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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.

Here are two items about Israel's enormous success in the sphere of technological innovation. Dan Senor, co-author of Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle, talks about the book's findings in this transcribed telephone conversation and this short video clip. Business success is not likely to do the country's reputation any good with many of its critics, and with some of them it will only confirm their prejudices. But letting this be how it may - in the phone call with Jeffrey Goldberg, Senor identifies amongst the problems for 'entrepreneurial culture' in the Arab world...

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ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®) today announced that the Innovation Movement, in partnership with, the community-based tee shirt company, is launching a new design challenge inspired by innovation. The winner, whose design will be produced for retail, will receive a free trip to the 2010 International CES in Las Vegas and a host of other prizes.

Designers are asked to depict technology innovations of the past, present or future, depending on how they are inspired by the challenge. The national grassroots Innovation Movement has mobilized more than 35,000 Americans in support of innovation-friendly public policies such as international trade, alternative energy and broadband, that advance the U.S. innovation economy.

“Design, creativity and imagination are inherent in the innovation process,” said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. “We’re excited to see how the Threadless design community envisions innovation as an aspect of technological invention, economic change and public policy.”
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Just in time for their big 4th birthday celebration this week in Berkeley, Kiva announced yesterday that they had officially hit $100,000,000 in loans. In a blog post on the site, President Premal Shah said that the group had hit the milestone with donations from 584,189 lenders.

This is a huge accomplishment. The level of engagement that Kiva has engendered and the excitement around the model are a major force for good in the social entrepreneurship space. Despite recent questions about marketing practices, Kiva has helped average people participate in a newer model of international development that, if no panecea, has much to recommend it.
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Rick Smith is the founder of World 50, a very exclusive senior networking site for Fortune 500 companies. The website is pretty cool, very, very minimalistic.

He recently published a book, The Leap: How 3 Simple Changes Can Propel Your Career from Good to Great, that attacks the idea of entrepreneurship being related to risk. Using several case studies, the Girl Scouts, Live Aid, and Fortune 100 companies, Smith argues that successful entrepreneurs do not risk it all. They keep their day jobs while starting a business at night. Very little gambling occurs. The book is full of behind the scenes tales, all leading to the same point, risk sucks. But how to aviod it? Let us teach you how to start a business with no risk!
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People have asked me over the years how to know when a business is worth pursuing. How to know whether or not you are wasting your time.

I don’t know why this is such a difficult question for people to answer.

It is obvious to me that if you are passionate about your company, deeply passionate about it, like a love affair, then it’s worth pursuing whether you’ve got it down or not.
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When the team at Twitter Inc. hatched the idea of producing a mobile device dedicated to “tweeting” they contacted Jonathan Kaplan, founder of a gadget company that experienced one of the most successful exits for venture investors in 2009.

The TwitterPeek Kaplan, who sold Flip camera maker Pure Digital Technologies Inc. to Cisco Systems Inc. for $590 million in stock, told the team the man to talk to was Amol Sarva.

Sarva is the founder of Peek Inc., a company that coincidentally aims to be the Pure Digital of mobile email. The company builds a sleek, simple, affordable gadget that allows people to send or receive email.
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CHICAGO--(Business Wire)-- A new book by two leading experts on innovation from Chicago explores some of the surprising new ways that large companies create innovative new businesses. The book, Grow from Within: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation, published by McGraw-Hill reflects six years of research and provides a hands-on guide to finding the right approaches.

The authors, Robert C. Wolcott and Michael J. Lippitz, are leading authorities on innovation and corporate entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and have worked with scores of large corporations on developing and implementing new business creation capabilities. Their 2006 article on The Four Models of Corporate Entrepreneurship for Sloan Business Review is still one of the site`s most often downloaded.

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An entrepreneur is someone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. An entrepreneur is an agent of change. Entrepreneurship is the process of discovering new ways of combining resources. When the market value generated by this new combination of resources is greater than the market value these resources can generate elsewhere individually or in some other combination, the entrepreneur makes a profit. An entrepreneur who takes the resources necessary to produce a pair of jeans that can be sold for thirty dollars and instead turns them into a denim backpack that sells for fifty dollars will earn a profit by increasing the value those resources create. This comparison is possible because in competitive resource markets, an entrepreneur’s costs of production are determined by the prices required to bid the necessary resources away from alternative uses. Those prices will be equal to the value that the resources could create in their next-best alternate uses. Because the price of purchasing resources measures this opportunity cost— the value of the forgone alternatives—the profit entrepreneurs make reflects the amount by which they have increased the value generated by the resources under their control.

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The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry to permit all payments for royalty, lumpsum fee for transfer of technology, payments for use of trademark/brand name on the automatic route without any restrictions, and subject to FEMA (Current Account Transaction) Rules, 2000. To get the information about the nature/details of technology and the amount paid for it, a suitable post reporting requirement would be devised within three months in consultation with Department of Economic Affairs and Reserve Bank of India.

Hitherto, automatic approval was permitted for foreign technology transfers involving payment of lumpsum fee of US$ 2 million and royalty of 5% on domestic sales and 8% on exports. Beyond these limits, prior permission of the Government of India (Project Approval Board) was required. In addition, where there is no technology transfer involved, royalty upto 2% for exports and 1% for domestic sales is allowed under automatic route on use of trademarks and brand names of the foreign collaborator. 8062 approvals have been granted for technology collaborations since 1991 to June 2009.

With the Government’s further liberalization, the move is expected to freely promote the transfer of state of art technology into the country.

