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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.

Immigrant EntrepreneursImmigrants start thousands of businesses in the U.S. every year. But not all immigrant populations demonstrate a great appetite for entrepreneurship.

Immigrants from Mexico, for example, own more businesses in the U.S. than immigrants from any other country, according to a study published last year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. But that dominance is only because there are far more immigrants from Mexico in the U.S. than from any other nation.

Only 6.5% of the Mexican immigrant population own businesses here, compared with 9.5% of the U.S.-born population, the study says.

A Korean immigrant, on the other hand, is more than twice as likely to own a business. Koreans also represent the second-largest number of immigrant business owners here.
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ChangeOver the course of the next week, I'll be posting my predictions of the top trends that will shape social entrepreneurship in 2009. The week after, I will release a list of the top moments of the previous decade 2000-2009 in social entrepreneurship. I've got a pretty good idea of what my list is going to look like, but I'm interested in getting more recommendations.

For those of you willing to help, I'd love if you used the comments on this post to leave your best suggestions. I can't guarantee that everything will make it into my list, but I'll certainly take the time to look at everything people post.
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Inspiration InboxEntrepreneurship is the art of finding profitable solutions to problems. Every successful entrepreneur or business person has been able to identify a problem and come up with a solution to it before someone else did. Here are the five rules for success.

1. Find a Need and Fill It
Human needs and wants are unlimited. Therefore, the opportunities for entrepreneurship and financial success are unlimited as well. The only constraint on the business opportunities available to you are the limits you place on your own imagination.

2. Find a Problem and Solve It
Wherever there is a widespread and unsolved customer problem, there is an opportunity for you to start and build a successful business.

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Global Business and Tech Leaders Urge Chinese Government Not to Proceed with Policy

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SIIA President Ken Wasch joined a strong contingent of business and technology association leaders from Japan, Korea, India, Canada, Europe and the US in expressing deep concerns with China's Indigenous Innovation Product System in a letter delivered to the Chinese government today:

"We are deeply troubled by the actions of the Chinese government in November that would implement an Indigenous Innovation Product Accreditation system," Wasch stated. "Implementation of this system will restrict China's capacity for innovation, impose onerous and discriminatory requirements on companies seeking to sell into the Chinese government procurement market, and contravene multiple commitments of China's leadership to resist trade and investment protectionism and promote open government procurement policies."

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WSJMost Alternative Fuel Technologies Have Roots in Long-Ago Discoveries; Scarcity of 'Killer Apps' Slows Progress

PEORIA, Ariz. -- As light filled the sky on a recent morning here, a handful of giant mirrored dishes were being prepared to track the sun and ultimately feed solar-generated electricity into the Phoenix area.

High-tech marvels, the solar dishes look like three-story-tall mirrored flowers atop steel stems. But at the heart of each dish is a very old-fashioned invention: a Stirling engine, patented by a Scotsman in 1816, decades before the diesel or internal combustion engine.

The cutting edge of renewable energy is littered with long-established ideas such as the Stirling. From generating power from the wind to harvesting liquid fuel from algae, some of today's most promising new technologies are actually quite old.
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Washington ExaminerMontgomery County's elected officials said Thursday they plan to create new tax credits and "enhance the environment for entrepreneurship" to boost the county's once-vaunted -- but now lagging -- biosciences industry.

Bioscience has long been a pillar of the county's economy. Montgomery County is home to the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration and its main artery, Interstate 270, has been dubbed "DNA alley" because of the numerous public and private biotech companies that surround it.

But county business and political leaders said they county isn't attracting new businesses at the rate it should and is losing out to competitors, both worldwide and local. Last month, rival Fairfax County announced the creation of a major genetics research institute expected to bring in more than 500 high-paying jobs.
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PatentPatent filings fell in 2009 for the first time in 13 years, worrying Silicon Valley that it is losing its place as the leader in global innovation.

NEW YORK ( -- U.S. innovation slowed this year for the first time in 13 years as the recession cut into budgets, and costs to protect inventions rose.

The number of patent filings in the United States fell 2.3% in 2009 to 485,500 from 496,886 last year, according to a preliminary estimate by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. That makes 2009 the first year since 1996 in which businesses and inventors filed fewer patents year over year.

