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 New Revolution Among Latin American Pension Funds? by Cate Abrose
One of the key issues affecting the development of private equity and venture capital investment in Latin America is the availability of capital from local pension funds – private capital firms in Brazil, Colombia and Peru have succeeded in raising new funds in 2009 even as institutional investors in the US and Europe have remained on the sidelines.
In Peru and Colombia for example, pension funds have backed local emerging firms, driving the creation of a domestic PE/VC industry in both of those markets in the space of about five years.
Innovation Policy in an Innovation-Driven Economy by Brian Kahin
Everybody agrees that innovation is important to our nation’s economic growth and future prosperity, but what can the government do to promote it? The consensus of four years ago focused on remedying our perceived competitive shortcomings in science education and research, especially in the physical sciences. Today, the question takes on new urgency with the recognition that much of the economic growth experienced over the past decade was illusory. For the long term, we need to take a closer look at the institutions that enable innovation, not only to see how they can be better coordinated but also how they can respond to the evolving forms and practice of innovation.
Venture capital investing just half of what it was last year, by Tracy Seipel
Venture capital investing nationwide in the second quarter rose modestly from the previous quarter but still totaled only $3.7 billion — half of what it was the same time last year. And it is on track to end the year at the lowest level since the mid-1990s, according to a venture industry report released Monday.
Meanwhile, the Bay Area's share of the national total declined, according to the MoneyTree report. Venture capitalists invested $1.18 billion in Bay Area companies during the quarter, down 8 percent from the first quarter and down 61 percent from the second quarter of 2008. Th e sum represented 32 percent of total fundings, the Bay Area's smallest share since the third quarter of 2003.
Venture-Capital Investments Up 15% In 2Q; At Mid-90s Levels
Venture capitalists invested $3.7 billion in the second quarter, up 15% from early this year, but 2009 remains on pace to be the slowest for such investments in more than a decade, according to a new report.
Note: Subscription required to read full article.
The Research & Experimentation Tax Credit
Last week, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing on "Helping Small Business Innovators through the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit." Led by the Subcommittee on Contracting and Technology, members listened to the experience of technology entrepreneurs in utilizing this tool, commonly known as the R&D tax credit.
All witnesses stressed two problems: the uncertainty surrounding the permanence of the credit and the administrative burden that the credit’s complexity imposes. They expressed that these barriers prevent small business from using the credit. Witnesses also mentioned other barriers, such as the net operating loss limitation in the credit’s provisions (Scott Ferros, VP and CIO of BlackHawk) and the credit’s interactions with the Alternative Minimum Tax affecting business decisions (Bart Heenan, CEO of Morphix Technologies).
Economy Will Revive with Help from Entrepreneurs
Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy recently released its annual report The Small Business Economy. In an accompanying letter to the President, the report affirms that “the economy will revive, with help from America’s entrepreneurs.”
This new edition documents the effects of the 2008 recession on small businesses. Although average unincorporated self-employment fell from 10.4 million in 2007 to 10.1 million, incorporated self-employment remained steady at 5.8 million on average over the 2007-2008 period.
Innovation – can’t or won’t? by The Broad Brush
In an age when even busy businesses are struggling, innovation is no longer an option. Even staples can’t count on their customer base for keeping sales up. It’s about the truth of real needs versus a bit of emotion attached to those basic needs. People buy what wins their hearts as much as what’s practical."
Markets or Communities? The Best Ways to Manage Outside Innovation by Sean Silverthorne
"But the art of managing these external innovation models is far from mastered—just ask Boeing. The airline manufactuer's 787 Dreamliner, designed and built using more than 100 outside partners, is perhaps the most-watched example of the use of innovation networks. But already almost two years late, the project was dealt another blow last month when Boeing again delayed the first flight of the aircraft after identifying a structural weakness."
Wandering Into the Innovation Economy by Kathering Brooks, Ed. D.
"The news about the job market isn't getting any better as unemployment rates continue to rise. The latest catch-phrase is "jobless recovery" based on the notion that the economy will improve but many jobs will be lost forever."
The Tata Nano: Disruptive Products & Social Innovation by Stephen Chen
"The idea came from Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group, when he wondered if there was a way to create a safe, affordable, all-weather vehicle for Indian families who typically get around on two-wheels. He describes a scene where, ”the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby.”
Innovative Finance Strategies for Startups by Lawrence Gennari
"With the stock market entering a modest equilibrium, many emerging growth companies, whether venture-backed or privately funded, are reconsidering financing strategies and looking at their next steps. Yet, bank financing remains elusive, and many venture capitalists, particularly those previously funding Series A and B rounds, seem to be focused on stabilizing their existing portfolio companies or investing in later stage enterprises. So what’s a technology company to do if it needs financing and hopes to be sold or go public within two years? ..."