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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.

You can't wait for things to happen. You have to plan ahead and know how to turn a business plan into an action plan.What does it take to be an entrepreneur?

Here are some of the things it takes to become a successful entrepreneur, according to experts:

Motivation: You have to be willing to pursue your idea. You've likely thought about it for a while, and you are ready to launch your own business.

Sacrifice: It takes time and effort to operate your own business. There's no accounting department or receptionist, and you'll have to pay for your own benefits.
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Ryan Weber considered himself a prudent business owner. He borrowed $6,000 from family members to start Radiant Photography in Las Vegas, and he paid them back--with interest--in three years. To cut expenses, he rented a studio when he needed it, instead of building his own. And when Advanta, a credit card company in Spring House, Penn., offered a business credit card with a $7,500 line of credit, he accepted it.

"Having $7,500 in reserve really helped," Weber says. "In case a check didn't go through from a client, it was there to rent studio lights or pay my cell phone bill."

Then last spring--a few months before declaring bankruptcy--Advanta pulled the credit lines of 1 million small-business customers, including Weber. It also capped their credit cards at the level of their outstanding balances, effectively cutting off their access to emergency cash.
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imageHave a dream but starved for start-up capital? Enter one of these 15 university-sponsored contests.

As students at MIT, Lucchino and his team were eligible for the MIT 100K Entrepreneurship Competition. Entrants to the contest need only present a business plan; proof of concept helps, too. Lucchino and his team, at what would soon become Semprus BioSciences, bagged the grand prize: $30,000 in cash. (Back then the "100K" refers to the competition's entire purse.)

Semprus then hit the business plan circuit, winning top honors at small-business contests at Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Rice University, Oxford University and Cambridge University. Total take: about $75,000 in cash and plenty of "street cred" with deep-pocketed investors. "It's a good spring training exercise," says Lucchino, who went on to raise $2 million in 2007 from private investors and another $8 million in venture funding in December 2008.
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IBISWorld reveals top Aussie Export industries for 2010 Market research company and business information provider IBISWorld recently released its findings on Australia’s leading export industries for 2010 and their outlook for the next five years.

A forecast of $237 billion of combined export revenue for 2010 (representing 21.4 percent of the Australian economy) puts Australia in the top echelon of global exporters, with only Germany (40.8 percent) and China (33.2 percent) recording higher export proportions of their total economic revenue.

As expected, mining constitutes Australia’s largest export industry, generating $283.7 billion of revenue for 2009/2010 — of which $128 billion was from exports. The industry is forecast to grow by 6.1 percent in the next five years.
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Mission: China Business Competency for Every Interested Executive in America

Philadelphia (PRWEB) January 27, 2010 -- In the past 30 years, China has raked in massive amounts of foreign direct investment; its trade surpluses continue to break records; and its vast foreign-exchange reserves make it a key player in determining the value of the dollar. Summary: China has gained tremendous global economic strength, and the nation’s economic relevance to the USA is not fading anytime soon. Leaving us with the question, “What can we do, through our own business lives, to gain some leverage, strength, and effectiveness relative to Chinese businesses?”

One of the key USA-based programs of The China Business Network, China Business Boot Camp, taking place in Philadelphia at the Union League on February 18, 2010. China Business Boot Camp (www.chinabusinessbootcamp.com) is designed to provide practical answers: namely, a knowledge of what really works when doing business in China, and what resources are available in the region and beyond, to help us win in every China business challenge.

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Will 2010 be the year of Start-Up America?On January 24th 2010, New York Times Columnist Thomas L. Friedman wrote an op-ed piece titled, “More (Steve) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs,” which gave advice to President Obama as he puts the finishing touches on this week’s State of the Union speech.

He wrote “We need to make 2010 what Obama should have made 2009: the year of innovation, the year of making our pie bigger, the year of “Start-Up America.

He went on further to say, ”Obama should make the centerpiece of his presidency (this year) mobilizing a million new start-up companies that won’t just give us temporary highway jobs, but lasting good jobs that keep America on the cutting edge.

Well Mr. Friedman, I [Melinda Emerson] believe you are spot on. While your editorial largely focused on exposing youth to entrepreneurship, which is absolutely needed, I think there should be a two-pronged approach with a focus on working professionals and academic innovators who are ready to start businesses right now.
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Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced the launch of the second I-Prize contest, an open global innovation competition in which entrepreneurs worldwide can collaborate and submit their proposals with the potential to be Cisco's next billion-dollar business idea. Following last year's competition, which drew nearly 2,500 entrants, this year innovative thinkers will have access to an expanded portfolio of Cisco® collaboration solutions to build on as they share their ideas with other participants around the world. The winning team will be eligible for $250,000 in prize money.
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Reminder: Just 2 Days Remain

AURP 2010 International Conference
Building the Innovation Engine

Hosted by the University of Minnesota
Academic Health Center


Minneapolis, Minnesota
September 15-17, 2010


Association of  University Research ParksThe Association of University Research Parks invites you to share your knowledge and experience with your colleagues at our 2010 International Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 15-17, 2010.

