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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.

EurActiv LogoThe EU's 20-year-old single market is at a critical juncture and needs to be fully completed to further boost Europe's crisis-battered European productivity and competitiveness, reveals a report presented yesterday (10 May) by former Italian Commissioner Mario Monti, who was tasked with coming up with a comprehensive new strategy.

On the basis of an extensive consultation process, Monti has drawn a map of new legislative proposals to improve the EU's single market that the Commission should present by July.

Presenting his report to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso before the European Parliament's internal market committee yesterday, Monti urged the EU to remove the remaining bottlenecks that are hampering innovation and dampening Europe's growth potential.

"There is now a window of opportunity to bring back the political focus of the single market," he argued.

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TechTownBusiness incubators—programs designed to help launch entrepreneurial ventures—are expanding nationwide amid increased demand for the resources, services and counseling the programs typically provide for little or no cost.

New incubator programs have been forming in the U.S. at an annual rate of 8% to 10% for the past five years, and today there are approximately 1,200, estimates Tracy Kitts, vice president of the National Business Incubation Association, a nonprofit in Athens, Ohio. The programs are commonly funded by economic-development groups, government entities and academic institutions, and more than half support start-ups in a mix of industries.

Most incubators offer start-ups commercial space to grow their ventures for below-market lease rates, plus free counseling, administrative support and services in areas such as human resources, information technology and marketing.

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LONDON, May 10, 2010 (Reuters) — Efforts to develop a vaccine triggered by human sweat, and to control mosquitoes using carnivorous plants, were among 78 science projects that won backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday.

The foundation, a $34 billion fund that is run by the multi-billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and invests in scientific projects broadly aimed at improving global health, said each project would get a $100,000 grant for further study.

Other winning projects include developing a low-cost cell phone microscope to diagnose malaria, using ultrasound as a reversible male contraceptive, insecticide-treated scarves and using imaging systems to seek and destroy parasites with a targeted laser vaccine.

"We are convinced that some of these ideas will lead to innovations and eventually solutions that will save lives," Tachi Yamada, of the Gates Foundation's global health program, said in a statement.

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(KANSAS CITY, Mo.), May 11, 2010 – Despite their majority representation at U.S. colleges and universities and increased participation in science and engineering, women still are under-represented among business founders, particularly in high-tech and other high-growth fields.

A new study from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, "Are Women Entrepreneurs Different From Men?" provides insights into the few differences and many similarities between successful men and women entrepreneurs, including background, education, motivations for starting a business and beliefs about key success factors.

"We have a robust pool of potential high-growth entrepreneurs in the women who now earn nearly half of all PhDs conferred in this country, yet few are following an entrepreneurial path," said Lesa Mitchell, Kauffman Foundation vice president of advancing innovation and an author of the study. "This study identifies subtle but meaningful factors that influence women to pursue, and succeed in, entrepreneurship. If we can respond to this study by developing programs that support women in creating high-growth businesses, the positive impact on our economy could be significant."

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The Secretary’s Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls seeks to find and bring to scale the most pioneering approaches to the political, economic and social empowerment of women and girls around the globe. Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the award is part of the State Department’s continuing emphasis on public-private partnerships, and is administered by its Office of Global Women’s Issues. The award, and the office, are founded on the premise that the major economic, security, governance and environmental challenges of our time cannot be solved without the full participation of women at all levels of society. The Rockefeller Foundation, as part of its mission to expand opportunity and promote more equitable growth, seeks to identify innovative approaches that can be scaled to address these challenges.

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There are several important documents you'll want to have ready when you meet with potential investors. Your mission statement. Your founding team's resume and responsibilities. A business plan.

But most investors agree: they do not want to sign an NDA.

While non-disclosure agreements are designed to protect your ideas, asking potential investors to sign an NDA is generally seen as unnecessary and unwise. Most VCs point to the following reasons for avoiding NDAs:

1. Trust. Potential investors are not your competition, and asking them to sign an NDA is often interpreted as a sign you don't trust them. As professional integrity is important to VCs, requiring an NDA is generally seen as a violation of business etiquette.

