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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.

bitcoin

In their quest to gain supremacy in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the Big Four accounting firms (Deloitte, EY, PwC, and KPMG) are focusing their strategies and shaping their services to better respond to their customers’ demands. And, as a testament to Bitcoin’s status as an increasingly mainstream financial asset, PwC is following EY’s lead in accepting payments in Bitcoin.

 

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The University of California announced that a $22 million investment from the State of California to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship across the UC system has supported more than 500 new startups and existing companies, helped launch at least 47 new products and enabled companies to attract $3.7 million in additional investments.

“Assembly Bill 2664 funds have been and will be used as a catalyst to bring together resources on campuses and within local communities to develop entrepreneurial skills and to help commercialize new products and technologies,” said Christine Gulbranson, UC’s senior vice president for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Image: https://news.ucsc.edu

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bitcoin

The wild rise in popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the last year—more notably, last month—has stunned investors and spurred more people to plow their money into the mysterious technology.

Cryptocurrency currently have a total market capitalization of more than $340 billion, according to CB Insights, a research firm tracking technology and investment trends. Though don’t put too much stock (so to speak) in that number. The recent history of Bitcoin shows the dollar value of cryptocurrencies can rise and fall quite drastically in the blink of an eye.

 

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In a spare bedroom of his family’s house in County Cork, Ireland, Cathal Garvey is repeating the feats that led to the dawn of the biotechnology age. He’s growing bacteria. He’s adding DNA. He’s seeing what happens.

“To transform bacteria was once a huge deal, a new method,” he explains. “Today, you can do it with Epsom salt and an over-the-counter brand of laxatives.”

Image: https://www.technologyreview.com

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Rebecca Dragon arrived at Northeastern intent on seizing new opportunities at every turn—and she’s succeeded with flying colors. Now a fourth-year student, Dragon has lived and studied in Greece and Scotland, worked on co-op in Boston and New York, and even joined IDEA—the student-run venture accelerator—to launch her own business. “I love Northeastern because I can explore and learn at the same time,” said Dragon, DMSB/SSH’19, a combined major in economics and business administration.

Image: Northeastern students visited Astro Studios in San Francisco this fall as part of the Semester in Silicon Valley program. Photo courtesy of Astro Studios

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silicon valley

Last week Sberbank, Russia’s national savings bank; the Internet Initiatives Development Fund  IIDF, or FRII), Russia’s largest early-stage startup investment fund; and FortRoss Ventures (formerly known as Money Time) announced the launch of a platform called Global Pitch to help Russian tech entrepreneurs develop in the U.S.

Global Pitch expects to introduce dozens of Russian startups to the U.S. investor and corporate communities, thereby helping them to acquire international experience.

 

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I was mentoring some graduate students at a local university recently, and I sensed again that profit seems to be a dirty word these days to many aspiring entrepreneurs. I’m certainly not a fan of customer rip-offs, but even non-profits have to be cash-flow positive, or have deep pockets, to help anyone for long. Every business needs to develop a revenue model even before a product.

The alternatives range from giving the product away for free (revenue from ads), to pricing based on costs, to charging what the market will bear (premium pricing). The implications of the decision you make are huge, including brand image, funding requirements, and long-term business viability. It’s naïve to think you can sell below costs, and make it up by attracting more customers.

 

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technology

The capacity crowd at Wednesday night’s BullPen, held on the campus of Monmouth University, demonstrated a robust interest among both professional and academic circles in the developing tech entrepreneur scene in New Jersey.  In keeping with tradition, the evening’s presentations represented three early-stage companies and one student-led enterprise (from within the undergraduate body at Monmouth University). The Investor Panel was seated in front of a mixed Audience (consisting of angel investors, business leaders, tech entrepreneurs and the university community) who together watched the Founders’ 10-minute presentations, followed by respective Audience Q&As and Investor Panel feedback. At the end, both groups voted independently on the presenting company they thought was the most ‘fundable’ and ‘best business to succeed’, respectively.

 

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Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Center (Magic), the country’s startup and innovation lab, is toying with the idea of providing capital to startups, a top executive with the organisation said. Currently, the startup and innovation lab is known for its capacity building role, facilitating collaborations and helping companies scale to the next level.

Image: MaGIC CEO Ashran Dato’ Ghazi - https://www.dealstreetasia.com

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gifts

The holidays are a great time to connect with clients and show your appreciation for their business. That said, I have learned through the years that giving gifts to clients can end in disaster if you don't have a thoughtful plan. In an effort to help guide you in the right direction, I'd like to share some do's and don'ts for giving gifts to clients over the holidays.

 

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