University Research Parks are the engines of innovation. During this conference, we will examine the best way to build that innovation engine.

Interesting approaches and creative solutions to the challenges surrounding the topic of "Building the Innovation Engine" are sought for concurrent presentations.

Proposals for suggested concurrent sessions should be no more than one page in length. Each proposal should include the following:

-a full description of the proposed session, including how the information to be shared will benefit the attendees and address the conference subject;

-a 50-75 word description for possible future marketing materials;

-the contact information, biography in narrative format, and high resolution photo of each proposed presenter

The proposals are due no later than Friday, January 29th at 5:00 p.m. MST. They should be sent in electronic format by email to AURP Event Manager Victoria Palmer, at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please contact Victoria with any questions. 

Accepted proposals will be announced no later than March 15th, 2010.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of his continuing effort to support small business, U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, today introduced a bill designed to spur job creation and strengthen our economy by providing essential tax credits and loans to small businesses. Key provisions of Senator Cardin's bill will make available urgently needed working capital loans, reward small businesses for creating new jobs, and help to offset the skyrocketing cost of health insurance.

Small firms pump almost a trillion dollars into the economy each year, create two-thirds of our nation's new jobs annually and account for more than half of America's workforce. Recognizing the vital role small business has always had in the overall growth of our economy, the bill also encourages elevating the Small Business Administration to Cabinet-level status.
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Apple watchers can now see how truly huge the company's iPhone business has become, thanks to a new accounting method the company started using this past quarter.

In less than three years, the iPhone has grown to become Apple's biggest business -- up from zero.

Specifically, during Apple's December quarter, the company reported $5.6 billion of iPhone-related revenue, up 90% year-over-year. That edged out the Mac business ($4.5 billion) and iPod business ($3.4 billion) for the second quarter in a row and the third time ever. It was the first time the iPhone has beat the Mac and iPod businesses by more than $1 billion each.

Apple revenue by segment
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Entrepreneurship Week at Stanford, February 21-28, 2010

Why conduct a weeklong celebration of entrepreneurship at Stanford, when the entrepreneurial spirit is so completely pervasive here? After all, our university president, John Hennessy, is a very successful entrepreneur. Many of our faculty, staff, alumni and even current students have started businesses or somehow bring extremely entrepreneurial approaches to their work. There are at least two dozen organizations on campus related to entrepreneurship. And we took part in the birth of Silicon Valley, the breeding ground of some of the world's greatest innovations and companies.

The answer is simple. It's a chance to bring all of us together for a week and focus on a theme that we take rather for granted around here - the importance of entrepreneurial leadership and the role it must play in helping to solve some of the world's most pressing problems.

Entrepreneurship is of enormous interest on campus, because the Stanford community recognizes that the 21st Century will belong to innovators who can turn ideas into action. This applies more than ever to today's students and everyone else in society. We all need to be self starters and possess an entrepreneurial mindset, regardless of what we go on to do in life.
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JumpstartAlbert Einstein once said “If, at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” Here is my list of the top ten most absurd and hopeless ideas I have heard about in my lifetime:

1. Coffee shops? The world hardly needs more coffee shops. Plus, coffee shops don’t scale.
2. A Maine-based line of natural products that are made with bees wax? Last time I checked, the “bee” supply chain wasn’t that scalable.
3. Overpriced, finely made historically accurate dolls that will teach children about history? Seriously? I don’t even know where to go with that.
4. An algorithm that will improve upon Yahoo’s web search technology? Fatal flaw: why couldn’t Yahoo just do that themselves?
5. Packages overnight? The infrastructure required to make that happen is prohibitively expensive. Nice idea, but too much capital risk...
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(Honolulu, Hawaii & New York, New York, January 20, 2010) – The Intelligent CommunityForum named its 2010 Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year today at a luncheon ceremony taking place at PTC'10 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA (13:30 HAST, 18:30 EST, 23:30 GMT).  Click here to watch a video of the announcement. The Top Seven announcement is the second stage of ICF’s annual Intelligent Community awards cycle. 

The Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year
The following communities, drawn from the Smart21 of 2010, were named to the Top Seven based on analysis of their nominations by a team of independent academic experts:

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February 3, 2010, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
About This Event

An overwhelming quantity of direct observations and analyses published by scientists in various disciplines around the world demonstrates that human activity has warmed the planet and altered the climate. The severity of the projected impacts of continuing on our current greenhouse gas emissions path has only increased in recent years.

