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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.

A bombastic war of words is under way in Silicon Valley.

In one corner, Internet entrepreneur and TechCrunch50 co-producer Jason Calacanis has declared “jihad” on the Keiretsu Forum, accusing the angel group of taking advantage of startup companies and calling the fees the forum charges companies to pitch for investments from its members “payola.”

In the other corner, a mystified Keiretsu Forum finds itself defending a record that includes its Northern California members investing $1.4 million in seven companies this year alone.
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(Fortune magazine) -- First and foremost, Steve Jobs is an entrepreneur. And that is how history will long remember him. Not primarily as a fiduciary or an institution builder or an administrator (though he has worn all those hats), but rather as an individual who relentlessly pursued new opportunities.

From the first Apple computers to the breakthrough innovations of the past eight years -- the iPod, iTunes, the iPhone, and his Apple stores -- he has chased new possibilities without being deterred by whatever obstacles he encountered.

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Chicago, IL - As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to revive local economies, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today visited a job training center in Chicago benefiting from private sector investments made through the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. As part of his visit, Geithner announced $5 billion in NMTC awards, including $1.5 billion made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), for more than 90 organizations in communities around the country.

“We must rebuild our economy on a firmer foundation, one that equips our workers with the skills and education they need to compete,” said Secretary Geithner. “We must make sure that the advantages of this new, stronger economy are broadly shared. Too often, communities are left behind by economic growth. The Recovery Act and the New Markets Tax Credit program help break this vicious cycle to ensure the benefits of growth reaches all corners of the country.”

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When the team at Twitter Inc. hatched the idea of producing a mobile device dedicated to “tweeting” they contacted Jonathan Kaplan, founder of a gadget company that experienced one of the most successful exits for venture investors in 2009.

The TwitterPeek Kaplan, who sold Flip camera maker Pure Digital Technologies Inc. to Cisco Systems Inc. for $590 million in stock, told the team the man to talk to was Amol Sarva.

Sarva is the founder of Peek Inc., a company that coincidentally aims to be the Pure Digital of mobile email. The company builds a sleek, simple, affordable gadget that allows people to send or receive email.
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Today we are beginning to accept nominations for the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, which will take place in Washington, D.C. next spring.

This event is the direct result of President Obama’s speech in Cairo last June.

In that speech, the President sought to establish a new beginning built on the basis of mutual respect, the pursuit of partnerships in areas of mutual interest, and the shared principles and aspirations that bring us together as human beings.

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Motley Fool Holdings Inc. this week announced it raised $25 million in venture financing. Good for The Fool.

But pulling back the curtain, there’s more than just a simple round of financing here. The deal points to creative ways in which venture firms are finding liquidity other than the standard acquisitions, IPOs and secondary sales.

The funding comes from mezzanine investor BIA Digital Partners and growth investor Patriot Capital, new shareholders in the online investing site. Motley Fool’s early investors - venture firms Maveron and Mayfield Fund, which invested during the dot-com bubble - and secondary firm Saints Capital, which bought shares in 2005, did not reinvest. Instead, they will eventually be bought out.

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The day is finally here, and we’re excited to announce the winners of the 2009 Intranet Innovation Awards! These are global awards that celebrate new ideas and innovative approaches to the enhancement and delivery of intranets. Winning entries in 2009 include CRS Australia (Australia), IDEO (USA), IBM (USA), SunGard (USA/NZ), NYK Group (UK), Sabre (USA), COWI (Denmark), ChTPZ (Russia), Prophet (USA) and AEP (USA).

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The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry to permit all payments for royalty, lumpsum fee for transfer of technology, payments for use of trademark/brand name on the automatic route without any restrictions, and subject to FEMA (Current Account Transaction) Rules, 2000. To get the information about the nature/details of technology and the amount paid for it, a suitable post reporting requirement would be devised within three months in consultation with Department of Economic Affairs and Reserve Bank of India.

Hitherto, automatic approval was permitted for foreign technology transfers involving payment of lumpsum fee of US$ 2 million and royalty of 5% on domestic sales and 8% on exports. Beyond these limits, prior permission of the Government of India (Project Approval Board) was required. In addition, where there is no technology transfer involved, royalty upto 2% for exports and 1% for domestic sales is allowed under automatic route on use of trademarks and brand names of the foreign collaborator. 8062 approvals have been granted for technology collaborations since 1991 to June 2009.

With the Government’s further liberalization, the move is expected to freely promote the transfer of state of art technology into the country.

Original Press Release

Will Seek General Assembly Approval to Expand Tax Credit Allocations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber and Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr today announced the names of the six selected venture capital firms and two alternates named to participate in the TNInvestco program. They are:

• Tennessee Community Ventures Fund, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee. 
• XMi High Growth Development Fund, LLC, Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
• Limestone Fund, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee.
• Tri-Star Technology Fund, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee.
• Innova Fund II, LP, Memphis, Tennessee.
• Council & Enhanced Tennessee Fund, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee.


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People have asked me over the years how to know when a business is worth pursuing. How to know whether or not you are wasting your time.

I don’t know why this is such a difficult question for people to answer.

It is obvious to me that if you are passionate about your company, deeply passionate about it, like a love affair, then it’s worth pursuing whether you’ve got it down or not.
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India is currently the world’s fourth largest economy in terms of real GDP (PPP) and the tenth largest economy in terms of nominal GDP. Over the last decade, the country has emerged as a leading actor on the international stage. The outsourcing of services to India has over the past decade redefined the international business environment, and major Indian companies are now moving abroad on a scale never before witnessed.

In a situation where the world requires innovative companies to address the serious global challenges faced by humanity, including high resource consumption, pollution, population growth, demographic and geopolitical changes, India, with its rapidly changing business environment, may indeed prove to be one of the most important countries.

Just in time for their big 4th birthday celebration this week in Berkeley, Kiva announced yesterday that they had officially hit $100,000,000 in loans. In a blog post on the site, President Premal Shah said that the group had hit the milestone with donations from 584,189 lenders.

This is a huge accomplishment. The level of engagement that Kiva has engendered and the excitement around the model are a major force for good in the social entrepreneurship space. Despite recent questions about marketing practices, Kiva has helped average people participate in a newer model of international development that, if no panecea, has much to recommend it.
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