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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.

KauffmanLabs_199x41Interested in applying for the Kauffman Labs Education Ventures Program? Listen in on one of two upcoming informational teleconferences to learn more about the program and ask questions:

Monday, August 9, 2010 at 11 a.m. CDT/Noon EDT

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. CDT/2:30 p.m. EDT

Just fill out the first page of the Education Ventures Program application,
and you will receive call-in information via e-mail.

Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation , an initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, is searching for aspiring founders to launch high-growth, scalable companies in the education market. Through an open application process available to anyone over the age of eighteen with a transformative idea, Kauffman Labs will identify up to twenty entrepreneurial concepts for the education market and work with the aspiring founders to teach them how to establish their organizations.

During this teleconference, you will learn:

  • Why Kauffman Labs launched the program
  • How to apply
  • How the Education Ventures Founders will be selected
  • What qualifications are required
  • What selected Founders can anticipate throughout the program

Following a presentation on the program and the selection process, callers will have an opportunity to ask questions.

If you know any driven entrepreneurs with an education idea,  pass this on.


“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off… They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.” - Pearl Buck

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http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/mergers-and-acquisitions.jpgThere is a telltale sign of an inexperienced startup entrepreneur. They get premature merge elation. You know, they get so excited about doing deals all the time instead of doing the hard work of figuring out their businesses. I understand this. I was a premature merge elater once. Here’s what I learned:

1. As a startup you shouldn’t focus on buying other companies until you’ve figured out your own business
A close friend of mine in LA who is 3 years into his startup called me about 2.5 years ago and told me, “I just got offered the chance to buy this company because the founder doesn’t want to continue.  It has awesome features that my main competitor doesn’t have.  I can save tons of development time and I think I can buy it for all equity.  How much dilution should I take for it?”  My friend’s company was pre-revenue.

Me: “Zero dilution.  Pass.  Focus on your customers and don’t obsess about deals or keeping up with your competitors releases.”


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Green_transition_small_green_gts_and_logo ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., Aug. 03 /CSRwire/ - The GREEN TRANSITION SCOREBOARD™ from ETHICAL MARKETS, the independent global multi-media company, tracks total private investment in companies growing the green economy since 2007. The mid-2010 update shows a rise to $1,646,719,228,993 from $1.24 trillion at the end of December 2009. The report was released today by founder-CEO HAZEL HENDERSON, D.Sc.Hon, FRSA, futurist and author of Ethical Markets: Growing The Green Economy (Chelsea Green, 2006). Dr. Henderson has advised the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment, the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Engineering, tracking these technologies since the 1970s.

Dr. Henderson, creator of the GREEN TRANSITION SCOREBOARD™ (GTS), stressed its vision and purpose, "Our mission of fostering ethical markets and growing the green economy worldwide is shared by millions of entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, engineers, venture capitalists, investors, pension funds, as well as civic groups, academics, students and employees of incumbent industries in the fossilized sectors in many countries. This requires the revolution in corporate and national accounts we have long advocated - now underway by the new International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) steered by 33 organizations, including the Global Reporting Initiative, the UN Principles of Responsible Investing and many other pension funds and accounting bodies worldwide, with the backing of the International and US Accounting Standards Boards."

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love kiss partnerIt's basic psychology. Interacting with people, whether it's a significant other or a potential employer, requires careful relationship management.

And there are a surprising amount of dating tips that can be applied professionally.

Think that's total crap?

In February, Roy Cohen, a career counselor and executive coach who previously handled outplacement for Goldman Sachs, told Forbes that the best book for job-seekers is The Rules: Time Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right.

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benjamin franklinBenjamin Franklin, unlike many of our founding fathers, didn't come from an aristocratic family. In fact his journey from teenage runaway to wealthy printer is the epitome of bootstrapping a business.

As John Paul Rollert points out over at the Harvard Business Review, Franklin took a very structured approach to to success.

While he was still in his early 20s and just beginning to run his own print shop, Franklin laid out 13 "virtues" he felt would guide him as an entrepreneur.

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It is absolutely ridiculous that the White House recently announced an initiative to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to help women during this lousy economy. First of all, it’s already illegal to pay people based on gender criteria. Second, during this downturn women are doing much better than men in terms of job loss. And third, there simply is no longer a salary gap between men and women.

Yes, you read that correctly. This is not a controversial statement. Or at least it shouldn’t be. It was just on the cover of the Economist in an article that asserted at least 15 times that a salary gap in America is gone. And many major U.S. news outlets have reported that women in their 20s are out-earning their male counterparts in large cities, which is not surprising because women are doing better in school than men are.

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Be careful what you name your company, it could come back to haunt you later.

The first time I was threatened with a lawsuit, I had been in the business for only three months. I had hastily chosen the name “Brass Tacks Communications” for my market research business without doing my homework to see if somebody already had that name. Sure enough, there was another Brass Tacks Communications offering marketing services in my city.

After a few nasty letters from its lawyers, I was forced to change my company name.

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InterviewThe jobless recovery can be a blessing and a curse for businesses looking to hire.

On the one hand, rarely have there been so many people vying for employment at your company.

On the other hand, most of those people don't necessarily want to work for your company as much as they want to work for a company. Any company.

That means there are overqualified, under-qualified and simply desperate candidates looking for a position to hold them over until a bigger company beckons. Mixed in there somewhere are people who actually covet the job at hand.

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(KANSAS CITY, Mo.), August 2, 2010 – Startup companies, the nation's most promising source of new jobs, are critical to reducing the current 9.5 percent unemployment rate. Not only are startups responsible for net new job growth in the U.S. economy, but recent research from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation shows that the majority of the employment they generate remains as new firms age, creating a lasting impact on the economy.

Conventional thinking on employment from startups is that many of the jobs they create evaporate as a high percentage of them fail only a few years later. The new study, "After Inception: How Enduring is Job Creation by Startups?" found, instead, that, while many new firms fail, destroying jobs, others also thrive and create jobs. This growth in employment partially balances out the jobs lost by closing and shrinking firms.

The jobs created when startups are established do not disappear overnight. In fact, they are remarkably durable. When a given group of startups reaches age five, the group's employment level is 80 percent of what it was when it began. In 2000, for example, startups created 3,099,639 jobs. By 2005, the surviving firms (half of those that had started) had total employment of 2,412,410, or about 78 percent of the jobs that existed when these firms were born.

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In William Rosen's masterful new book, The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention, the most powerful idea is not the invention of the steam engine. Rather, the title refers to the development of the concept that ideas can be property, and that through the availability of patent law and capital, individuals tinkerers can become industrial scale innovators.

Rosen notes that: "From 1700 to 2000, the world's population has increased twelvefold - but its production of goods and services a hundredfold". (page 316) Will the innovations around digital technology, from cheap and powerful mobile computing devices to robust cloud based applications, bring about a commensurate rise in productivity as the industrial revolution? The steam engine allowed the cost of energy to come down rapidly, through its original use as the power source to pump out coal mines to its subsequent use in locomotives to bring down the costs of transporting coal. Today, it is less clear if digital technologies can bring about similar improvements in the productivity of education (increased access and quality at reduced costs), that the steam engine did for energy productivity in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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