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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.

NYTLani Hay, daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, retired from the Navy as an intelligence officer, and then with her American Express card and some savings, opened a technology consulting business serving the federal government. By 2007, just four years after it opened its doors, Lanmark Technology had grown to bring in $12 million in annual revenue and employ 100 people.* Then the recession hit. “Along with L.M.T.’s annual revenues dropping, L.M.T.’s line of credit was also dropped, by a bank that bought out the bank that I was working with,” Ms. Hay said Wednesday in a conference in Washington, convened by the Obama administration to address the problems small businesses have had finding capital during the recession. Worse, she said, the bank canceled the credit line just before she was to receive a $500,000 contract from the Defense Department — and she had needed the credit to tide her firm over until the government paid its bills.

Ms. Hay’s story, which she recounted to an audience of government officials, small businesses, lenders and interested trade associations, had a punchline. “That bank is actually here today,” she said. “I’m not going to name them, but they are here.”
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Clean TechnicaDOE’s new renewable energy Venture Capital unit ARPA-E has just funded an entirely new kind of liquid battery innovation from MIT professor Donald Sadoway, that works like an aluminum plant running in reverse; producing power instead of consuming it.

Under the ARPA-E program at the DOE, the Obama administration has provided record-setting funding for advanced breakthroughs in renewable energy technology - that could propel America to the front of the post-oil age economy.
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When I'm not writing for VatorNews or working with Bambi on the next mixer, I'm doing research for AlwaysOn. Over there, we just released the VC 100--our pick of the top venture capitalists based on exit performance in the last four years. One thing we learned in the process was how many top dealmakers don't make it into the limelight. Some of the real rockstars are Kevin McQuillan (4 IPOs, 7 acquisitions in 4 years), Todd Chaffee (4 acquisitions, 2 IPOs), Scott Ungerer (cleantech darkhorse--10 big exits in the last 4 years) and Mike Gordon (IPOs: Sourcefire, Vonage, TeleAtlas, BigBand Networks, Isilon). Check out our rundown below and the full list of winners here:

The last 15 months have been highly uncertain for both the venture capital industry and the companies they fund, but history shows that funding entrepreneurs takes patience and endurance. The first annual AlwaysOn Venture Capital 100 highlights the one hundred individuals who have backed the most profitable winners in the last four years. To compile the first VC 100 List, our editorial team sourced data from its research partners Morgan Stanley, VentureDeal and the 451 Group on more than 700 active venture capitalists, 1,400 VC investments and 1,000 technology liquidity events in the last four years, from October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2009. The winning venture capitalists were selected based on total number and dollar amounts of successful M&A and IPO deals from their portfolio companies. For IPOs, AlwaysOn examined opening market capitalization as well as subsequent stock performance, relative to the Nasdaq. For each investment, AlwaysOn counted one lead investor per firm, in order to identify the true dealmakers, understanding that in many cases more than one partner is involved in helping each company. Much of the exact valuation data that would have been ideal for this kind of analysis remains private and inaccessible, of course, so we present the VC 100 ultimately as a "representative list", based upon our best efforts.
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ForbesInfosys cofounder Nadathur Raghavan's sons take over his VC firm.

On October 21, 2009, N. R. Narayana Murthy sold Rs. 174 core worth of Infosys shares to capitalize Catamaran, his venture capital fund. If Murthy ever needs advice for this new venture, he won't have to look too far. He just has to call the man who could have been the second CEO of Infosys but turned down the job in 1999 and quit the company in 2000. Nadathur Raghavan doesn't even live too far away. He is right there in Bangalore.

In India, the terms 'innovation ecosystem' and 'angel investor' are frequently used but rarely seen in practice. Nadathur Raghavan's fund Nadathur Investments is a rare fund in the country that has truly done this. Over the last nine years, it has invested $65 million in technology, lifesciences and healthcare start-ups. Companies such as Impulsesoft, Metahelix, Connexios and Medi Assist owe their existence to Raghavan's love of financing new ideas.
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Times LiveGovernment was taking steps to utilise innovative traditional knowledge, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said.

"[We] are to make a big deal around scientific exploration in indigenous knowledge," Pandor told a conference on intellectual property rights in Johannesburg.

"Indigenous knowledge is a key part of our innovation technology."

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WSJWorking for a start-up is hard enough. Trying to wittily describe ”the unique entrepreneurial culture that sets their company apart and inspires them to go to work each day” - in 140 characters or less - is equally challenging.