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Simon Sinek’s TED Talk from TedxPuget Sound (Sept 2009) has been posted and is just awesome. He starts out with the question “Why is Apple so innovative,“ Why is it that Martin Luther King led the civil rights movement,” and “Why is it that the Wright Brothers were able to figure out controlled power manned flight?”

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Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island and a member of the Senate Banking Committee, on Monday filed an amendment to the financial reform currently in the Senate that would require all hedge funds, private equity shops and venture capital firms to register with either a state regulator or the Securities and Exchange Commission, Politico reported.

The amendment would mean that funds under $100 million, previously exempt from the proposed regulation, would now also be required to register.

Politico had this:

“Hedge funds, private equity and venture capital funds have played an important role in providing liquidity to our financial system and improving the efficiency of capital markets. But as their role has grown so have the risks they pose. This amendment will shut down loopholes and provide the SEC with long-overdue authority to examine and collect data from this key industry,” Mr. Reed said in a statement to POLITICO.

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Intel chief executive Paul Otellini predicted today that the company will be shipping a billion chips a year within the next five years. On top of that, revenues and profits are expected to grow at low double-digit rates, or more than double the rate of the past five years.

Otellini made the prediction at the company’s analyst meeting in Santa Clara. He said that he expects the computing market to have a 15 percent to 16 percent compound annual growth rate for the next five years.

Otellini said that the growth will happen on a variety of fronts. Desktops computers will grow a mere 2.4 percent CAGR through 2014. But laptops will grow 22 percent, netbooks will grow 15 percent, and tablet computers will grow 73 percent to 88 percent.

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IoT_blogs.jpgEveryday objects with their own IP addresses may soon be the norm. This communication of objects with the Web is the latest version of a still-idyllic new vision of technology that claims it will improve our lives. Yet we're at such an early stage of development of the Internet of Things that finding the best blogs to follow is a moving target.

Many of the 10 offerings below have only come into being in recent months. Not making our list is a ReadWriteWeb favorite - Pachube - which has been remiss in updating their blog. So stay tuned for updates in future posts. For now, here are what we believe to be the 10 most active blog feeds available on the Internet of Things.

Internet of Things Council

The Internet of Things Council is a European think tank of the best minds in the burgeoning Internet of Things sector. From forecasting to developing prototypes, the council members' commonality is the "range of emotions and conceptual breakdown that comes with grasping the territory, the full logistical, business, social and philosophical implications of the Internet of Things." You can access their blog feed here.

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Reaching the peak of Kilimanjaro revealed the true secrets of success.Barely a week after the mighty St. John River overflowed its banks in Fredericton, the stately New Brunswick capital was invaded by another unstoppable force of nature: entrepreneurs on a mission.

More than 80 business owners from across the province attended the one-day New Brunswick Entrepreneurs Summit to learn each other's success secrets and hone their networking skills. But founder Rivers Corbett, the owner of Fredericton catering firm Chef Group, has his own mission: To turn his province into "the Davos of entrepreneurship."

Can Canada's eighth-largest province (pop. 750,000) become a raging source of entrepreneurs? It has happened before. Consider the success of Max Aitken (the financier who became Lord Beaverbrook, the first "Baron" of Fleet Street), not to mention the Irvings and McCains.

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startupbootcamp_may10.jpgOver the weekend, startup accelerator TechStars announced a partnership with Startupbootcamp, a Copenhagen-based incubator and the very first member of a new global affiliate program hosted by TechStars. With programs in Boulder, Boston and Seattle, TechStars is now expanding and "open sourcing" their incubation model by providing guidance and support for independent international startup accelerators. A TechStars presence in Europe, in any way, shape or form, is a positive step for seed funding in Europe, which - as we've discussed earlier - is in dire need of growth.

Startupbootcamp is a three month program running from August through October where a select group of companies will fine-tune their ideas, develop prototypes and develop their business. At the end of October, the teams will present their products to a group of over 100 investors in hopes of securing further seed or Series A funding.

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