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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.

Talking Innovation at the Clinton Global Initiative
The unique ways we can harness innovation for sustainable development in the 21st century was the topic for the third major session at the Clinton Global Initiative. The dominant theme, unsurprisingly, was the use of innovation to emerge from various crises--of the economic, health, and, yes, climate variety. Al Gore was on hand to issue another call to action on climate, and he revealed the surprising innovation he'd most like to see develop next.

In the introduction to the talks, a CGI producer noted that the nature and implementation of innovation must necessarily change to meet the challenges of the climate crisis. Instead of the incremental, or continuous innovation, that we're mostly engaging in right now, we're going to need "disruptive innovation" that replaces the 'base of the pyramid'. Good example: we're going to need an energy economy that knocks coal-fired power plants out of the picture, and replaces them with wind, solar, and so on.

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Innovation as a driver of worldwide economic recovery and growth is the key theme at the Fifth Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, a gathering of top CEOs and world leaders that opened on Sept. 22 in New York and continues through Friday, Sept. 25. "We need new businesses to unleash new innovations," said President Barack Obama, citing the world's economic downturn in his address to the crowd on Tuesday evening. "We need new collaborations to advance prosperity." The President's speech was meant to help set the tone of the entire conference and followed on the heels of the White House's Sept. 21 release of a white paper outlining a national innovation strategy.

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With Netflix Inc. paying out a $1 million prize on Monday to a team of outside researchers that improved its movie recommendation algorithm, two venture-backed start-ups are overjoyed that the “open innovation” model is spreading.

Open innovation “like any big change in business takes time to promulgate,” said David Ritter, the chief technology officer of InnoCentive Inc. “The Netflix prize is a bit of a turning point.”

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This morning Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke announced the creation of a new office for entrepreneurship and innovation. The announcement was first made during a CNBC interview (see below - note that the interview covered a number of other issues as well, including G-20 protesters and health care).
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Over the past six months, Americans have watched with anticipation and increased trepidation as healthcare reform details slowly emerge. President Obama has appropriately led the charge to alert Americans about the crisis and the need for change. At this point we all know our current healthcare “system” does not work and we have all seen plenty of evidence detailing the symptoms and root causes of healthcare’s failure.

It’s now time to develop a *realistic* plan for change. We need to understand that we are attempting to fix an extraordinarily complex problem and it will require the best of all parties to accomplish that. Creativity and quality ideas are the essence to build a lasting solution. Reckless expedience, in this case, may serve a political purpose but is unlikely to serve the public interest. Thoughtful deliberations do not mean we do not move forward, but rather, that we move forward with good ideas on a reasonable and achievable time schedule.


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Innovation Matters: October 9, 2007 | Volume 1 | Issue 1

The Insider: Elizabeth Gilbert


Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the New York Times #1 Best Seller Eat, Pray, Love, debuts as a keynote speaker at the Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit on October 5, 2009 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Ms. Gilbert’s speech on “Creativity without Drama” will challenge the idea that creative people must suffer for their artistry in order to be taken seriously, and will emphasize the importance of teaching and practicing creativity without embracing distracting dramas along the way.
“We are so pleased to announce Elizabeth Gilbert as a keynote speaker, and are thrilled to have her speech open the Summit,” said Innovation Philadelphia President and CEO Kelly Lee. “She has tremendous insight when it comes to discovering your creative abilities and we know our attendees will learn a lot from her about embracing the creative process.”

MONCTON, Sept. 23 /CNW/ - From October 5-7, Moncton will be home to the first ever Intelligent Communities Summit. The Intelligent Communities Summit, "Leveraging Technology for Community Development" will bring together international leading-edge community, academic and private sector leaders to share best practices and engage participants to brainstorm next steps in leveraging technology to enhance private sector growth and community development. These next steps will be designed to help businesses and communities weather economic storms, prosper and improve quality of life.

Intelligent Community Forum Co-Founder Robert Bell will join New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham, Canadian Wireless Telecom Association CEO Bernard Lord, and Innovation America CEO Richard Bendis as featured speakers. Some of the other speakers and panelists will include:

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You may think street smarts are enough to be a successful entrepreneur, but these top entrepreneurship programs are giving students the practical and theoretical knowledge they need to succeed in any venture. The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine surveyed more than 700 undergraduate and business schools about their offerings in entrepreneurship.

