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.

Last week the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the Science Coalition launched a new Web site, ScienceWorksForUS, to track academic research funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The site will allow the public to search a database to see which universities have received stimulus funding and to learn about the research that is being conducted at those campuses. The White House also continues to track stimulus spending at the Web site.

Plugged.In[Guest article by Pavan Krishnamurthy, Partner at Ojas Venture Partners. This article is a must read for entrepreneurs who wants to understand the due diligence process.]

Many first time entrepreneurs may not fully understand about the due diligence process followed by VC’s or what to expect during the diligence phase. This post makes an attempt to demystify the VC due diligence process and provide a list of typical questions for which VC’s would be seeking answers during the due diligence process.

Before we get into what actually happens in a due diligence phase, it would be good to understand the investment decision making process followed within a VC fund. Depending on the size/focus of the fund, a typical fund on an average receives anywhere from 50 to 75 business plans per month. All the plans received are logged into a deal database. In most funds, deals logged into the deal database are discussed in the weekly deal-flow meetings. Typically, deals go through the phases of preliminary meeting, preliminary diligence, internal discussion, detailed diligence and final decision.
Read more ...

NYTON Oct. 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday of November to be a national holiday of Thanksgiving. That came just over a year after Lincoln made another more historic proclamation, one that directly concerned my family and their future: the Emancipation Proclamation, which had freed the enslaved in any territory “in rebellion.”

These two proclamations are visually conjoined in a stereograph made about the same time that is familiar to students of the American South. Taken by Henry P. Moore, it shows African-Americans at work on a plantation on Edisto Island, off South Carolina. They are captured in attitudes of deep concentration, posed with hoes in hands or seated around a large basket, preparing to plant. They are described as new freemen or escaped slaves — and the tubers that they are planting are alternately labeled sweet potatoes or yams.
Read more ...

Harvard Business School (HBS) says that it will hold a new business plan competition open to HBS alumni from all over the world. Qualified ventures will compete for a cash prize of $25,000.

The contest—which was formally announced online by the business school’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and Alumni Relations—will be open to teams that have at least one HBS alumnus. The business school said on its website that more than half of HBS alumni consider themselves to be entrepreneurs, and the school hopes that this competition, called the Alumni New Venture Contest, will become an annual event.
Read more ...

fast companyAccording to a new survey on global innovation conducted by Newsweek and Intel, the United States is suffering from a serious self-esteem problem. The online questionnaire, conducted between Sept. 28 and Oct. 13 of this year, polled 4,800 adults in the U.S., China, Germany, and the U.K. about thoughts on the world's innovation leaders.

To start, the graph below shows that while more than 70% of Americans think the U.S. is a technologically innovative country, only 41% think that the United States is staying ahead of China on innovation. Meanwhile, more than 80% of the Chinese think that the U.S. is innovative and is staying ahead of China on innovation. It seems the world has gotten the recession blues--no one believes in themselves anymore.
Read more ...

The recent opening of the Shady Grove Life Sciences Park in Rockville provides another sign that Montgomery County is ready to become what some already call a "biotech version of Silicon Valley." The county where researchers helped decode the human genome is already home to more than 200 biotechnology companies, including many that make high-tech medicines called biologics.

Last year, biotech in the county generated combined revenues of $2.36 billion, according to the county's department of economic development, and employed more than 58,000 workers in private and public sectors. Yet the great promise of medical biotech for patients and for the Maryland economy is threatened by a little-noticed provision of health care reform: a provision that outlines the means for companies to sell similar versions of innovative biologics, called "biosimilars." In attempting to create a pathway for biosimilars, Congress must be careful not to kill the innovation behind the development of original new drugs.
Read more ...

Kanak Gogoi, a 12th passed entrepreneur from Guwahati, has over a dozen innovations, from gravity-operated bicycle to a car which can run on air. But he regrets the government's negligence towards scientific innovations, and refuses to commercialize any of his creations.

Gogoi said, "Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offered to build a fully furnished lab for me in Guwahati. The Chief Minister had granted me about 1.6 acres of land in 2007, but the file is still lying untouched at the local administrative office."
Read more ...

EntrepreneurIt's not all bad news on the financing front. Here are the top trends for 2010 and how to make the most of them.

There's no sugarcoating it: Raising money for your startup won't get much easier in 2010, since the capital market for early-stage investments is still reeling from the effects of the recession.

But there is still money out there and there are better (and worse) ways to pursue it. Here's how to make the best of the leading trends for 2010:
Read more ...

