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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.

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- House Democrats plan a renewed push to raise taxes on executives at private-equity and venture- capital firms to help pay for year-end economic recovery legislation, a top congressional aide said.

Matthew Beck, a spokesman for the House Ways and Means Committee, said the panel will revive an effort to raise the 15 percent tax rate on “carried interest,” a term for the share of a fund’s profit that is paid as compensation to executives.

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BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Venture-capital firms raised the smallest number of funds in 15 years in the third quarter, weighed down by the credit crisis.

Firms raised 17 funds, the same number as in the third quarter of 1994, according to a report by the National Venture Capital Association and Thompson Reuters(TRI Quote). Venture-capital firms gathered $1.6 billion, the least since the first quarter of 2003, when they managed to raise only $938 million. So far in 2009, firms have collected $8.4 billion, compared with $28.6 billion for all of 2008.

"Many limited partners are still determining their long-term strategies in the wake of the past year's financial crisis, and that slows the process down considerably," said Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA, in a statement. "We expect commitment levels to remain modest for the remainder of 2009, with gradual increases beginning in 2010."

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Abu Dhabi, UAE - Growing businesses in a complex environment, leading enterprises to innovate and using technology for innovation were the key themes of discussion at Frost & Sullivan's flagship event -GIL 2009: Middle East- Growth, Innovation and Leadership: A Frost & Sullivan Global Congress on Corporate Growth. Held on 7th October 2009 at Hotel Beach Rotana, Abu Dhabi, UAE for the first time in the Middle East, the Congress saw attendance from senior dignitaries across industries at a single venue.

The highlight of the Congress was its keynote presentation, 'The CEO's Perspective on Growth in a Complex Business Environment' by David Frigstad, Chairman, Frost & Sullivan. Elaborating on the CEO's perspective of growth, Frigstad said, "Now more than ever, CEOs need a 360-degree overview of the business for making decisions. Through this powerful Congress, Frost & Sullivan offers insights to grow and sustain business in the current economic environment, seize opportunities for networking and forge new partnerships."

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In a classic episode of “The Simpsons,” the owner of convenience store Kwik-E-Mart, Apu, is being held up at gunpoint and shouts to a policeman in the store for help. The cop, Chief Wiggum, retorts, “Hey, I got problems of my own right now,” as his tie is pulled slowly into a hot dog rotating machine.

”Oh boy, this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better,” Chief Wiggum dejectedly declares.

I couldn’t help but think of that line this morning while listening to several veteran venture capitalists discuss the unsettling state of the venture industry in front of dozens of hopeful start-up CEOs at today’s VentureWire Technology Showcase.

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The government this week announced plans to invest more than £80 million to encourage greater development of innovative technology in the UK.

In addition to a £82.5 million funding injection into the cause by the Technology Strategy Board, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, Lord Mandelson used yesterday’s Innovate09 conference to call on businesses to continue to be innovative even during the downturn.

 

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Strengthening Europe’s Innovation Performance

Brussels: 12 to 14 October 2009

The 1 st European Innovation Summit is underway at the European Parliament. The summit has been organised by the Knoweldge4Innovation (K4I) – The Lisbon Forum.

 

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I regularly teach classes on entrepreneurship and new venture development, and more than occasionally drop in to provide my perspective on topics of interest to those forming or funding technology-driven, high-growth companies. Since I have been spending a lot more time up in front of students (and, thus, getting peppered with great questions), I have been giving a lot of thought to what passes for “entrepreneurial strategy” courses (or sections of courses). To me, it seems that the bulk of entrepreneurship pedagogy has, in a relatively brutish way, simply ported over the issues relevant in a typical strategic management class and attempted to convert those topics into material appropriate to the new venture setting. The more I think about it, the less persuaded I am that this is helpful for students; and I continue to have my suspicions that this approach forwards the research frontier.

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There is no better example of the benefits afforded by federal funding in the fields of science and technology than the recent near sweep of the Nobel Prizes in chemistry, physics, and physiology or medicine by Americans, the majority of who relied upon substantial public support to make the breakthroughs that are today benefiting the nation and the world.

Of the nine Nobel winners in chemistry, physics, and physiology or medicine, eight are U.S. citizens and at least six of those leveraged federal research dollars to reach their pinnacles of success.

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If you want a Small Business Administration loan, you better act fast -- in a couple of months, the agency will run out of the $375 million in economic stimulus funds that made the program more attractive to lenders.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act enabled the SBA to increase its guarantee on 7(a) business loans to 90 percent, up from its usual 75 percent to 85 percent. The stimulus bill also allowed the SBA to reduce or eliminate fees on 7(a) loans and its 504 loans, which are primarily used for real estate.

 

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Some prominent economists tell us we are starting to come out of the worst recession since the Great Depression, but many worry the uptick won’t last.

Since December 2007, Americans lost $13 trillion in household wealth, and our country is swimming in red ink. Today, the federal debt is $11.4 trillion and growing because of a new round of federal spending. Some economists project it could reach $17 trillion in the next decade if Congress and President Obama continue at their current pace.

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Fifteen invited university teams, representing four continents and eight countries, will descend upon Austin on October 30-31st for the 7th Annual Idea to Product Global Competition. The teams will present their breakthrough technology commercialization plans and compete for over $52,500 in cash prizes that may be used to advance their innovations, as well as a chance to enter the Global MOOTCORP® competition. Each year, the competition draws a large audience from Austin’s technology and entrepreneurial community. The even is in the AT&T Conference Center.

The competition will debut three themed championship tracks and a technology showcase where you can see the teams’ innovative technologies. Which technologies will become the next cure for cancer? Which technologies have a potential to revolutionize the battery technology? What technology will answer the world’s changing energy demands? What technology will drastically improve quality of life for less-privileged communities around the world?

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