Innovation America Innovation America Accelerating the growth of the GLOBAL entrepreneurial innovation economy
Founded by Rich Bendis

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.

BARCELONA, Spain — How can a city resuscitate an entire depressed, old inner-city district, many of its blocks marked by abandoned factories?

Even more challenging: How to transform the same area into a high-powered knowledge hub that adds jobs by the thousands and draws dozens of high-powered national and international firms?

The "free enterprise" American approach might be to bring in the bulldozers, create an industrial park that displaces the old residents and maybe offer companies public subsidies to move in.

 

Read more ...

Top IBM officials met recently with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to disclose the company’s plans to extend existing investment in the country, which includes several global delivery centers.

Officials who made the courtesy call to the chief executive included IBM ASEAN general manager Cordelia Chung, vice president for governmental programs, growth market unit Stephen Braim, human resource delivery executive for Asia Pacific Renato Jiao, and country general manager James Velasquez.

Read more ...

IT USUALLY takes years before employees get so jaded with their job they finally take the gamble of chucking it in to become their own boss.

Miss Elfaine Tan did that in just a few months. The go-getter was only 20 then and was still getting to know the ropes at an engineering firm - her first job, by the way - when she decided to make the big jump in May last year.

Read more ...

So you couldn’t get into Stanford, Berkeley or Harvard, huh? Don’t sweat it. You can still make it big. Some people might believe that an Ivy League education provides a huge advantage in entrepreneurship. But after researching this over and over again, I’ve found no such correlation. To the contrary, it seems that those who are born without the silver spoons in their mouths are more motivated to succeed. And those who aren’t members of elite alum societies develop the skills needed to hustle in the rough and tough business world. The Ivy-Leaguers may be able to get their buddies from Sequoia and Kleiner to return emails, but they aren’t going to be any more successful at building companies.

Read more ...

The president remarked that some claims made by opponents of his energy bill were cynical and contradictory to scientific evidence that supports the need for greener energy solutions.

Cambridge, Massachusetts (WiredPRNews.com) President Barack Obama recently dismissed arguments by many opponents of his energy bill as cynical claims made to stagnate progress on dealing with major environmental concerns. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Obama spoke to an audience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Friday about global warming and energy innovation.

Read more ...

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- They were two MBA graduates short on cash but big on dreams: They wanted to take on a major corporation that controlled 89 percent of the pet insurance market.

Laura Bennett and Alex Krooglik didn't let the competition deter them. They formed Embrace Pet Insurance and started selling policies online 21/2 years ago. Now, PetInsuranceReview.com ranks Embrace as the No. 2 company in its field for customer service, beating out several larger companies.

Read more ...

As President Obama’s pay czar prepares to slash the salaries of top CEO’s who received government bailouts, President Obama said it is time to start working with small businesses. The President has not been without his fair share of critics when it comes to the lack of resources provided for small business owners and he pledged more help is on the way. In today’s weekly address President Obama stated that small business owners are the segment of America that embodies the American dream.

Read more ...

On Tuesday, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), a trade association representing the U.S. venture capital industry, released the results of its latest venture funding study. The study, conducted with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Thomson Reuters, indicates that venture capitalists invested $4.8 billion in 637 deals in the third quarter of 2009, a 17% increase in dollars and 3% decrease in deals as compared to the second quarter of 2009.

Read more ...

The founders of the large web properties of Web 1.0 are all gone now save one. Yahoo!’s (NASDAQ:YHOO) chief Yahoo!s have very little to do with the company, although one of them, Jerry Yang, made a brief and troubled attempt to run the company recently. The founders of eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and AOL retired a long time ago. Many of the websites that were among the most visited in the US a decade ago have disappeared since Jeff Bezos created Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in 1994. Lycos, Excite, Altavista, Infoseek, and Switchboard have either disappeared or are tiny players among the new elite group of Web 2.0 firms which includes Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Part of the power of Amazon, which posted unexpectedly strong earnings up 69% over last year for the third quarter, is that it is fundamentally what it was the day it started—an e-commerce site. It sold books in its earliest days and helped usher in the demise of book stores and book store chains. The core of Amazon’s business has expanded to selling an immense range of products online from consumer electronics to groceries and clothing and gardening tools.

 

Read more ...

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, joined President Obama at Metropolitan Archives in Landover, MD, today as he announced new small business lending initiatives designed to put capital in the hands of small business owners. Senator Cardin applauded the new measures and announced his original co-sponsorship of a bill to be introduced by Committee Chair Mary Landrieu (D-LA) that will codify many of the initiatives and lending cap increases announced by the President today.

