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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.

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What is the single greatest source of innovation? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not a product. You can innovate it faster than any product, it creates the most enduring value for your company, and it’s what your customers will remember most. Read on and I’ll give you the answer from a company that has become the poster child for innovation.

Image: https://www.innovationexcellence.com

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Yvonne Wenger

From the outside, the old rec center on a corner in Federal Hill looks the same, the kind of place where kids do arts and crafts, and play basketball.

But over the past five years the inside has been transformed into a hub for coders. Cinderblock walls are painted with blue computer pixels. Laptops, 3D printers and laser cutters hum, and everywhere are the funky, whimsical and practical creations that came straight from the minds of young kids.

 

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“Everything begins with an idea.” Right?

Uhhmmm… not really.

Instead, everything begins with a problem. Something happens (or doesn’t happen) that highlights a problem that either already exists or could exist. And more importantly, the need for a solution is born.

The bigger or more widespread the problem, the more pressing an answer to that problem is, as well as the scope  f potential recognition for being the one to solve that problem—and solve it better than anyone else.

Image: https://www.innovationexcellence.com

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I live in an enchanted and magical land of rainbows and unicorns called "Silicon Valley." In addition to unicorns, Silicon Valley is also inhabited by trolls, who emerge from under their bridges to threaten the denizens of the valley with lawsuits based on dubious patents.

I was shocked to read that Andrei Iancu, director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gave a recent speech where he complained that people who call non-practicing entities (NPE) patent trolls are “storytellers" who are "scaring our inventors and our entrepreneurs ...”. Given how far this is from reality, I could not imagine what kind of fantasyland Director Iancu lives in.

Image: © HBO via YouTube

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Why 1776 is closing its original incubator location and thoughts on its future in DC Technical ly DC

1776 plans to leave its current D.C. location at 1133 15th St. NW after the prominent incubator network couldn’t reach an agreement over lease renewal terms with the building’s owner, DivcoWest. The lease will expire on December 31.

For now, 1776 DC members will have the option to migrate to its Crystal City, Va., campus, offering three free months of membership. It comes amid talks of Amazon HQ2 potentially landing in the Arlington community, Technical.ly DC previously reported. Leaders of the incubator plan to keep a presence in D.C., and will look to secure a new location in 2019.

Image: Photo by Michelai Graham

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FAYETTEVILLE -- A $23.7 million gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation to boost research and commercialization efforts at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville includes money "to attract five 'star' scientists," according to a gift agreement between the foundation and the university.

University leaders described the five-year grant -- announced Friday to include $5 million in support of faculty hiring, with the rest going to various support initiatives for researchers -- as providing a lift to state economic-development efforts.

Image: FILE — Old Main is framed by students and trees Tuesday, March 3, 2012 on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville. - Photo by William Moore

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Four out of every five San Francisco homes cost over 1 million Quartz

A truism of American politics is that California has its own values. That goes for real estate too, it turns out. Across the US, fewer than four out of every 100 homes are worth more than $1 million—compared with four out of every five in San Francisco. That’s according to analysis by Trulia, an online residential property platform.

Image: https://qz.com

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EJF Capital lives in the space between investing and regulation. It calls itself a “regulatory event-driven” firm, its $10 billion split between equity and debt in rule-heavy industries like banking. Which is why, when the Internal Revenue Service clarified some of the provisions of Qualified Opportunity Zones, designated low-income areas where tax incentives are supposed to encourage private capital investment, EJF was among the first to jump. The Arlington, Virginia-based firm is looking to raise $500 million for such a strategy, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Image: Neal Wilson, EJF Capital’s co-founder - https://www.barrons.com

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retirement

Many Americans see entrepreneurs as the saviors of our day–the engines of economic growth and innovation in our communities, workplaces, and daily lives. We love reading stories about self-made founders, college dropouts who began their ventures out of garages, and rags-to-riches success stories. We’ve glorified entrepreneurship, and our policymakers often tout business owners as the heroes of our country.

I am not here to argue that entrepreneurship is inherently bad. New businesses do contribute to economic growth, and in turn, job creation. But today’s capital-raising culture has made starting a business look easy, even for those without a safety net to fall back on. This is a problem, especially for entrepreneurs who choose to jump into the game when they are 50 years old or older.

 

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Every technical entrepreneur is an early adopter of technology, so naturally they build things with people like themselves in mind. Unfortunately, for most solution markets, early adopters represent only 10 to 15 percent of the total opportunity, so it’s easy to get mislead on the real requirements of mainstream customers. Psychologists call this the confirmation bias. I call it failing by early adopters.

Image: https://blog.startupprofessionals.com

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Since I am a techie at heart, I always get excited when founders pitch their new innovation as “disruptive,” meaning that it is so unique that it will create a new market and disrupt the existing value network, displacing established products and markets. Unfortunately, I have learned that investors and customers are wary that big changes will take a long time, and cost more money.

Image: https://blog.startupprofessionals.com

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