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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.

Sheetal MehtaSheetal Mehta, founder of Innovative Social Ventures, has won many awards such as: Asian Women of Achievement; was listed in the 35 under 35 of Management Today and awarded for her Public Services this year at the Jewel Awards. She has just launched Shanti Microfinance which takes technology and microfinance to entrepreneurs in slums in India. Here, she talks to The NextWomen about her experiences in business and microfinance:

Tell us about yourself and your experiences in business?

I am a Canadian who has lived in the United Arab Emirites, San Francisco and the UK. I have a background in technology and venture capital – I initially started my career in banking in the Middle East and later went on to join Microsoft Corporation where I set up their Venture Capital Strategy. Later, I expanded that initiative into EMEA.
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Athena AllianceAs I've [Ken Jarboe] mentioned before, there is talk in Washington about a new jobs bill and possibly a new look at innovation policies. Should there be a new round of policy initiatives, here are a few suggestions (many of which I've discussed in the past).

Review and implement the America COMPETES Act. Parts of the Act were never implemented. Two parts specifically should be implemented immediately:
• convene the President's Council on Innovation and Competitiveness as a mechanism to highlight Cabinet-level attention to innovation and coordinate government action
• fund the study of how the federal government could support research and teaching related to the services industries and service functions in the manufacturing sector.
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Nov 19, 2009 (Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) -- SBCOE | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Melissa Bean joined Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Small Business Administrator Karen Mills at a Small Business Financing Forum today to discuss methods for improving small business access to credit.

"Many small businesses' credit lines have been reduced or eliminated over the last year, leaving businesses struggling to access affordable capital to fund business growth," Bean said. "Small businesses drive roughly 80 percent of job creation in the country, so I appreciate the Administration's efforts to think outside the box to explore new ideas for increasing credit access as we strive towards economic recovery."

 

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Curtis R. Nelson Shares 30 Years of Business Experience—Simplifying the Keys to Growing Any Business, Complete with Personalized Score Card

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA—NOVEMBER 18, 2009—Entrepreneurs to seasoned business executives are the target for Curtis R. Nelson’s new book, The Recipe for Business Success. The book, now available online at www.recipeforbusinesssuccess.com, is a compilation of decades of proven business practice and theory into one, easy-to-follow “Recipe.” Filled with real-world stories that drive home the learning experience, The Recipe is designed to be a strategic analysis tool, applicable to the start-up or the Fortune 500® board room.

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EntrepreneurshipAs Global Entrepreneurship Week comes to a close in the US and 88 countries around the world, U.S. President Barack Obama has issued a proclamation supporting those efforts, proclaiming November 16 - 22 to be a national Entrepreneurship Week. In doing so, Obama called "upon all Americans to recognize the important contributions of entrepreneurs to our economy."

The statement comes as thousands of organizations are in the midst of hosting events designed to inspire young people to unleash their creative ideas and turn them into job-producing, sustainable businesses.
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BWFrom Barcelona to Seoul, urban science parks are being built to lure the best minds and the industries of tomorrow

In its heyday decades ago, Olivetti employed nearly 3,000 workers in a hardscrabble section of Barcelona making typewriters. Drop into the former factory today, and you'll likely find young professionals perched on comfy foam couches talking business in a mix of languages amid brightly painted walls and exposed wooden beams. Glass-enclosed conference rooms are filled with students taking seminars on how to write business plans or develop marketing campaigns. Tacked to a bulletin board next to the canteen are news reports about the latest venture to snag investors.

Reopened three years ago as a high-tech business incubator, the four-story concrete-and-glass structure now hosts 55 startups creating everything from bike helmets with built-in air bags to an online audio-search service that some analysts think might be "the Google (GOOG) of music." The converted factory also houses the home office of [email protected], which oversees a sprawling science park of university campuses, research institutes, and corporate labs that boosters hope will turn the Mediterranean city into one of the world's great creative hubs.
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In the late sixties it had become clear that most of the world’s seas and oceans were being exploited by over-fishing. Soil was being degraded and eroded throughout the planet. National habitats were being destroyed and the area of tropical rain forests, which have a direct effect on climatic conditions, had been reduced by half since the middle of the century. As a consequence, several species of plant life and animals were in the process of becoming extinct. Pollution had also started raising its ugly head and dumping of waste into the sea, and on land greatly contributed to the poisoning of the environment. Hazardous chemicals and radio active materials were being dumped into rivers all over the world and, together with sewage and oil spills, rendered lakes and semi-enclosed seas more vulnerable, therefore having a more direct effect on people’s health. As a result, billions of people are suffering daily from air pollution caused by acid rain and ozone depletion, both of which have become major contributors to global and regional problems.
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Mecury NewsWhen Dave Kellogg arrived at Sequoia Capital on that day in early October 2008, "the last chair in the room was in the front row," he recalled. "My penance for being a little bit late."

Kellogg is the CEO of Mark Logic, a startup that helps business clients make sense of the chaos of unstructured data. He wound up with an excellent seat for an auspicious moment in Silicon Valley lore — the "R.I.P. Good Times" briefing that drove home the severity of the financial industry crisis for the startup economy. Initially intended exclusively for leaders of companies backed by Sequoia's investments, it would be inadvertently leaked by one CEO and sail around the Web like an early Halloween ghoul.
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In the go-go days of the mid-2000’s, Richard Florida was king, and the creative economy was going to lead us to cafe-cultured prosperity. Here in the central Puget Sound, not only did we take credit for all our smart people, we actually hired Richard Florida to come and help us develop strategies to capitalize on these resources. But you don’t really hear too much about that these days. What happened to the creative economy?

Obviously, the “Great Recession” has taken the wind out of the sails of a lot of investment in the amenities that help cities attract and retain high demand workers. Cultural institutions are struggling, bookstores are closing, and paying too much for a latte is gauche. Not to mention the huge cuts going on locally and nationally in education that keep us from producing the STEM field degrees that power a lot of that high tech innovation.
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The next time someone throws the "does it scale?" line at you, show them this diagram and ask them to be more specific - what sort of scaling was it they were worried about, exactly? Another tidbit, "The Microsoft UK Education team has a dozen people in it (surprised?) who are focused full-time on education..." - and with even more in North America, I would expect to see a lot more of blogging and writing out of them. Where are they? Ray Fleming, Microsoft UK Schools News Blog, November 20, 2009.
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Venture BeatHere’s the latest from VentureBeat’s Entrepreneur Corner:

5 ways VC firms can stop shooting themselves in the foot – Venture Capital firms drill the need to create basic credibility into the companies they invest in – but often fail to take their own advice. Laura Grimmer, CEO of Articulate Communications (which works with VC firms), lists five things they could do to build a better pipeline of prospective portfolio companies.

After VC cash? Show ‘em what you’ve learned – When the time came for Cafepress to seek its second round of funding, the company went about it in a slightly different way. Serial entrepreneur Steve Blank, a longtime board member of the company, offers a look at how they did it – and what the reaction was from investors.
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