"Maryland's 522,000 small businesses provide economic opportunities to diverse groups of people, employing more than 1.2 million citizens, and bring innovative products and services to the market. But without capital, small businesses in Maryland and across the country cannot weather the current financial storm that has engulfed our economy. It's clear that our nation's economic recovery is dependent on the recovery and growth of small businesses.

 

Read more ...

According to the most recent Pricewaterhouse Coopers MoneyTree report, the Philadelphia region’s VC market has seen a significant dip in third quarter investment.

The region received $94.4 million in VC investment in the third quarter, compared to $163 million last quarter, a drop of 42 percent. The region’s venture capital investment dropped 62 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Despite the dip in total invested dollars, the number of deals received a slight bump from 22 last quarter to 25. Only seven of the 16 metropolitan areas tracked by the report saw an increase from last quarter.

 

Read more ...

Oct 23, 2009 (Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) -- SBCOE | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- (Washington, DC)- U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen has cosponsored the Small Business Access to Capital Act (S. 1832), which would further enable refinancing through the 504 loan program and increase the limit of small business loans backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). These provisions will help improve access to much-needed capital for small business owners.

"Small businesses create jobs and stimulate local economies, and, in New Hampshire, small businesses are the engine of the state's economy," said Shaheen. "To end the recession, it is essential that we provide small business owners the capital they need so that they can keep their doors open, hire more employees and grow their businesses in the very difficult economic environment."

Read more ...

Infosys co-founder and chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy sold company shares worth around US$37mn to set up a venture capital fund for incubating Indian start-ups. Murthy will use the money as seed capital for a venture capital fund which he plans to set up in India. A statement issued by Infosys said that the proposed venture capital fund would encourage and support young entrepreneurs having brilliant business ideas. "The fund will primarily invest in India and may, on a case-to-case basis, consider investing overseas," Infosys said. In a statement issued to the stock exchanges on Thursday, Infosys said that Murthy had sold eight lakh shares, some 0.13% of the company's equity capital, on October 21 and October 22, raising around Rs1.74bn. After the transactions, Murthy holds 2.38mn shares in Infosys.

 

Read more ...

Volkswagen is taking great strides in making the roads safer and remove the dangerous fun from driving by developing fully autonomous vehicles. I had a chance to talk to Dr. Burkhard Huhnke, director of the Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) about the future of the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory (VAIL) at Stanford University and how the technology developed there is being integrated into Volkswagen Group vehicles. You may be able to buy a real-life K.I.T.T before you know it. It probably won’t be a Pontiac though.

You may recall that Volkswagen was the first team to complete the DARPA Grand Challenge in 2005 by having a fully autonomous Volkswagen Touareg SUV (his name was Stanley, btw) drive 132 miles through the Mojave Desert. Then for the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, a VW Passat Wagon took second place behind Tartan Racing team from Carnegie Mellon University in a 60 mile urban course. But those two challenges are nothing compared to what’s on tap for next year: Pikes Peak in an autonomous Audi TT-S.

Read more ...

Capturing national attention for initiating successful programs to sustain the nation's position as a global leader for innovation and competitiveness, six organizations were named recipients of SSTI's 2009 Excellence in TBED Award. The third annual awards follow a nationwide competition recognizing outstanding achievements in tech-based economic development (TBED) emphasizing impact, strategic value and replicability.

"The impressive stories behind each of these six initiatives illustrate how strategic TBED investments work to promote regional growth through science and innovation," said Dan Berglund, SSTI President and CEO. "These organizations serve as best practice models in the field for their demonstrated leadership and meaningful impact to state and regional economies."
Recipients were honored today during a ceremony at SSTI's 13th Annual Conference in Overland Park, KS, attended by top economic development professionals from across the nation. The following initiatives were selected to receive the Excellence in TBED Award for 2009:

Read more ...

NEW YORK — A theme is emerging from the flood of recent corporate earnings reports: Cost cuts are boosting profits.

Investors are cheering, but they shouldn't. Even in these tough times, more CEOs should be talking about how they are seeking out investments, developing new technologies and making acquisitions.

That's what will set their companies up for a stronger future.

 

Read more ...

Oct 23 (BusinessWire) – The Government’s has unveiled an important chunk of its slowly emerging innovation agenda today with the publication of proposals to radically simplify funding for scientific research by the Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Wayne Mapp.

“The changes we will deliver in the next six to nine months are arguably the most significant in 10 to 15 years” in science policy and will be a centre-piece of the 2010 Budget, Mapp told BusinessWire in an exclusive interview.

Bearing the heavy stamp, as well as the credibility, of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser, Professor Peter Gluckman from the University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute, the feedback paper proposes trimming to fewer, more strategic “priority areas” of RS&T investment. The proposals relate mainly to the funds administered by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, the Health Research Council and the Royal Society of New Zealand. These relate mainly to Crown Research Institute funding.

Read more ...