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Founded by Rich Bendis

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.

books

Whether you’re on a plane traveling to your next meeting, taking vacation on the beach, or out on the prairie, there are five must-read books you need to bring with you. It’s a list of new bestsellers and old classics and, no matter the season, every entrepreneur should have a well-read, dog-eared copy of each on their shelf.

 

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According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, an average of 543,000 new businesses get their start every month in America. What the SBA can’t measure as easily is the number of businesses that fail along the way.

A fear many future or new entrepreneurs have is that they won’t be able to keep the lights on or feed their families, because the truth is that going out on your own is an enormous risk that doesn’t always pay off. So how does one predict success?

Image: http://agbeat.com

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A while back I talked about how and where to find a co-founder in “For a Startup, Two Heads are Always Better Than One”. The feedback was good, but some readers asked me to be a bit more specific on attributes that might indicate an ideal startup partner. Even if you are looking in all the right places, it helps to know what you are looking for.

image: https:[email protected]/147862875

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"Doors opened. Opportunities evolved. Law, institutions, and corporations moved forward. Many minds did not."

-- Anna Quindlen

"I really believe that everyone has a talent, ability, or skill that he can mine to support himself and to succeed in life."

-- Dean Koontz

We are living in the post social media era where business etiquette and interpersonal skills reign supreme. Where information overload breeds a tech-driven culture in which rapid trends and rapid access are par for the course.

image: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net 

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Every year, Deloitte releases a survey of venture capitalists from a dozen countries. As emerging markets tech investors, the question that always stands out to us is: “What is your overall confidence in investing outside of your home country…?” Year after year, U.S. VCs always express the lowest confidence level.

image: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net 

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It’s a free country or so they say.

Like every place, we here in the United States have our laws, regulations and taxes. That’s the nature of things where all governments reside, which is sometimes to the ire and discomfort of business people.

And while the U.S. remains a refuge and haven for foreign direct investment, which was the topic of our blog last week, it is somewhat ironic and interesting to note that some U.S. companies are reincorporating themselves overseas for tax reasons.

image: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net 

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Every startup needs access to capital, whether for funding product development, for initial rollout efforts, acquiring inventory, or paying that first employee. Most entrepreneurs think first of bank loans as the primary source of money, only to find out that banks are really the least likely benefactors for startups. Thus “creative” really means maximizing non-bank financing.

 

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NewImageThere is no shortage of advice on how to find a job, how to prepare for an interview or how to negotiate a salary. While these are all crucial steps in building a career, there seems to be a lack of guidance for seasoned, established employees attempting to make the leap from middle management to the executive level.

At my company Grace Blue, I’ve spent my career working closely with top leaders in the communications space. They are often brilliant and charismatic, but always ambitious, decisive and resourceful. So what makes them different from their peers? Few people start careers as a CEO, CMO or CCO -– so how does one get from point A to point B?

FLICKR, JESUS SOLANA

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money

MADISON - The managers of the new Badger Fund of Funds say they can take $25 million of state money and turn it into as much as $100 million that could help build 100 companies around Wisconsin over the next few years. Brian Birk and Lee Rand are managing partners of Sun Mountain Capital, a New Mexico firm that handles similar funds in New Mexico and in Mexico. They joined with Kegonsa Capital Partners, a Fitchburg venture capital management firm, to form Sun Mountain Kegonsa. Sun Mountain Kegonsa was chosen earlier this year to manage the Badger Fund of Funds, for which the Legislature allocated $25 million.

 

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mountainOur community has been talking recently about the skills needed for entrepreneurs to excel. Some things change while others stay the same. But, to be an entrepreneurial rock star, you need to be aware of all the factors affecting your business. Here the Small Business Trends editorial team has assembled a Community News and Information Roundup with tips from top blogs and social networks to help you improve. Here they are:

 

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We are delighted to announce a new collaboration between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to empower entrepreneurial scientists and advance the Lab-to-Market priorities set forth in the President’s Management Agenda. The Federal government invests over $130 billion on research and development (R&D) each year, and the President’s 2015 budget supports a sustained commitment to accelerate the transfer of promising Federally-funded technologies from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace.

Image: http://nexus.od.nih.gov/ 

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Competition

I was sitting with the founders of a company we’ve funded the other day talking about their competition. I love this product and I use it every day. It doesn’t yet have widespread adoption, but it as extremely actively used by the early adopters.

This company has several competitors – long time incumbents with somewhat stale, but useful products, and several new competitors, including well-funded and noisy ones. I use several of these products regularly in different situations and have encouraged the founders to use them also.

Image: http://sxc.hu

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