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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.

WSJ: The Daily Start-Up: VCs Watch Their College Funds Wither

Less Endowed - University endowments are significant contributors to venture capital funds, but the financial crisis has exposed weaknesses in these schools’ investments and shrunk their coffers. This is illustrated by reports yesterday from two of the wealthiest, Harvard University and Yale University, which each stated that their endowments tumbled 30%, school records, in the year ended June 30. That’s due in part to their investments in private equity (which includes venture capital) - Harvard, for instance, reported (opens PDF document) that its investments in private equity funds, which generally represent about 13% of its now $26 billion endowment, fell almost 32%. Yale’s commitment to PE is much larger at 20%. Harvard has already said it would reduce its allocation to private equity overall, though it’s not clear how much these schools will adjust their commitments specifically to venture capital. Other wealthy schools, including Stanford, have recorded similar losses, illustrating how the VC industry will have less money to play with.

launching a startup over just one weekend

What if I told you there is an a event where designers, developers, entrepreneurs and other innovators gather to network, share resources and ultimately launch startups over the course of a weekend?

Now imagine it’s not just a one-time event…but actually happens throughout the year and in cites across the globe!

Angel Finance: An Entrepreneurs Guide

Angel finance is fast becoming a popular option for many South African entrepreneurs. With the global banking crises meaning that banks are becoming more choosy with their bank loans and business finance business owners with viable business plans are opting for both funding and expertise from business angels. If you've missed our previous blog on what Angel investors are, click here

Swiss Precision Meets Messy Innovation

The Swiss love precision. You can see it in their watches and reliable trains. You can see it in their founding myth, the story of William Tell. He had to shoot an apple that was sitting on his son's head to gain his freedom, and his success sparked a rebellion that led to the formation of the Swiss Confederation. High stakes! In recent decades, Switzerland has been known for banking services. After the financial meltdown, it became obvious to many inside the country that Switzerland needed to innovate very rapidly to create the wealth-generating companies of the future. But innovation is a messy business, the opposite of cold precision. How is the Swiss startup scene managing to square this circle? I recently spent a few days in Zurich to find out.

The Beatles and Innovation

The Beatles were innovators, and they did it the old-fashioned way: they used templates. They were two-way innovators, using a mix of PROBLEM-TO-SOLUTION and SOLUTION-TO-PROBLEM innovation. The Beatles were corporate innovators who created immense fortunes for their shareholders. They used structured methods, experimentation, and technology the same way Fortune 500 companies create new products and services. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other artist. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked them number one in its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and four of their albums appeared in the top ten of the magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. The Beatles' innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today. The Beatles were collectively included in Time magazine's list of The Most Important People of the 20th Century. How were they so effective?

Nurturing the innovation reef

Marine biologists don’t fully understand what causes reefs to form, but we do know that human actions can nurture or harm the process. The same is true for innovation—a natural, chaotic, unpredictable process that is hard, perhaps even impossible, for well-meaning outsiders to foster.

SBIR Reauthorization Redux? No Such Luck.

Here we are -- just a few days from expiration of the third SBIR Reauthorization Continuing Resolution. Is there any hope for resolution by the end of the month? Nope.

Word from behind the scenes is that discussions are pretty much at a standstill. Staffers on the various Committees are standing firm on their bosses' positions. Provisions to significantly open up eligibility, provide special preferences having nothing to do with technology, eliminate the Phase I vetting process, have multiple Phase II awards possible, and increase funding caps without increasing the funding base just aren't going away. There's as much spirit of compromise here as there is on the health care debate. Nada. Zilch.

Do You Speak Global Innovation?

We at ReadWriteWeb believe that innovation is a global business (as we noted in an earlier post on the Global Innovation Graph). The "death of distance" - the notion that the Internet makes location irrelevant - may be an exaggeration. Face to face always matters, and that will happen where hubs of expertise and capital emerge. Silicon Valley will likely remain the uber-hub for a long time. But the Internet does dramatically make it possible for an entrepreneur to start from anywhere and assemble a dream team of experts, partners, and customers from anywhere else. Innovation is not just a Valley story or a US story: it is a global story. And we want to write more about this exciting story. In this post, we'll tell you a bit about how we are starting to do that.

Jonathan Farrington’s Blog: ‘Five or six degrees of separation’ – So what?

So, every individual in the whole world is potentially only five or six contact steps away.

This ‘five or six degrees of separation’ shows that even an entire population of over five billion people is still highly accessible.

So what?

For practical purposes, we don’t necessarily want or need to meet millions, or even thousands of people in different organisations, age groups, religions, professions, cultures or places.

BostonGlobe: The Friday Five: Tips on Getting Covered in Innovation Economy

Each Friday, I put together a five-item list called the Friday Five.

This week, it's tips on getting covered in my Innovation Economy column on Sundays and on this blog.

Just a note of context first: my goal with both the column and blog is to tell the most interesting stories about what's new in New England -- and those stories can originate from a tiny start-up firm in someone's basement, an academic lab, or a giant publicly-traded company.

First Growth Venture Network Welcomes Its Inaugural Vintage

NEW YORK, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- First Growth Venture Network, a mentoring program for high potential seed and early stage start-up tech companies, today announced the selection of 15 seed and early stage start-up tech companies for its first class, or "Inaugural Vintage." At the first day of the two-semester program, selected companies will learn more about the program, meet with advisors and network with other members of the program who have committed to helping accelerate the "first growth" of promising entrepreneurs.

BusinessWeek: Vote for Asia's Best Young Entrepreneur

The world may be struggling to emerge from the global recession, but that's not deterring many young entrepreneurs in Asia. Throughout the region, ambitious businessmen and women are navigating the economic turmoil and trying to succeed with new business ideas. Most of the finalists in BusinessWeek's annual report of Asia's Best Young Entrepreneurs have had to start from scratch. Some even have to support a family.

Foreign-Funded Equity Investment Allowed to Incorporate in Pudong, China

Since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, the typical model of China's capital market—that both fundraising and exit of private equity (PE) funds/venture capital (VC) are effected overseas—has begun to attract skepticism. In contrast, Chinese currency PE funds have been growing in past months. Chinese authorities have released a series of policies, meanwhile, to promote the development of equity investment.

BIO Top Brass Meet the Press

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) held a media briefing on Federal policy issues today, with most of BIO's executive staff assembling at BIO headquarters in Washington, D.C. In addition to the media present on site, BIO hosted several more members of the press by teleconference.

U.S. Leadership in Medical Innovation Depends on Education and Immigration Policy,...

U.S. Leadership in Medical Innovation Depends on Education and Immigration Policy, Say Experts at Capitol Hill Briefing on 'Education & Immigration: Building Blocks of Innovation'

Council for American Medical Innovation Brings Together Political Leaders, Educators and Policy Experts at First in a Series of Briefings About Achieving "Recovery Through Discovery"

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