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Each day, Innovation Daily checks the pulse of global innovation--courtesy of Innovation America. Here, we take a look at a handful of relevant stories it compiled last week.
Created in 2007 during the Bush Administration and reauthorized in 2010 by President Obama, the America COMPETES Act is up for another reauthorization as major provisions are set to expire in 2013. The original law authorized $33.6 billion in appropriations from 2008 - 2010 for programs and activities in physical sciences and engineering research as well as STEM education and more. The reauthorization in 2010 increased the amount to $45.6 billion.
Last week, we brought you the latest news from the venture capital industry. This week, we hear from the angels and the overall message is a bit more positive—at least that overall angel investing for 2012 was “stable with prior years.”
As the unemployment rate fell in 2012, another economic indicator dropped too: the overall business creation rate. According to the annual Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity released today, the 2012 rate declined slightly from 0.32 percent of American adults per month starting businesses in 2011 to 0.30 percent in 2012.
While most favor bottom-up, entrepreneur-led efforts to develop robust entrepreneurial ecosystems, in Africa especially, what the government does actually matters a great deal. In the third of four posts this month on Africa, I look at Rwanda and find a country where smart government engagement has created a favorable climate for entrepreneurs.
Several hearings on policies that impact entrepreneurial growth are scheduled for the week ahead with the biggest being the Senate Judiciary Committee’s look at potential immigration reform through The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S.744. Appearing earlier today were representatives from a range of entities including Microsoft, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Center for Immigration Studies. On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano appears before the committee during a hearing of the same title. Other topics covered in hearings throughout the week include: next-generation computing and “big data analytics”, the SBA budget, STEM workforce, small business lending, the state of wireless communications and more.
There is a growing realization that entrepreneurs don’t necessarily have to emerge from business schools—some emerge through other academic disciplines like engineering or music, some drop out of school to pursue their startups, and some avoid post-secondary education altogether. But that doesn’t mean that entrepreneurs can’t come from business schools. And if you ask business school students themselves, they would tell you that the Worcester Polytechnic Institute is at the top of the list.
When I asked Mbwana Alliy last month why he founded the Savannah Fund in Nairobi, he had a simple answer—it is East Africa’s technology hub. As part of PDE’s look at Africa I began last week, we focus today on Kenya.
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