That was the task set by the National Venture Capital Association and job board StartUpHire, which asked for Twitter-esque submissions from start-up employees in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

You can find more than 100 of them here, and submit your own. Many of them aim to be funny, some inspire, though quite a few are simply advertising their start-ups or didn’t seem to understand the objective. Here are a few of our favorites. (Post yours at the aforementioned link, and if it’s interesting enough, we’ll add it below.)
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The San Diego area is the home of numerous cleantech businesses that are developing innovative green cars (Aptera, V-Vehicle Co.), developing alternative fuels (GreenHouse International, Synthetic Genomics Inc., Sapphire Energy), finding alternatives to petrochemicals (Genomatica, Verdezyne), and providing renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions (KEMA, Kyocera, Envision Solar).

Assisting our growing cluster is a network of non-profits, trade groups, government agencies, universities, and investors who share a common interest in cultivating a green economy. These groups collaborate on many projects, strengthening our vision for more green businesses, jobs, and investments in cleantech innovation. But while they share common goals, local green groups are also distinct in many ways and often compete for money, members, and media; their varying perspective, focus, message, membership, and goals can be confusing. If you’re an entrepreneur, how can you find support for the green innovations you hope to commercialize? Where do investors look for opportunities and advice? Where can founders find the resources they need to move their ventures forward?
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plugged.inThere are scores of articles in every major newspaper and every major magazine comparing India with China on various economic progress indicators. There are even books written about Tiger of India pitted against Dragon of China. To those who base their opinions on such reports, articles and books, it looks as though India is posing a strong completion to China, when in fact every measurable economic indicator suggests that China is clearly leading India on all fronts. Moreover the gap between these two countries is only widening with each passing year. And yet, many Indian commentators continue to complacently believe that India has some edge somewhere when in fact none exists.

The tone of these reports and analysis comparing India with China suggest that India is actually inching towards China. That is not the case. In reality China is leaving behind India by a bigger margin every year. It is becoming tougher and tougher for India to catch up. In the last few years, Chinese have built the biggest dam on the planet, built the longest bridges, built the fastest cities, built their own planes, submarines, ships, magnetic trains, and even the highest railways while India continued to lay another layer of asphalt on its decrepit roads after each rainfall.
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Mercury NewsShares of Sunnyvale Internet security company Fortinet soared more than 30 percent Wednesday in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq, raising hopes that long-dormant Silicon Valley public offerings may be stirring back to life.

It was the first public offering in 20 months for a tech company with a Silicon Valley address, and the reception may encourage other valley startups to follow suit in coming months.

"This is what investors have been waiting for," said Bob McCooey, Nasdaq vice president of new listings.
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The closing plenary session of the first World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE has produced a number of ground-breaking outcomes that signal the beginning of a new era in global collaboration on education. WISE concluded with a declaration of 10 core education priorities, an announcement of two initiatives and a renewed commitment to the three main areas of focus for WISE in the future.

Held in Doha, Qatar and attended by 1,000 influential opinion leaders from diverse sectors across the globe, the Summit, through its theme of "Global Education: Working Together for Sustainable Achievements" has created a new dynamism towards addressing the most challenging educational issues in the 21st century.


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As I [Bob Sutton] blogged about awhile back, this week, Perry Klebhan, Alex Kazaks,Huggy Rao and I are running rather intense executive program called Customer-Focused Innovation. As you can see from the schedule, we are keeping the 21 executives in the program mighty busy. We kicked off with a tire-changing exercise led by Andy Papa, who among other things leads the pit crews at Hendrick's Motor Sports, where one team established the all time CFI speed record, changing in a tire on a NASCAR racing car in under 13 seconds. Yesterday, the group spent the day at the Tesla dealer in Menlo Park talking to owners, potential customers, people in sales and marketing at Tesla, and people who didn't like the idea of owning a Tesla at all. In the picture above, the two executives on the left are interviewing George Kembel, the's executive director (he is the tall guy facing the camera) and the group on the right is interviewing one of the Tesla salespeople (the woman in black with sunglasses in her hair).


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WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today joined Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills, other policymakers, lenders, and small business owners at a forum on small business financing. The forum explored new ideas and strategies for expanding access to financing for small businesses.

"Now that we have stabilized Wall Street, we must jump start Main Street," Sen. Landrieu said. "We can do this by making sure small businesses have access to the capital they need to keep their businesses alive and growing during these tough times.

