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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.

ZimbioORLANDO - A new $1.5 million seed grant from the Florida Legislature will help the University of Central Florida take its “economic gardening” concept to the next level---accelerating job creation and regional economic growth by helping promising second-stage companies expand at a faster pace.

Dr. Tom O’Neal, associate vice president for Research and Commercialization at the University of Central Florida and founder and executive director of the UCF Business Incubation Program, said UCF, along with the Edward Lowe Foundation, the Central Florida High Tech Corridor Council and CEO Nexus, a public-private initiative that works with second-stage companies to foster accelerated growth, has formed the Economic Gardening Institute and launched a new web site,, to help organize the initiative.
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PitchBook Private Equity Fundraising & Returns
Breakdown 1Q2010 Report    

Click Here to Download The PE Breakdown - 2.5MB (PDF)

Private equity research firm, PitchBook Data, Inc. (, has published its PE Fundraising & Returns Breakdown 1Q 2010 Report. This report was compiled using the PitchBook Private Equity Platform and its newly released fund returns data and analysis tools, providing the first comprehensive set of statistics analyzing 2009 PE fundraising and PE & VC fund performance.

This complimentary report includes:

  • Total amount of capital raised by PE funds since 2004
  • Report on % of capital raised by fund types
  • Funds raised broken-down by fund size
  • Capital raised broken-down by fund size
  • Average PE & VC fund IRR broken out by vintage year since 1998
  • Average fund IRR by fund size by vintage year since 1998
  • Breakdown of current PE fund returns multiples since 2004
  • % of fund called down by vintage year since 1990
  • PE & VC fund IRR distribution by fund size


Download the PDF

FastForward BlogIncreasingly, large companies are turning to social media strategies to get closer to their customers, and thus get new ideas out to market faster. I had the opportunity to observe a panel at this week’s National Retail Federation show in New York, in which the CIOs of Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, and Best Buy revealed how social networking was changing the way innovation was being driven through their organizations.

David Grooms, CIO of McDonald’s, said his company’s challenge is to focus on and engage customers at all levels. Most recently, the restaurant chain put in WiFi networks across all its 11,500 locations — as a result of engaging customers through social media channels. “We were listening to customers, blogging and tweeting,” Grooms explained. “It fits where we’re going.”

Neville Roberts, enterprise CIO of Best Buy, said there’s a lot of pressure to stay ahead of the competition in the fast-moving electronics retailing businesses. “A lot of our revenues come from innovation, but it gets copied quickly,” he said. “We have to get innovation out there quickly. We have to bring things to fruition quicker than everyone else.”
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ExecWatchIn This Best of 2009 Issue:

Uncovering Steve Jobs' presentation secrets
How to excel at your job and be home for dinner
CEOs: Write that memo to the board
How I…revamped monday meetings
Enforce the no BlackBerry rule!
Eleven ways to boost your energy
12 workplace phrases you probably don't know…but should
Seven tips for effective 20 minute leadership conversations
The 13 most annoying people to work with
Smart presentations: Remember this
Three levels of persuasive conversations
Are you abusing these 10 most irritating office phrases?
How to silence 7 common employee gripes
6 CEOs share their biggest regrets
2009 CEO wealth creators and destroyers

[Editor's Note: Live links are available on the original article.]
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Mercury NewsEach year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management brings dozens of its students to the west coast in early January to soak up the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley. On their most recent trip, they also got an unexpected glimpse of the valley's darker side.

During a reception at the Computer History Museum, Sloan dean David Schmittlein was interviewing Douglas Leone, a partner at the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and Sloan alum. Leone was dispensing advice about entrepreneurism when he let slip a remark that made me do a doubletake.
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AURPThis afternoon U.S. Representatives Gabrielle Giffords and Martin Heinrich introduced legislation that would provide a strong boost to state and local economies by encouraging the construction and expansion of science parks. The House bill is a companion to S. 583, the Building a Stronger America Act, which was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas. The bill was approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and awaits action by the full Senate.

"This bill will spur innovation and help create the kind of high-paying, high-technology jobs we need to be competitive in the global economy," said Giffords, a member of the House Science and Technology Committee. "Seed money provided to science parks today represents a wise investment in our future." Read more--U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

"When world-class scientists and entrepreneurs put their minds together, anything is possible," Heinrich said. "Science parks leverage a region's existing competitive strengths and are a key component to becoming a nation of sustainable growth and quality jobs." Read more--U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich

For the latest in science park legislation, stay tuned to and follow AURP at
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pointe innovationWhen Ablitech leaders recently went searching for the next product to launch, they brought polymer scientists and medicinal chemists together for a groundbreaking brainstorming session.

Polymer scientists were buzzing about the latest developments in click chemistry, a new chemical method that generates substances quickly and reliably by joining small units together. Medicinal scientists were talking about the burgeoning gene therapy field and its possibilities for curing almost every mortal disease.

The result of the mind melding: Versadel, a key technology platform that represents a way to correct malfunctioning cells by delivering genetic material to them.
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It’s pretty common. A small business owner comes to us looking for help promoting his or her business. We suggest using Twitter as a way to find new leads, build relationships and as an overall way to cost effectively market their business. The small business owner then turns around, tilts their head and responds, “Twitter? What can Twitter do for me?”

