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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.

city crowd

Think about explaining to someone 25 years ago what a social media manager, ride share service employee, or drone operator does for a living. Technology combined with population demands, resource scarcity, urbanization, and other factors have created an array of new jobs and radically changed others.

 

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For entrepreneurs, the idea of crafting a unicorn company from the ground up is usually the dream. After all, that means the business has a valuation of a minimum of one billion dollars, and that’s a significant accomplishment.

If you take a look at what it takes to become a founder of a unicorn company, there are numerous factors involved.

Hard work, dedication, and leadership skills are a must as, without passion and diligence, you likely won’t achieve success.

Image: https://smallbiztrends.com

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hummus

Hummus, the chickpea-based dip that’s a staple in many Middle Eastern cuisines, is on the rise in the U.S. Multiple factors are fueling its growing popularity, according to the USDA: Hummus is naturally gluten-free, and Americans now have bigger appetites for healthier snacks. But how healthy is hummus? Here’s what the experts say.

 

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The ripple effect of record venture capital availability datagraphic PitchBook

Propelled by a strong fundraising environment and increased participation from nontraditional investors and corporate VCs, capital availability hit record levels in the first half of 2018. The datagraphic below illustrates how the excess in available capital is affecting the venture landscape; click on the graphic to see an expanded version of the image.

Image: https://pitchbook.com

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Duncan Riley

Venture capital flowing into technology companies continued at record highs in the second quarter as two reports said the U.S. tech market is at highs it hasn’t seen since the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s.

The numbers come from both the 2018 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor and the PwC/CBInsights MoneyTree Report. Though varying slightly on numbers, both agree we’re in the middle of another venture capital boom.

 

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LES HERBIERS, France — This year's Tour de France has seen an extraordinary number of new-bike launches, including from Specialized, Trek, and BMC, but perhaps the most discussed has been the SystemSix from Cannondale. It's the company's first aero bike, and the Connecticut-based manufacturer claims it to be "the world's fastest road-race bike."

That's great news for the US's Taylor Phinney, who rides for the EF Education-Drapac p/b Cannondale team. Over the next three weeks the 6-foot-5, 187-pound Coloradan will spend a lot of time in the saddle on his big 60 mm machine, so good thing for him that Cannondale data suggests it's freaky fast. The company claims it will save a rider the most energy and time of any bike in the peloton.

Image: Taylor Phinney's Cannondale SystemSix at the Tour de France.Daniel McMahon/Business Insider

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Montgomery County MD Logo

Montgomery County companies may soon apply online for the County’s new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Matching Grant Program. Applications will be accepted beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 16.

Eligible companies must have been awarded a SBIR or STTR Phase I or Phase II grant during the current calendar year by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and must conduct at least 51 percent of research and development operations in Montgomery County.

 

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silicon valley

There was a time when California’s Santa Clara Valley, bucolic home to orchards and vineyards, was known as “the valley of heart’s delight.” The same area was later dubbed “Silicon Valley,” shorthand for the high-tech combination of creativity, capital and California cool. However, a backlash is now well underway – even from the loyal gadget-reviewing press. Silicon Valley increasingly conjures something very different: exploitation, excess, and elitist detachment.

 

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meeting

That women are seriously under-represented in Canada’s technology industry is hardly news, and a new report suggests one reason might be that they’re seriously under-represented at the companies funding the tech industry too.

According to female-focused accelerator Female Funders’ “Women in Venture” report, released Wednesday, only 14 per cent of partners at Canadian venture firms are women, which means the vast majority of venture capitals (VC) dollars – 67 per cent – are controlled by investment teams with no women in senior roles.

 

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There was much celebrating in America last month when the US Department of Energy unveiled Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer. Now the race is on to achieve the next significant milestone in processing power: exascale computing.

This involves building a machine within the next few years that’s capable of a billion billion calculations per second, or one exaflop, which would make it five times faster than Summit (see chart). Every person on Earth would have to do a calculation every second of every day for just over four years to match what an exascale machine will be able to do in a flash.

Image: https://www.technologyreview.com

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With little to risk and a lot to gain, PepsiCo is the latest CPG company to get into the incubator game. Already, many of its peers in the food space, including Kraft Heinz, Kellogg, Campbell Soup, Nestlé and Conagra have already undertaken similar initiatives. 

PepsiCo's decision to enter the incubator space signals that small, nimble food startups have made inroads into interesting, unique and healthy products that food and beverage companies need more of in the face of growing competition and slumping sales. Statistically, this trend is backed by data showing that the share of retail sales held by the top 25 food manufacturers in U.S. food and beverages declined from 66% in 2012 to 63% in 2015, according to a study from A.T. Kearney and The Hartman Group. 

Image: https://www.fooddive.com

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A guiding principle for startup success, as well as the long-term health of a mature business, is a liberal dose of innovation at the beginning, with additions of the same on a regular basis. Unfortunately, innovation means change, and most business professionals and existing customers, by default, hate change. Thus without thinking, every company becomes more static.

In fact, innovation needs to be an integral part of the company culture and every process from the beginning. This takes leadership from the top, and an ongoing focus on market change, customer feedback, and internal measurement and rewards. For example, Google has institutionalized innovation through a manifesto initiated by Marissa Mayer in her early days as a VP there.

Image: https://blog.startupprofessionals.com

 

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