA--(Marketwire - June 7, 2010) -  Venture capital database VentureDeal is pleased to announce the release of complimentary Venture Capital Funding Quarterly reports.

Covering the first quarter of 2010, the reports provide a combination of notable venture capital transactions involving venture capital companies and startups, insights into trends by industry sector and aggregated data.

Written by VentureDeal staff, the current reports released for Q1 2010 may be found by clicking the links below:

  •  Alternative Energy - Clean Technology - Energy - Environmental PDF Report

  •  Biotechnology - Pharmaceutical - Medical Devices PDF Report

  •  Internet - Digital Media - eCommerce - Software PDF Report

  •  Telecom - Wireless - Mobile - Communications PDF Report

Organizations such as professional service firms, technology startup companies and venture capital firms derive benefit from new perspectives on industry trends, discovering new companies being funded and which venture capital firms, angel groups, private equity firms and venture lenders provided the financing.

To view all reports, visit: http://www.venturedeal.com/Reports/Default.aspx.

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Accountability - The Foundation of Sustainable InnovationWithout accountability, there is no innovation. Action items won’t get done, programs will lose traction, meetings will fall off the calendar – the issue can be as frustrating as “herding cats”.

Every company culture needs accountability. Actually, for any company to succeed accountability is an imperative. Members of a corporate team need to feel responsible for their work – to meet deadlines and to deliver what was agreed upon. Holding others accountable begins with clear communication of what is expected of them and even getting the agreement in writing if necessary.

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Creatives Take the Lead in InnovationWe’ve been developing a theory of business over the last few years, based on our work with a number of companies. The theory is less about innovation tools and techniques and more about the structure of a firm’s workforce. What’s become apparent is that the mix of skills drives a lot of innovation success. While you can take a fairly conservative culture and rally it to an occasional innovation effort, that conservative organization will revert to its comfort zone over time. To innovate consistently and effectively, a firm needs a supportive culture, a committed management team and the right mix of skills, interests and perspectives to sustain innovation.

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"Creative" is a much-abused word. It is all too often applied to things which really are just a little different or simply doing their job. But creativity plainly exists – there would be no art, literature or music if it did not – and understanding what it is and how it works will be increasingly valuable to bu  sinesses in an ever more competitive world.

Audencia Nantes, the French business school, has bravely tried to introduce the artistic notion of creativity to the more mundane idea of management in the hope that a marriage will result. An elective module on the school's MBA curriculum, called art, management and creativity, is about to enter its second year. It is the brainchild of Catherine Morel, an expert on the business of art, who used to be a full-time member of Audencia's faculty. She is now the director of the MA in creative economy at Kingston University and also teaches the course in Nantes. Her belief is that artists solve problems just as businesses do, but in different ways, and that each can learn from the other.

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Are you over 40 and wondering if it’s too late for you to write your Great American Novel?

Hey, don’t worry.

Despite New York Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus’ essay last week on the “essential truth about fiction writers,” that they “often compose their best and most lasting work when they are young,” you may still have time to create your masterpiece.

And that goes for those of you whose creative muse inhabits a non-literary field, say, painting or composing or even biology.

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Urban Corridor Ask most anyone around the country, and Iowa is known for one thing: food production. We are the breadbasket of the globe. Our contribution to the worldwide community is an important but unglamorous one. Our state gets lumped in as a flyover state, confused with others such as Idaho and Ohio, and is assumed by outsiders to be a place where every resident seemingly lives on a farm.

Despite our humble agricultural facade, the state of Iowa is progressing in ways that is earning it recognition nationwide. Recently, I attended a learning session for work where the speaker from Innovative Kinetics discussed alternative energy solutions such as wind power, solar power, and electric vehicles. Anyone who has driven along I-80 in western Iowa or through parts of northern Iowa knows that this state has a large presence of wind turbines.

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