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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.

16th Annual NASVF Conference

Join your colleagues in Oklahoma City and exchange the best strategies and tools for building and managing strategic investment programs and institutions. Newly formed organizations receive the benefit of different viewpoints, while established organizations track new approaches and resources. Participants meet with professionals from outside their local networks, making one-on-one contact with specialized practitioners and discussing new methods of facilitating capital formation. Together we will put early stage investing at the forefront of our economic recovery.

The Daily Start-Up: Will VCs Actually Use This Term Sheet?

Last week we mentioned how angel investor and entrepreneur Chris Dixon detailed on his blog the terms he thinks are ideal for first-round financings. Venture capitalist Fred Wison came out in support of the simplified term sheet, writing that the industry needs “to eliminate a lot of bad terms that have caused a lot of harm” and “converge on a set of standard Series A terms that everyone uses.” These posts inspired Adeo Ressi - the founder of The Funded, a site where entrepreneurs rate venture capitalists - to dream up the “Plain Preferred” term-sheet template that “aligns the investor and the entrepreneur incentives.” The Series A term sheet is designed to protect founders and save tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Let’s see whether venture capitalists will actually agree to such scaled-down deal terms, and if Fred Wilson and Brad Feld, another VC who supports the idea, will put their money where there mouths are. Earlier this year, Ressi came out with legal documents he believes will protect start-up founders from the “atrocities of investors.” Ressi tells us those founder-friendly incorporation documents are being used by about 50 start-ups….

The case for innovation by Jason Kristufek

Sometimes things are all about timing. The last two days I’ve come across four things that I needed to read and the very moment they came around.

They all have to do with innovation, taking risks and breaking down barriers. Engaging in those and taking a critical look at the tasks I’ve been doing, has given me some of the fire back that has been absent for awhile, so I felt a need to share.

Barrons Article on Tech IPOs Misses the Importance...

On Monday, August 10, Barron’s ran a story “Does the IPO Market Shun Smaller Companies?”, written by Mark Veverka, asserting that “venture capitalists want to widen the playing field for the underwriters.” The story includes quotes from former National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) chairman Dixon Doll of DCM and investment banker Paul Deninger, who is the vice-chairman of Jefferies & Co. It accurately points out that, when it comes to IPOs, many venture capitalists have mistakenly defaulted to choosing the large investment banks (such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse) as lead underwriters for their portfolio companies. This practice has created “a near oligopolistic hold on tech IPOs” by these large investment banks. Such market power allows bankers to shapes the profile of those companies worthy of going public to favor the natural demand from their largest clients: short-term trading focused hedge funds and large institutional investors that demand highly liquid public securities.

Entrepreneurship: Government funding and innovation still key by Duane Roth

Many of us remember the glory days of the late 1990’s when entrepreneurs could jot down an idea on a napkin, write some code and head to a VC for a couple of million in start up financing.

That may be an urban legend, but it is true that access to capital for an early stage company was a lot easier to acquire10 years ago than it is today.

WSJ: ‘Low Points and Screw-Ups’: Start-Ups Crave Mentors’ Real Stories by Tomio Geron

Twenty four companies put their best face forward for investors at Y Combinator’s ninth Demo Day for start-ups completing its incubator program.

The program is known for launching Web start-ups on a shoestring; it takes place twice a year and provides companies with $10,000 to $20,000 in exchange for a small equity stake. Perhaps more important than the money, though, are the networking and learning opportunities - the program provides start-ups with advice, community with other founders and weekly dinners with prominent tech entrepreneurs and investors.

Nokia innovation award sees little innovation by Bill Ray

Nokia's Calling All Innovators competition is listing finalists again, but while last time saw dancing games and Fair Trade guides, this year we've got sniper-safe routing and home automation.

This time around the competition saw 1700 entries, which have been whittled down to 12 finalists looking for a share of the additional $100,000 in prize money. This takes the total up to quarter of a million dollars. Last time around the focus was on applications to improve the quality of life, but this time the focus is on widgets, Flash and maps, rather than native Symbian applications.