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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.

The case for innovation by Jason Kristufek

Sometimes things are all about timing. The last two days I’ve come across four things that I needed to read and the very moment they came around.

They all have to do with innovation, taking risks and breaking down barriers. Engaging in those and taking a critical look at the tasks I’ve been doing, has given me some of the fire back that has been absent for awhile, so I felt a need to share.

WSJ: ‘Low Points and Screw-Ups’: Start-Ups Crave Mentors’ Real Stories by Tomio Geron

Twenty four companies put their best face forward for investors at Y Combinator’s ninth Demo Day for start-ups completing its incubator program.

The program is known for launching Web start-ups on a shoestring; it takes place twice a year and provides companies with $10,000 to $20,000 in exchange for a small equity stake. Perhaps more important than the money, though, are the networking and learning opportunities - the program provides start-ups with advice, community with other founders and weekly dinners with prominent tech entrepreneurs and investors.

Nokia innovation award sees little innovation by Bill Ray

Nokia's Calling All Innovators competition is listing finalists again, but while last time saw dancing games and Fair Trade guides, this year we've got sniper-safe routing and home automation.

This time around the competition saw 1700 entries, which have been whittled down to 12 finalists looking for a share of the additional $100,000 in prize money. This takes the total up to quarter of a million dollars. Last time around the focus was on applications to improve the quality of life, but this time the focus is on widgets, Flash and maps, rather than native Symbian applications.

U.S. Education Secretary Briefs Stakeholders on 'Investing in Innovation Fund' at Symposium held by ACT, Inc. and America's Choice

As staggering statistics continue to evidence American students' lack of preparedness for college and careers, ACT, Inc. and America's Choice convened the Superintendents' Symposium Series today to introduce district superintendents from across the United States to practical solutions for increasing student college and career readiness. Both the not-for-profit organization ACT and America's Choice are national leaders in college readiness and school improvement.

Is There a Future for Science Parks? by Anthony Townsend

Earlier this year Raleigh, North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park celebrated a very important birthday. At the largest-ever conference of the International Association of Science Parks, the industry’s global consortium, the Research Triangle Park marked 50 years of technology-led economic development alongside over 40 other parks from around the world in operation for 25 years or more. It was a grand celebration of a model for economic development pioneered by the Research Triangle Park that has been copied in every corner of the globe.

Innovation and Unrealistic expectations by Jeffrey Phillips

I grew up as one of those kids who was sort of good at a lot of sports but not really a master of any one sport. As I've gotten older, I've put considerably more time into biking, tennis and running, which leaves little time for the sport of business titans: golf. Now, I "play" golf at least four times a year, in a fund raising game or with friends and neighbors. I never practice and it shows. I cannot break 100 to save my life. I'm not familiar with any of the local courses and not familiar with my clubs (tools). I don't expect to be successful when I play and I don't take it too seriously. I uncork a nice drive every once in a while, or a good putt, but I don't expect it to happen regularly. Mostly I am a very poor golfer who occasionally gets in a good shot, and that's all I expect.

BusinessWeek: Private Equity Trumps Venture Capital by Alex Yoder

Core to the traditional model of Venture Capital (VC) is the assumption that, through investment in a large number of disparate, disruptive technologies, losses can be limited to the initial investment, while gains can be ridden out and, ultimately, the significance of the winners will far outweigh the losers. By their nature, VCs are looking for a big win on some and cutting losses of most. Accordingly, their investment timeframe is typically shorter. The model is built on momentum in the broader market generated by demand for more, newer ways to do things, thus requiring rapid adoption of disruptive technology by consumers (read: willingness to accept risk). This entire cycle, from inception to completion, is based on the broad willingness to assume larger risk positions. From inventor to consumer, demand for risk tends to be higher.

WSJ: Much Ado About Nothing by Rajeev Mantri

Reading the business press in India can be much like reading a Shakespearean tragicomedy. I recently came across a news item that talked of the agriculture ministry's efforts to set up two billion rupee poultry venture capital fund. According to an agriculture ministry official, capital subsidy, in the form of venture capital, was better than providing interest-free loans to farmers in the poultry sector.