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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.

10 Signs That Innovation Will FailWhat are the signs that innovation in a company is set up to fail? It would be great to have a checklist, but unfortunately innovation is too complicated and company-specific to employ a standard checklist for this.

However, we can share our insights on this and help each other become better at spotting the signs of failure.

Thus I [Stefan Lindegaard] have listed (in a non-prioritized order) the red flags I look for when I talk with executives and innovation leaders trying to get an understanding of their corporate innovation capabilities. What do you think and what can you add?
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Germinating an idea to seed companies across the commonwealth, Kentucky Science and Technology Corp. (KSTC) and state government officials have been holding one-day how-to-get-started sessions for entrepreneurially spirited individuals near state universities.

“This is another tool in our Kentucky tool shed,” said Kris Kimel, founder and CEO of KSTC. “You have to do relentless innovation to keep entrepreneurship alive in the state, and this helps with the first step. The start is half the deed, as the old Roman saying goes. … These events are designed to be simple, fast and high energy, and offer concrete results.”
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SOE 2010 coverCarl Schramm, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, delivered the "2010 State of Entrepreneurship Address" on January 19, 2010, on the heels of alarming unemployment numbers and citing sobering new data that show a majority of American entrepreneurs do not expect to create jobs in 2010. He called on policymakers to make this cornerstone of American capitalism a priority.

During an event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that included perspectives from entrepreneurs and remarks from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Schramm underscored the importance of entrepreneurs to economic recovery, emphasizing that hundreds of new companies are being created each day.

Schramm also unveiled a new survey of entrepreneurs, commissioned by the Kauffman Foundation and conducted by Douglas Schoen, LLC that shows entrepreneurs are optimistic about their companies but are struggling to expand and create jobs in the current economy. Highlights from the survey include the following:

  • 36 percent of entrepreneurs reported reductions in head count in the past year; only 8 percent have added employees.
  • Nearly two-thirds have seen their sales volume and their profitability decrease.
  • 71 percent of entrepreneurs do not expect to add any new jobs in 2010.
  • 61 percent of entrepreneurs think the economy is on the wrong track.

KauffmanTo catalyze job creation and to ease the burden that entrepreneurs feel in today's economic climate, Schramm presented a number of policy recommendations that he said would help set the country on a path toward economic recovery:

  • Reform immigration policy, granting citizenship for foreign students graduating from American universities and other immigrants who want to start new companies and create jobs.
  • Revise Sarbanes-Oxley regulations to allow company shareholders to choose whether their companies must fulfill some of the most onerous reporting requirements if they think the costs of compliance outweigh the benefits.
  • Provide a temporary payroll tax holiday to companies less than five years old.
  • Give academic entrepreneurs the choice of multiple avenues to commercialize their research so their innovations can reach consumers more quickly.
  • Offer fellowships for doctoral graduates in scientific fields to educate them about how to start companies.
  • Provide entrepreneurship education and training to students in high school and college.
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Chris Dixon, co-founder of hunch, VCI think you could make a strong argument that the most important technologies developed over the last decade are a set of systems that are sometimes called “collective knowledge systems”.

The most successful collective knowledge system is the combination of Google plus the web. Of course Google was originally intended to be just a search engine, and the web just a collection of interlinked documents. But together they provide a very efficient system for surfacing the smartest thoughts on almost any topic from almost any person.

The second most successful collective knowledge system is Wikipedia. Back in 2001, most people thought Wikipedia was a wacky project that would at best end up being a quirky “toy” encyclopedia. Instead it has become a remarkably comprehensive and accurate resource that most internet users access every day.
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This whitepaper begins with the Department of Commerce report that 100% of net job growth over the last 20 years can be attributed to startup companies - and goes deeper, exploring the three main drivers of startup companies: investment, innovation, and entrepreneurship - and how cities across the country measure up in terms of these metrics. Then finally, we explain what cities can do to help jumpstart the growth of startup companies, focusing on an exciting new economic development tool called crowdsourcing. We take a by-the-numbers look at regional innovation competitions as a cost-effective way to drive real growth in local startups, innovation, and investment.
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ATLANTA - (Business Wire) Much like the inventions themselves, IP Advocate ( began just over a year ago as an idea in one inventor’s mind – and has since grown to become a national movement that has amplified the collective voice of academic researchers on critical issues related to intellectual property rights. Dr. Renee Kaswan, former research professor and inventor of the groundbreaking drug Restasis®, along with a team of experts, launched the non-profit advocacy organization to address the inherent problems in university commercialization.

