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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.

NYTGARY LOCKE, the secretary of commerce, has urged Congress to overhaul the nation’s patent law by the end of the year. Although a bill has been circulating since 2005, a fierce fight involving the high-tech and drug industries on a technical issue — how to measure damages when a company violates a patent applying to one component of a larger product — has kept it from reaching a vote.

The best way forward is for Congress to sidestep the damages question and instead add five amendments to existing statutes that would improve the processing of patents, reduce lawsuits and speed up the arrival of innovations on the market.

 

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WBJErnst & Young LLP has been named Rosetta Stone Inc. President and CEO Tom Adams its national entrepreneur of the year.

Adams was selected for his leadership in building and growing Arlington-based Rosetta Stone, which sells language teaching software, into an international market leader.

Rosetta Stone has doubled its size since 2007, it went public in April during a drought of initial public offerings and the company earned net income of $5.3 million in its most recent quarter ended Sept. 30.
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When European settlers first came to North America, they saw flocks of geese so big that it took them 30 minutes to all take flight and forests that seemed to stretch to infinity. They came to two conclusions: that God’s plans for humanity could be completed here, and that they could get really rich in the process.

This moral materialism fomented a certain sort of manic energy. Americans became famous for their energy and workaholism: for moving around, switching jobs, marrying and divorcing, creating new products and going off on righteous crusades.
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The ingredients are in place for Arkansas to become a tech-based innovation hotbed. All it needs are the right hands in the kitchen.

Jeff Amerine has firsthand experience in cooking up environments that foster innovation. He teaches entrepreneurship and technology commercialization classes at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, and is an officer at the UA's Technology Licensing Office, where his job is to take the world-class research being done there and guide it to commercialization.

 

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Speech by: Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, 16 November 2009, at HDB Hub Auditorium

Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Manpower, Minister In-charge of Entrepreneurship and Chairman of the Action Community for Entrepreneurship

Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, President of the National University of Singapore

Distinguished guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good afternoon

Thank you for the invitation to join you for the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009.

Initiated last year by the Marion Ewing Kauffman Foundation in the USA and Make Your Mark in the UK, Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. The inaugural event reached out to 1.5 million people from over 100 countries through some 15,000 entrepreneurial activities. Here in Singapore, the Action Community for Entrepreneurship or ACE and NUS Enterprise, together with 37 partners, have impacted 12,000 entrepreneurial minds via some 40 events.

This year, over 70 countries are banding together again to celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship. I would like to congratulate the Singapore co-hosts and 25 partners for lining up over 40 showcase events, competitions and talks for the youth and community. It is commendable that both the private and public sectors have come together to nurture the young entrepreneurs of tomorrow. I urge all youth to take advantage of these exciting programmes.

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Dana Goldstein on the White House's "newer is better" approach to problems:

Every single one of you has something you're good at," President Barack Obama told children in his Sept. 8 back-to-school address. He went on to list future occupations toward which students could strive -- doctor, teacher, police officer, architect, lawyer. Also included in that list was a career option no previous president had ever named: innovator.

Indeed, the Obama administration has been promoting "innovation" to anyone who will listen. The stimulus package includes more than $100 billion for innovation efforts across fields as diverse as school reform, energy research, health care, and poverty alleviation. In July, first lady Michelle Obama spoke at two "innovation events" honoring architects and product designers. On Sept. 21, the president delivered a speech at Hudson Valley Community College in upstate New York on how innovation can create jobs. A search of WhiteHouse.gov turned up 531 documents mentioning the term.

 

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Intel and Newsweek have produced a report on the importance of innovation to economic growth.

For the last 100 years the biggest contribution to industrial innovation has been the electronics industry.

For the last 60 years the biggest contributor to innovation in electronics has been microelectronics.

 

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Huffington PostToday, Newsweek and Intel released the findings from a survey on innovation and the economy. The good news: despite one of the deepest recessions in history, Americans have an undiminished faith in technology and innovation as the primary engines of economic growth. The bad news: most Americans say that the downturn has hurt the U.S.'s ability to innovate and they have significant doubts about our ability to maintain leadership.

While pursuing game-changing technology innovation is my charge at Intel, I am acutely interested in supporting this undiminished faith of the American people and am working tirelessly to relieve their doubts about our ability to compete on the global stage.
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Many first time entrepreneurs may not fully understand how a venture capital fund works and consequently may not fully relate to how VC’s function. This post makes an attempt to provide a generic overview of how a VC fund functions and what it implies for entrepreneurs.

To start with, it would help to understand similarities between VC’s and entrepreneurs. Just as entrepreneurs go through the cycles of opportunity, business plan, fund raising and eventual exit through IPO or M&A, VC’s also follow a similar cycle. VC’s identify the opportunity space in which they want to play and then develop a business plan. The business plan would broadly cover capital deployment strategies, time-frame for investing/exit, types of opportunities that would be considered for investing as well as target returns at the fund level. With this business plan, VC’s approach a set of qualified investors for raising the required funds for starting the VC fund. This fund raising effort is an intense and time consuming effort and closure can take anywhere from 12 months to 24 months depending on the size of the fund, team, past track record, nature of opportunities etc. Just as VC’s perform due diligence on the opportunities, prospective investors who are considering investing into the VC fund also perform detailed diligence on VC’s.

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Lenexa-based Rush Tracking Systems has been acquired by Pharos Capital Group, a private equity firm based in Nashville and Dallas, the companies said Monday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the companies said the deal includes a capital investment that will allow Rush, which specializes in outfitting warehouses with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, to grow at an accelerated pace.

Rush president and founder Toby Rush said the 100 percent buyout meant company founders and investors “made out very well.”

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Only a slight breeze blew across the plains of Inner Mongolia on a recent afternoon, but the giant turbines at the Huitengxile Wind Power Field were spinning steadily. This facility, 200 miles northwest of Beijing, has 550 turbines churning out enough juice to power a small city, and inside a monitoring station, plant manager Zhang Jianjun points to a wall chart showing the 11 different suppliers of the high-tech windmills. Four are Chinese companies, but when Zhang is asked to pick his favorite, his nationalism is trumped by a desire for quality. "General Electric," he says, citing its reliability. "I'm excited when all of the turbines are working."

GE's roots lie in Thomas Edison's Menlo Park lab, the site of some of the most significant innovation in our history. Today millions of Edison's spiritual descendants—engineers, geneticists, programmers, entrepreneurs—are toiling in basic research across the country. But amid a profound economic slowdown, Americans have real doubts about their ability to maintain their edge in innovation, even as they agree that technological innovation is more important than ever.

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