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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.

BABSON PARK, Mass., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This Financial Times rankings completes the twelve-month cycle of publications that identify top programs for Entrepreneurship. For the first time in school history, the graduate school was ranked #1 in Entrepreneurship in a news cycle by all three major publications: U.S. News & World Report (April, 2009), The Princeton Review/Entrepreneur Magazine (October, 2009), and the Financial Times (January, 2010). Babson, in a 4-place improvement from last year's ranking, was followed by the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University; Imperial College Business School; Anderson School of Management at UCLA; Haas School of Business at University of California - Berkeley; Sloan School of Management at MIT; Judge Business School at University of Cambridge; IMD; Wisconsin School of Business at University of Wisconsin-Madison; and INSEAD.

The ranking is based on each school's MBA Class of 2006 response to a survey question asking each to rate the quality of its MBA program, on a 10-point scale (10 = strong/1 = weak), in 16 academic categories (i.e. Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, OB, Economics, Law, etc.). The program with the highest alumni rating average is ranked #1.

Complete rankings can be viewed at

Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., is recognized internationally as a leader in entrepreneurial management education. Babson grants BS degrees through its innovative undergraduate program, and grants MBA and custom MS and MBA degrees through the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. Babson Executive Education offers executive development programs to experienced managers worldwide. For information, visit

This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise(TM). For more information, visit

SOURCE Babson College


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Echogen Power SystemsIt’s that time of year, the State of the Union/State time of year. And while I won’t give you a State of JumpStart address here, it’s become obvious to me that:

The State of Cleantech In Northeast Ohio is booming.

Echogen Power SystemsThe Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, visited a JumpStart Ventures portfolio company yesterday, rexorce thermionics (in the process of changing its name to Echogen Power Systems). Aside from the company’s accomplishments including the installation of its commercial pilot for its heat engine and the creation of 20 engineering jobs, the Governor was visiting because it’s the perfect example of the growth of the cleantech sector in Ohio. A few other examples showing this is real growth, not just rhetoric, from The 2009 Venture Capital Report for the Cleveland Plus Region:
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Five Common Financial Mistakes Small Businesses MakeEvery new business starts off seeing blue skies ahead. But many small-business owners become the victims of common financial mistakes, says Alice Magos, a senior writer and small-business analyst at CCH in Chicago who runs the Business Owner's Toolkit.

Here, she warns of five common financial mistakes that small businesses make.
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Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford is a partner in Fontinalis Partners.   (2006 photo by RASHAUN RUCKER/Detroit Free Press)Bill Ford has teamed with two former Ford Motor employees and others to form a venture capital firm focused on innovative technologies for the transportation industry.

Fontinalis Partners announced its launch and its first investment Friday. The Detroit-based firm, which has an office in Boston, plans to invest in companies "trying to solve the world's most pressing environmental and mobility-oriented problems."

It said Friday that it has invested an undisclosed amount in Atlanta-based Parkmobile USA and its parent company.
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socalTechVenture capital firm First Round Capital, the early stage venture fund whose Managing Directors include Idealab's Howard Morgan, said last night that it has created its own startup exchange fund, a fund which allows the founders of the firm's various startups to diversify their investments and share in the success of the company's portfolio. The fund allows founders of First Round Cpaital's portfolio firms to contribute some of their equity into a central pool, and share in any exit success of others who also participate in the fund. The fund is similar to Startup Exchange, a fund run by Michael Barton, which strives to do the same thing across venture firm lines. First Round Capital said the new fund is only available to its portfolio firms. First Round's local portfolio firms include GumGum, Dayak, Kidzui, Techforward, and OpenX, and Howard Morgan sits on the boards of Internet Brands, Energy Innovations, Evolution Robotics Retail, and
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The Three Ps a Successful Entrepreneur Needs to Raise Venture CapitalWho are the successful entrepreneurs who have been awarded venture capital funding? Are they just lucky? Did they hit on a timely idea? Were they well connected? Was it a combination of all three?

Neither luck, a great idea, nor networking is dependable enough to set an entrepreneur apart from the rest of the pack. Instead, here are three “p” qualities that an entrepreneur needs to assure at least a modest chance of acquiring venture capital funding.
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Stanford UniversitySINGAPORE, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- A new training program called Singapore-Stanford Biodesign was established here on Friday, aiming to train the next generation of Asian leaders who can develop innovative medical devices to address Asia's growing healthcare needs.

