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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.

RNewImageM Global has created a VC fund dedicated to the FutuRx biotech incubator Johnson & Johnson set up with OrbiMed and Takeda. The life science investment banking firm has secured preferential access to FutuRx, positioning it to get in on the ground floor alongside the companies that founded the incubator.

To get the fund started, RM Global has pulled in $30 million for its first closing. The plan is to open it up for new investors and dial up its cash haul ahead of a second closing in the near future. That will give RM Global the ability to secure stakes in the likes of BiomX, a FutuRx graduate that raised $24 million from OrbiMed, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Takeda Ventures and others earlier this month to bankroll its microbiome R&D plans.

Image: The flag of Israel (Zachi Evenor (CC BY 3.0)) 

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NewImage

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the technologies and devices that sense information and communicate it to the Internet or other networks and, in some cases, act on that information. These “smart” devices are increasingly being used to communicate and process quantities and types of information that have never been captured before and respond automatically to improve industrial processes, public services, and the well-being of individual consumers. For example, a “connected” fitness tracker can monitor a user’s vital statistics, and store the information on a smartphone. A “smart” tractor can use GPS-based driving guidance to maximize crop planting or harvesting.

Image: https://scienceblog.com

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NewImage

As an angel investor, I sometimes worry that all the viable unique ideas must already be taken. Entrepreneurs keep talking to me about the Internet of Things (IOT), autonomous vehicles, inter-planetary travel, and other exciting opportunities, but the majority of real plans I get seem to be “me too” variations of several common themes that have already been done too many times.

We all want to get out there ahead of the crowd, and invest in that truly innovative idea that seems so obvious in its appeal that you wonder why nobody ever thought of it before. Examples in the past, that were not huge leaps in technology, would include the light bulb, telephone, the zipper, and post-it notes. I haven’t found the next one yet, even on Shark Tank.

Image: http://blog.startupprofessionals.com 

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brain

Innovations in digitization, analytics, artificial intelligence, and automation are creating performance and productivity opportunities for business and the economy, even as they reshape employment and the future of work.

Rapid technological advances in digitization and data and analytics have been reshaping the business landscape, supercharging performance, and enabling the emergence of new business innovations and new forms of competition.

 

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office

Like many other regions, Asia’s venture capital investment got off to a cautious start in 2017 — modest investment volumes and a noticeable decline in the total number of deals. Startups currently raising rounds of venture capital investments are inevitably learning some hard truths. VC money isn’t as readily available as the furious check-writing phase of 2015. And those startups that are receiving funding are finding the terms increasingly less appetising.

 

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artificial intelligence

As the conceptual side of computer science becomes practical and relevant to business, companies must decide what type of AI role they should play.

Jeff Heepke knows where to plant corn on his 4,500-acre farm in Illinois because of artificial intelligence (AI). He uses a smartphone app called Climate Basic, which divides Heepke’s farmland (and, in fact, the entire continental U.S.) into plots that are 10 meters square.

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Arie Abecassis

Entrepreneurs have multiple sources of funding when they seek their first outside capital: friends and family, professional angels, venture capital (VC) funds and crowdfunding platforms. One type of funding, which is sometimes overlooked and which can be quite powerful, is corporate venture funds.

 

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Photograph © 2015 Vern Evans

The most formative moment in Bran Ferren’s life was the one that set him on a long career in breakthrough innovation. At age 9, he accompanied his parents on a visit to the Pantheon in Rome. Looking up at the temple’s enormous domed ceiling, he was transported not just by its artistry, but by the engineering prowess required to build it. Here was an enormous concrete structure unsupported by columns (the largest such dome in the world), with walls composed of five circular layered rings that grew thinner and lighter as they rose toward the ceiling. At the top was an oculus that cast a shaft of light so strong that it appeared to have substance, while cooling the room and creating a feeling of direct connection to the heavens.

Image: Photograph © 2015 Vern Evans 

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ideas

Entrepreneurs are by nature big-idea people. They're creative. They're innovative. But it doesn't hurt for entrepreneurs to be copycats now and then by learning from the experiences and ideas of others. 

Who, then, could be better for entrepreneurs to get ideas from than some of the most innovative companies on the planet? After all, these businesses were originally started by entrepreneurs themselves. What can be learned from big corporations like Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), Disney (NYSE: DIS), Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)? Here are five ideas from these successful innovators that apply to entrepreneurs in any industry.

 

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mentor

Building a business is not rocket science, so there is no magic success formula. Some people think you need to get an MBA to get it right, while others are convinced that those who drop out of school early (Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg) have the advantage. In my experience working with startups, the best approach these days is to find and use a good mentor (been there, done that).

 

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fingerpaint

Accidental discoveries played a significant role in the introduction of some of the biggest business ideas. Here is how to harness them.

Several years ago I was asked to deliver a keynote address at a Startup Weekend conference. I asked the attendees whether they ever presented a new idea to their boss, just to hear the words “what you have here is a solution looking for a problem…” Most participants lowered their head and answered “yes.”

 

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exercise

The more exercise people get, the less their cells appear to age. In a new study in Preventive Medicine, people who exercised the most had biological aging markers that appeared nine years younger than those who were sedentary. Researchers looked at the telomeres from nearly 6,000 adults enrolled in a multi-year survey run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People were asked what physical activities they had done in the past month and how vigorously they did them. They also provided DNA samples, from which the researchers measured telomere length.

 

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