"That's unfortunate because [patent filings] are a reflection of innovation," said David Kappos, director of the Patent Office. "Innovation creates so many jobs and so much opportunity for our country. It is absolutely key to our long-term success in the global economy."
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Tampa BayTwo national business organizations had differing views on the latest bill to make it through the U.S. House of Representatives.

TechAmerica, which represents approximately 1,500 member companies of the U.S. technology industry, applauded House Resolution 4213 — more commonly known as The Tax Extenders Act of 2009 — because it extends the current research and development tax credit for another year.

“The R&D credit is an investment in high-paying jobs for hardworking Americans,” said TechAmerica president Phil Bond in a release. “With similar action in the Senate, companies can proceed with assurance that the credit will be there one more year.”
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alldaybuffetThe world of business is changing. Consumers are demanding more — more value, more quality, more responsibility — and more companies are striving to keep up.

As information becomes more transparent, people are starting to realize that brands are not siloed and that businesses touch many parts of our world and society. A bank is no longer just a bank; it’s an international institution that can directly affect our daily lives (and livelihoods), which mean its operations are important to us.

The more a business remains an opaque brand, the bigger the disconnect between what it says and what it does. What’s happening between the product factory in China and the glossy ad in Wired Magazine? The second there’s a misalignment of mission and action; it’ll invariably lead to consumer mistrust, resulting in people heading elsewhere to fill their needs around genuine authenticity.
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ZDNet“The problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur,” is a quote often attributed to President George W. Bush. Although there is little evidence that he did say it, it has a Yogi Berra quality to it that seems to fit a widely held perception that the French have little use for the word.

That seems to be changing, and the French seem to be rediscovering ‘entrepreneur’ and reclaiming it, because the quality of the French startups we (Traveling Geeks) have been meeting with all week, has been very good.

Although it seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon and one that relies on a compelling mix of government programs and tax breaks, nevertheless it appears to be bearing fruit. While many countries have tried to encourage the formation of startups through various incentives, the French might have gotten the mix just right.
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China BusinessThe term "The Silicon Valley of China" is thrown around a lot these days. Starting in the northwest of Beijing, just outside the fourth ring road, Zhongguancun makes claim to the name "China's Silicon Valley," having been the home base of search-engine Baidu, computer maker Lenovo and IT company Sina since each company's founding. This is, of course, not to be mistaken for "Silicon Valley in Paradise," the Hangzhou government's description of their hometown, where business-to-business online marketplace Alibaba and a host of other startups were born.

Many of the features that make the real Silicon Valley what it is today are, however, noticeably far removed from China's contenders. Nasdaq, the primary listings vehicle for Chinese tech companies, has its main China office in Shanghai, as does the Silicon Valley Bank, a major source of capital and know-how for technology companies.
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MIT SloanTraditionally, we have tended to think of businesses (or individuals who then start businesses) as the principal source of innovative new products or services in a market economy. But, in a thought-provoking new working paper, Carliss Y. Baldwin of Harvard Business School and Eric von Hippel of the MIT Sloan School of Management argue that sources of innovation are changing in today’s economy.

In particular, the professors make the case that, as a result of declining design and communication costs and increasing use of modular design architectures, two other types of innovation are competitive in more and more situations. Those two types? Innovation by users and open collaborative innovation projects (like open source software projects, for example).
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By Trent Batson
Web 2.0, named in 2004, was the cultural tipping point when virtualization or cloud computing became the emerging default throughout our society and therefore on campus: Though this moment is, and will be understood decades from now to be, the end of one human era--when the entire thrust of knowledge-making was toward permanence and individual authority--and the beginning of another when the entire thrust of knowledge-making is toward conversation and consensus authority, few have any sense of the true disrupted equilibrium we live within every day.

Web 2.0 is probably better described as the global renaissance of the collective conscious, the flowering of the Platonic ideal and the Aristotelian pragmatic, because now, post-2.0, when only the failure of imagination stands in the way of learning and communication, we are experiencing a flowering of knowledge never known before.

