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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.

Students working at the lesson 9M4B6NG

Truth be told, unlike some of my founder peers, I had not invested in other startups when I was a part of Urban Ladder. It’s been only 6 months since I have actively started evaluating early-stage startups and made some promising investments as part of Antler. Nevertheless, as I start my years in venture capital, I want to reflect on my early learnings that are shaping the way I think about this space, my transition, and how I leverage my experience as a founder to now being an investor.


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Does your business have a visible positive strategy, or do your customers and employees still see your primary focus as closing more sales and killing competitors? Certainly that has been the strategy of many companies, and has worked in the past, but today’s customers and workers are looking for more. They want relationships, positive experiences, and a win-win for society.


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Joshua and Morgan

Recruiters reviewing hundreds of resumes for highly coveted roles in private equity and venture capital will often see candidates with backgrounds in banking and investing. This training and experience provides candidates with excellent skills to bring to the role.

However, HBS alumni like Joshua Mbanusi (MBA 2021) and Morgan Sheil (MBA 2021), who came to business school from nonprofit and chemical engineering backgrounds respectively, prove that experience outside of investing can also be highly transferable and valuable to the field. Their stories showcase different pathways into PE/VC as well as the breadth and depth of talent at HBS.


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Question mark on white background.

When we think about limited resources in agriculture, water is normally the first that springs to mind. The bad news is that just like water, soil is a finite resource that is fast deteriorating as a result of human activity. The good news: research is providing farmers, landowners and policymakers with new tools to turn the tide.

Digitalisation is a game changer in many sectors – and agriculture is no exception. For years, technological innovations have been helping farmers work more efficiently and sustainably. Now data-driven insights can also guide them to improve the health of soil – the most critical part of successful agriculture.


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Vaccinated due to covid 19 pandemic ZEW7FZK

Nueces county saw its first case of the COVID-19 strain on March 21, 2020.

A little more than a year and a half later, we're still living through the pandemic.

Vaccines to help control the novel coronavirus have been available in the Coastal Bend since January, and new case counts slowly began to trend downward as more people were immunized. However, the Delta variant brought a resurgence in July that is just now beginning to abate.


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Elon Musk

In my experience mentoring new entrepreneurs and aspiring business leaders, I see far too many who seem to be driven by all the wrong reasons. Everyone seems to espouse extrinsic motivations, such as getting rich, having power, and fulfilling parent dreams, when in fact a focus on satisfying internal interests and desires will likely lead to more success, as well as satisfaction.

Image: Image Credits: Nigel Sussman

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Image Credits: Nigel Sussman

The capital market for startups has perhaps never been more attractive than it is today. Not only are venture capitalists raising more capital than ever, but new methods of financing startup activity are maturing. The result is a capital market that is increasingly competitive for startup attention, and business, which may lead to better prices for founders and their startups.

Venture debt is not new, but twists on this model are taking new prominence in how startups pay for their growth, for example.

Image: Image Credits: Nigel Sussman

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Group of medical scientists working at laboratory 8JFHENS

On the heels of the development of a history-making novel coronavirus vaccine, University of Pennsylvania is investing $100 million into a new center of precision engineering for health-related research.

Penn’s Center for Precision Engineering for Health inside the School of Engineering and Applied Science will be formed over the next several years, the university announced this week. The Center is focusing on precision-engineered biomaterials, Penn Engineering Dean Vijay Kumar told in an email, because they are “key” to vaccines, pharmaceuticals and antibiotics, particularly for personalized medicines.


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Navigater Compass

Life science and healthcare companies have many avenues available to raise capital at various stages, each with its own benefits and considerations. Savvy founders and startup leaders should understand which asset class can offer the best opportunity to advance and support their company’s success. Across all sectors - therapeutics, diagnostics, tools, medical devices and digital health - the approach you take today to create your syndicate of investors will impact all future funding rounds.


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Two People

Montréal-based healthtech and artificial intelligence (AI) startup Aifred Health today won second place at the final round of the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE competition and will take home a $1 million USD prize for its digital health software.

Aifred Health offers clinical solutions for mental health treatments using AI. The startup’s second-place win comes five years after it entered the XPRIZE competition along with 150 other applicants. Aifred Health was the only Canadian startup to make it to the finals of this global competition.


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Eda Logo

Today, EDA announced that 50 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, state government agencies, and other entrepreneurship-focused organizations — from 26 states will receive grants totaling $36.5 million to support programs that fuel innovation and tech-based economic development. (Read full press release)

The grants are part of the “Build to Scale” program, which is administered annually by EDA. The program aims to accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to business support and startup capital.


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