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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.

The world's most innovative company just announced that it can't do business in China. What does this tell us about the state of Chinese innovation? The question answers itself.

When Google entered China in 2006, it got a lot of advice from old hands that China's Leninist state would make it hard for them to do business. Google ignored this advice and gambled that the internet would prove stronger than the Communist party - that once Google was in the door on however compromised terms - popular demand for freer information would create incremental movement toward a more open internet.

Four years later, Google seems to have concluded that they were wrong and the old hands were right: in the short term, and within China
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Will A Fear Of Going Public End The Innovation Boom?We've seen similar articles a few times in the past, but the NY Times has yet another story about how startup execs are less interested in going public than in the past, and suggests two key reasons:

1. The regulatory nightmare of going public, means that it's all paperwork and lawyers, rather than focusing on growth, innovation and markets. Sarbanes-Oxley remains a key problem here.
2. For startup founders, it's become a lot more tempting to just sell out to someone big -- because it's a lot easier, but can still earn you enough money to totally change your life.

Again, neither of these issues are all that new, but a decade ago, the focus for most startups was very much on building companies that could go public and standalone. Admittedly, in the dot com insanity, a ton of startups went public that had no business whatsoever being public standalone companies, but there's reason to fear that we've gone too far in the other direction.
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AnglesoftIt’s not enough to keep the deals flowing. Angel investors also have to keep sharp tabs on everything from event organization and member tracking, to syndicating opportunities and portfolio control. With no real solution available, David Rose, founder of New York Angels, one of the country’s most active angel groups, created one.

“In trying to streamline our processes, I looked far and wide for a tool or service to help with that. When it turned out no such platform existed, I decided to create one,” he says, explaining how Angelsoft came into being.
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BloggingStocksFrom his apartment in 1999, Marc Benioff started a new-fangled software company, Salesforce.com (CRM). While there have been some missteps along the way, the company is a model of success. Today, Salesforce.com generates more than $1 billion in sales, is profitable and has a market cap of $9 billion.

How did Marc do it? Well, now we have a chance to find out. That is, he has written an excellent book about his experiences and strategies, called Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company -- and Revolutionized an Industry.
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Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher EducationIs everything in a university for sale if the price is right? In this book, one of America’s leading educators cautions that the answer is all too often “yes.” Taking the first comprehensive look at the growing commercialization of our academic institutions, Derek Bok probes the efforts on campus to profit financially not only from athletics but increasingly, from education and research as well. He shows how such ventures are undermining core academic values and wha…  More
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SINGAPORE: Plans are underway for Asia's first social stock exchange to be set up in Singapore.

US philanthropic organisation, the Rockefeller Foundation, is donating a sum of money to support the establishment of the social stock exchange. It is awarding US$495,000 to the Singapore-based agency, Impact Investment Exchange (IIX).

The grant will support research and proof-of-concept analysis that IIX will undertake prior to launch of the exchange.
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What's a second-stage company, you ask? Well, based on research from the Cassopolis, Mich.-based Edward Lowe Foundation, a second-stage company is a small business that has about 10 to 100 employees, and $1 million to $50 million in revenue.

The Lowe Foundation's research - as we explain in print this week - indicates that second-stage businesses are creating jobs, not just in Michigan but across the U.S., and the foundation is suggesting something called "economic gardening" as an economic development stratgey for state and local governments. That means supporting existing companies, not trying to lure new businesses in from outside the state. As the foundation's research has shown, the "hunting" method of economic development doesn't tend to result in net job creation. Gardening, on the other hand, does.
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With the growing number of online services, it's becoming more economical for small business to rely on web-based tools rather than expensive enterprise software. Not too long ago we brought you 5 Web Apps To Keep Your Startup Organized, and now the website Business Pundit has released their top 10 list of online collaboration tools for small businesses.

Call it Web 2.0, or Enterprise 2.0; the fact of the matter is that online services just make more sense for businesses on a budget. Because these software platforms are web-based, users can use any computer to access them at work, at home or even on the road. They eliminate the need for expensive software and fewer IT employees are required for setup, updates and patches to systems.
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At the completion of his keynote address at the Global Urban Summit in Rotterdam on the 4th December 2009, Prof. Chris Ryan was joined by Prof. Han Brezet, from the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, to announce the creation of the Rotterdam Eco-Innovation Lab: REIL. REIL will follow the methodology, and build on and adapt the outcomes, of VEIL within the development around the immense harbour of Rotterdam city. This development responds to the opening up of land for housing and commercial activity as the functions of the old harbour move ‘outwards’ towards the ocean. The Harbour development aims to set new environmental standards as part of an innovative new zone, known now as the “Clean Tech Delta”. In announcing the creation of REIL, with its collaboration with VEIL, Prof Brezet also announced that the Clean Tech Delta will send a staff member to Melbourne for several months (starting in Feb 2010) to work with the VEIL team to better understand the potential for similar projects in REIL.
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 IN THE old days, the job of eradicating disease fell to governments and inter-governmental bodies. Then charities, often led by celebrities or entrepreneurs, joined in. Finally, in the Western world at least, governments accepted the need to pool their efforts with those of private donors, big and small. The effort still seems unequal to the task. Every year, nearly 11m children die before the age of five because of a mixture of poor nutrition and preventable disease. Many of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (calling, for example, for a plunge in child and maternal mortality by 2015) look unattainable.

The good news is that more imaginative ways of raising and spending money are now on the horizon. How well they do will depend on many details—like the quality of information flowing between poor places and the governments, firms and individuals that want to help.
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pluGGd.inHype drives Hype – that’s what one gets to believe after reading Gartner’s Prediction for 2010 and beyond.

By 2012, 20 percent of businesses will own no IT assets.

The need for computing hardware, either in a data center or on an employee’s desk, will not go away. However, if the ownership of hardware shifts to third parties, then there will be major shifts throughout every facet of the IT hardware industry.

By 2012, India-centric IT services companies will represent 20 percent of the leading cloud aggregators in the market (through cloud service offerings).
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EurActiv Logo Europe's incoming innovation commissioner is pledging to tap the EU's structural funds to build research infrastructure and capacity. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn also revealed she would chair meetings of EU commissioners with responsibilities for innovation as part of her new "cross-cutting" portfolio.

Geoghegan-Quinn, who will take up the role of European commissioner for research, innovation and science if approved by MEPs, said she hoped to use €86bn of EU structural funds to beef up the so-called knowledge economy.
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