Well, I’ll tell you. Below are 80 ways a small business owner can use Twitter to build and market their business.
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Wake up, world, to today’s way of doing business. This is no time to hide behind a rock and think you have every good reason not to produce results in 2010. Guess again. All vital signs on globalization indicate that the best is yet to come.

How so? For one, longevity. Globalization has been around since well before I started my business in 1985. Even back then I was tooting the “go global” horn loud and clear, but in a very different manner — through Telexes, faxes, expensive overseas telephone calls, in person visits with customers 12,000 miles away and, eventually, e-mails.
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THOMAS L. FRIEDMANReading The Herald Tribune over breakfast in Hong Kong harbor last week, my eye went to the front-page story about how James Chanos — reportedly one of America’s most successful short-sellers, the man who bet that Enron was a fraud and made a fortune when that proved true and its stock collapsed — is now warning that China is “Dubai times 1,000 — or worse” and looking for ways to short that country’s economy before its bubbles burst.

China’s markets may be full of bubbles ripe for a short-seller, and if Mr. Chanos can find a way to make money shorting them, God bless him. But after visiting Hong Kong and Taiwan this past week and talking to many people who work and invest their own money in China, I’d offer Mr. Chanos two notes of caution.
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BEIJING — Google said Tuesday that it would stop cooperating with Chinese Internet censorship and consider shutting down its operations in the country altogether, citing assaults from hackers on its computer systems and China’s attempts to “limit free speech on the Web.”

The move, if followed through, would be a highly unusual rebuke of China by one of the largest and most admired technology companies, which had for years coveted China’s 300 million Web users.
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EurActivThe European Union is seeking to promote clusters of large companies, SMEs, researchers, and other economic actors to help foster innovation, bring together a critical mass of commercial and R&D expertise and get maximum value from investment.
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Dispatch PoliticsAfter a year in which Ohio lawmakers canceled more sessions than they passed bills, battled repeatedly over the budget and struggled to work across party lines, 2010 brings a chance for a fresh start.

Ohioans should know quickly whether the hyperpartisan Statehouse atmosphere has eased. One of the first orders of business is trying to place one or more issues on the May ballot -- action that must be taken before Feb. 3 and requires at least a three-fifths vote of each chamber, necessitating bipartisanship.
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National Angel Capital OrganizationThe new programme from the Australian Government to assist young companies has been launched under the banner of Commercialisation Australia. Recent announcements have called for applications for the Commercialisation Australia Board (680 applications received for seven seats), for the CEO, Case Managers and Volunteer Mentors.

The suite of assistance initiatives under this programme are replacing COMET, Commercial Ready and other government programmes that have been cancelled over the last 18 months. The assistance replacing those programmes is detailed on the Commercialisation Australia web site and comprises up to $50,000 to access specialist advice and services, up to $200,000 over two years to assist in the recruitment of experienced executives, 1:1 matching Proof-of-Concept grants of $50,000 to $250,000 to test the commercial viability of a product/service/process and repayable grants of $250,000 to $2m to take a new product/service/process to market.
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SAN JOSE, Calif. - (Business Wire) Global Clusters ( today announced that 28 Finnish technology companies identified from a pool of some 60 worthy contenders are taking part in its current international business development program. Designed to provide Finnish executives with training in product and service launches and winning strategies for marketing and the financing of growth, the program consists of three workshops in which executives examine topics such as identifying favorable growth segments and prime geographical markets. Since the program’s inception in 1999, a total of 111 participating Finnish companies have raised more than $143 million in venture capital and without exception have reported considerable advances to their ambitions of growing their businesses internationally.

“Our selection criterion always includes the scalability of the business as well as the will and ability to attain rapid growth in the company’s respective segment,” said Juhani Saukkonen, director, Global Clusters. “Participants are instructed in the most effective high-tech marketing tools and concepts, which have been established as the de facto standard among entrepreneurs and executives aiming for leadership in their field.”
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This past summer we surveyed over 1,000 venture capitalists, and asked them a simple yes or no question: “Is the Venture Capital Business Broken?” Over 53% of the respondents said “yes.” This triggered a lot of conversation in the blogosphere and in the VC community.

It got me thinking about what exactly is going on and made me want to do a deeper dive. As a result, late in the fourth quarter I reached out to 50 general partners of venture funds across the country in Silicon Valley, Austin, Dallas, Tysons Corner, New York and Boston to gauge their sentiments about the state of the venture business.
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SBIRDear SBIR Insider,

I hope you had a good holiday season and here's to 2010 being a great year for you.

You haven't heard from the SBIR Insider for quite a while because sometimes it is better to keep quiet and stay out of the way. We have respected that in regards to the ongoing SBIR reauthorization efforts (or lack thereof) but now it's time for you to know what's really going on, and for you to evaluate what you may want to do about it.

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Post BulletinDuring a visit with Rochester business leaders on Monday, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said there needs to be a "national call to action" to encourage business innovation -- especially when it comes to renewable energy technology.

She compared the call to the one put forward in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to put a man on the moon.

"For this race that we're in right now, the finish line is not going to be Neil Armstrong landing on the moon," she said. "The finish line is going to be about a decision of whether the next big electric car battery is going to be built in Detroit or is it going to be built in South Korea."
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