Innovation America Innovation America Accelerating the growth of the GLOBAL entrepreneurial innovation economy
Founded by Rich Bendis

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.

Back in August, Connect CEO Duane Roth outlined an initiative to address a dearth of venture capital investment by seeking to develop alternative funding sources for San Diego’s early-stage technology companies. A key part of the non-profit group’s initiative is to pursue additional federal support—and now that effort is facing its first major test as Congress takes up a bill that would provide funding through the Small Business Administration for equity investments in certain types of technology startups.

A House bill dubbed “The Small Business Early Stage Investment Act of 2009” would basically make the federal government a limited partner in qualified investment firms that make venture capital investments in early-stage companies in targeted industries. Roth tells me the bill, which was introduced by Democratic Rep. Glenn Nye of Virginia, fits his initiative “perfectly.”

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Business innovation has had a lot of buzz created in the last few years. The difficulty with innovation is that we all have an intuitive understanding of the topic and we aspire to be innovative, but struggle to make it real and tangible. This challenge is further complicated when we see "others," - companies, communities and countries – innovate and yet we are not able to repeat those successes. This is especially true for emerging countries as they try to keep pace with innovation that is coming from the developed world.

To address the innovation challenge, Indonesia, the world's fourth largest country by population, has come up with a bold and innovative (what else!) approach. In 2008 the Ministry of Research and Technology established a Business Innovation Center (BIC) with the vision to "become the leading Business-Innovation intermediary, in order to promote Indonesia's economic and business competitiveness."


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MASON CITY — National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and Accelper Consulting awarded the North Iowa Area Community College John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) its highest national honor.

The Innovation Award recognition was presented Monday at the NACCE conference in Chicago.

“NIACC’s efforts through the JPEC have made a significant impact on our region, and we are proud that those efforts are being recognized with this award,” said NIACC President Dr. Deb Derr.

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The city's Economic Development Corp. and the New York City Investment Fund have teamed up on an initiative to fund biomedical research that has advanced beyond academic institutions, but is not yet ready to attract private funding.

The $5 million Translational Research Fund is designed to give researchers with ideas that could result in companies being formed in the city the added kick they need to propel their work out of what's come to be known in the industry as the “valley of death.”

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I had the great opportunity to take in the first Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF) Summit, in Moncton.

I thank the City of Moncton for making the investment and taking such a proactive lead to bring a high calibre conference focusing on broadband and the Internet to increase regional, economic and social development to the city.

Communities that invest in broadband are investing in their companies and their citizen's work-life balance. What was so inspiring about this conference was it was not about technology but about how the Internet supports personal and business connections in ways that we never imagined. It was about the people and how easy we make it for them.
As Richard Bendis, CEO of Innovation America, puts it: change is inevitable with the fast paced power of the web. If you're hesitating as an owner or senior manager, you are creating liability for your firm's longevity. Listening and collaborating with your target market users can significantly increase your unique value proposition -- which is how your relevant use of the web can help your long-term success.

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Weekly Update from Build A Stronger America - Issue 1 - October 14, 2009

Manufacturing Business Owner, Bill Wydra, Shares His Story

Bill's mission is to revive the manufacturing industry in the U.S. His full-service facility employs 38 people. See Bill tell his story >>


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Venture capital fund-raising, the rocket fuel for the nation’s entrepreneurial economy, slid to its lowest level in 15 years in the third quarter, when just 17 venture firms raised $1.5 billion, according to data released yesterday by the Thomson Reuters research firm.

By comparison, 63 venture capital firms raised $8.5 billion in the third quarter of last year, while 27 firms raised $1.9 billion in the second quarter of this year, the firm’s data showed.


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As the Ohio Capital Fund rounds the finish line in investing $150 million in venture capital firms, two legislators want to breathe new life into what they consider one of the state’s key economic development programs.

State Reps. Jay Goyal, D-Mansfield, and Sandra Williams, D-Cleveland, said Wednesday they plan in the next few weeks to introduce legislation in the House of Representatives that will boost the investment capacity of the Ohio Venture Capital Authority by at least $100 million.

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KNOXVILLE — A local economic development consortium has outlined a new strategy for attracting high-tech companies.

Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley today unveiled a plan to focus on recruiting companies — and boost existing firms — in four specific industries: instrumentation, nuclear energy, bioenergy and energy-related materials.

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Governor Jim Doyle today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Province of Manitoba and the State of Wisconsin promoting the growth of innovation through collaboration, commercialization and bilateral trade.

The agreement, signed by Governor Doyle and Premier Gary Doer, promotes a working relationship between Wisconsin and Manitoba and builds upon current efforts to advance emerging technologies and enhance the mid-continent knowledge “IQ” corridor.

“Wisconsin and Manitoba share a strong past and a bright future in research and technology development,” Governor Doyle said. “This agreement builds on our common strengths and commits to continuing collaboration that will lead the future of innovation and grow our economies.”

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TORONTO, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - We are wasting the productive lives of many brilliant and courageous knowledge workers and losing large sums of money doing it. This is the stark conclusion of a new study, released today by The Impact Group. Understanding the Disappearance of Early-stage and Start-up R&D Performing Firms is the fourth in a series of white papers by H. Douglas Barber and Jeffrey Crelinsten examining Canada's innovation performance and culture. Through interviews with former CEOs and investors from 18 R&D performing companies that are no longer part of Canada's business landscape, the authors discovered that of these 18 firms 10 became insolvent with the remainder disappearing through merger or sale, in five cases profitably. On average the events took over seven years to unfold.

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NYC universities see a spike in enrollments for studies focusing on how students can launch and manage their own businesses.

Colleges have often provided fertile ground for innovation: Facebook was founded by Harvard classmates, Google by Ph.D. students and Napster by a freshman at Northeastern. Even FedEx was born of an economics term paper.

With the job market lagging, success stories like these are boosting interest in entrepreneurship among college students. Colleges and universities nationwide offer more than 5,000 courses on the subject, compared with just 250 in 1985, according to a report from the Kauffman Foundation, an organization that promotes small business formation in the U.S. And in the Big Apple, where many are looking to the startup sector for economic growth, colleges have found a growing demand for entrepreneurial studies.

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