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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.

While the mood in Silicon Valley may still be a far cry from the Gold Rush mentality that was common in the late 1990s, many investors there believe that the worst of the global recession has passed.

In its quarterly Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Confidence Index, researchers from the University of San Francisco's business school found that of the 35 venture investors surveyed, most believe the economy is on the mend.

On a confidence scale of 1 to 5, with 5 indicating high confidence, investors have registered a 3.37 for the second fiscal quarter in a row, USF researchers said. The figure marks a continued rebound from a low of about 2.8 in the first quarter of 2009, but hovers lower than the 4.5 rating achieved before the recession, in the first quarter of 2007.

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S 1929 EAH

In the House of Representatives,

U. S., October 28, 2009.

Resolved, That the bill from the Senate (S. 1929) entitled ‘An Act to provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes.’, do pass with the following


Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert:


(a) In General- Section 1 of the Act entitled ‘An Act to extend temporarily certain authorities of the Small Business Administration’, approved October 10, 2006 (Public Law 109-316; 120 Stat. 1742), as most recently amended by section 1 of Public Law 111-66, is amended by striking ‘October 31, 2009’ each place it appears and inserting ‘January 31, 2010’.

(b) Effective Date- The amendments made by subsection (a) shall take effect on October 30, 2009.




1st Session

S. 1929


CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Charleston Area Alliance wants to spread this message throughout the local business community: a diverse work force can bolster your bottom line.

The Alliance has started an initiative called "Inclusion=Innovation." The program includes a series of roundtable seminars to encourage businesses to diversify their work force.
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The company's developers will work with Symbian, Android, and Chrome to optimize open source software with Qualcomm technology. In a move to bolster its mobile open source efforts, Qualcomm is establishing the Qualcomm Innovation Center (QulC), a separate wholly-owned subsidiary.

In a sign of the importance of the QulC, the company's board of directors named Rob Chandhok president of the innovation center. Chandhok is senior vice president of software strategy for Qualcomm CDMA Technologies.

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In the middle of a venture capital funding slump, you might think that early stage investments would be the hardest hit--VC dollars would be siphoned away from early-stage deals and poured into existing portfolio companies (conventionally Series B, C, D, etc. deals). In other words, money attracts money.

You'd have good reason for this belief. Overall venture capital investment funding levels are significantly lower on a year-over-year basis ($6.1B in Q3 2009 versus $7.2B in Q3 2008, according to ChubbyBrain). The absolute amount of money flowing to these early stage ventures is less than it has been.

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Seoul (Korea Newswire) October 27, 2009 11:47 AM -- Samsung Electronics, a leader in consumer electronics and information technology, and Handmark?, a world-leading creator and distributor of mobile applications and services, today announced the launch of a new Global Venture Fund to invest in companies and/or individuals with innovative, market-changing game ideas for next generation Samsung mobile phones. Companies and/or individuals selected will receive up to $250,000 each to fund the development of winning ideas.

The fund will be managed by Handmark out of its Kansas City and London offices in partnership with Samsung Electronics. The companies are searching for games that best showcase Samsung mobile phones and the advanced features they offer.Both current and new content ideas are encouraged, taking timing and cost into consideration.

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Bangalore: His batchmates will be busy wooing and being wooed by recruiters this placement season, but 26-year-old Mainak Chakraborty, who will graduate in 2010 from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B), has chosen to sit out the season. Chakraborty wants to start a company that will set up recharge centres for electric vehicles. And he is hoping to incubate the company at the institute’s NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL).

Across Indian campuses, incubation centres such as NSRCEL are breeding entrepreneurs.

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WASHINGTON--(Business Wire)-- A study released today by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) provides first-of-its-kind data on the importance of university/industry research and development partnerships to the U.S. economy. The study of university technology licensing from 1996 to 2007 shows a $187 billion dollar positive impact on the U.S. Gross National Product (GNP) and a $457 billion addition to gross industrial output, using very conservative models.

"It has long been believed that the Bayh-Dole Act, which permits and encourages industry to partner with research universities to turn federally-funded basic research into new and valuable products, is a critical factor in driving America`s innovation economy. Indeed, because of this inspired piece of legislation, the U.S. leads the world in commercializing university-based research to create new companies and good, high-paying jobs throughout the country," stated BIO President & CEO Jim Greenwood. "This new study provides the evidence to back up that belief."

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Angels still have wings, but they aren’t flying quite so high.

The rules of the game of angel investing have changed in the post-crisis world, Kermit Pattison writes in The New York Times. The average deal size shrank by 31 percent in the first half of this year, according to a recent study by the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire.

The study shows that total angel investments fell to $9.1 billion in the first half of 2009, a 27 percent decline from the same period last year, but the number of companies getting venture investments actually increased by 6 percent, to 24,500.

