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.
Interview: Vinod Khosla Is On The Hunt For Great Technologies
In venture capital, Vinod Khosla likes to go his own way, which is why he’s been so successful. He was the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems, and then moved to venture capital and became a star partner at Kleiner Perkins, where he backed Juniper Networks, Cerent (sold to Cisco for $7 billion) and NexGen (sold to AMD and formed the basis for its challenge to Intel). About five years ago, after becoming a billionaire, he left Kleiner and started Khosla Ventures to invest his own money. He was mostly drawn to clean tech at a time before it was popular, but still kept his hand in Web and other tech startups (Aliph|Jawbone, iSkoot, RingCentral, Tapulous, iLike, Slide, Xobni). Khosla Ventures already has more than 50 companies in its portfolio (see slides below).
Nurturing high-tech business
FAIRMONT — At an upcoming conference, people from the state and beyond can learn how to grow their capacity through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.
The 2009 Mid-Atlantic SBIR/STTR Conference is scheduled for Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown. The West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation’s INNOVA Commercialization Group and the West Virginia Development Office are hosting the event. Judy McCauley, district director of the SBA’s West Virginia District Office, is serving as an adviser during the planning.
WSJ: Where Are They Now?
For technology innovators, there's the "Eureka!" moment and then there's the business of putting discoveries to work. Here's a look at how some winners from last year—plus the top winner from 2007—have fared since we recognized their achievements.
WSJ: The Wall Street Journal 2009 Technical Innovation Awards
Just how difficult it is gets highlighted every time an infectious disease sweeps the globe, as the new strain of swine flu did earlier this year. Current methods of testing for disease-causing microbes are pretty effective at discovering whether an infected fluid or tissue sample contains a known virus or bacteria. But trying to detect previously unknown organisms is a whole different story.
The Top Five Reads For Your Back To School Social Entrepreneur
Going back to school is always a mixed bag. On the one hand, it's a chance to check in with friends, to get back to the activities you love, and to feel one year older and at least one year cooler. On the other hand, it's school, and even for those of us who love learning, school can be a drag. So this year, let's follow Mark Twain's example when he said "I never let my schooling interfere with my education." Here are the top five extracurricular reads for you high school and college social entrepreneurs.
WSJ: How Well Do You Know… Innovation?
Innovation is what keeps technology interesting—and useful. Gadgets keep getting flashier, applications are constantly emerging to address life’s everyday annoyances, and businesses rely on new technologies to keep up with, or ahead of, the competition. See how much you know about some of the latest innovations and the ways they’re affecting people and businesses:
Emerging Technologies Thrive in Canada
The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today recognized Systèmes d’Énergie et Propulsion EPS Inc. as a Canadian Innovation Leader for developing high-tech electronic-propulsion solutions for cyclists, linking scientific research to commercialization, jobs, and economic growth.
A Canadian Innovation Leader is a small- or medium-sized enterprise (SME) that demonstrates specific advances in research and development within its industrial sector. The National research Council of Canada (NRC) created the Canadian Innovation Leader Certificate Program to recognize Canadian firms that have successfully developed and applied innovative technologies.
WSJ: The Daily Start-Up: VCs Watch Their College Funds Wither
Less Endowed - University endowments are significant contributors to venture capital funds, but the financial crisis has exposed weaknesses in these schools’ investments and shrunk their coffers. This is illustrated by reports yesterday from two of the wealthiest, Harvard University and Yale University, which each stated that their endowments tumbled 30%, school records, in the year ended June 30. That’s due in part to their investments in private equity (which includes venture capital) - Harvard, for instance, reported (opens PDF document) that its investments in private equity funds, which generally represent about 13% of its now $26 billion endowment, fell almost 32%. Yale’s commitment to PE is much larger at 20%. Harvard has already said it would reduce its allocation to private equity overall, though it’s not clear how much these schools will adjust their commitments specifically to venture capital. Other wealthy schools, including Stanford, have recorded similar losses, illustrating how the VC industry will have less money to play with.
launching a startup over just one weekend
What if I told you there is an a event where designers, developers, entrepreneurs and other innovators gather to network, share resources and ultimately launch startups over the course of a weekend?
Now imagine it’s not just a one-time event…but actually happens throughout the year and in cites across the globe!
