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Earlier this month, I hosted a gathering of 40 experts from Japan at our new GEW Global conference center in Washington, DC, where we discussed the notion that Japan needs to launch a rebirth by being more open, building a better startup ecosystem, bringing in more foreigners and sending more Japanese overseas. We also looked at whether Japan needs more examples of Japanese startup success that underscore the importance of globalization—startups that convince others that taking risks is alright, and political leadership that encourages entrepreneurial behavior even if only to keep Japan’s big businesses competitive and dynamic. We concluded that Japan needs to celebrate the great Japanese pioneers and entrepreneurs who built some of the most innovative companies in the world and pose the entrepreneurial imperative to a new generation.
Since the House & Senate each passed identical versions of the Startup Act 2.0, the legislation has picked up a growing list of impressive endorsements. Topping the list is tech giant Google.
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.
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.
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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