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We have been asked to relay to the broad scientific community the following opportunity to advise US government policymaking deliberations.
You can read the latest updates at:

The Obama Administration is seeking public input on policies concerning access to publicly-funded research results, such as those that appear in academic and scholarly journal articles. Currently, the National Institutes of Health require that research funded by its grants be made available to the public online at no charge within 12 months of publication. The Administration is seeking views as to whether this policy should be extended to other science agencies and, if so, how it should be implemented.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President and the White House Open Government Initiative are launching a "Public Access Policy Forum" to invite public participation in thinking through what the Federal government's policy should be with regard to public access to published federally-funded research results.

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Arctic1. Trying to raise money too late
Raising money is time consuming. Count with an absolute minimum of 3 months, with a more likely scenario being 5 – 7 months.

2. Trying to raise money too early
There should be a logical relationship between the perceived value of the company in need of cash and the amount of cash to be raised. Trying to raise significant sums simply based on an idea usually fails, which leads us to point 3 below:

3. Lacking a realistic assessment of the companys’ value
Some entrepreneurs seem unaware of what drives value and ignore the importance of building some form of substance before approaching investors.

4. Not building enough substance before approaching investors
Investors tend to look at the following factors when determining the value of a venture:
• Team, advisory board and board of directors
• Strategic partnerships
• Customers and customer value
• Prototype/proof of concept
• Immaterial rights/protection
• Scaleability and market potential


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Speaker PelosiWASHINGTON, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after the House passed the Tax Extenders Act of 2009, which will help to create jobs and cut taxes for American middle-class families. The House passed the bill by a vote of 241 to 181.

"Today, Congress took another positive step forward in our drive to create more jobs, strengthen our economy, and lay the foundation for long-term prosperity. By passing the Tax Extenders Act, we are placing our working families at the center of our economic recovery.

"This legislation is good for businesses, good for homeowners, and good for our communities. The bill extends research and development tax credits for American companies, encouraging them to invest in innovation and clean energy, and create the high-tech jobs of the 21st century. It provides property tax relief to 30 million families, ensures our men and women called to serve overseas do not face a pay cut here at home, and offers some security for millions of parents, teachers, and consumers by extending deductions for college tuition, classroom expenses, and state and local sales taxes.

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 5,000 employees from U.S. companies focused on research and development today called on Congress to immediately extend and make permanent the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit set to expire on December 31, 2009. The employees represent 135 different companies of all sizes, located in 45 different U.S. states, in a diverse range of industries from information technology and aviation to manufacturing and pharmaceutical.

Seventy percent or more of the benefits of the R&D tax credit go to pay the wages and salaries of U.S. workers performing research in the United States, according to a 2008 Ernst & Young study commissioned by the R&D Credit Coalition. Letting the credit expire at the end of the year would put 120,000 U.S. jobs at risk and cost $45 million in lost economic activity, according to a report released last month by TechAmerica.

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There is a lot that a venture capitalist considers before signing a check for a start-up company. In addition to presenting a solid business plan, a step-by-step commercialization strategy and a solid understanding of the market, Mark Suster, partner of GRP Partners in Los Angeles, suggests on that there are five skills that an entrepreneur must have before he signs a check.

Suster lists tenacity as the first must-have skill, adding, “Tenacity is probably the most important attribute in an entrepreneur. It’s the person who never gives up — who never accepts ‘no’ for an answer. The world is filled with doubters who say that things can’t be done and then pronounce after the fact that they ‘knew it all along.’ Look at Google. You think that anybody really believed 1999 that two young kids out of Stanford had a shot at unseating Yahoo!, Excite, Ask Jeeves and Lycos? Yeah, right.”
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TechDirtIt's time for our third UPS-sponsored whiteboard video, explaining some of the topics we discuss around here in two minutes or less. As you might remember, the first explained the economics of abundance and the second discussed the innovator's dilemma. This third one is about the difference between invention and innovation, and the process from getting from the first to the second, using one particular product as an example:


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WSJEvery serious person should welcome the president's proposals to lift the dormant economy and reduce unemployment. Not because every serious person would agree with them but because they are a clear test of how a left-wing government would run the American economy.

If this works, hats off to them and we become France. If not, Americans may finally dump left-wing economics into the ash heap of history, starting next November and then in the next presidential election, which can't come soon enough.
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