Original Press Release

Chicago, IL - As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to revive local economies, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today visited a job training center in Chicago benefiting from private sector investments made through the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. As part of his visit, Geithner announced $5 billion in NMTC awards, including $1.5 billion made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), for more than 90 organizations in communities around the country.

“We must rebuild our economy on a firmer foundation, one that equips our workers with the skills and education they need to compete,” said Secretary Geithner. “We must make sure that the advantages of this new, stronger economy are broadly shared. Too often, communities are left behind by economic growth. The Recovery Act and the New Markets Tax Credit program help break this vicious cycle to ensure the benefits of growth reaches all corners of the country.”

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The day is finally here, and we’re excited to announce the winners of the 2009 Intranet Innovation Awards! These are global awards that celebrate new ideas and innovative approaches to the enhancement and delivery of intranets. Winning entries in 2009 include CRS Australia (Australia), IDEO (USA), IBM (USA), SunGard (USA/NZ), NYK Group (UK), Sabre (USA), COWI (Denmark), ChTPZ (Russia), Prophet (USA) and AEP (USA).

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(Fortune magazine) -- First and foremost, Steve Jobs is an entrepreneur. And that is how history will long remember him. Not primarily as a fiduciary or an institution builder or an administrator (though he has worn all those hats), but rather as an individual who relentlessly pursued new opportunities.

From the first Apple computers to the breakthrough innovations of the past eight years -- the iPod, iTunes, the iPhone, and his Apple stores -- he has chased new possibilities without being deterred by whatever obstacles he encountered.

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Will Seek General Assembly Approval to Expand Tax Credit Allocations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber and Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr today announced the names of the six selected venture capital firms and two alternates named to participate in the TNInvestco program. They are:

• Tennessee Community Ventures Fund, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee. 
• XMi High Growth Development Fund, LLC, Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
• Limestone Fund, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee.
• Tri-Star Technology Fund, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee.
• Innova Fund II, LP, Memphis, Tennessee.
• Council & Enhanced Tennessee Fund, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee.


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The U.S. is in deeper trouble than I thought, if Warren Buffett is right. In proclaiming an “all-in wager on the economic future of the United States, Buffett just paid $44 billion for a 19th century technology platform, a railroad, that carries 20th century goods—coal, agriculture, imports from Asia, petroleum. This is a vision of an America mired in the past and in economic and political decline.

And Buffett just might be right. He has a great track record betting against innovation. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, is famous for investing in insurance companies and utilities, and avoiding high tech and innovative corporations. Its stock is up 84% over the past decade, while the S&P 500 is down by 18%.

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I can’t play poker, but I do enjoy watching it on TV. We’re in the middle of the 2009 World Series of Poker, an event that draws thousands of professional and amateur players to Las Vegas every year. The grand finale is the Main Event, a massive Texas Hold ’Em tournament with thousands of players and millions of dollars for the winner.

Tournament poker used to be the province of professionals. But starting a few years ago, a huge wave of amateurs has invaded the game. As a result, of the thousands of entrants into the Main Event, only a few hundred are real pros.

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People forget how small Israel is. Its entire population is a little over 7 million -- smaller than Lima, Peru. Its land area is about 8,000 square miles, smaller than New Jersey. By comparison, Jordan, its neighbor to the east, occupies 35,000 square miles; Egypt, to the West, covers 386,000 square miles.

There are more than 20 Arab states with a combined population of 325 million, and more than 50 majority-Muslim states with a combined population of well over a billion. By contrast, Israel is the world's only Jewish-majority state -- and 20 percent of its population is Arab, most of them Muslim.


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Today we are beginning to accept nominations for the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, which will take place in Washington, D.C. next spring.

This event is the direct result of President Obama’s speech in Cairo last June.

In that speech, the President sought to establish a new beginning built on the basis of mutual respect, the pursuit of partnerships in areas of mutual interest, and the shared principles and aspirations that bring us together as human beings.

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Motley Fool Holdings Inc. this week announced it raised $25 million in venture financing. Good for The Fool.

But pulling back the curtain, there’s more than just a simple round of financing here. The deal points to creative ways in which venture firms are finding liquidity other than the standard acquisitions, IPOs and secondary sales.

The funding comes from mezzanine investor BIA Digital Partners and growth investor Patriot Capital, new shareholders in the online investing site. Motley Fool’s early investors - venture firms Maveron and Mayfield Fund, which invested during the dot-com bubble - and secondary firm Saints Capital, which bought shares in 2005, did not reinvest. Instead, they will eventually be bought out.

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Google Inc. Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has snapped up Bay Area talent for years, first as an executive at Sun Microsystems Inc., then as CEO of computer maker Novell Inc. and now as the 54-year-old boss at Google.

The hiring has been particularly fast and furious at the Internet search giant, which has grown to more than 19,600 employees world-wide. Roughly a third of those workers live in the Bay Area, according to Google.

Google recruits from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, among other places, and has set off hiring wars with rivals such as Microsoft Corp. Now Google is poised to beef up its work force again as the tech industry comes out of a recession and workers remain plentiful amid high unemployment rates in Silicon Valley.


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Can prize competitions propel energy and climate technology the way they have space technology? The recent proliferation of contests with ample rewards suggests that many people think they can.

Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Group, said he would award $25 million to someone who develops a method to sequester enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to stabilize the climate.

Have an idea for contest to drive energy or climate innovation? Leave a comment or drop us a line at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The X Prize Foundation is offering $10 million to the developers of a commercially viable car that gets at least 100 miles per gallon.

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