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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.

U.K. Startups Face Crisis as Venture Funding, Deals Dry Up

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Stuart Evans says he hasn’t seen a worse time to be a startup entrepreneur in the U.K.

The 59-year-old was able to raise funding for Cotag International Ltd., a maker of radio-frequency scanners, two weeks after Black Monday in 1987. By contrast, it took him a year to secure about 1 million pounds ($1.66 million) in August for his latest project, Novacem Ltd, a London-based producer of cement that can absorb carbon dioxide.

WSJ: VCs Increasingly Keeping Young Start-Ups To Themselves

At a time of modest exit expectations, venture investors are increasingly likely to avoid syndicating first rounds, according to new data from VentureSource.

In the first half of this year, 63.2% of first rounds had only one venture investor. That’s close to last year’s 62% rate. The frequency of one-VC deals has been climbing steadily since 2003 when 41.8% of first rounds had just one venture investor.

NASA Innovation Partnerships Program

Much of what we gain from our space exploration is in the scientific and technological progress that comes in the process of doing it. Many of those technologies are the direct result of NASA supported funding for both internal R&D projects performed at NASA centers and external research from the small business community. As a result of these expanding needs for new capabilities to explore space, NASA missions often result in technologies which have applications beyond aerospace. These technologies while targeted for integration into the mainstream NASA flight programs, can also be commercialized creating new marketplace products and provide opportunities for improving the quality of life for the American public right here on earth.

New Business Will Bring Economic Recovery

The Kauffman Foundation, a pro-entrepreneurship foundation out of Kansas City, Mo, has released a nationwide poll that brings to light the importance of entrepreneurship in our economy.

Entrepreneurs were ranked more highly than either big business and the government when it comes to job creation, with nearly 80% of respondents stating that entrepreneurship played a critical role in creating jobs.

InformationWeek 500: A Year Of Relentless Innovation

It's the first half of 2009, and unemployment's rising to a 26-year high of 9.5%. Sound like the perfect time to launch an aggressive technology-driven product?

It was for Progressive Insurance, which kicked off its "Name Your Price" Web site tool, letting customers build their own insurance policies, starting with what they think they can afford. It was for Coca-Cola, which tested a prototype fountain drink dispenser IT developed over two years with the company's R&D team, letting consumers mix a variety of new flavors while aligning Coke with a select group of fast-food restaurants to analyze buying data and manage inventories better. And it was for CME Group, the world's largest derivatives exchange, which partnered with Brazil's top exchange to give traders electronic access to CME products, expanding CME's global presence.

Economic Club heading to Metro

When leaders are looking to communicate with the Canadian people, the Economic Club of Canada is the choice forum. That's why the club has welcomed people such as Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Senator John McCain, Ukrainian president Victor Yushchenko, and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to its podium in downtown Toronto in the past few years, not to mention practically every Canadian premier and cabinet minister.

Next month, that prized podium will hit the road, coming to Atlantic Canada for the first time so that one of the brains behind Barack Obama's epochal social media campaign for president can speak to the people of Metro Moncton.

Emerging Technologies Thrive in Canada

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today recognized Systèmes d’Énergie et Propulsion EPS Inc. as a Canadian Innovation Leader for developing high-tech electronic-propulsion solutions for cyclists, linking scientific research to commercialization, jobs, and economic growth.

A Canadian Innovation Leader is a small- or medium-sized enterprise (SME) that demonstrates specific advances in research and development within its industrial sector. The National research Council of Canada (NRC) created the Canadian Innovation Leader Certificate Program to recognize Canadian firms that have successfully developed and applied innovative technologies.

'Doing Business' Rankings Stimulating Reform

The overview of the Doing Business Report 2010 is now available. Since 2004, the World Bank’s Doing Business project has been tracking regulatory reforms in 10 areas of business regulation that record the time and cost to meet government requirements in starting and operating a business, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business. Each year, Doing Business ranks 183 economies according to these 10 areas. These rankings have stimulated reforms to improve the overall ease of doing business by allowing policymakers to prioritize reforms and learn from global best practices.

WSJ: Where Are They Now?

For technology innovators, there's the "Eureka!" moment and then there's the business of putting discoveries to work. Here's a look at how some winners from last year—plus the top winner from 2007—have fared since we recognized their achievements.

Venture capital partnerships expand Pennsylvania economy

Governor Ed Rendell recently announced a shot of venture capital funding for early-stage life science companies in western Pennsylvania. Through a program managed by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, the New PA Venture Capital Investment Program will provide $5 million to Pittsburgh-based Corridor Ventures to invest in Pennsylvania-related companies within the life sciences sector.

The New PA Venture Capital Investment Program was created by Governor Rendell’s 2003 Economic Stimulus Package after he first came into office. The stimulus package passed the state legislature in 2004, clearing the way for the Venture Capital Investment Program along with other financing programs meant to jumpstart the Pennsylvania economy.

Angel Finance: An Entrepreneurs Guide

Angel finance is fast becoming a popular option for many South African entrepreneurs. With the global banking crises meaning that banks are becoming more choosy with their bank loans and business finance business owners with viable business plans are opting for both funding and expertise from business angels. If you've missed our previous blog on what Angel investors are, click here

Five Websites Every Entrepreneur Should Use

Today, many businesses are getting large portions of their website traffic from social media sites. It's one thing to bring an audience you already have over to your Twitter account, but the true test is to create growth. The most successful are the ones that network and engage in conversation rather than use their accounts like bullhorns to make announcements.