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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.

One thing most entrepreneurs love to do is talk about being entrepreneurs. Topics range from what is the "entrepreneurial spirit" to who has it and who doesn't, and what it takes to be successful. As co-owner of jacobstahl, a public relations agency, with my husband, as well as a mother of three, my favorite question is whether entrepreneurship can be passed down to the next generation--and whether I want to encourage or discourage it in my own kids.

The nature/nurture issue has provoked Talmudic-level discussions, but there is scientific evidence that entrepreneurship is heritable. Scott Shane posted data in a New York Times blog last year indicating a genetic component. Along with his colleagues, Shane conducted behavioral genetics (twin) and molecular genetics (association) studies of entrepreneurship. His findings suggest the tendency to be an entrepreneur is in the DNA, as is the ability to perform well as an entrepreneur.

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imageThe glossy Mid-Pacific yuppie advert vehicle Honolulu Magazine recently ran a cover story of irresistible real-estate pornography titled "The 25 Most Expensive Homes in Hawaii" that unintentionally revealed the true nature of the U.S. economy.

The homes, valued in the $30 million range, were typically located in exclusive coastline enclaves: no big surprises in either the locations or the bubble-economy valuations.

What might surprise anyone who still clings to the quaint belief that America's great wealth is generated from actually producing goods or services of global value is who owns the vast majority of these villas: investment bankers and hedge fund managers.

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5 Steps to Building an Effective Green TeamSmall businesses with more than 12 or 20 employees have a big opportunity when it comes to sustainability: They can tap their employees’ expertise to find new and better strategies for going green.

A so-called “green team” is a committee of employees that meets regularly, typically during work hours, to help their employer bolster sustainability. The idea is that mobilizing employees around sustainability will not only spawn new strategies but also bolster employee buy-in.

Yet, green teams will fizzle or fall apart if they aren’t carefully implemented. Here are some ways small business leaders can ensure their green teams are effective.

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Karen E. Klein: What groups are surveyed in your study?

John Paglia: We survey banks, asset-based lenders, mezzanine funds, private equity groups, venture capital organizations, angel investors, business owners, business appraisers, and factors. We started the survey in 2009, and it's semi-annual. It's available complimentary to the public.

You surveyed 559 private companies, nearly half of which reported $3 million or less in annual revenue. What are their top concerns?

The No. 1 concern for private companies is access to capital. Nearly 31 percent cited that, even more than the 27 percent that said the economy is their top concern.

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I often give venture capital firms a hard time. It's partly because with their crummy performance that they deserve it, partly because with their humorlessness and hubris that they need it, and partly because I know more VCs than bankers -- and it's always more fun to fight with people you know than with people you don't.

But there is a flip side to this. Financial services industry is in upheaval like at no other time since the previous depression. From banks to brokers to, yes, VCs, financial services is seeing major changes in how and whether it makes money.

So, which part of the industry is changing fastest? Venture capital. More venture firms, as a percentage of the total extant, will have failed over the current period than is the case with banks in the U.S., but with no need for a government-led bailout. We can have widespread VC financial failures without societal consequences.

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The Corzo Competition for Creative Philadelphia represents a partnership between the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy and superfluidIts purpose:  to encourage collaboration. Its goal:  to help support the creative economy and those in it.
The grand prize winner  receives an iPad, and the individual with the most positive reviews receives Virtual Money to be used to support their creative work.
The rules are simple:  sign up on the superfluid site and begin to collaborate with members of the “Creative Philadelphia” community.  We’ll automatically keep score of the number of times you collaborate as well as the reviews you and your fellow collaborators get. 
The competition launches Wednesday, September 15th and runs through Saturday, January 1st. 
For more details visit
In the spirit of collaboration, please do pass this along to your community.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
215-717-6590 (t)
215-717-6471 (f)

Last week, Statistics Canada released its latest report on the commercialization of intellectual property in Canadian universities. Canada spends billions of public dollars on research funding each year and the government has been increasingly focused on how best to commercialize the results. While there are several possible approaches to doing this, the government and some universities have been focused on building patent and IP portfolios as part of a conventional commercialization strategy. The alternative could be an open access approach - encourage (or require) much of the intellectual property to be made broadly available under open licences so that multiple organizations could add value and find ways to commercialize. The universities might generate less income but would better justify the public investment in research by providing the engine for larger economic benefits.

Which approach is better?  The full commercialization approach has been tried in the U.S. with legislation known as Bayh-Dole and studies (here and here) have found that patents to universities have increased, but the increase has been accompanied by harm to the public domain of science and relatively small gains in income.

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familyAccording to a report distributed by the Angel Capital Education Foundation, total startup funding from venture capital funds, state funds, and angel investors totals approximately $20.8 billion annually.

Surprisingly, friends and family contributed nearly three times the amount of capital to thousands of startups each year.

With approximately $60 billion in startup funding coming from friends and family, entrepreneurs must consider this as an option as they seek to launch new businesses.

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Think graduating from an Ivy League school will generate great corporate job offers? Now could be the time to rethink this Penn State Old Mainjob search strategy.

Job recruiters from major corporations such as Google, General Electric, Campbell Soup and others from nearly 30 industries are reporting that large state universities have become their favorite places to find new college grad hires.

Penn State, Texas A&M and the University of Illinois are among the hot spots for job recruiters, whose companies recently hired 43,000 new college graduates.

A Wall Street Journal survey, which was conducted along with PayScale and Cambria Consulting, a human resource firm, uncovered the job search favoritism of corporate job recruiters.

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You've just finished composing an e-mail to a potential client you've talked with a few times before. Now for the tricky part: your sign-off. Should you use "Sincerely," "Kind regards" or "Cheers"? How do you sound friendly without coming across as unprofessional? And then there are the e-mails to your employees, business contacts and friendly acquaintances.

Unfortunately, there's no "e-mail bible" to guide you. That's why we contacted two business communication experts to discuss what's appropriate. Suzanne Bates, president and CEO of Bates Communications, Inc. and author of Speak Like a CEO: Secrets For Commanding Attention and Getting Results, and Cherie Kerr, founder of ExecuProv and author of The Bliss or "Diss" Connection? Email Etiquette For The Business Professional, pair up to give expert insight into the world of e-mail correspondence.

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U.S. entrepreneurial activity fell significantly from 10.6% in 2005 to 6.9% in 2009, according to the “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2009 National Entrepreneurial Assessment for the United States of America,” conducted by Babson College and Baruch College.
While fewer businesses are starting up, the good news is that survival rates among new ventures—more than 42 months in operation—are rising. GEM speculates that better capitalization has contributed to their sustainability.
 The steep decline in US entrepreneurial activity translated also to established businesses, as those declined by 26% (7.7% to 5.7%). The rate of entrepreneurs closing shop was unchanged in 2009.
All over the U.S. necessity-driven entrepreneurship increased while rates of high-growth potential ventures weakened.
All four types of entrepreneurs suffered during the deepest phase of the crisis in 2008-9: 
  • Early-stage fell from 8.7% to 6.9%;
  • Established declined from 7.7% to 5.7%;
  • Opportunity-driven declined from 7.2% to 4.8%. 
  • Only necessity-driven entrepreneurs increased. (As the economy sheds jobs, more individuals start businesses to sustain themselves.)
GEM found glimmers of hope, however, in the slow-down of business closings among non-Caucasian entrepreneurs.
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