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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.

AmexIn a recent working paper Chad Moutray, the Chief Economist of the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration) analyzed the earnings of the class of 1993 ten years after they graduated. He found something that I summarize in the table below and have started to show to all my students.

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People who go into business for themselves are more likely to earn more than $100,000 per year than people who work for a wage in the private sector. But they are also much more likely to earn less than $20,000.
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I recently gave a presentation to the 128 Innovation Capital Group on raising money from angel investors. A copy of the slides is below and the video can be found here.

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Science ProgressForty years ago, when women of the baby boom generation broke through many barriers to enter elite colleges that had previously excluded them, enter new fields of study and research, and join the academic workforce in unprecedented numbers, not many of us thought about the challenges we would confront in making it all come together. We charged into our complicated professional and personal lives, convinced that we could succeed at both raising families and having dynamic careers by sheer force of will. In fact, for countless women of many generations since the 1960s, it has been a great life. We have been supported by both cooperative partners and friends and worked in enlightened institutions. But for others, it has not been good at all.
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NYTPresident Obama’s decision to hold a summit meeting on jobs this month acknowledges the reality that people on Main Street have known all year. Jobs are not a lagging indicator as economists have told us. They are the indicator.

By classic economic measures, the United States economy has moved out of recession. The gross domestic product up. Stock prices are up. Surviving financial institutions are returning to healthy profitability, as is Corporate America. At the end of a typical recession, jobs would recover in due course. But the jobs situation is not stabilizing. It’s getting worse.
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VC ExpertsTel Aviv, Israel, October 21, 2009. The following are the findings of the IVC Quarterly Survey conducted by the IVC Research Center, which for more than 12 years has been at the forefront of high-tech, venture capital and private equity research in Israel. This Survey reviews capital raised by private Israeli high-tech companies from Israeli venture capital funds, foreign investors and other investors. The Survey is based on reports from 81 investors of which 44 are Israeli management companies and 37 are other - mostly foreign - investment entities.
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Silicon IndiaBangalore: It seems India's aspiring entrepreneurs are made of sterner stuff than they are credited with. If the estimates of Indian Venture Capital Association (IVCA) are anything to go by, the risk-taking capacity of Indians witnessed a surge in the wake of the economic slowdown, which was triggered by the recession.

The average seed funding size has risen to $2.5-5 million from the pre-slowdown era's average of $1.5-2 million, according to the apex organization of the venture capital and private equity industry in India. Indications are that the amount will rise further by the middle of next year, reports Times of India.
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Booz & Company's 2009 edition of the Global Innovation 1000 report finds large R&D spenders are keeping the pace when it comes to developing new products and services despite fiscal challenges presented by the economic downturn ... '

' ... In the face of a severe global recession, the world’s 1,000 largest publicly traded corporate research and development spenders increased R&D budgets in 2008, affirming the critical importance of innovation to their corporate strategies, according to Booz & Company’s Global Innovation 1000, the global management consulting firm’s fifth annual analysis of global innovation spending. R&D spending at these firms rose 5.7 percent in 2008, a slower rate of growth than the prior year’s 10 percent increase, but in line with the group’s 6.5 percent increase in worldwide sales. More than two-thirds of the companies included in this year’s Global Innovation 1000 maintained or increased R&D spending in 2008, even though a third of the companies reported a financial loss for the year ... '
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Washington PostWe created the light bulb, automobile, computer chip and Internet. But is the United States losing its innovative mojo? That’s the fear of 61 percent of Americans surveyed by Newsweek and Intel recently, who said they believe the economic recession has hurt the nation’s edge in innovations.

Today, political leaders, policymakers and the titans of industries gather in Washington to hash out ideas on how to get that mojo back and what the key is to unlocking innovations of the future.
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There are few other business initiatives that rely as heavily on the "right" people as an innovation initiative. That's because unlike most other work in an organization, innovation is risky, uncertain, poorly defined and at odds with most of the rest of the work of the organization. Since there are no processes or methodologies, people play a much more significant role, and an innovation initiative will often live or die by the people who participate.
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Trend WatchWith the recent focus on innovation, it can be easy for any organization to become wrapped around building a better axle. However, innovation alone does not breed success. There is a battle brewing between the time tested practice of entrepreneurship and the requirements of the emerging innovation economy. The question is whether innovation or entrepreneurship can exist in this new environment without the other, finding the right mix, and understanding the difference. In this article, we explore the critical differences between and the many types of innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as how to find the balance between the two and your optimal mix for competitive advantage.
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nano werk(Nanowerk News) Michael R. Drapp, a 34-year veteran of the high-technology industry, has formed nanoEdge™ Technologies, a business development and intellectual property management company focused on the emerging nanotechnology space. The company also plans to invest in promising technologies and act as a nanotechnology incubator.

“Nanotechnology is the next great frontier: for technology, for industry, and for humanity as a whole,” says Drapp. “This isn’t hyperbole. Every previous technological shift has been limited to mankind’s external environment. Nanotechnology will also invade our internal space. Our medical treatments, our food, our entertainment…even our very definition of “self” will be impacted. This next shift will redefine the current demarcation between technology and humanity.
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Transparency: If people see what others do it generates support and peer pressure.

Greenhousing: Innovative ideas often start out as fragile little shoots that need nurturing.

Benefit focus: Keep asking what it is you’re trying to achieve – don’t just tick boxes.
Diversity: Of people, background, experience and outlook. Avoid groups of people who all think the same.

Risk-taking: Recognise risks, watch out for politics, listen to people at the sharp end.
Avoid deficiency models: Telling people they need to be there rather than here does not work.

Mistakes: It has to be all right to say, ‘That didn’t work – let’s try something else.’

Long-term planning: Can’t be done for innovation. Sensible next step is best that can be done. Then look closely at what happens and take another step.

Merlin John’s Innovators series is developing very nicely indeed, with articles to date on Ewan McIntosh, Paul Kelley, Margaret Vass, Carol Allen, Jaye Richards and John Davitt. The latest is a great piece on David Gilmour, East Lothian’s techno-boffin (sorry, David!).

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