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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.

PluggedInYour time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary – Steve Jobs

2009 was probably not so great for Indian startup ecosystem. Thanks to recession, angels and VCs stayed away from taking big bet (as expected) and 2010 does promises to be an interesting year for the ecosystem.
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NSBAThe SBTC opposes the House SBIR bill, which would radically alter the nature of the SBIR program. We instead support the Senate bill, which would keep the program largely the same.

Permitting VC firms to have more than 50 percent control of the SBIR small companies completely changes the program.
As it has stood for 26 years, the SBIR program was the only level playing field for the very smallest companies. With 25-page limits on the proposals and a technology peer review it permitted the small companies to compete. If the House Committee proposal is incorporated in the SBIR program, the well-funded VC-owned companies will have the advantage of their lobbyists and large marketing departments to influence the outcome of the awards.
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JEFFERSON CITY — Mark Pydynowski was working in New York. Ramos Mays was studying physics in Sweden. Yet the two former Washington University baseball teammates chose to return to St. Louis to launch a high-tech venture.

They created SOMARK Innovations Inc. to develop an electronic ink tattoo as an animal identification device. But after just three years in Missouri, Pydynowski and Mays relocated their promising young firm to San Diego this past year.
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JSOnlineBusiness people in Wisconsin enter 2010 with a much hardened view of the world. Going through a near depression will do that to you.

Almost every manager was faced the undesirable task of shrinking their enterprises and letting go of valuable employees, many with long tenures of service. Business volumes in manufacturing, the mainstay of the state's economy, fell by half or more in early 2009.
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Brewed Fresh DailyJune Holley’s Twitter feed pointed me to a good post on innovation from the Innovation Leadership Network blog. The following words caught my eye:
…the way to innovate is to generate a lot of ideas, figure out ways to try them out cheaply and quickly, and then scale-up the ones that seem most promising.
This apprqoch works particularly well in regional economic development. It is the framework we used in developing Strategic Doing at the Purdue Center for Regional Development.
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NASVFSome of the more unusual capital –raising strategies exercised by entrepreneurs this past year prove that entrepreneurs that make a creative effort to find angel investors can successfully attract capital for their business.

An independent café and bookstore in Brooklyn, NY garnered 144 local investors who contributed capital when the owner turned to the community with her venture proposition. Faced with accrued fines that would have resulted in a loss of the store’s license to serve food and beverages – and thereby necessitating it to close down – the owner of Vox Pop in Brooklyn petitioned neighbors at town hall meetings for help. She netted $64,000 from local investors who wanted to make sure their neighborhood shop stayed open.
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Ohio FrontierCOLUMBUS, Ohio — Backers of the Ohio Third Frontier are mounting a campaign to market the state’s biggest-ever economic development program to voters who will be asked to renew and expand the program in May.

Still in its formative stage, the campaign already includes a bi-weekly electronic magazine called HiVelocity, which partly aims to demystify Third Frontier by telling its success stories through people and businesses.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Late in its middle-age, the Ohio Third Frontier project has created $6.6 billion in economic impact and 41,300 jobs (pdf) in seven years, an independent research institute told members of the Third Frontier advisory board and commission during a joint meeting this morning.

From 2003 through 2008, the Third Frontier and Ohio universities invested $681 million in research, development and commercialization projects at academic, research and development institutions and companies, entrepreneur-development organizations and venture capital funds, said SRI International, the Menlo Park, Calif., firm hired by the Third Frontier to do the economic impact study.


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Blogging InnovationThank you to everyone who entered our last contest of 2009 for a chance to win one of three copies of Gary Hamel's latest book "The Future of Management" ?

Lady luck has spoken and I'd like to announce the three winners of their very own copy of "The Future of Management":

1. Cathy Olofson

2. Ashish Thomas

3. Peter Vander Auwera
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BusinessWeekThe nuthatch and brown creeper are different bird species that look a lot alike and eat insects in the same wooded areas in North America. You might think they compete, but they don't. In accordance with a common arrangement in nature that ecologists call the competitive-exclusion principle, the brown creeper starts searching for insects at the bottom of a tree while the nuthatch starts from the top.

Entrepreneurs can learn from this evolutionary process, which unfortunately isn't very common in the business world. Business competitors will normally compete in a death match unless one finds a new market niche or a new process to address the existing market. The best strategy is to invest a modest amount of energy into an innovation, as the nuthatches did in moving to the higher branches. To start the innovation process that could lead to such a breakthrough, entrepreneurs should perform a detailed competitive analysis.
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Brain LeadersThe human brain comes with unique equipment to build and sustain innovative cultures, where design leads to profitability. How so?

1. Kindle and design an idea. Just as the iPod started with an innovative idea, Steve Jobs and others continue to design Apple products that revolutionize communication. Fast Company celebrated the last decade’s 14 biggest such design moments, all of which unveil the original ideas that rolled into products with possibilities. How does it happen? Your brain’s hippocampus releases a shot of dopamine in response to novelty. Anthony Grace at the University of Pittsburgh describes a feedback loop that involves a chemical and electrical interactions between dopamine and novel or unexpected events. This lively process appears to lock in memory, as it also engages the amygdala where the brain processes emotional information that feeds innovation.
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Department of Commerce- DESCRIPTION -Proposals will be sought from small business firms for participation in the NIST Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. The SBIR Program is a three-phase program which implements Public Law 102-564, the Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act of 1992. The pending Solicitation, SBIR, includes subtopics describing research needed to extend technologies developed at NIST for the purpose of commercializing the NIST technology as well as subtopics describing NIST mission-related research that directly support a NIST project that can be achieved by a small business.
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