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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.

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Amazon is one step closer to breaking ground on its second North American headquarters, which has been nicknamed HQ2.

This week, the company shared that from a massive group of 238 bids, it whittled down the group to just 20: Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County, Md.; Nashville; Newark; New York; Northern Virginia; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh, N.C.; Toronto and Washington, D.C.

Image: https://www.entrepreneur.com

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2017 saw a rebound in overall VC funding, approaching dotcom-era amounts. This was fueled by continued investor enthusiasm over the venture asset class, including new late-stage growth funds. The sectors that showed the largest growth were those in the business and financial services and healthcare sectors. In 2018, I expect VC investments levels to remain high, but several developments will impact the ecosystem.

 

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THE INTERNET OF THINGS 2017 REPORT How the IoT is improving lives to transform the world Business Insider

The Internet of Things (IoT) is disrupting businesses, governments, and consumers and transforming how they interact with the world. Companies are going to spend almost $5 trillion on the IoT in the next five years — and the proliferation of connected devices and massive increase in data has started an analytical revolution.

To gain insight into this emerging trend, BI Intelligence conducted an exclusive Global IoT Executive Survey on the impact of the IoT on companies around the world. The study included over 500 respondents from a wide array of industries, including manufacturing, technology, and finance, with significant numbers of C-suite and director-level respondents.

Image: http://www.businessinsider.com

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Your bags are finally unpacked from that hometown holiday trip, your bank account is still reeling from all of those Secret Santa parties and–as glorious and fleeting as a Fourth of July fireworks show–your “new year, new me” diet has already flickered out.

It’s mid-January, and winter still has a lot more cold and darkness left to give. So while you might still be feeling the sparkly flow of optimism that comes with the New Year, there’s just as good a chance that the winter blues have officially set in.

 

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Cape Town could be first major city in the world to run out of water

JOHANNESBURG — Murad Ebrahim turned on the shower in his gym locker room. The newly-installed showerhead delivered a gentle stream, then shut off shortly after.

“Two-minute showers,” said Ebrahim, 39, a publishing house executive. “You barely get to soap your body.”

In the shower stalls in his Cape Town gym, buckets catch excess water that doesn’t go down the drain. When they fill up, the gym gives them to customers for flushing toilets.

Image: https://www.usatoday.com

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As an advisor to new business owners, and an occasional angel investor, I see new business proposals daily, many seeking investors to fund early research and development (R&D) of a new product idea. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs don’t realize that the words “research” and “development” are red flags to investors, and all such proposals are routinely discarded.

Image: http://blog.startupprofessionals.com

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Human capital investment in a budding start-up can be just as, if not more, crucial to success than a cash injection.

According to super angel Christopher Mirabile, who has personally made over 60 investments in fledging firms, mentoring is vitally important.

"There are three different kinds of mentors; one who really knows the industry, one who generically knows how to build a company, and then a leader who is invested in the person. You need all three in diminishing capacities," he told Independent.ie.

Image: Startup Professionals Musings: 

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As every entrepreneur starts his/her journey into the world of start-ups, advice start pouring in. They start reading books on how successful entrepreneurs have managed to build innovative products that paved the way for the future. They rely on the rules set by visionaries to find the answers to their “how tos”.

Many a times, entrepreneurs blindly follow these paradigms set by their predecessors in the start-up world. Another founder’s success story often becomes the rulebook for others. But should an entrepreneur really stick to the rules set by experts or should they be out there creating their own?

 

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conference

As a mentor to startups and new entrepreneurs, I continue to hear the refrain that business plans are no longer required for a new startup, since investors never read them anyway. People cite sources like this recent Inc.com article “5 Reasons Why You Don't Need a Business Plan,” or my own blog discussion on this subject, “Situations Where A Business Plan Does Not Add Value.”

Let me be clear – business plans are never “required,” they should never be written “just for investors,” and if you sold your last startup for $800 million, most investors will not ask for a written plan for the next. On the other hand, if you are a first-time entrepreneur, the discipline of building a business plan will dramatically improve your success odds, and your odds of finding an investor.

 

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When we think of Albert Einstein, we inevitably conjure up images of the icon rather than the man. We see Einstein with his wild hair and his tongue sticking out or Einstein as a playful old man, riding a bicycle. We remember his cheerful confidence and his easy comfort with his own genius. He wasn’t always that way.

The younger Einstein, the one who actually came up with the ideas that established his place in history rather than the world famous scientist he became, was far different. Reeling from chronic unemployment and a troubled marriage, he was working as an obscure clerk in a patent office when he changed the world.

Image: http://innovationexcellence.com

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The news that 2017 was either the second or third-warmest year on record, depending on the agency doing the official tallying, is not shocking. The past three years were each among the top three warmest on record, with 2016 coming out as the clear winner.

To climate scientists, individual years and where they rank are not particularly significant. Instead, it is the long-term trend that matters, and that's what has climate scientists so concerned about our future. 

Image: Global average surface temperature departures from average during 2017.IMAGE: BERKELEY EARTH

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crowd funding

Asking the 'crowd' to pay for Canadian science

Catherine Scott studies black widow spiders at the University of Toronto. She needed a field assistant because it's dangerous studying venomous spiders at night. But the lab's science grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council didn't cover it. So she launched a campaign on a science crowdfunding site and raised the $6,000 she needed.

 

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