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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.

In his keynote speech at the Red Hat Summit in Boston, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst made the case that of the $1.3 trillion USD spent in 2009 on Enterprise IT globally, $500 billion was essentially wasted (due to new project mortality and Version 2.0-itis). Moreover, because the purpose of IT spending is to create value (typically $6-$8 for each $1 of IT spend), the $500 billion waste in enterprise IT spending translates to $3.5 trillion of lost economic value. He goes on to explain that with the right innovations—in software business models, software architectures, software technologies, and applications—we can get full value from the money that's being wasted today, reinforcing the thesis that innovation trumps cost savings.

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penny_jun10.jpgEven if you plan to bootstrap your company, you should have a good understanding of financing term sheets. That's what DuckDuckGo founder and Hacker Angel Gabriel Weinberg argues in a blog post today that gives some clear and detailed instructions on where to go to learn more about investor term sheets.

As Weinberg points out, most companies will raise money at some point, and it's better to enter financing situations with a grasp of how things work so that you're less prone to make mistakes. And as such Weinberg lays out a fairly comprehensive lesson plan for gaining an understanding of the terminology in term sheets.

Introduction to Term Sheets:
1. Brad Feld's Term Sheet series
2. Venture Hacks' Term Sheet Hacks

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MIT graduates built an awesome vehicle that transforms from winged airplane to SUV-sized vehicle in 30 seconds (via Infrastructurist).

The Terrafugia was just approved by the FAA as a "light sport" aircraft -- although it does not currently have the safety features necessary for road approval, according to the The Register. Buy your own for $194,000 in 2011.

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GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of the energy company GE, has made an equity investment in an 183MW wind farm located in the US state of Idaho, which is comprised of 11 wind farms currently under construction.

GE said it will own a majority equity interest in the Idaho Wind Partners project, and Exergy Development Group, the original developer of the project, and Reunion Power will own a minority interest.

Construction company Fragen began the project construction earlier this month and expects to complete the wind farms by the year’s end.

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altOn June 18th, leaders from many of the Greater Rochester area’s leading innovation organizations came together for a unique and powerful collaboration event, the first of its kind, the Digital Rochester Innovation Jam Session.

Large enterprise, research universities, funding partners, serial entrepreneurs and community supporting organizations were represented at this event. Some of the attendees included: Carestream Health, Rochester Institute of Technology, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Medtech, University of Rochester, RTEmd and New Scale Technologies .

The group met for an afternoon to discuss some of the systemic challenges that inhibit rapid growth of technology innovation and commercialization in our region. The leaders worked in small groups to explore solutions and begin building a framework that will be developed and leveraged over the coming months and years.


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Policymakers often point to entrepreneurship as a way to combat unemployment among twentysomethings. But it's an unrealistic solution, says Scott Shane

Across almost all industrialized countries, unemployment rates are highest among people just out of college. In the U.S., 17.2 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds are out of work. Clearly we need to do something to remedy this problem now and prevent it in the future.

Policymakers often talk about increasing the number of young people who become entrepreneurs. While I'd like to see that happen too, the problem is very few young people start their own businesses. The share of employed people ages 20 to 24 who run their own incorporated businesses is only 0.3 percent, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data. That's lower than in any other age group except 16 to 19, and is 1/25th the rate among those ages 65 to 69.

Developing policy to increase rates of entrepreneurship among young people requires an understanding of why young people tend not to start their own businesses. So why aren't more young people entrepreneurs?

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bestillustrationever.jpgHow do we get kids interested in science? How about more pictures like this in junior-high science textbooks. Just look at it. I'm having a hard time not making metal hands at my own computer screen.

The beast in question is called Leviathan melvillei, a name so awesome that it actually made me question whether this was a legitimate animal and not something made up as a joke. But Wired Science and Science News magazine tell that it was real. And spectacular.

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What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur?Before taking the leap and starting or buying your own business, it would be helpful to know whether you're cut out for the task. Though there's no mathematical formula for figuring out the exact traits of a successful entrepreneur, there are some fairly objective criteria by which you should judge yourself before making what is inherently a very risky move.

Have you ever considered whether you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

You might think that there aren't many objective ways by which you can assess your entrepreneurial ability.

Actually, there are.

What Is Your Personality Type?

One of the quickest ways by which you can get some idea of your innate talents for entrepreneurship is to do a Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) search with the key words "personality types." Actually, such a search will reveal almost 3 million results. So, you have quite a bit of information that can guide you in determining whether your personality traits would serve you well as a self-employed person.

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Michael Schrage, writing on Harvard Business Review, has a message for you: You probably won’t be retiring at age 65. You can read the piece to find out why, but his bigger message is this:

The skills you need to do your job today aren’t the ones you’ll require to continue working after retirement age. Schrage asks,

“Based on your current skill set and competences, what do you think your workday will look like when you’re 70? Are you comfortable with the probability that you will be managing employees younger than your grandchildren? Temperamentally, do you think you’ll add more value as a mentor, a partner, or part-timer? More important, what will your (much) younger boss think?”

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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn recently signed legislation approving a new tax credit to encourage angel investment and extending the state's R&D tax credit one more year. The Innovation Development and Economy Act (SB 2093) allows eligible angel and early-stage institutional investors to take a 25 percent tax credit on investments in small, technology firms. Up to $2 million may be claimed on an individual investment for a $500,000 tax credit. The program is capped at $10 million and will be effective on Jan 1, 2011.

Passed unanimously by the Illinois General Assembly, SB 3655 extends the state's R&D tax credit for one more year. The provision allows for a tax credit equal to 6.5 percent of qualifying expenditures that increase R&D activities in Illinois. These expenditures include, for example, technological and experimental research whose purpose is to develop new or improved components, functions, performance, reliability or quality.

SB 2093 is available at:

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As a small business owner, you know the importance of blogging. You also know how important it is to get coverage from other blogs. But getting blog coverage means knowing how to pitch. It’s about making your email to that blogger stand out and make them want to hit the Reply button instead of just directing you to trash. And that’s not always easy.

As a blogger and a SMB business owner, I’m constantly getting and sending out pitches. And there’s an art to it. Here are 5 Dos and Dont’s of pitching bloggers for coverage.

  1. Know Who To Contact: Businesses quickly get in trouble when they create a rudimentary press list and then mass email everyone on it. This is something you really want to avoid. You want to create a PR linkerati list that will help you identify the most important outlets when you need them. Do some research to find the most relevant blogs in your niche, and then segment them by what types of stories they cover, what their audience likes, and the topics they’re interested in. You don’t want to contact EVERYONE when you have something to say, you only want to contact the people most interested.
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