The program was set up by the Stanford University Biodesign Program and Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*STAR), and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

The Singapore program will provide a fellowship for four Asian fellows to go to Stanford for six months of training in the Biodesign process.
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PIPELINE recently announced its 2010 Fellowship class and recognized the 2009 Innovator of the Year from last year’s class.

At its annual Innovator of the Year awards, PIPELINE introduced the newest crop of entrepreneurs who will be participating in the year-long program. The group included six Kansas City-area entrepreneurs: David Barnes, Sweet Spot Marketing (Merriam); Bob Collister, Memory Showcase (Lenexa); Bryan DiGiorgio, Workspace Communications (Overland Park); Stuart Jackson, AnalyzeDirect Inc (Overland Park); Jay W. Kim, Data Locker Inc (Lenexa); and Jeff Southard, VasoGenix Pharmaceuticals (Lenexa).

Jason Tatge, CEO of Farms Technology, Lenexa, was named 2009 Innovator of the Year. The award recipient from each concluding class is selected through a competition that includes a refined business plan, a pitch to an expert panel and a score carried over from performance during the technology fellowship year.
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Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation One of the big topics in Davos is the economy. In panel discussions and hallway conversations, people are talking about the long-term effects of the recession. While it's true we will see lingering unemployment and huge government deficits for some time, the big story is much more positive. We can make amazing progress in the years ahead to improve lives around the world. The key is to keep investing in innovation. This makes the difference between a bleak future and a bright one.

During the past two centuries, innovation has more than doubled our life span and given us cheap energy and more food. If we project what the world will be like 10 years from now without continuing innovation in health, energy or food, the picture is dark. Health costs for the rich will keep escalating and the poor will be stuck in the bad situation they are in today. We will have to increase energy prices to reduce consumption. The poor will suffer from the higher cost and the effects of climate change. We will have food shortages because we won't have enough land to feed the world's growing population.
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Earlier this week we told you how New York Times op-ed contributor and author Thomas Friedman urged President Obama to take steps to help foster a new age of innovation and entrepreneurship. Well it seems that Obama may have received that message, as Wednesday night during his State of the Union address to Congress the president proposed a bill to help small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Perhaps Obama listened to Friedman, or maybe he saw the frenzied excitement that grows around new innovations like the iPad - either way, the president seems to have taken the first baby steps toward a more entrepreneurial culture in America.
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EurActiv Logo Plans to unveil an Innovation Act in time for the spring meeting of EU leaders have been stalled while the new European Commission beds down and looks at broadening the scope of the strategy.

The document is now expected to be published in June and will fit into the 'EU 2020' strategy for growth and jobs. By that time, a clearer picture will also have emerged of the roles of the new European commissioners.

The first clear sign of a delay came when MEPs grilled incoming Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani at his parliamentary hearing earlier this month.
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There’s a lot to consider when redesigning your Web site. Are you simply updating the look? Do you need to improve search-engine friendliness? Are there accessibility issues you’re trying to address? Whatever the redesign is aiming to accomplish, you want to make sure you get it in the first shot. There’s nothing sadder than a business that invests time and money into a redesign only to find out it doesn’t meet their needs. Or worse, that it completely blocks off search engine traffic and they have to start over! Unfortunately, we’ve seen it happen far too many times.

So, what are some questions to ask yourself before redesigning your site? Here are six questions we always ask prospective clients.
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Don't Demolish Your Own InnovationInnovative ideas - the kind that can transform your company - are inadvertently being demolished. When first presented, many ideas meet wrecking-ball comments such as:

* "How's that going to work?"
* "Good luck getting that done!"
* "We don't have time for something like that." And the classic,
* "Doesn't work... Trust me... We tried that years ago."

We've all heard (or perhaps said) killer phrase comments like these. These are offered as a "public service" to the team to prevent us from going off track and wasting time.
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Harrisburg – Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced a $5.7 million investment that will expand upon university research efforts, bring new products to the marketplace, and educate the next generation of high-tech workers.

The funds, approved by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority at its quarterly meeting today, will help to strengthen Pennsylvania as a leading nanotechnology state and lay the groundwork for continued progress once the economy rebounds.