NYTOffice work, filled with overflowing e-mail inboxes and pointless meetings, could be a lot more efficient and productive. One start-up, Asana, is trying to fix the problem. How? Well, that is still a secret.

Asana was founded last December by Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook, and Justin Rosenstein, an engineering manager at Facebook, after they left the company. Since then, they have built a bare-bones Web site and, they claim, a product that will change the way we work, though they are not yet ready to explain how.
Read more ...

CNNMoneyCorporate venture capital is one of the corners of the VC world that runs extremely hot and cold. When the startup world is gathering interest and money, practically every large company – even some small outfits – trots out its own venture investment group. But just as fast as they pile in with their corporate cash, the suits also run for the exits when times get dicey.

Take the previous tech boom-and-bust cycle. As the ‘90s ended and this decade began, corporate VC investment in startups soared from $468 million at the end of 1998 to $6.2 billion at the beginning of 2000, according to Thomson Reuters.
Read more ...

NYT: GreenMeeting the challenges of global climate change will require a more open and collaborative approach to technology innovation, according to a new report from two public policy groups focused on clean energy and development strategies.

The report — a joint effort of the Clean Energy Group and the Meridian Institute — encourages the creation of a “distributed innovation” model for renewable energy and other green technology development.
Read more ...

WSJWith more people emailing and fewer people sending physical mail in recent years, the U.S. Postal Service is taking steps to move into the digital world – and using a venture-backed company to do so.

Goodmail Systems Inc. has partnered with Epostmarks Inc. to launch a product, Postmarked Email, that has the approval and protection of the U.S. Postal Service.

The deal will essentially make emails handled by this service the legal equivalent of physical mail. That’s important for businesses that are seeking to cut the costs of physical mail while also improving communication with customers and become more environmentally friendly.
Read more ...

TPM LiveWireThe White House issued the following statement regarding President Obama's launch of the "Educate To Innovate" campaign for excellence in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Here's the full text:

President Obama today launched the "Educate to Innovate" campaign, a nationwide effort to help reach the administration's goal of moving American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade.

Speaking to key leaders of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) community and local students, President Obama announced a series of high-powered partnerships involving leading companies, foundations, non-profits, and science and engineering societies dedicated to motivating and inspiring young people across America to excel in science and math.
Read more ...

(11-23) 11:54 PST -- Here is my [Michael Friedenberg]  countdown of the top 10 trends to watch in 2010:

10. Social media is a reality. Drives more GRC headaches as we see it unfold on Facebook.

9. Desktop in question. Win7, desktop virtualization, netbooks, thin-client, refresh cycle. Who wins?

8. Where will nxt Heartland-style breach hit? How safe R U?

7. IT budgets flat in the U.S. but "flat is the new up."

6. Windows 7 exceeds expectations, Vista just a bad memory. Did it really happen?

5. SaaS, cloud, virt, open source, social media, netbooks, mobile, etc. offer new alternatives, gain broad acceptance.

Read more ...

Equity financing has never been easy to source in Canada. But now it's getting worse.

Statistics from the Canadian Venture Capital Association show venture investing in the third quarter of 2009 fell 50% from the previous year, to just $191-million. In fact, total venture-capital investments could fall below the $1-billion mark this year for the first time since 1995– the year Netscape went public and kicked off the Internet gold rush.

But there is hope. The recession is easing, more Canadian cleantech companies are emerging, and the strengthening initial public offering market is restoring venture capitalists' hopes for more successful "exits" from investments. (Ironically, the company that breathed new life into the IPO market last month is Dollarama, the low-end retail giant that's the very antithesis of most VCs' ideal investment.)
Read more ...

IndependentIRELAND has dropped out of the top 20 best countries for venture capital and private equity investment because of credit shortages and the lack of modern industries, according to a report by the Spanish-based IESE Business School and Ernst & Young.

The country fell to 21st place this year from 16th last year in a survey of 66 countries because business in Ireland is dominated by the retail, leisure and construction sectors rather than the new industries favoured by venture capitalists and private investors, the report said.
Read more ...

CNBC network, which aired an interview with Dan Senor about his book entitled “Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle”

The interviewer opens by presenting Senor, formerly a foreign policy adviser in the Bush administration, and asking him to sum up what his book is about.
Read more ...

UPIWASHINGTON, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- NASA says it has selected 368 small business innovation projects for development from among more than 1,600 proposals.

The projects -- designed to address the space agency's technology needs -- include research to minimize the aging of aircraft, new techniques for suppressing fires on spacecraft and advanced transmitters for deep space communications.
Read more ...