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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.

One Down: Vinod Khosla Closes $250M Seed-Stage Fund by Tomio Geron

More details have surfaced about one of the new funds raised by Khosla Ventures, the venture firm run by Vinod Khosla, one of the most prominent investors in Silicon Valley.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System disclosed it committed $60 million in June to Khosla Ventures’ $250 million seed fund, which Calpers said has finished fund-raising. Khosla Ventures Seed LP will focus 75% on clean technology and 25% on information technology, according to the nation’s largest pension fund.

Nuclear powers new debate: cost | by By Mark Clayton

Overlooking the shimmering waters of Chesapeake Bay, the massive twin concrete domes of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power station’s two reactors could soon see a third sister rising alongside them.

If construction begins in Lusby, Md., perhaps by 2012, Calvert Cliffs III will be part of the larger promise of a “nuclear renaissance” of reactor construction sweeping the globe, proponents say.

EPA Accelerates Green Innovation with EcoCar Competition

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has joined the EcoCar consortium of government, industry and academic leaders dedicated to advancing clean, efficient automotive technology. The consortium hosts EcoCar,The Next Challenge, a three-year competition among 17 universities in the U.S. and Canada to redesign and reengineer a 2009 Saturn VUE to further minimize fuel consumption and emissions. In addition to EPA, major sponsors include U.S. Department of Energy, California Air Resources Board, Environment Canada and General Motors.

How The President Can Rekindle Spirit Of Job-Producing Innovation by Bryan Anderson

In his regular Saturday address on Aug. 1, President Obama commented on the need for the country to "recapture the spirit of innovation." He further opined that "innovation is essential to prosperity."

Neither one of these concepts is lost on regular readers of Investor's Business Daily, as every day the paper highlights new, innovative American companies and the prosperity they create.

Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders Launch Innovation Dialogue ...

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) August 13, 2009 -- Antioch Seattle is bringing together CR leaders seeking to bump up the impact of their current Corporate Responsibility programs. Using web-based meeting forums combined with residential events, executives from around the country will engage in peer-to-peer dialogue enriched and guided by systemic frameworks, and led by internationally respected consultant Carol Sanford. Jeffrey Hollender, Executive Chairman of Seventh Generation and a nationally respected corporate responsibility leader, described his company's involvement in such dialogues as "the best thing that every happened to Seventh Generation".

TiE Atlanta Gala Celebrates Spirit of Full-Circle Entrepreneurship

ATLANTA (August 11, 2009) – When the Atlanta chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) hosts its annual gala on Sept. 26, the event’s location will have a very special meaning. The gala will take place at the Georgia Aquarium, a top Atlanta attraction made possible through a gift to the city by nationally known entrepreneur and philanthropist Bernie Marcus. “Full-Circle Entrepreneurship – Living Your Dream and Giving it Back” is the evening’s theme and the subject of Marcus’s keynote address.

Small-business rescue program off to a slow start by

Small-business owners hoping for assistance of the sort given to the biggest banks applauded when the Small Business Administration unveiled a lending program in May.

Washington officials and some lenders predicted that the program, providing emergency bridge loans as part of the federal stimulus package, would provide a lifeline for vulnerable businesses.

The Daily Start-Up: Law Of Decelerating Returns

Research firm Cambridge Associates today released its quarterly report (opens PDF document) on venture capital fund performance for the first time, thanks to a new partnership with the National Venture Capital Association, which ended its relationship with Thomson Reuters for this specific data. The report today shows that returns for venture capital funds declined 2.9% in the first quarter, the third quarterly decline but an improvement over the fourth quarter when returns fell 12.5%. Of course, since venture capital is a long-term investment class, a quarterly snapshot doesn’t give us the full picture. More important is the 10-year benchmark, since the typical fund life is a decade. That figure, according to Cambridge Associates’ U.S. Venture Capital Index, sits at 26.2%, an impressive figure until you realize that dot-com era funds and their spectacular returns are factored in. Once those are gone, the 10-year returns will look more like the nine-year number, which is minus 4.9%. The venture returns still appear to be outperforming stock-market indices, but the caution here is that Cambridge relies on data disclosed by venture firms - those outfits that have closed down and performed poorly may not still be reporting to Cambridge….

Capital Markets Matter by Joseph W. Bartlett

The financial crisis facing promising young high-tech startup companies today is sadly not the sole result of the current credit crisis but rather extends back over the past ten years to the dotcom stock market meltdown in 2000, which both shocked the financial markets and closed the window for initial public offerings to all but a handful of innovative new companies. The current credit crunch only exacerbates the financial problems faced by startups in our capital markets today.


Opinion - New funding for new ideas by Panos Louridas

A common complaint heard in Europe is that funding for research and development lags far behind that of the United States. In particular, the US public sector spends $50 billion per year in procurement for R&D, which is 20 times higher than in Europe, and accounts for 50% of the investment gap between the US and Europe. Even taking into account large investments in defense, the US expenditure in R&D is still four times higher than that of Europe.

Main Street: Innovation ideas are all around us by Don Daake and Edward Piatt

Have you noticed in the last few years many hotels have installed a new style of shower curtain? About three-fourths the way up there is a "see out window," that still gives privacy but allows you to keep an eye on any would-be visitors. Do you realize Norman Bates (the nefarious villain in Alfred Hitchcock's chilling movie "Psycho") may have been the inspiration for this brilliant innovation in shower curtains? Anyone who has ever seen the movie would agree Janet Leigh may have survived ole Norman had this innovation been in place in 1960?