“Pennsylvania has been at the cutting edge of nanotechnology for years,” Governor Rendell said. “Our high-tech sectors are a cornerstone of our growth, and these latest investments will go a long way in supporting our tech-based economy by giving our partners the resources they need to incubate innovative ideas, and get them to the marketplace.”

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An important element of individual and organizational ability to build productive market relations is the possession of social acumen. Acumen implies a keen understanding of a subject matter or knowledge set required to accomplish a goal.

The new dynamics of the social web is accelerating organizational and individual needs to gain social acumen. Social acumen reflects a keen understanding of the dynamics caused by interactive communications and relational connectivity fueled by social technologies and the subsequent impact on business as unusual.

Most organizations are using social technology today without consideration of “being social”. Subsequently their acumen reflects a lack of understanding of “social dynamics” or the knowledge set required to use social technology to accomplish a specific goal.
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When President Barack Obama took the oath of office about a year ago, he inherited the biggest economic mess since the 1930's: millions of Americans losing their homes to foreclosure and their jobs to a steadily deteriorating economy, huge budget deficits fueled by tax cuts for the wealthy and two wars his predecessor simply put on the national credit card, mushrooming national debt and some of the biggest barons on Wall Street in financial collapse.

A year later, we take stock. The President's State of the Union speech provided a good overview. A new document just released by the U.S. Senate's Democratic Policy Committee, which I chair, takes a similar look at the challenges we faced in 2009 and the work the President and Democrats in Congress accomplished to keep the economy from completely collapsing.
Read more ... HomepageDespite drawing $4.42 billion in venture capital in the last six years, Pennsylvania must attract much more early-stage investments in order to transition to "the next economy," said a study by the Brookings Institution released today.

The amount of capital invested in Great Lakes states, such as Pennsylvania, is "too small" relative to what early-stage companies require and how much is needed to "create new deals that will achieve good financial returns," said the report.

Brookings' report suggests Great Lakes states create a "fund of funds" of between $1 billion and $2 billion in investment capital to help transform their economies in the 21st century. The idea would be to leverage entrepreneurial resources, especially those spawned by universities, to grow early-stage companies.
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Early stage capital investments worldwide were hit hard by the financial crisis of 2009, but according to the Ohio Third Frontier, an unprecedented and bipartisan commitment to create new technology-based products, companies, industries and jobs, Ohio is bucking the international trend – increasing seed and early stage investments by 67 percent in 2008 while the nation declined 20 percent on average. Ohio’s current venture capital environment has experts and industry analysts optimistic that the state’s record of success will continue to grow throughout 2010 and beyond.

“In Ohio, there is a proven need for new capital, and that need will only increase in 2010,” said Dr. Michael Camp, academic director for the Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, and author of “2008 Ohio Venture Capital Report – Steady Focus in Uncertain Times.” “Overall investment nationally may decline for the next several years, but both public and private efforts in Ohio must continue to focus sharply on making the state’s portfolio companies highly attractive to follow-on capital if these positive results are to continue. Capital is the lifeblood of any business, and is a critical factor that often determines whether a great idea ever becomes reality.”
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John Hopkins was at a cocktail party chatting with a fellow physicist about electric guns when he had a crazy idea: a massive, kilometer-long cannon powered by hydrogen, submerged below the surface of the ocean.

It was at a cocktail party that Dr. John Hopkins, a fast-talking 54-year-old physicist who once worked at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, had a crazy idea.

As sometimes happens over a third martini, a colleague suggested that gas-powered guns are much more powerful than conventional guns: When ignited, a gas gun can shoot a projectile at insane speeds of over 11 kilometers per second -- or roughly 25,000 miles per hour.

And that got Hopkins to thinking . . .

What if he could build a massive, 1-kilometer-long cannon powered by hydrogen that could be housed below the surface of the ocean? The sort of device Jules Verne wrote about in 1865 in his novel "From the Earth to the Moon"?
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In a new report, ITIF makes a compelling case for creating over 162,000 jobs in the short run by simply expanding a tax credit that has been working well for almost 30 years.

In a report titled, “Create Jobs by Expanding the R&D Tax Credit,” ITIF President Robert D. Atkinson analyzes how expanding the Alternative Simplified tax Credit (ASC) for research and development  from 14 to 20 percent would not only spur job creation at a time when this is desperately needed but also boost the country’s long-term innovation capacity.

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