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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.

World leaders meeting in Singapore have said it will not be possible to reach a climate change deal ahead of next month's UN conference in Denmark.

After a two-day Asia-Pacific summit, they vowed to work towards an "ambitious outcome" in Copenhagen.

But the group dropped a target to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which was outlined in an earlier draft.

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Ontario is supporting a new commercialization centre that will help digital media entrepreneurs build new companies and create jobs.

The province plans to invest more than $26 million in The Communitech Hub: Digital Media & Mobile Accelerator (“The Hub”), a new centre that will help emerging digital media companies grow and succeed in the global market. In particular, The Hub will look beyond the entertainment sector to focus on companies creating hardware and software for industries, including advanced manufacturing, healthcare and finance.

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WashingtonPostEnterprising students compete for seed money in 'Pitch George' contest

Tim Foley pulled out a glossy black brochure and started talking fast. He had three minutes to sell his idea for a social networking Web site for car lovers. That's all he needed.

"This is a once in a lifetime idea," said Arlington Butler, a small-business owner and George Washington University alumnus who returned to campus to judge Saturday's "Pitch George" competition. He saw Facebook-esque potential in Foley's idea.

 

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Monday was a good day for Accel Partners.

The venture capital firm looked set to share in a $1.15 billion payout, as two of its investments scored buyers. First up was Playfish, which Electronic Arts said it was snapping up for as much as $400 million in cash and stock. Then came the news that Google had inked a deal to buy the mobile advertising network Admob for $750 million.

While it’s unclear how much Accel actually made on the deals, VentureBeat noted that “with the exit price amounting to more than 10 times the venture capital invested ($21 million for Playfish, a little more than $47 million for AdMob), we can be pretty sure that the folks at Accel are pretty pleased.”
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"In the twenty-first century, our country once again needs to undergo comprehensive modernisation. This will be our first ever experience of modernisation based on democratic values and institutions. Instead of a primitive raw materials economy we will create a smart economy producing unique knowledge, new goods and technology of use to people."

-- PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV

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Biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical sectors of the economy have weathered the recession better than many other industries. Some large companies are beginning to show growth, and small companies and research centers of all sizes are reaping the benefits of government funding. This fall, President Barack Obama announced the release of $5 billion in stimulus funds for the National Institutes of Health. The funds are part of the $10.4 billion the NIH is slated to receive through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 5, 2009.)
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SBIR CoachYogi Berra was one of my heroes when I was a kid. He was in his prime as the perennial All-Star Catcher for the New York Yankees and I idolized him. But it wasn't until after he retired as a player and hit the banquet circuit did I really appreciate his genius.

His quotes have become apocryphal for their malapropisms and "huh?" factors. One of my favorites is, "This is like deja vu all over again." But the Yogi-ism that is applicable to the current SBIR reauthorization situation is, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."

The question is, which path at the fork do we take? Which way to go? Perhaps the path well traveled - follow the crowd. Sometimes it's the path someone pays you to take. Much of the time, it's the path of least resistance

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Suppose you’ve started a business that needs $100,000 of external financing to get off the ground. Because none of your friends or family has the money to make the investment, you’re looking for an accredited angel investor.

That investor is going to be very, very hard to find. Statistically, very few people are in a position to make these kinds of investments.

Let me give you some numbers to show you how rare this source of financing is. Because only a small number of new companies are successful enough to generate a reasonable return on an investor’s capital, most accredited angel investors realize that they need a diversified portfolio. Therefore, most investors will only invest a small portion – sophisticated angels say no more than 10 percent – of their net worth in start-ups. So a person who can invest $100,000 in start-ups needs a net worth of at least $1 million.

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The Department of Energy has billions in loan guarantees to hand out to alternative energy firms and automakers. But the highly competitive process has been criticized as slow, unmoving even.

What is a government agency to do? Hire a venture capitalist, of course.

The DOE announced Wednesday the appointment of Jonathan Silver, a former managing general partner at Washington D.C.-based venture capitalist firm Core Capital Partners, to head its loan guarantee and green auto programs. Core Capital invests in alternative energy, software, telecommunications and advanced manufacturing technology.

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The Washington region has the nation’s richest set of federal research and development assets, but they are not fully realized partners in our technology community. To unlock their full potential, we need to provide them with the tools necessary to connect with the present, using a federal connection model from the past.

Abraham Lincoln was the nation’s first technology president. He is the only president ever awarded a patent, he approved the congressional charter for the National Academies of Science, and he signed the nation’s first technology transfer statute creating the state university system of service to regional economies.
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Fast CompanyAs any entrepreneur who's spent some time trying to understand the venture capital universe will tell you, VCs typically invest locally. The logic goes like this: Having startups to invest in nearby makes it easier for both parties to interact, get guidance, brainstorm, etc.

So if an entrepreneur believes that getting venture capital is incumbent to his startup's success and location is important to venture firms, it's probably worth spending some time thinking about where your startup will call home. A look at the Q3 2009 venture capital funding statistics compiled by ChubbyBrain offers a data-driven view of venture investment by geography, which may help entrepreneurs with another data point as they consider the age-old question of location, location, location. (For a data-driven perspective into the world of venture capital, download the free 44-page Fast Company-ChubbyBrain Q3 VC Activity Report.)
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7th edition of the Report on Innovation and Enterprise Centres in Poland was published in November. The publication was prepared by the Polish Business and Innovation Centres Association and the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP).

The report presents the centres’ achievements, potential and future development directions as well as points out expansion barriers which may be encountered by certain types of the centres.Since 1990 the number of innovation and enterprise centres has been systematically growing to reach 717 in 2009. The number covers 23 technology parks and 23 other park initiatives, 17 technology incubators, 51 pre-incubators (i.e. academic enterprise incubators), 46 enterprise incubators, 87 centres for technology transfer and 318 training and information centres.

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