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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.

university of michigan

Venture capitalists spend their time finding, investing in and supporting high-growth and often high-risk companies. As the Harvard Business Review put it, "venture capitalists get paid well to lose money."

But how does one become one of these powerful investors?

According to a recent report from Crunchbase, the secret may lie in where you go to school. Crunchbase analyzed data from over 4,500 investors and found that 12 schools produced over 42 percent of all venture capitalists.


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us map

Whether you’ve planned a trip or you’re making a pit stop on a long drive, a new city has a lot to offer. Between museums, city landmarks and national parks, each U.S. state has its own culture and history tourists can learn from.

That’s why MONEY worked with TripAdvisor to identify the most popular tourist activity in every state. Their data revealed that while landmarks and museums remains most popular attraction for newcomers, tours and trips that reveal something about a particular region’s culture—whether it be a living history museum or a brewery bus tour—often outdraw the cultural landmarks.


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Author and college lecturer Diane Mulcahy stood on the stage of the Whitman Theater at Virginia Western Community College earlier this month and delivered some harsh thoughts about the current economy.

Hiring in new jobs has slowed, she said. Pensions are becoming a thing of the past. The days of having just one job with benefits and a two-week vacation package until retirement are nearly over.


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ghost town

I have recently finished reading what may be the most important book of the decade on the contemporary economy. It is not Thomas Piketty’s controversial “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” or Robert Gordon’s magisterial “Rise and Fall of American Growth.” It is Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti’s short, lucid, nontechnical volume, “The New Geography of Jobs,” published in 2012.


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In the next few decades, nonprofits are expected to see an unprecedented level of donations coming into their organizations as accumulated wealth is handed down from baby boomers to the next generations. That shift presents a challenge for organizations to leverage that funding. William Meehan, director emeritus at McKinsey & Co., and Kim Starkey Jonker, president and CEO of King Philanthropies, have written a book to help leaders in the nonprofit sector. The authors, who are also lecturers at Stanford University, discussed their book —  Engine of Impact — which offers seven steps for strategic leadership, on the [email protected] show on SiriusXM channel 111.


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In the last year, Birmingham has been abuzz around startups. Between the sale of Shipt, the Velocity Accelerator’s success, and Alabama Launchpad’s ongoing support of startups, there’s a lot to talk about. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, high-growth startups account for over 70 percent of net new job growth.

However, with only half as many startups per capita as Chattanooga and Atlanta, and a third as many as Nashville, Birmingham is challenged. While our overall economy is strong, when compared to peer cities, Birmingham’s technology-based ecosystem could and should be much stronger.

Image: Bob Crutchfield is the executive director of Innovate Birmingham. CHRISTINE PRICHARD

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Any ad executive will tell you that sex sells. But why? Do sexy images stimulate our biological urges, somehow motivating us to buy products? Or do marketers merely exploit and perpetuate our cultural obsession with sexual imagery? Do people want the beauty, wealth and power celebrities have, and use the products they endorse in the hope of achieving these same qualities?


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Darryl Nowak of New Jersey has been a marine construction consultant for over 33 years.

On Tuesday, Nowak licensed from the U.S. Navy a new tool for measuring the fatigue of metal structures.

Invented by the Naval Air Warfare Center's Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) at Patuxent River, Maryland, the patented technology will allow his customers to gauge the growth of invisible micro-cracks, which slowly grow to cripple metal structures.


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After nine years of building a robust cloud services business with thousands of customers, Geeman Yip was ready to raise venture capital. But when the BitTitan founder began knocking on doors in Seattle, options were few and far between.

“No investors in this area were going to write us a $15 million check,” Yip said.

BitTitan ultimately landed cash in 2016 from a San Diego-based growth equity firm. The Bellevue-based company plans to raise another round in the next few years.

What are the chances Yip looks for that in Seattle?

Image: Image via the Greater Seattle Technology Ecosystem report.

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How Stephen Hawking Shed Light on Black Holes

There's a lot we still don't know about black holes, but these light-gobbling behemoths would be even more mysterious if Stephen Hawking hadn't plumbed their inky depths.

For starters, the famed cosmologist, who died yesterday (March 14) at the age of 76, helped give more solid mathematical backing to the concept of black holes, the existence of which was predicted by Albert Einstein's 1915 theory of general relativity.

Image: An artist’s illustration of a supermassive black hole ever discovered. Credit: Robin Dienel, courtesy of the Carnegie Institution for Science

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Houston risks being shut out of America’s future innovation economy if it can’t attract more growth venture capital.

That’s the warning coming out of a report by Rice University’s Baker Institute.

It says that venture capital in Houston went down by at least 13 percent from 2006 to 2016, while it went up nationwide.

Ed Egan, director of the school’s McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, co-authored the analysis.

He joins us for the Bauer Business Focus.

Image: Florian Martin - Ed Egan directs the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Rice University

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I hate meetings. They sit subconsciously in my brain, taking up space. I prepare for them in my notebooks. I travel to them, and then back again, in the middle of my work days. And what do most meetings usually result in? You guessed it — more meetings.

When I worked as Director of Leadership Development at Walmart, my days were full of meetings. Everybody’s were! And when I quit two years ago to strike out on my own as an author and keynote speaker, I thought my days full of meetings were behind me.


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