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Congress is in recess with members back in their home states and districts as they focus on campaign work over the next several weeks. They will return to Washington at some point after the November 6 election.
One of the major supporters of DEMO Africa and LIONS@frica with me in Nairobi last week was Nokia. As I took a look at just how much innovation Nokia has created, I was curious to look further into the current startup culture in its home country of Finland and see just how important high-growth entrepreneurship is to its economy.
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.
In the search to find some of the best and brightest new startups around the world, Global Entrepreneurship Week recently announced the “GEW 50” —a list of the 50 most innovative new companies competing in the Startup Open, a competition that recognizes startups with high-growth potential. These elite ventures will now vie for the grand prize—an all-expenses-paid trip to Rio de Janeiro to serve as an official delegate to one of the world’s largest gatherings of startup champions, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, in March 2013.
I report this week from Africa which is enjoying its greatest economic success in decades and where there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. With economic growth rates this year around 6 percent in one-third of the 49 sub-Saharan African countries, the IMF forecasts that Africa will have the fastest-growing economy of any continent over the next five years. The World Bank in turn has reported earlier this month that more than 20 sub-Saharan African countries, encompassing more than 400 million people, have gained middle-income status, while the number of people living in poverty is down by roughly 10 percentage points over the past decade.
While a report we profiled last week talked about signs of recovery across the board for angel investors, the outlook apparently isn’t so bright for the venture capital industry. The latest survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association shows that VC investments declined during the third quarter of 2012—both in terms of dollars and deal volume.
According to the latest survey from the Center for Venture Research a the University of New Hampshire, the angel investor market is showing promising signs of recovery—across the board in terms of dollars invested, total numbers of investments and total number of investors.
When I asked two U.S. Senators from different parties earlier this year how they managed to work together on startup legislation during an election year, both talked of “credible, robust data” as their starting point. Last week I participated in the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) 3rd Annual Global Entrepreneurship Research and Policy Conference at George Washington University to see what was emerging outside the United States.
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