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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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Fluorescent-lit cubicles are so last century. The latest in corporate office design is about creating more than just a place for employees to sit and stare at their computers, and the Googles of the world aren't the only companies investing in awesome office spaces (though Google continues to build zany offices all over the world). More and more, companies are hiring designers to outfit their headquarters with sleek interiors and productivity- and happiness-boosting amenities for workers like running tracks, cocktail bars, and more. Check out some of the quirky, cool, and colorful workplaces we coveted most this year.

Image: http://www.fastcodesign.com

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Only a very few aspiring entrepreneurs from among 1000s are able to convert their ideas into a business.  And one of the key reasons for this is the lack of access to capital that is required to start something new. Out of 1000s of investment-worthy startups, less than 300 are able to get initial capital in India.

 

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What a difference a year makes. At the end of 2013, the industry was still debating whether Hadoop and related big data technologies were going to become mainstream or were just niche technologies for Internet companies.

A year later, the answer is clear — Hadoop is without question the foundation of the new data stack, the first of the Hadoop distributions (Hortonworks) is now a public company, with others sure to follow. This is putting a spotlight on the next layer up the stack — big data analytics — and the use cases that will be unlocked and transformed by collecting and connecting vast quantities of raw data and empowering business analysts with new capabilities. In 2015, we’ll see the impact of big data across almost every industry sector, and there will be a multitude of proof points that go beyond vague claims often seen today.

Image: HP servers. Image Credit: HP

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A tech industry that had spent years waiting for a revived IPO market finally got its wish in 2014.

The overall IPO market reached a level not seen since 2000. And Silicon Valley companies rode that wave as venture-backed IPOs soared, according to year-end data from Renaissance Capital.

Image: The Hortonworks team is on hand at the Nasdaq on the day the company goes public. Image Credit: Nasdaq/Twitter

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Plan any event and chances are one in five of the people you invite will be late. A study done at San Francisco State University found that about 20% of the U.S. population is chronically late—but it’s not because they don't value others' time. It’s more complicated than that, says lead researcher Diana DeLonzor.

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The label “Sick Man of Europe” has been awarded to many a European nation and empire since it was first used to describe the decrepit Ottoman Empire in the mid-19th century. Today, it seems the entirety of Europe, save the United Kingdom and Switzerland, is worthy of the “sick man” title. The Eurozone is teetering on the brink of yet another economic crisis thanks to continued low growth, high debt, and the rise of populist political parties in the weaker Euro economies. The euro currency dropped 11% against the dollar this year, falling to its lowest levels in two years. Russia, as I have already covered, is reeling in the face of 2014′s plummet in oil prices and faces a crisis in its own currency; in fact, Russia’s GDP contracted 0.5% in November, marking the first Russian decline since 2009, and is expected to decline 0.8% in 2015. Even Scandinavian economies, like those in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, are positioned for trouble in 2015.

Image: http://legalinsurrection.com

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The CMS Innovation Center paid $2.6 billion through September to hospitals, doctors and others through nearly two dozen programs that tested new ways to deliver healthcare and pay for it.

But results of those programs—some underway since 2011—including more than 60,000 providers and 2.5 million patients in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, are largely not yet available, the Innovation Center said in its second report to Congress.

 

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DOUG AND POLLY WHITE

There are three qualities inherent in all successful entrepreneurs.

1. Adaptability  In most cases, what you start out to do will not be exactly what you’re doing when you are ultimately successful. As you roll out your enterprise, you’ll discover that things you expected to work well don’t work at all. You’ll stumble into things that you didn’t expect to work that will. You’ll see others in your industry doing things that will work well for your organization and you’ll copy them. You’ll have to be able to adapt.

 

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Entrepreneurship programs are all the rage at business schools across the country. But with the high price tag of MBA programs today, many aspiring entrepreneurs wonder if it’s worth the cost and if these programs deliver real value. An MBA is not going to make someone an entrepreneur. But business school does teach some fundamental skills necessary to run a business, generate revenue, establish partnerships, manage people and generally avoid financial or legal issues. While the investment is significant, think if it this way: An MBA can be easier and cheaper than learning lessons the hard way through a failed startup or spending years toiling in a corporate job.

 

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As we're entering the New Year, I find it's always a great time to reflect on the past year before we start to plan for our business in the upcoming year.

As such, I've been reflecting on a theme I'm noticing quite a bit while conducting my personal branding for leaders training program for corporate employees. I also offer the workshop to entrepreneurs. And the difference is that a lot of corporate employees are looking for the workshop to help them find a new job, while the entrepreneurs see it as an opportunity to learn how to better serve their employees, customers and causes they're committed to.

 

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The most important advances in materials this year could make cleaner vehicles and renewable electricity more affordable.

The best bet for low-cost electric-car batteries may be Tesla Motors’ “gigafactory,” which the car maker started constructing this summer in Nevada. The factory will use sheer scale to drive down the cost of batteries with fairly conventional lithium-ion chemistry—plans call for its annual production of lithium-ion batteries to match that of all other worldwide producers combined. However, radical changes in battery chemistry—solid-state batteries, and liquid batteries you can recharge in minutes by pumping in new electrode materials—also made encouraging progress this year.

 

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