The survey included questions covering everything from mentoring, experiential learning and specific course offerings to alumni successes and career prospects of current students. Schools that ranked high demonstrated a commitment to entrepreneurship both inside and outside the classroom and had faculty, students and alumni actively involved and successful in entrepreneurial endeavors.

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I’m thrilled to hear that the Economist has just launched a new column about business, innovation and entrepreneurship in honor of Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950), the brilliant Austrian economist who, argued that innovation is at the heart of economic progress. It gives new businesses a chance to replace old ones, but it also dooms those new businesses to fail unless they can keep on innovating (or find a powerful government patron). In his most famous phrase he likened capitalism to a “perennial gale of creative destruction”.

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A recent study reiterated the conclusion that population growth ought to be controlled in order to combat global warming, and other world problems. I beg to differ. The authors of studies like these have exaggerated the benefits of population control, because they ignore some of the significant economic benefits of large populations.

The director-general of Unicef has been quoted as saying, “Family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race.” And one of the benefits of reduced population, it is claimed, is reduced carbon emissions and therefore mitigation of climate change.

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If world leaders gathering for this week's G20 summit need evidence of the economic importance of trade and global engagement, they need look no further than their host city.

When the bottom fell out of the U.S. steel industry, Pittsburgh suffered one of the most devastating collapses of a major American city. But now, Pittsburgh is in the midst of a renaissance, thanks to a shift toward innovation, 21st-century jobs and an economy that embraces, rather than hides from, the global economy.

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The well-quoted adage “if you fail to plan then you plan to fail” might sound right and it may be the accepted wisdom of the masses. But excessive planning might be wrong, at least according to experienced angel investors and venture capitalists. In fact, what investors need is concise information, not more information.

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A recent BusinessWeek article called for the investment of billions of dollars more in "basic research" to create millions of new jobs. It's hard to argue against the importance of scientific research.

But too often overlooked in discussions over research spending is a fundamental fact: We've already got an abundance of research. The next transistor, semiconductor, or breakthrough in MRI technology may already have been discovered.

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Scores of technology startup companies in the Mid-Atlantic region have pitched their ideas to investors over the past year, only to come away with little or no funding. By many accounts, the recession and stock market losses have turned swashbuckling early-stage investors into penny-counting worrywarts.

As a result, more entrepreneurs have relied on so-called bootstrapping - launching a business by funding it themselves along with help from friends and family, and keeping it as lean as possible until they can attract venture capital investment. The few who can lure investors today are regarded as having won a lottery of sorts - one made possible by their own sweat equity, and not by chance.

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SSTI's 13th Annual Conference

Only 7 Days Remains on Early Discounts for SSTI's Annual Conference!

Discount Deadline is Tuesday, Sep 29

In this economy, every dollar counts. Register today!

To Do This Week:

Download the updated brochure for SSTI's Annual Conference, Seize the Moment, if you haven't already.

Register for a preconference workshop (optional) and SSTI's full conference. Saves you $100 if it is done on or before Sep 29. Call SSTI at 614.901.1690 or register online at:

Book your reservations to stay at the beautiful Sheraton Overland Park. The specially discounted rate of $169 is available until Tuesday, Sep 29. Besides the convenience of staying onsite, you'll save money on the room rate and taxi fares! More information is at:

Make your travel arrangements. Flights aren't likely to get any cheaper the closer we get to the conference dates of Oct 21-23. Book early to get the best seats and save!

Pack your bags! OK, you don't really want to do this already, but once you've looked at the great conference program and finished everything else on your to do list, you'll be as excited as we are for this year's conference!

We look forward to having you join hundreds of the nation's top TBED practitioners and policymakers Oct 21-23. See you in Kansas!

An increasing number of universities and colleges are offering courses in “Entrepreneurship” as part of their business education. Around the world, business plan competitions are held by academic institutions at regular intervals. The wide publicity given to “entrepreneurship” in recent times has resulted in entrepreneurs gaining respect and being acknowledged as critical participants in a country’s economy, wealth and job creation.

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Venture capital funding is at a historic low, yet at least eight software startups announced VC funding in the past two weeks for a total of more than $60 million. Their products are all very different, but they have one thing in common: they're delivered in a software-as-a-service model.

This is significant, because it shows that when VCs are thinking about what software companies to fund, they recognize value in the SaaS model. Some apps are just easier to sell and deploy as a SaaS, and are likely to gain better traction in a tough economy.

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