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Another week with a lot of activity on the House side. The JOBS Act is the focus of a couple hearings by the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform while other topics include: research universities and technology transfer; international intellectual property enforcement; regulation of mobile payments and the future of video. Also, the pending increase on the capital gains tax is the subject of a joint hearing of the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.
Two prominent Japanese professors recently authored the Fukao-Kwon report, which revealed that from 1996-2006, when total employment in Japan decreased by 3.5 million, young, newly established firms and foreign companies were the only ones to create net job growth. This report also suggests that new companies have higher success rates than older, established companies in Japan and that entrepreneurs clearly need to be the central catalysts in Japan’s next chapter. Have the great innovators of the post-war years – Toyota, Nippon Steel, Sony, etc – become so huge and successful that they have lost their propensity to create disruptive new technologies?
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:
Dell made a splash last week with its announcement of the Dell Innovators Credit Fund—a $100 million initiative intended to amplify the effects of venture or angel funds recently invested by a select group of VCs or angel investors. Once startups are approved, they can borrow up to 10% of their funded amount—up to $150,00—for an added boost to their growth trajectory.
The White House is getting attention recently for its efforts at X Prize style competitions—which makes sense since its ‘assistant director for grand challenges’ is a former X-Prizer. One of the challenges at the heart of that approach is its i6 Challenge—a $6 million competition that “seeks to develop Proof of Concept Centers and create a network of experts to support innovators and researchers; spur sustainable startups, small businesses, and new ventures; expand access to capital to fuel growth; connect mentors and education to entrepreneurs; and spark job creation.”
The House of Representatives returns from a week-long recess with a full slate of hearings and activities of interest to entrepreneurs and those who support them. Highlights include Startup Day which puts 18 startups on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress and a hearing on efforts to boost technology transfer through a look at “creative approaches to the Bayh-Dole Act.” Other hearings cover topics such as the nation’s science policies, commercializing space, the looming fiscal crisis and small business lending.
The APEC Startup conference that just wrapped up in Seoul signaled stepped-up interest within the 21 APEC member nations in policies that promote new firm formation as ameans of “booting up” economies. Interestingly, the drive for this effort is being led not by the United States, but by South Korea which has taken big strides over the past two years to rebuild its own startup ecosystem.
If the U.S. is going to put higher education back on the path to innovation and entrepreneurship, it's going to have to address a number of looming challenges--not just the skyrocketing cost of a college degree. College 2.0: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Reforming Higher Education outlines those challenges and showcases ambitious ideas for reinventing higher education, focused on making better use of technology, developing a culture of measurement and performance incentives, and creating smarter regulation.
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