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The African Venture Capital Association (AVCA), a non-profit organization, hosted a press conference today at the Four Seasons - Nile Plaza, announcing the details of its forthcoming 8th Annual Conference, which will take place here in Cairo on 15th - 17th November at the Cairo Marriott hotel, under the slogan Africa: The Growth Continent for Private Equity "Investment Opportunities 2010 and Beyond".

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How to Generate Outsized Returns 2009-2019

Two key trends have dramatically altered the venture capital industry over the last three decades: the rise of larger fund sizes and the decline of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) as an exit market for venture-backed companies. These trends have accelerated in the current decade and are fueling burgeoning interest in new paradigms in venture capital that better align the interests of investors and fund managers and that provide the potential for outsized investment returns for which the asset class is known.

This paper will suggest that fund size segmentation yields important insight into the debate about the viability of the venture model and that smaller funds with less than $250 million of committed capital are the answer to better alignment and outsized returns. Additionally, given the recent global financial turmoil, there is a unique opportunity to acquire unfunded secondary interests in these smaller fund managers which further improves the return opportunity by lowering the cost basis and shortening the J-curve.
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The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said the government will establish a National Innovation Center and a network of Centers of Innovation Excellence, as a step toward accelerating national innovation and commercialization activities. Najib, speaking this week at the fourth meeting of the National Innovation Council, also said that nanotechnology development would be given priority and be made one of the resources of the country's new economic model. Najib said "[N]anotechnology represents a new, advanced technological field at present and for the future. Thus, it is important for Malaysia to not be left behind in the field of nanotechnology and we have decided to give it importance." Innovation should be made the culture of the country, he added, through the country's education system. The article can be found online at the link below.

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Featured Guest: Vijay Govindarajan, director of the Center for Global Leadership at the Tuck School of Business and coauthor of the Harvard Business Review article How GE Is Disrupting Itself.

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Entrepreneurship is the leading engine of U.S. economic renewal, but can a small company grow into a "SuperCorp?"

Small business is by far the leading job creator, and entrepreneurship the leading engine of American economic renewal. As unemployment swells, small business prowess is needed more than ever. But can a small company be a SuperCorp, like progressive larger companies such as IBM and Procter & Gamble?

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Want more proof America's health care needs drastic improvement? Or that politics needs cleaning up? How about cutting spending?

Here it is: thanks to those and other short-comings, the U.S. is now just ninth in the world according to a new study of international prosperity.

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In China, one doesn't have to look far to see the country's commitment to renewable energy. In cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, rooftops are now covered with solar water heaters. On the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, towering white wind turbines are popping up where only cattle, sheep and herders on horseback once roamed. While coal consumption is expected to climb more than 3% annually for the next two decades, the government has also required that electrical companies add a significant amount of alternative energy to their portfolios. With the global economy languishing, China — which is not only the world's most populous country, but also the most polluted — offers the promise that its green-energy drive can become a major source of demand for international wind and solar companies.

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LOS ANGELES--(Business Wire)-- Private business owners, senior lending, asset-based lenders, mezzanine fund managers, private equity groups, venture capital firms, attorneys and hedge fund managers may complete an online questionnaire ( investigating the major private capital market segments through Friday, November 13, 2009. Individual responses will be kept confidential.

The study, the second in an ongoing series by Pepperdine University`s Graziadio School of Business and Management (, examines the private capital industry based on investment type, expected and historical rates of return, financial ratio thresholds, coupon rate distributions and other investment characteristics. Survey participants will receive a first look at the study`s revised outlook on private lending and investing, expected in the first quarter of 2010.

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A GOVERNMENT-BACKED fund of at least £1bn is needed to provide finance for growth- focused SMEs, according to one of the UK’s leading venture capital figures.

Cardiff-born Chris Rowlands is completing a review for Business Secretary Lord Mandelson on the availability of growth finance for SMEs in the £2m to £10m bracket – and on whether intervention is required to plug market failure.


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Ten-year venture capital returns are falling and they’re not getting up anytime soon.

Annualized U.S. venture returns for the decade ending June 30 were 14.3%, down from 26.2% in the prior quarter and 33.9% a year earlier, according to Cambridge Associates data issued Tuesday by the National Venture Capital Association . The reason is simple – 1999 was a terrific year for the venture industry and as those results roll off, the 10-year index plummets.

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Figures can be misleading. Take the stats released on Oct. 27 by data provider DowJones Venture Source, which tracks venture capital investment worldwide. During the third quarter of 2009, VCs invested $998 million in 201 deals in Europe, a 23% jump over the previous quarter. That’s pretty good news. But here’s the rub. The third-quarter figure represented a 48% decline vs. the $1.9 billion (split across 312 deals) invested between July and September, 2008.

So what does this all mean? For one, venture capitalists are tentatively putting their toes back into the water, though many remain cautious. According to DowJones Venture Source’s Arno Castanet, “investors [are] spending less, but spending wisely.” Smaller investments focused on well-recognized growth markets is a trend. The top three European sectors garnering VC interest: IT ($425 million invested), Healthcare ($216 million), and energy/utilities ($296 million).

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