Innovation America Innovation America Accelerating the growth of the GLOBAL entrepreneurial innovation economy
Founded by Rich Bendis

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.

Caddell Insight Group: Innovation moving from initiatives to experiments

An interesting piece in today’s WSJ Business Insight section (”The New, Faster Face of Innovation” by Eric Brynjolffson and Michael Schrage of MIT) asserts that information technologies are reducing the cost of business experimentation and increasing the speed of rolling out new processes and approaches to the organization as a whole. As a result, more and more businesses are moving to use experimentation as a basis of their innovation programs.

Darkstrand Appoints David Wilhelm to Advisory Board to Support Darkstrand's Role in National Innovation

Today Darkstrand, a pioneer in corporate high-speed connectivity bridging research and commercialization, announced the addition of David Wilhelm to Darkstrand's Board of Advisors.

Wilhelm is an American political leader and businessman. He is best known for managing campaigns for President Bill Clinton, Senator Paul Simon, Senator Joe Biden, and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, and for his leadership as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

BusinessWeek: IBM Bets on Brazilian Innovation by Spencer E. Ante

Over the last few years, China and India have emerged as the twin hot spots of emerging tech innovation. Now IBM (IBM) is betting that one of the next big technology stars will be Brazil.

In the latest sign of Brazil's rising power, Big Blue is announcing on Aug. 18 a new initiative to stimulate the development of the country's technology sector. To kick off the effort, IBM is hosting its first-ever forum for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs in São Paulo along with FINEP, the Brazilian government agency that finances technology development. The daylong event will bring together more than 100 investors and dozens of new companies looking for investment and business advice.

Promoting Innovation | U.S. Role in the World by Joel Davis

I’d like to take a minute to turn from our usual focus on foreign policy and diplomacy to take a look at science and technology. The U.S. has a proud history of being a world leader in technological innovation. This website, for example, provides a list of U.S. Nobel Prize winners, as of 2008, and it’s impressive, to be sure.

Gartner: Web Innovation, Consumerization and Fast Followers by Kathy Harris

The Web is currently the most fruitful area for innovation — every day, new ideas emerge along with new uses for old ideas. The difference in innovations from the Web and those from other sources is who is driving the change. Web innovation is led by individual consumers (acting alone or in communities) and by innovative software developers (individuals, communities and vendors) who create the platforms, software and solutions for Web consumption. This is consumerization at work.

PATH to use Hilton Humanitarian Prize for $25 million innovation fund by Kristi Heim

Seattle-based PATH announced today it has won the world's largest humanitarian award, the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, for its work creating effective health technologies for the developing world.

Hilton Foundation Chief Executive Steven M. Hilton, who introduced the award during a press conference this morning, said PATH's work helping to develop 85 technologies, along with its commitment to sharing ideas and making sure products are sold at affordable prices, have had a profound impact on alleviating human suffering. More coverage of the award is here.

WSJ: The New, Faster Face of Innovation by Erik Brynjolfsson and Michael Schrage

Call it innovation on steroids. Or innovation at warp speed. Or just the innovation of rapid innovation.

But the essential point remains: Technology is transforming innovation at its core, allowing companies to test new ideas at speeds—and prices—that were unimaginable even a decade ago. They can stick features on Web sites and tell within hours how customers respond. They can see results from in-store promotions, or efforts to boost process productivity, almost as quickly.

Gartner: Innovation and Strategic Planning by Kathy Harris

I’ve spent the last few weeks on the road meeting with CIOs and IT leaders. Most of our discussions have involved strategic planning. Maybe it’s just that time of year or the current state of business, but many organizations seem to be struggling with redefining their strategy for the next 3-5 years. They tell me that strategic decisions and planning are more difficult and complex than in the past — there are numerous new and emerging issues to consider in defining, updating, planning and communicating a strategy.

Accidental Innovation? It Happens at Some Companies: Deloitte Online Poll

According to a new Deloitte online poll, 31 percent of executives surveyed believe innovation happens by accident at their company. Meanwhile, only 25 percent of respondents say their companies encourage innovation as a mandate.

"Companies need to build innovation into their DNA instead of relying on chance," said Mark White, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and moderator of the webcast. "Bad times in the economy present opportunities for organizations to refocus on innovation as a difference maker to driving their business performance and being in the best possible position to deliver results. That is why in Silicon Valley cycles of recession are cycles of innovation. Web 2.0 and semiconductors were churned during a recession."

