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.
Brenner Discusses USDA Research, Technology
Few people know that the Department of Agriculture is one of the leading governmental research organizations with a long history of commercializing what is developed in its labs and jointly. Dr. Rick Brenner, who was named the Assistant Administrator in ARS for Technology Transfer in October 2004 and represents the Secretary of Agriculture on issues pertaining to management of intellectual property arising from USDA research, and has the delegated authority for licensing inventions developed through intramural research in any of the USDA agencies, provides insights into the enormous impact his agency has on the economy of the country.
Venture capital partnerships expand Pennsylvania economy
Governor Ed Rendell recently announced a shot of venture capital funding for early-stage life science companies in western Pennsylvania. Through a program managed by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, the New PA Venture Capital Investment Program will provide $5 million to Pittsburgh-based Corridor Ventures to invest in Pennsylvania-related companies within the life sciences sector.
The New PA Venture Capital Investment Program was created by Governor Rendell’s 2003 Economic Stimulus Package after he first came into office. The stimulus package passed the state legislature in 2004, clearing the way for the Venture Capital Investment Program along with other financing programs meant to jumpstart the Pennsylvania economy.
Venture Capital: Is it on a Diet Pill?
Venture capital outlook for the upcoming years is as obscure as ever due to many external factors such as the government intervention in the private sector to the state of the economy which is very fragile across various industries and sectors. Capitalism is no longer being conceived in a positive manner and no longer are those values being embraced. It is simple, the working model is broke. We need fresh ideas and blood to re-invent the New American Standards across all different platforms.
Five Websites Every Entrepreneur Should Use
Today, many businesses are getting large portions of their website traffic from social media sites. It's one thing to bring an audience you already have over to your Twitter account, but the true test is to create growth. The most successful are the ones that network and engage in conversation rather than use their accounts like bullhorns to make announcements.
US Falls in Global Competitiveness Rankings
The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, an assessment of the productive potential of nations worldwide, is now available. Switzerland tops the overall competitiveness rankings, followed by the United States. The U.S. fell to second position after several years at the top of the rankings. Singapore, Sweden and Denmark complete the list of the top five countries.
'Doing Business' Rankings Stimulating Reform
The overview of the Doing Business Report 2010 is now available. Since 2004, the World Bank’s Doing Business project has been tracking regulatory reforms in 10 areas of business regulation that record the time and cost to meet government requirements in starting and operating a business, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business. Each year, Doing Business ranks 183 economies according to these 10 areas. These rankings have stimulated reforms to improve the overall ease of doing business by allowing policymakers to prioritize reforms and learn from global best practices.
Belgium: Will its enviable geographic position continue to ensure success in pharma?
Occupying an enviable position both physically and politically in the heart of Europe, Belgium has benefitted extensively from its location in recent years, and the development of the EU has also provided considerable impetus for growth. The headquarters of the EC and home of the European Parliament and NATO, Belgium’s capital, Brussels, is the centre of European politics. With the recent enlargement of the EU, the country is also at the centre of a market of 0.5 billion consumers. A well-developed infrastructure combined with world-class education and technical expertise, as well as a physical proximity to the markets and capitals of Western Europe, lends local firms many advantages and has made the country a highly attractive base for international companies to conduct business in Europe.
VentureBeat has a terrific article today about the first venture capital firm in nation of Uruguay.
The company is called Prosperitas Capital Partners and when it was formed in 2005, there was so little infrastructure that even the lawyers didn't know how to write venture term sheets. The company's first fund was a $10 million dollar fund that invested in healthcare and technology companies. They're working on raising a $100 million fund and partnering with a Bay Area VC firm for another venture fund for Latin America more broadly.
Real innovation vital, and sadly lacking
ENTREPRENEURS frequently hear the calls of experts to find new ways of doing things, to innovate. Yet very few global innovations have actually emanated from Canadian entrepreneurs. And many of Canada’s greatest innovations have come not from entrepreneurs but from university researchers.
HBS: Financing Constraints and Entrepreneurship
Financing constraints are one of the biggest concerns impacting potential entrepreneurs around the world. Given the important role that entrepreneurship is believed to play in the process of economic growth, alleviating financing constraints for would-be entrepreneurs is also an important goal for policymakers worldwide. In this paper HBS professors William R. Kerr and Ramana Nanda review two major streams of research examining the relevance of financing constraints for entrepreneurship. They then introduce a framework that provides a unified perspective on these research streams, thereby highlighting some important areas for future research and policy analysis in entrepreneurial finance. Key concepts include:
Interview: Vinod Khosla Is On The Hunt For Great Technologies
In venture capital, Vinod Khosla likes to go his own way, which is why he’s been so successful. He was the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems, and then moved to venture capital and became a star partner at Kleiner Perkins, where he backed Juniper Networks, Cerent (sold to Cisco for $7 billion) and NexGen (sold to AMD and formed the basis for its challenge to Intel). About five years ago, after becoming a billionaire, he left Kleiner and started Khosla Ventures to invest his own money. He was mostly drawn to clean tech at a time before it was popular, but still kept his hand in Web and other tech startups (Aliph|Jawbone, iSkoot, RingCentral, Tapulous, iLike, Slide, Xobni). Khosla Ventures already has more than 50 companies in its portfolio (see slides below).
Nurturing high-tech business
FAIRMONT — At an upcoming conference, people from the state and beyond can learn how to grow their capacity through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.
The 2009 Mid-Atlantic SBIR/STTR Conference is scheduled for Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown. The West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation’s INNOVA Commercialization Group and the West Virginia Development Office are hosting the event. Judy McCauley, district director of the SBA’s West Virginia District Office, is serving as an adviser during the planning.
WSJ: Where Are They Now?
For technology innovators, there's the "Eureka!" moment and then there's the business of putting discoveries to work. Here's a look at how some winners from last year—plus the top winner from 2007—have fared since we recognized their achievements.
WSJ: The Wall Street Journal 2009 Technical Innovation Awards
Just how difficult it is gets highlighted every time an infectious disease sweeps the globe, as the new strain of swine flu did earlier this year. Current methods of testing for disease-causing microbes are pretty effective at discovering whether an infected fluid or tissue sample contains a known virus or bacteria. But trying to detect previously unknown organisms is a whole different story.
The Top Five Reads For Your Back To School Social Entrepreneur
Going back to school is always a mixed bag. On the one hand, it's a chance to check in with friends, to get back to the activities you love, and to feel one year older and at least one year cooler. On the other hand, it's school, and even for those of us who love learning, school can be a drag. So this year, let's follow Mark Twain's example when he said "I never let my schooling interfere with my education." Here are the top five extracurricular reads for you high school and college social entrepreneurs.
WSJ: How Well Do You Know… Innovation?
Innovation is what keeps technology interesting—and useful. Gadgets keep getting flashier, applications are constantly emerging to address life’s everyday annoyances, and businesses rely on new technologies to keep up with, or ahead of, the competition. See how much you know about some of the latest innovations and the ways they’re affecting people and businesses:
Emerging Technologies Thrive in Canada
The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today recognized Systèmes d’Énergie et Propulsion EPS Inc. as a Canadian Innovation Leader for developing high-tech electronic-propulsion solutions for cyclists, linking scientific research to commercialization, jobs, and economic growth.
A Canadian Innovation Leader is a small- or medium-sized enterprise (SME) that demonstrates specific advances in research and development within its industrial sector. The National research Council of Canada (NRC) created the Canadian Innovation Leader Certificate Program to recognize Canadian firms that have successfully developed and applied innovative technologies.
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