In its freshman year IP Advocate has been recognized for:

  • Widespread exposure for the issues of technology transfer and patent reform, in national press and influential online science forums and web publications
  • Collaborations with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Small Business Coalition on Patent Legislation, the National Small Business Association and university technology transfer veterans nationwide
  • Participation with recognized scientists, academic inventors and industry experts, who have contributed their opinions and insights exclusively for IP Advocate’s growing online community
  • International awards in education, advocacy and user experience
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BusinessWeek Logo The creation by entrepreneurs of a destination for tech companies in Rajasthan's Thar Desert shows it's time to rethink regional development planning

For government officials and planning consultants looking to create regional economic growth and drive innovation, industry clusters are the Holy Grail. Popularized by Harvard professor Michael Porter in the early 1990s, cluster theory holds that a government or economic development body can create a viable hub of economic activity in a specific industrial sector by bringing in businesses, suppliers, researchers, and additional related people or entities. In other words, a focused governmental effort can create something from nothing, turning, for example, a fallow field into a tech park bursting with highly competitive, innovative companies. Governments all over the world have invested millions—sometimes billions—of dollars to attract industries they consider strategic.
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Venture Capital Investments In India Fall To $475 Million In 2009MUMBAI -(Dow Jones)- Venture Capital firms invested $475 million in 92 deals during 2009, down from the $836 million invested across 153 deals in the previous year, according to a study by Venture Intelligence and Global-India Venture Capital Association.

Venture capital firms, however, began to increase the pace of their investments in Indian companies in the October-December quarter, making 42 investments worth $265 million, compared to 23 investments worth $102 million in the comparative period a year earlier, the study said.
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MADISON - Wisconsin entrepreneurs and researchers do a world-class job of coming up with ideas that will transform health care, energy, manufacturing and other industries. Finding the investors who can move those ideas forward is too often the problem.

While Wisconsin's angel capital investments have climbed steadily, the state continues to lag in the next stage of private equity investments - venture capital. These rounds of investment, which begin around $2 million and build upon smaller investments by individual “angels” or networks of such investors, can help turn a start-up into a thriving company.
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GREG MIRONCHUCK/FOR THE STAR-LEDGER John Campbell survives on just five hours of sleep — and that’s on a good night.

But it’s apparently enough to fuel the 20-year-old college junior, who divides his time between running a successful sneaker shop in Boston and attending classes at nearby Babson College, where he heads the student government and maintains good grades.

"It’s tough to balance," said Campbell, a Plainfield native. "I never go out, pretty much, but I don’t mind."
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How BASE program worksCHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Fifteen emerging companies will receive a variety of services and report from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as part of its Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship program.

The BASE initiative is in its second year.

Support ranges from capital to expertise and focuses on what Kenan-Flagler calls a “triple bottom line” of profitability, social equity and environmental sustainability.

The school provides support through mentors, students who are working on Masters degrees in business, networking events, training, workshops, access to service providers, and opportunities for financing.
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( - India’s Minister for Human Resources Development, Kapil Sibal, visited Imperial College London yesterday to explore university innovation and the process of translating research into new technologies and applications.

The visit formed part of a five-day tour of the UK to strengthen educational ties between the two countries. It comes at a time when India is exploring ways to develop its higher education sector, including plans for ‘innovation universities’, the first tranche of which will centre on health, the environment and new technologies for power plants.

The afternoon of activities at Imperial aimed to provide the minister with an insight into the College’s approach to innovation, from pure research right through to its translation to the market place. Key strategies discussed included the creation of interdisciplinary institutes that draw together researchers with a range of expertise to jointly tackle issues such as sustainable energy, climate change, global health and security science. Mr Sibal also explored Imperial’s creation of the UK’s first Academic Health Science Centre, in partnership with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which integrates the administrative structures of the university and the Trust in a way that enables research findings to be turned into new therapies for patients much more quickly than previously possible.
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