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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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Some analysts argue that revenue drives growth, while others say user growth drives revenue. Both have worked.Google reached $1 billion in revenue within five years of incorporation, and now has a market capitalization of over $400 billion. Twitter showed no focus on revenue in the first five years, but was able to parlay 500 million users into a $22 billion public company, now growing revenue.

 

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While small business owners may not feel like every big bank has their best interests at heart, JPMorgan Chase seems to be trying to change that perception. The company recently announced its $30 million “Small Business Forward” initiative, to be spread over 5 years. The initiative is focused on supporting small businesses with the goal of having  them grow faster, create jobs, and strengthen local economies.

 

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College: A time to learn, sleep and eat ramen noodles or pizza for every meal.

Most college students are broke; they survive off of students loans, savings or what little money they can muster on the side, so it's important to live as frugally as possible.

Limitations on space and electronics can add to the woes of college life, so students need to be as creative as possible when it comes to solving life's inconveniences, like heating up nacho cheese or forcing a 12-pack of beer soda into your mini fridge.

Image: IMGUR, BAREPEAR 

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By any standard, the greenhouse where Henry Daniell cultivates his tobacco plants is state of the art.

At a cost of $1 million, the glass enclosure is outfitted with an irrigation system and technology that measures temperature and humidity that can be accessed remotely. The expense and complexity to maintain a proper climate within the structure is necessary. The plants Daniell grows are very special.

Image: Daniel Mellinger and Alex Kushleyev are “pushing the limits of experimental robotics” at KMel Robotics, one of the many innovators at the University of Pennsylvania’s South Bank campus. University of Pennsylvania 

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Founded in 2004, JumpStart is a non-profit venture development organization committed to strengthening the inclusive economic vitality of neighborhoods, cities and regions. JumpStart partners with entrepreneurs and community leaders who believe the success of startup and small businesses is key to fully realizing their wealth and job-creating potential.

Fueled with 10 years of experience working with leaders in 20 regions across the United States, JumpStart’s “ecosystem” approach helps philanthropic, business, public and institutional leaders create programs that address critical challenges, such as access to capital, for fast-growing, high-potential firms that can drive economic growth.

Given JumpStart’s passion for assisting and investing in high-impact entrepreneurs and engaged community leaders, we are happy to partner with Innovation America and look forward to a continued dialogue with the Innovation Daily reader.

www.jumpstartinc.org

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Despite the outsize myth of the college dropout founder in Silicon Valley, top university engineering programs are significant feeders to the companies in the region. A Quora question asks which of the top schools might be best for an extremely talented high school computer scientist. + By far the most popular answer, from Airbnb engineer and Stanford grad Christopher Lin, described some of the most prestigious schools out there by their equivalents in the Harry Potter series of books, specifically the four houses at Hogwarts, all of which select for different traits.

Image: The "Silicon Valley Skrewts" in the very real Quidditch World Cup. AP/Phelan Ebenhack

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Traveling can be so overrated.

When you've finally earned some time off, it's important to set some boundaries. Otherwise, you'll end up curled on the couch for the week with your cat and a bag of Doritos.

Just because you're not leaving home, doesn't mean that your vacation can't be as relaxing as an exotic getaway. But in order to make a staycation feel like vacation, you need to break up the monotony and routine that comes with normal, everyday life.

So if you forgot to book your trip, you don't feel like traveling or you're just too broke to go away, follow these simple tips in order to make your staycation feel like a relaxing getaway.

 

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Savvy entrepreneurs start testing their ideas on potential customers even before the concept is fully cooked. They have enough confidence in their ability to deliver that they don’t worry about someone stealing the idea to get there first, and they don’t forget to listen carefully to critical feedback. They become walking public relations machines for themselves, as well as their idea.

 

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It looks like Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies is out to buy the next big thing in consumer health and wellness. Late last month, the $300 billion company announced its plans to partner with CircleUp, an equity-based crowdfunding platform. The news was all over the national entrepreneurship-focused media outlets. An article on Entrepreneur.com explained that the behemoth business made this move to get early access to the pipeline of emerging innovations in its market. Then it can acquire and add these products to its own product line.

Image: http://www.entrepreneurship.org/

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Setting the right salaries for your employees can be a tricky matter. Pay too little and it will be tough to attract the right talent. Pay too much and you’re not maximizing your workforce dollar. But finding that middle ground can be a challenge, says Ken Abosch, partner, broad-based compensation marketing, strategy & development leader at global human resources consultancy Aon Hewitt. He says there are five key areas to examine before you start setting salary numbers in stone.

 

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Want to be a successful entrepreneur? Start thinking like one.

In a recent LinkedIn post, Aravinth, founder of Visual Kiwi, says that’s the crucial first step.

Here’s how:

1. Think about your capabilities. Successful entrepreneurs know their weaknesses and don’t try to blow past them. Instead, they take stock of what they can reasonably accomplish and don’t risk too much. “Obviously, you are supposed to make new attempts to enhance your business strategy, but make sure (you don’t) cause any loss,” Aravinth says. 

Image: Markus Thorsen/Flickr

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About 18 months ago I was in the middle of gathering evidence for my second report on small firms, “Growing your Business”, when I met the chief executive of the Association of Business Schools. At first I could not see its relevance to my report until I idly asked him how many members the association had and he replied 138. I then realised that we had both a problem and an opportunity.

 

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