Angel Finance: An Entrepreneurs Guide
Angel finance is fast becoming a popular option for many South African entrepreneurs. With the global banking crises meaning that banks are becoming more choosy with their bank loans and business finance business owners with viable business plans are opting for both funding and expertise from business angels. If you've missed our previous blog on what Angel investors are, click here
Swiss Precision Meets Messy Innovation
The Swiss love precision. You can see it in their watches and reliable trains. You can see it in their founding myth, the story of William Tell. He had to shoot an apple that was sitting on his son's head to gain his freedom, and his success sparked a rebellion that led to the formation of the Swiss Confederation. High stakes! In recent decades, Switzerland has been known for banking services. After the financial meltdown, it became obvious to many inside the country that Switzerland needed to innovate very rapidly to create the wealth-generating companies of the future. But innovation is a messy business, the opposite of cold precision. How is the Swiss startup scene managing to square this circle? I recently spent a few days in Zurich to find out.
The Beatles and Innovation
The Beatles were innovators, and they did it the old-fashioned way: they used templates. They were two-way innovators, using a mix of PROBLEM-TO-SOLUTION and SOLUTION-TO-PROBLEM innovation. The Beatles were corporate innovators who created immense fortunes for their shareholders. They used structured methods, experimentation, and technology the same way Fortune 500 companies create new products and services. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other artist. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked them number one in its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and four of their albums appeared in the top ten of the magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. The Beatles' innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today. The Beatles were collectively included in Time magazine's list of The Most Important People of the 20th Century. How were they so effective?
Nurturing the innovation reef
Marine biologists don’t fully understand what causes reefs to form, but we do know that human actions can nurture or harm the process. The same is true for innovation—a natural, chaotic, unpredictable process that is hard, perhaps even impossible, for well-meaning outsiders to foster.
Florida is trying again with venture capital
TAMPA - Things didn't go well the last time Florida dipped its toe into the venture capital world.
The much-maligned CAPCO program was designed to boost small technology businesses in Florida and create high-tech jobs but instead appears to have resulted in the loss of hundreds of jobs, a report on the program said.
WSJ: An Invasion Of Start-Ups From Outer Space
We often cover investments in start-ups operating in cyberspace, but outer-space deals are nearly non-existent.
Imagine a potential investor trying to keep a straight face when an entrepreneur says the market reach of their business spans…galaxies.
SBIR Reauthorization Redux? No Such Luck.
Here we are -- just a few days from expiration of the third SBIR Reauthorization Continuing Resolution. Is there any hope for resolution by the end of the month? Nope.
Word from behind the scenes is that discussions are pretty much at a standstill. Staffers on the various Committees are standing firm on their bosses' positions. Provisions to significantly open up eligibility, provide special preferences having nothing to do with technology, eliminate the Phase I vetting process, have multiple Phase II awards possible, and increase funding caps without increasing the funding base just aren't going away. There's as much spirit of compromise here as there is on the health care debate. Nada. Zilch.
Do You Speak Global Innovation?
We at ReadWriteWeb believe that innovation is a global business (as we noted in an earlier post on the Global Innovation Graph). The "death of distance" - the notion that the Internet makes location irrelevant - may be an exaggeration. Face to face always matters, and that will happen where hubs of expertise and capital emerge. Silicon Valley will likely remain the uber-hub for a long time. But the Internet does dramatically make it possible for an entrepreneur to start from anywhere and assemble a dream team of experts, partners, and customers from anywhere else. Innovation is not just a Valley story or a US story: it is a global story. And we want to write more about this exciting story. In this post, we'll tell you a bit about how we are starting to do that.
Jonathan Farrington’s Blog: ‘Five or six degrees of separation’ – So what?
So, every individual in the whole world is potentially only five or six contact steps away.
This ‘five or six degrees of separation’ shows that even an entire population of over five billion people is still highly accessible.
For practical purposes, we don’t necessarily want or need to meet millions, or even thousands of people in different organisations, age groups, religions, professions, cultures or places.
BostonGlobe: The Friday Five: Tips on Getting Covered in Innovation Economy
Each Friday, I put together a five-item list called the Friday Five.
This week, it's tips on getting covered in my Innovation Economy column on Sundays and on this blog.
Just a note of context first: my goal with both the column and blog is to tell the most interesting stories about what's new in New England -- and those stories can originate from a tiny start-up firm in someone's basement, an academic lab, or a giant publicly-traded company.
angel investor …. 10 points for best answer!?
You may want to go and pitch your ideas where investors gather. Here are some places where angel investors come and those looking for funding can come and pitch their business plans. Be sure to have a strong business plan and describe what makes your business idea stand apart: