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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.

NYTON Oct. 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday of November to be a national holiday of Thanksgiving. That came just over a year after Lincoln made another more historic proclamation, one that directly concerned my family and their future: the Emancipation Proclamation, which had freed the enslaved in any territory “in rebellion.”

These two proclamations are visually conjoined in a stereograph made about the same time that is familiar to students of the American South. Taken by Henry P. Moore, it shows African-Americans at work on a plantation on Edisto Island, off South Carolina. They are captured in attitudes of deep concentration, posed with hoes in hands or seated around a large basket, preparing to plant. They are described as new freemen or escaped slaves — and the tubers that they are planting are alternately labeled sweet potatoes or yams.
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EntrepreneurIt's not all bad news on the financing front. Here are the top trends for 2010 and how to make the most of them.

There's no sugarcoating it: Raising money for your startup won't get much easier in 2010, since the capital market for early-stage investments is still reeling from the effects of the recession.

But there is still money out there and there are better (and worse) ways to pursue it. Here's how to make the best of the leading trends for 2010:
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fast companyAccording to a new survey on global innovation conducted by Newsweek and Intel, the United States is suffering from a serious self-esteem problem. The online questionnaire, conducted between Sept. 28 and Oct. 13 of this year, polled 4,800 adults in the U.S., China, Germany, and the U.K. about thoughts on the world's innovation leaders.

To start, the graph below shows that while more than 70% of Americans think the U.S. is a technologically innovative country, only 41% think that the United States is staying ahead of China on innovation. Meanwhile, more than 80% of the Chinese think that the U.S. is innovative and is staying ahead of China on innovation. It seems the world has gotten the recession blues--no one believes in themselves anymore.
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Plugged.In[Guest article by Pavan Krishnamurthy, Partner at Ojas Venture Partners. This article is a must read for entrepreneurs who wants to understand the due diligence process.]

Many first time entrepreneurs may not fully understand about the due diligence process followed by VC’s or what to expect during the diligence phase. This post makes an attempt to demystify the VC due diligence process and provide a list of typical questions for which VC’s would be seeking answers during the due diligence process.

Before we get into what actually happens in a due diligence phase, it would be good to understand the investment decision making process followed within a VC fund. Depending on the size/focus of the fund, a typical fund on an average receives anywhere from 50 to 75 business plans per month. All the plans received are logged into a deal database. In most funds, deals logged into the deal database are discussed in the weekly deal-flow meetings. Typically, deals go through the phases of preliminary meeting, preliminary diligence, internal discussion, detailed diligence and final decision.
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The recent opening of the Shady Grove Life Sciences Park in Rockville provides another sign that Montgomery County is ready to become what some already call a "biotech version of Silicon Valley." The county where researchers helped decode the human genome is already home to more than 200 biotechnology companies, including many that make high-tech medicines called biologics.

Last year, biotech in the county generated combined revenues of $2.36 billion, according to the county's department of economic development, and employed more than 58,000 workers in private and public sectors. Yet the great promise of medical biotech for patients and for the Maryland economy is threatened by a little-noticed provision of health care reform: a provision that outlines the means for companies to sell similar versions of innovative biologics, called "biosimilars." In attempting to create a pathway for biosimilars, Congress must be careful not to kill the innovation behind the development of original new drugs.
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CNNMoneyCorporate venture capital is one of the corners of the VC world that runs extremely hot and cold. When the startup world is gathering interest and money, practically every large company – even some small outfits – trots out its own venture investment group. But just as fast as they pile in with their corporate cash, the suits also run for the exits when times get dicey.

Take the previous tech boom-and-bust cycle. As the ‘90s ended and this decade began, corporate VC investment in startups soared from $468 million at the end of 1998 to $6.2 billion at the beginning of 2000, according to Thomson Reuters.
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NYTOffice work, filled with overflowing e-mail inboxes and pointless meetings, could be a lot more efficient and productive. One start-up, Asana, is trying to fix the problem. How? Well, that is still a secret.

Asana was founded last December by Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook, and Justin Rosenstein, an engineering manager at Facebook, after they left the company. Since then, they have built a bare-bones Web site and, they claim, a product that will change the way we work, though they are not yet ready to explain how.
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NYT: GreenMeeting the challenges of global climate change will require a more open and collaborative approach to technology innovation, according to a new report from two public policy groups focused on clean energy and development strategies.

The report — a joint effort of the Clean Energy Group and the Meridian Institute — encourages the creation of a “distributed innovation” model for renewable energy and other green technology development.
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Kanak Gogoi, a 12th passed entrepreneur from Guwahati, has over a dozen innovations, from gravity-operated bicycle to a car which can run on air. But he regrets the government's negligence towards scientific innovations, and refuses to commercialize any of his creations.

Gogoi said, "Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offered to build a fully furnished lab for me in Guwahati. The Chief Minister had granted me about 1.6 acres of land in 2007, but the file is still lying untouched at the local administrative office."
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Harvard Business School (HBS) says that it will hold a new business plan competition open to HBS alumni from all over the world. Qualified ventures will compete for a cash prize of $25,000.

The contest—which was formally announced online by the business school’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and Alumni Relations—will be open to teams that have at least one HBS alumnus. The business school said on its website that more than half of HBS alumni consider themselves to be entrepreneurs, and the school hopes that this competition, called the Alumni New Venture Contest, will become an annual event.
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