In the wake of the death of venture capital: Finding a balance between the incubator and VC models by Ross Dawson

There are manifold reasons for the VC sector's challenges, not least the vastly lower capital requirements of the typical web start-up of today.

One of the poster-children of the new wave of seed capital has been Y Combinator, which provides very small amounts of capital to kick-start new ventures.

Science, Technology, Innovation Ministry To Double R&D Output

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is to strengthen institutional support for Research and Development (R&D) to increase output of its five key result areas (KRAs) identified said its Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili on Monday.

He said the ministry and its 28 agencies aim to appropriately fulfill the KRA and 15 Key Performance Index (KPI) identified during a two-day workshop over the weekend.

BusinessWeek: Turning Corporate Taxes into an Innovation Spur by Rob Atkinson

As Michael Mandel has written in BusinessWeek, the current U.S. recession is due in part to a shortfall in innovation and competitiveness. Those lags, in turn, can be traced to the U.S. corporate tax code. U.S. statutory and effective corporate tax rates are high compared to those of other nations. Moreover, the code provides only minimal incentives for companies to invest in the building blocks of innovation: research, new capital equipment, and labor skills. It is time to redesign the tax code to help turbocharge the U.S. innovation engine. Doing so will improve U.S. competitiveness, not only by reducing international tax differentials, but by also spurring more domestic investment in research and development, productivity-enchancing capital expenditures, and worker training.

KTEC Pipeline will take applications starting Aug. 17 by the Kansas City Business Journal

The KTEC Pipeline technology entrepreneur fellowship will start taking applications Aug. 17 for 2010, the program’s fourth year.

The fellowship, part of Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp., is a state-sponsored technology entrepreneur fellowship program designed to identify high-potential tech entrepreneurs; match them with best-in-class training, resources and mentors; and help them grow, the fellowship said in a Tuesday release.

World Bank launches “Ghana Innovation Marketplace 2009” in Tema

GNA - The World Bank, in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, on Wednesday launched the “Ghana Innovations Marketplace (GIM) 2009” in Tema with a call on Ghanaians to change their behaviour towards waste management.

Mr Pooya Nikooyeh, Programme Manager at African Aurora, a representative of the organizing committee of GIM at the World Bank, said Ghanaians must passionately check indiscriminate disposal of solid waste in their communities.

WSJ: A Global Surge in Tiny Loans Spurs Credit Bubble in a Slum

RAMANAGARAM, India -- A credit crisis is brewing in "microfinance," the business of making the tiniest loans in the world.

Microlending fights poverty by helping poor people finance small businesses -- snack stalls, fruit trees, milk-producing buffaloes -- in slums and other places where it's tough to get a normal loan. But what began as a social experiment to aid the world's poorest has also shown it can turn a profit.

About driving innovation in Africa by Subsaharska

One of the first sessions at Maker Faire Africa on the first day was a panel discussion about "What drives innovation in Africa?" The initial reasons are obvious with things such as necessity, curiosity, and information coming to the forefront. But of course, these are common to most anywhere and say nothing specifically about Africa.

A Step Toward Economic Recovery by James F. Cotter

A company that has a net worth of $18 million or less, and whose after-tax net income for the previous two years is not over $6 million, may be eligible for funding from an SBIC, or Small Business Investment Company. If your business does not qualify by these standards, it may still qualify as a small business by other criteria, such as employment or amount of annual sales, both of which standards vary from one industry to another.

Venture Exits Never Looked So Bad by Scott Austin

Just how difficult has it been for venture capitalists to exit a company since the last tech bust in 2001? Check out some research charts put together by SVB Financial for an answer, and make sure you’re sitting down. Using SVB’s data combined with information from Dow Jones VentureSource, the historical data measures the time and capital it takes to get a venture-backed start-up in a position to go public, be sold or go out of business. The charts, which are broken up by six sectors, don’t draw any conclusions, nor are they entirely surprising, but they do give us an idea of the fundamental problems affecting the venture capital industry. For instance, looking at software companies, the exit multiple - or the value of the company at the time of exit divided by the amount invested in the company - fluctuated between 3.7 and 10.7 between 1994 and 2000. Since 2001, that multiple has ranged from 0.0 to 1.1. Meanwhile, the median time it takes to exit these companies is at an all-time high of 91 months….