Please join the Center for American Progress for an educational event featuring two respected scientists who have both helped author reports produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dr. Michael MacCracken and Dr. Christopher Field will explain the IPCC's assessment process, how we know what we know about human-caused climate change, what we have learned since the 2007 IPCC report, and why the science must inform public policy in the United States.

Featured Speakers:
Christopher Field, Director, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, and Professor of Biology and Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford University, and a coordinating lead author for the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment
Michael MacCracken, Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs, Climate Institute, and co-author/contributing author for various chapters in the IPCC assessment reports
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$1.5B for biotech so far and more neededSix years ago Florida began a spending spree on biotechnology, paying out $1.5 billion to eight companies that employ a combined 1,100 people — or an average of $1.4 million per job.

That's an eye-popping figure to be sure. Even more jarring, though, is that we're not done yet. The reality is that the state will need to continue to heavily invest in this sector if it ever hopes to become home to a collection of true biotechnology clusters.

A new report by the state's Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability confirmed what many already suspected: the economic downturn has severely hampered the already arduous process of cluster development.
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EurActiv Logo The UK wants to see European commissioners "named and shamed" if they add to the burden on small businesses, as part of a more focused approach to reducing unemployment in Europe.

In a proposal designed to feed into the debate on the EU 2020external strategy, Gordon Brown calls for a "concerted and continuing" effort to move from recovery to growth.

The document says the EU's SME Envoy should be empowered to hold Commission directorates-general to account for their commitment to 'Think Small First' – a pledge contained in the Small Business Act (SBAPdf external ) approved by EU leaders in 2008 (EurActiv 2/12/08) .

"This should include naming and shaming those DGs that fail to apply the SME test to new regulations that place a burden on business, and those that do not apply Common Commencement Datesexternal [for implementing pro-enterprise legislation] and share good practice within the Commission," the UK says.
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Several articles published in the press this past year have emphasized the importance of technology innovation in creating high-paying jobs and fueling our nation’s economy. Janet Rae-Dupree’s aptly titled New York Times piece, “Innovation Should Mean More Jobs, Not Less,” makes the case that investing in innovative technologies is critical to the future of the United States economy. In their New York Times op-ed columns, Thomas Friedman (”Start Up the Risk-Takers“) and David Brooks (”The Protocol Society“) describe the importance of investing in innovation to stimulate entrepreneurship and job creation. These articles (and many others) reiterate that our country’s leadership position in the global innovation economy is dependent on our sustained investment in research and its translation into innovative products.

Historically, the majority of innovative products (many of which stem from federally funded research) were entirely developed by large, fully integrated corporations. This model was highly successful until the 1970s, when certain business practices were introduced that eventually stifled innovation.
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10 Small Business Trends and OpportunitiesWhat are some of the key trends affecting small businesses? And more importantly, what do these trends mean and what kind of opportunities will they lead to for your business?

These are the questions we answered in a recent webinar I hosted for the Intuit Community.

I was joined by a special guest: Ivana Taylor. We discussed 10 trends affecting large groups of small businesses.

Here’s a summary of the 10 trends we covered in the webinar:

1. “It’s the Software, Stupid” – The word “stupid” is not a word I typically use. But I couldn’t resist the play on words to emphasize a point. In this context it describes the accelerating growth of cloud computing, and the de-emphasis on hardware locally in small businesses. Now this does NOT mean we small businesses are going to go out and get rid of all of our servers this year. But it does mean we’re getting closer to the point where one day all we may need to run our businesses is to equip each employee with a computer, browser and Internet connection.
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Lack of a boss.

Period.

The lack of a higher authority to give you your next todo item is the single most-important factor that makes entrepreneurship so hard. In school, you have a clearly defined schedule and you have teachers who give you homework which provides something concrete to do everyday. Then they have exams, a definite end point of the whole yearly effort. In college, you have required classes, projects and exams that keep you sane and provide a safety net from being direction less.
Boss is always right, even if he is wrong
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CLEVELAND, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2009 Venture Capital Report for the Cleveland Plus Region announces that between 2005 and 2009, $1.1 billion has been invested by venture capitalists and angel investors in 183 unique companies in the region. In the last five years, these 183 Northeast Ohio companies have received 348 investments, contributing to the state of Ohio's 2009 ranking as a top ten state for investment deal activity.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060209/CLJUMPSTARTLOGO )

Northeast Ohio has also seen a number of exits over this same time frame, including: Hyland Software's acquisition by Thoma Cressey Bravo in 2007, MemberHealth's acquisition by Universal American in 2007 for $630 million, Brulant's acquisition by Rosetta in 2008, Theken Spine's acquisition by Integra Life in a deal valued up to $200 million in 2008, and AXENTIS' acquisition by Wolters Kluwer in 2009.

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