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Anthony Townsend, Institute for the Future
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Institute for the Future
Rick Weddle, Research Triangle Foundation
IFTF Report Number SR-12361

The model of self-contained research parks and incubators that dominated the last fifty years of technology-based economic development is being challenged by deep shifts in the global economy, science and technology, and models of innovation. This paper describes fourteen emerging trends that will set the context for technology-based economic development in the coming decades. These trends are used to develop three scenarios for the future of technology- based economic development over the next two decades. In the first scenario, an incremental evolution of the research parks model takes place in a world of rapid, but steady and predictable change. In the second scenario, entirely new networks of R&D space emerge in a “research cloud” that challenges current models to adapt, sometimes dramatically. The third scenario, the research park models is in rapid decline as R&D becomes highly virtualized and parks’ legacy cost structure makes them obsolete for young firms. We conclude by highlighting the strategic implications of these scenarios for existing and future parks and economic development.


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Business Times - 18 Nov 2009

Siemens' solutions hub testament to S'pore's ability to be home for innovation


SENIOR Minister Goh Chok Tong reiterated yesterday the importance of the three-pronged 'host to home' strategy in adapting to the demands of a post-crisis world.

'While Singapore will continue to be a good host for businesses, we want companies to see us as their 'home' as well, specifically as home for business, home for innovation and home for talent,' Mr Goh said, in reference to the 'host to home' strategy championed by the Economic Development Board to keep the best of talent and businesses here.



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BEIJING, Nov 19, 2009 (AsiaPulse via COMTEX) -- ERC | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- China and the US agreed to establish a clean energy research center in a joint statement signed on Tuesday after talks between Chinese president Hu Jintao and US president Barack Obama.

A protocol was signed between China's Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Energy Administration and the US' Department of Energy.

The research center will prioritize three topics including energy efficiency in buildings, clean coal, and clean vehicles. It will have one headquarter per country, with public and private funding of at least US$150 million over five years evenly split between the two countries.


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Well, it´s interesting that this nation is capable in so many areas. Historians tell us that jewish farmers produced 3 times more output on the same fields, compared to their parent palestinians that have been living there in earlier days.

A new book shows a new dimension of this capable folk: "Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle". Author Dan Senor explains: 'Israeli society has some built-in - and some hard-earned - advantages. It is these advantages that facilitate Israel's generation of more start-up companies than Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the UK, as well as Israel's boasting the second highest number of companies listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange, after the United States itself.


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BWFactors That Lead to Success

Despite their impact on the economy, relatively little is known about entrepreneurs' backgrounds and motivations. A study released by the Kauffman Foundation in July, titled "The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur," led by co-authors Vivek Wadhwa, University of Akron's Raj Aggarwal, University of California's Krisztina "Z" Holly, and former BusinessWeek tech editor Alex Salkever aimed to discover who American entrepreneurs are and what makes them tick. To do so, the team surveyed 549 successful business founders from high-growth industries between August 2008 and March 2009. Now, the team is back with a second report, "The Making of a Successful Entrepreneur," in which respondents answer questions about the factors that contributed to their companies' success. Flip through this slide show for Wadhwa's thoughts on the most compelling data.


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From: Federal Technology Watch

The US Chambers Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) has released a report highlighting different methods of technology diffusion, the process of providing technology to other nations, while hailing intellectual property (IP) as a key to advancing green technologies to the developing world.

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Lorrie Vogel is the general manager of Nike Considered, Nike’s in-house sustainability think tank. She holds a degree in Industrial Design from Syracuse, and numerous patents. Her work in innovating around sustainability has helped put Nike on Fast Company’s Fast 50 list multiple times. Considering how aggressive Nike’s sustainability goals have been, it’s even more impressive that they are on track to meet their targets.

Sustainability is second only to performance when ranking the critical factors of a product. Nike is committed to making their entire collection as environmentally responsible as possible. Lorrie Vogel spoke at the Opportunity Green conference in Los Angeles, explaining some of the ways Nike is meeting these targets. In this phone interview, Lorrie expands on some of the points she touched on in her presentation. The conversation is split into two articles, in order to go deeper into the many changes that need to happen to increase use of recycled and organic materials in apparel and footwear. We begin with a discussion about materials, and conclude with the human element needed to ensure these changes occur in a timely manner.


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WSJOften criticized as fair-weather investors who come at the peak and exit at the valley of market cycles, corporate investors have an advantage over their venture capital peers when it comes to investing in Chinese start-ups: they can - and often do - invest in the local currency.

Delegates of the 28 selected firms for China’s ChiNext watch a screen showing the share prices during the listing ceremony in Shenzhen. Venture and private equity funds are now clamoring to receive approvals in China so that they can be classified as local investors and avoid onerous approval processes and restrictions on the types of investments they can make.


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