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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.


After years of sitting on piles of cash, Indian information technology (IT) services firms are suddenly dispensing some of it to their shareholders by way of buybacks. In mid-February, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest IT services firm, which has a cash pile of around Rs.40,000 crore ($6 billion), announced that it would buy back equity shares worth up to Rs.16,000 crore ($2.4 billion). This is TCS’ first buyback scheme since it went public 13 years ago and also the biggest share repurchase program in the country.


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Leaders tend to coach and mentor their “own,” and here’s the human impulse that drives it: Even those who believe that diversity improves creativity, problem solving, and decision making naturally invest in and advocate for the development of the subordinates who are most like them. They see less experienced versions of themselves in these folks, and so they’re inclined to believe in their potential — they want to nurture it.


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 Steve Lackmeyer

A new study concludes Oklahoma City's cluster of research, medical and educational institutions and companies east of downtown provides a significant opportunity for economic growth, but significant changes must begin to avoid loss of momentum.

The 18-month study by the Brookings Institute and the Project for Public Spaces is based on a series of task force meetings and interviews with dozens of civic, corporate and research leaders focused on how to transform an area that extends from Lottie to Robinson Avenues and from N 4 to N 13 streets.


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Jared Polites

 Nearly 66% of all pharmaceutical launches don’t meet pre-launch sales expectations, according to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company. For the ones that do, only 53% continue to exceed forecasts by the third year. In a marketplace where the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 108 new drugs in the past three years, each launch should be optimized for success to take advantage of the current market opportunity.


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When the now-famous neurological patient Henry Molaison had his brain’s hippocampus surgically sectioned to treat seizures in 1953, science’s understanding of memory inadvertently received perhaps its biggest boost ever. Molaison lost the ability to form new memories of events, and his recollection of anything that had happened during the preceding year was severely impaired. Other types of memory such as learning physical skills were unaffected, suggesting the hippocampus specifically handles the recall of events—known as “episodic” memories.


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Voltaire advised, “judge a man by his questions, rather than his answers.” Great leaders know how to ask great questions. And they know how to encourage people to answer these questions openly and honestly without fear of shame or reprisal.

John Kay, in his book Obliquity, says there is “no reason to ask questions to which you do not wish to know the answers.” Therein lies the reason so many leaders don’t ask questions. They don’t care about, and don’t want to know what others think. They are confident in the belief that they already have all the answers.


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For authentic innovation to occur at an organization, you have to craft the culture of a place to accept and embrace new ways of working together and being in the market. More often than not, teams or outsourced agencies follow an innovation method, create many concepts that are new to the market and certain to create new value, but are crushed by the cultural antibodies of a place while still an embryonic idea.


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Like many major philanthropic funders, the Ford Foundation for social justice spends roughly 5% of its annual endowment on charitable causes, reinvesting the rest to ensure it will be able to recoup those costs and operate in perpetuity.

With a total endowment of about $12 billion, that means there’s about $600 million granted toward charitable programs each year. (That 5% figure is the minimum requirement to maintain nonprofit status under federal tax code.)


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Christopher Tung graduated with an English degree in 2011 and moved out to New York City, bringing little besides the $3,000 he had saved and his determination to make it. He didn't have a job, and the one interview he had planned fell through.

After more than two months of rejection, he was down to his last $1,000, and his luck turned. He was acquired by the small e-commerce company Quidsi, which was itself acquired by Amazon. Six years later, he has held five positions, including two at different start-ups absorbed into Amazon, and one at Imgur.


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Depending on where you are in the lifecycle of your startup, you may be thinking about reaching out to accelerators to take your business to the next level. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and the same idea applies to the world of accelerators. Before we take a deep dive into the pros, cons, and questions to ask yourself to determine whether accelerators are the right fit for you, let’s begin with a working definition.


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The number of incubators and accelerators in the UK has increased significantly to support the growing number of start-ups across the country, according to Nesta and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Business Incubators and Accelerators: The National Picture report.

The report found that there are currently 205 incubators, 163 accelerators, 11 pre-accelerators, seven virtual accelerators and four virtual incubators currently active in the UK, offering a broad range of support including office space, funding and other support.


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Chris Hancock

Upon its first appearance in 2005, debt crowdfunding and P2P were viewed as being a lender of last resort. With their initial success borne out of the depths of financial crisis , these types of funding were initially used by businesses that were turned down by banks and did not know where else to go. They served a crucial purpose and in many cases were the lender of only resort.


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