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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.

OLATHE, Kan. — The Kansas Bioscience Authority took bold action today to significantly increase the amount of venture capital available to innovative Kansas bioscience businesses — and to lead the state’s economic recovery — approving a commitment to invest $50 million in eight private venture capital funds. The KBA investments will create a powerful magnet for private capital investment from around the country in Kansas bioscience companies.

To qualify for KBA investment, the eight funds are required to have a substantial presence in the state, including establishing Kansas offices. Additionally, the fund managers must each raise a minimum of $25 million from private and institutional sources, effectively leveraging the KBA’s investment to $250 million.

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., today held a hearing to evaluate if small businesses were getting greater access to capital and contracts because of the small business provisions within the Recovery Act.

"In the past year we have seen the worst economic conditions since the great depression, making it more critical than ever for small business owners to have greater access to capital and federal contracts to help small firms increase sales and keep Americans employed," Sen. Landrieu said. "While it is clear that most of the small business provisions within the Recovery Act are working, we certainly still have our work cut out for us. With small businesses making up the largest source of employment in this country and the national unemployment rate now almost 10 percent, we need to figure out what else we can do to build on and maximize the provisions in place."

 

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Ten firms have been named finalists for a venture capital program run by the state of Tennessee. Six will be chosen for the TNInvestco program, in which the state will offer tax credits to insurance companies that invest in their business plans. The winners will be announced in about a month, after a round of interviews.

More info on the 25 applicants to the program can be found here. The six finalists follow:

Council & Enhanced Tennessee Fund, LLC
Innova Fund II, LP
Limestone Fund, LLC
Memphis Biomed Ventures Tennessee I, LLC
NEST-TN, LLC
Solidus-TNInvestco LLC
Tennessee Angel Fund
Tri-Star Technology Fund, LLC
XMi High Growth Development Fund, LLC

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Business and political leaders in town today, tomorrow to talk about Moncton's successes, getting the most out of technology

The first Intelligent Communities Summit kicked off last night in downtown Moncton with a meet and greet, but the real meat and potatoes of the three-day affair begins today with all-day seminars and networking sessions scheduled for the Delta Beauséjour Hotel.

An event that aims to showcase once again just how intelligent and innovative Moncton is, it comes on the heels of the city being named one of the Top 7 intelligent communities of 2009 by the Intelligent Community Forum earlier this year.

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LOS ANGELES--(Business Wire)-- Beginning with the lack of pre-startup customer response research, and extending to a poor use of their seed capital, two Southern California entrepreneurs have pinpointed three key reasons many new business ventures fail. As reported in their new book, "Successful Startups" (VentureCritical.com), veteran venture founders Bill Benjamin and Jason McDowall point to their own experiences with nine different ventures in setting tighter priorities for new, and more successful startups.

Reviewer DuWayne Peterson, Chairman Emeritus, Pasadena Angels, termed the new guide a must read for both the entrepreneur and the early-stage investor. He commented: "Benjamin and McDowall have written the perfect book for the current investment climate for startups. It provides a straight forward set of steps to build a solid foundation of success for the entrepreneur and the startup venture."

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State Research and Development Activity Survey

The US Census Bureau plans to continue to conduct the Survey of State Research and Development Expenditures in order to measure r&d supported and performed by state governments in the US.

This survey, a joint effort between Census Bureau and the National Science Foundation (NSF), is sponsored by NSF, which has a statutory charge to provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on s&e resources, and to provide a source of information for policy formulation by other federal agencies.

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Just like their portfolio companies, venture capital firms continue to find it difficult to raise funding compared with last year.

Through the end of the third quarter, 83 venture funds raised $8 billion, a 58% drop from the $18.9 billion raised by 141 funds at this time last year. In the third quarter, 26 funds raised just $3.5 billion, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.

The weakness came even as a boost in public markets provided some respite to limited partners’ liquidity issues. But many LPs remain capital-constrained, or are being cautious about committing to venture firms until they’re sure the funds can hit a certain minimum level.

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Increased Access To European Capital And Distribution Channels Through Ground-Breaking Event

Toronto – October 5th, 2009 – 24 of Canada’s best early-stage growth-oriented companies presented to a room full of business angel investors and funding partners at the Canadian High-Commission’s showpiece venue – Canada House – in London, United Kingdom on September 30th through October 2nd, 2009. The top five companies were awarded prizes based on strong angel investor feedback and desire for follow-on meetings to start immediate due diligence: Blue-Zone Technologies and stockthatdoesntsuck.com (Ontario); Genesis Technical Systems and Mob4Hire (Alberta); and Bluedrop Performance Learning (Newfoundland and Labrador).

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While even small businesses now have global market opportunities, they now also have a whole world of competitors, he noted. They also face a product cycle in IT especially that has shifted from years to months.

"It's changed the rules, but it doesn't mean we can't learn those new rules," Bendis said.

The need to adapt readily was also echoed by a local voice. "If intelligent communities around the world share one thing, it's that we're dedicated to constantly re-inventing ourselves," Moncton Technology Group head Doug Robertson said.

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Popular Mechanics magazine on Thursday will unveil its fifth-annual Breakthrough Award winners, an august collection of designers and products that could do much more than their share to change the world for the better.

From famous inventors like Dean Kamen to a flying car for the Third World to bacteria-powered batteries--and much in-between--the awards are meant to highlight technologies that will shape the way people around the world live and how they interact with everyday products.

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- Clinton was asked yesterday “Is Bill Bernanke correct when he says the recession is over?” His answer was: Yes, No, and Maybe. His explanation: Yes if you’re a professor of economics, since technically the recession is over after two quarters of growth. No, because hiring is a lagging indicator, and it can take a year after the stock market starts recovering for jobs to recover. Maybe, because people can be easily spooked by events and the market can easily fall back due to our concern and fear.

- Interdependence: This is the one word Bill Clinton believes describes the 21st century world. He also stated that the world faces 3 persistent challenges: inequality, instability, and unsustainability.

- Clinton: Solving the climate crisis through innovation would be the #1 best thing we’ve done since entering World War II. We cannot have a new source of jobs, and thus a new wave of economic prosperity, without it.
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