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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.

Levensohn Venture Partners VC Jeff Karras offers up tips and advice on getting funded

So you want to raise some venture funding? Before you do, keep in mind this one very big mistake entrepreneurs make: They try to raise money too early from venture capitalists.

That's according to Jeff Karras, a VC at Levensohn Venture Partners (LVP), based in San Francisco. Before they go out to VCs, entrepreneurs should build a product, build a team and get some traction to demonstrate what they're doing. "Put your story together and show some proof points," said Jeff.

What are questions entrepreneurs should ask investors? I asked.

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Google's Eric Schmidt sets out the search engine's futureEurope must embrace “crazy entrepreneurs” if it is to build more technology companies that challenge American firms, Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman and chief executive has said.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Eric Schmidt said: "The first question is: who are the founders of the large global companies? They're usually the Larry Ellisons, the Steve Jobses, the Bill Gates. Notice they do not fit a standard European education model. They're drop-outs, crazy smart people."

“You've got to have the crazy entrepreneur types, who you've got to celebrate, which we do in America. And you've got to have the venture capital, which really is 'at risk' capital and is different from other capital.”

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SWTN News Logouccessful commercialization of technological innovations leads to high-paying jobs and wealth creation; however, fostering and supporting an innovation foundation where high-tech jobs and wealth creation can occur is difficult in rural areas. Wisconsin’s rural areas are continually challenged to encourage research and commercialization of technology, which is at the core of a strong and vibrant innovation economy.

The newly created Wisconsin Small Company Advancement Program (WiSCAP), funded under the CORE Jobs Act, aims to connect the high-tech research and development needs of Wisconsin small companies with the technical expertise of faculty at the UW comprehensive campuses to stimulate economic growth, create jobs and educate students. Rural small companies will be able to leverage this program to support their efforts.

In a recent press release, Dr. Maliyakal John, WiSys Technology Foundation (WiSys) Manager, stated, “This legislation is one of the most important steps the state has taken towards connecting the intellectual capacity of UW System faculty and students with the unmet needs of Wisconsin’s small companies,’’

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Companies are using so-called innovation camps to come up with $100 million ideas. Paul Sloane reports from Amdocs' recent four-day event

Many large companies face the problem of how to find viable innovation opportunities that might result in significant new revenue streams. One approach that can deliver results is an intensive innovation camp. I recently helped facilitate such an event for Amdocs, a $3 billion company that provides software and services for most of the world's leading service providers, including AT&T (T), Sprint Nextel (S), and Vodafone (VOD).

This is the second such event that Amdocs has held. Organized by the company's chief scientist, Tal Givoly, its format is loosely based on gatherings such as Kinnernet or FooCamp, with emphasis placed on unleashing energy and creativity from the attendees. Last year's camp generated an idea known as Tera-play, which has become integral to Amdocs' products. It focuses on helping clients cope with the reality of a world in which trillions of devices—most of them not phones—are connected to the network and it addresses the systems, processes, and infrastructure to support this world.

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Opassed out desk office sleepne of the toughest challenges of an entrepreneur in building a startup is the fact that there are so many things that you don’t know how to do, or don’t like to do.

Things like raising money, building a business plan, or hiring and firing people.

These aren’t fun, especially for a visionary. That’s when the curse of procrastination steps in.

The result is that certain things just never seem to get done. Jan Yager, in her book, “Work Less, Do More” talks about procrastination as a primary obstacle to efficient time management.

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Share – share with colleagues. Share with customers. Even share at times with would be competitors. Innovations depend on it. Dare to share.

Create stuff together – collaboration is a fundamental element to innovation success.

Don’t cry over spilled milk – accidents happen. Sometimes great innovations are the result of accidents.

Flush the toilet when you’re done – not everything that you create is useful. Sometimes it’s best to just flush it away and wash your hands.

Take snack breaks – nourish yourself – mentally, physically, and spiritually. It will give you added energy and boost your long-term innovation success.

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Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s stubbornly immovable president, has long resisted in-game technology to assist soccer referees. But after two more blown calls on Sunday threatened to overshadow the World Cup, he inched toward acknowledging what a worldwide audience could see for themselves: Soccer is ready for the 21st century.

England’s Frank Lampard was robbed of an obvious goal by out-of-position officials in a loss to Germany. And Argentina’s Carlos Tevez scored an off-sides (read: illegal) goal that was allowed in a win over Mexico. Blatter apologized to the English and Mexican teams. "It would be nonsense not to reopen the file on goal-line technology,” he told the media.

Here’s a sensible game plan -- plus coaching from an innovator in goal line technology -- for late-adopters Blatter and FIFA.

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Raymond Spencer, an Australian‐born entrepreneur based in Chicago, has a window on the future--and a gusto for investing after founding a high‐technology consulting company that sold for more than $1 billion in 2006. "I have investments in maybe 10 start‐ups, all of which fall within a broad umbrella of a 'green' theme," he said.

"And it's interesting, the vast majority are either led by immigrants or have key technical people who are immigrants."

It should come as no surprise that immigrants will help drive the green revolution. America's young scientists and engineers, especially the ones drawn to emerging industries like alternative energy, tend to speak with an accent.

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Every day, academics around the world are pouring over research into new technologies with the potential to change the world, yet much of that research never makes it out of the lab. A new project of the National Science Foundation wants to make sure that the best ideas make it out to the world.

A huge amount of technological innovation starts in universities -- from information technology to biotechnology to nanofabrication and beyond. As part of their academic mission, universities give professors and their research teams the freedom to experiment. In this way, they support the innovation process long before even a business incubator would.

But while there is an academic motivation for supporting research, for many institutions there is also a commercial motivation. Universities usually have partial ownership of technologies developed in house, and that can lead to extremely lucrative "technology transfers" where the university sells part or all of it's rights to a technology to an external actor. Those transfers pay for everything from new buildings to financial aid.

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Autom is an automated coach designed to help people stick to a diet and exercise routine. Each day, users check in by using a touch screen to enter information about such things as what they have eaten and how much exercise they have done. The robot provides personalized feedback through synthesized speech and facial expressions. The company claims that people make better progress than they would if they followed the same weight-loss program using a computer or paper log.

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G20 leaders urged to invest in “green” economy(eTN) - In what the United Nations calls a “continued push to keep the poorest and most vulnerable at the forefront of international discussions,” Ban Ki-moon, UN’s secretary general, over the weekend urged leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) to scale up investment in clean energy and green economy as part of the effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

"The risks -- and costs -- of inaction on climate change grow each year. The more we delay, the more we will pay," he told leaders of the G20 industrialized and developing economies at a working luncheon Sunday in Toronto, Canada.

Mr. Ban has reportedly been participating in the two-day meeting to “try to keep the world leaders' focus on promotion of development in poor countries, despite the global economic slowdown.”

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On a day when the Dow and the Nasdaq were in the red, Tesla Motors, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based electric-car startup, saw shares of TSLA climb slowly but steadily. Shares in the company’s initial public offering were priced at $17 last night by the offering’s four underwriters, but the first trades today went for $19. The price just this second, at 8:30am Pacific, is hovering in the $17-18 range.

Tesla’s debut marked the first IPO of an automaker in the U.S. since Ford’s 54 years ago. The company’s stock priced at $17 a share last night, exceeding the expected range of $14 to $16, with the potential to rake in $226 million and value the company at $1.6 billion. After an IPO, underwriters have the challenge of matching investor demand with supply of shares to set an opening price for trading. In Tesla’s case, that didn’t register until more than two hours after Tesla CEO Elon Musk rang the bell to open the Nasdaq.

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