Everywhere you look around the world we see investments in the future which recognize what the 21st Century will look like. Isn’t it about time we did the same?
From Forbes, by Craig Barrett:
“The road to economic success has been pretty bumpy so far this century. Over-speculation in real estate, excessive government spending, unfunded and unaffordable pensions, the collapse of financial institutions, and the worldwide competition for jobs have all exacted their toll. As individuals, companies and countries search for something magical to promote a competitive future, there is strong evidence that the ultimate wealth-creating machine is something created here in America and increasingly being noticed and copied by the rest of the world.
That something is the American research university, where a unique blend of the best and brightest students from around the world, top quality professors with aggressive research programs, and a close association with private industry has combined to spin off entrepreneurs with bright ideas for the next generation products, services, and new companies. Look no farther than Stanford and UC Berkeley as the catalysts for Silicon Valley, or MIT as the parent for thousands of start-up companies along Route 128 in Massachusetts. Sure, other countries have their prestigious universities, but none matches ours when it comes down to spinning off smart people with smart ideas and the resultant wealth creation.
Have others noticed this phenomenon? Certainly the answer is yes…”
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The W Fund plans to invest $250,000 to $500,000 in about 25 to 30 early-stage companies over the next five years, focusing efforts on upstarts that have strong ties to research universities in the state.
“The University of Washington today (2/8/2012) unveiled a new business incubator that will provide startup businesses access to critical lab and office space on the UW campus for their work.
The incubator is one key element in a larger commercialization initiative announced by President Michael Young today that will double the number of startups produced by the UW – from an average of 10 a year to 20 – during the next three years.
The UW Center for Commercialization New Ventures Facility, which opened today, showcases the UW’s commitment to spinning out an increasing number of companies built around UW research. The incubator will be led by the UW Center for Commercialization New Ventures program and is located in UW’s Fluke Hall.
The space will initially host 15 companies and when finished will have space for 25 startups, providing 11,500 square feet of lab space and 11,500 square feet of office space…”
Fashion Forward Maternity Receives $22,500 for Online Maternity Fashion Concept; Finalist @Fingertips Receives $26,000 in Prizes and Grants for Touchscreen Devices for the Blind
The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business today announced the winners of the 2012 Michigan Business Challenge and recipients of the Applebaum Dare to Dream Grants and Mayleben Family Venture Shaping Grants for U-M student startups. Award winners and grant recipients received funding totaling nearly $90,000 for innovative new business concepts and compelling business plans. Several teams will go on to compete at intercollegiate business plan competitions where winning Michigan teams in 2011 brought home $326,350 in prize money and services.
“The Michigan Business Challenge and Dare to Dream grant program exemplify how the Zell Lurie Institute connect students from multiple disciplines and provide teams with the support and resources needed for the development of nascent business ideas into compelling business plans with the potential to launch,” said Tom Kinnear, executive director of the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. “This multi-faceted, learn-do approach prepares entrepreneurially ambitious students with life-long entrepreneurial skills and connects them with key individuals important to their career pursuits…”
Top 3 winners:
- The Pryor-Hale Award for Best Business for $20,000 went to Fashion Forward Maternity – a socially responsible online boutique where savvy professional women can borrow high quality and designer maternity and nursing fashions at a fraction of the price of new.
- Runner-up for $10,000 to Converge Medical Technologies – a medical device company that develops patient brain function monitoring solutions through principles of neuroscience.
- Erb Award for Environmental and Social Sustainability for $7,500 to @Fingertips – a for-profit social-entrepreneurial company that builds devices enabling the blind to use modern touchscreen devices.
J&J has been moving quickly the past few months on a new initiative to help biotech startups get up and running…
“Johnson & Johnson’s West Coast research leader, Diego Miralles, has met with a lot of biotech entrepreneurs who are curious about what J&J is doing to foster more startups at its facility in San Diego. At some point, a skeptical question usually comes up.
“What’s the catch?” Miralles says he’s sometimes asked.
He insists there isn’t any catch.
“We are genuinely trying to help the industry,” Miralles said last week in a meeting at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. “We think helping the biotech industry helps us. We strongly believe that a rising tide lifts all ships.”
J&J (NYSE: JNJ), which is based in New Brunswick, NJ, has been moving quickly the past few months on a new initiative to help biotech startups get up and running, through its new 30,000 square foot Janssen Labs startup space on the Torrey Pines Mesa. As Bruce first reported here in October, the idea is to create a space at J&J’s facility where 18-20 fledgling companies can get modern lab space, supplies, professional facilities management, and equipment that is supposed to free up the entrepreneurs to focus more on their science…”
Universities play a vital and extensive role in driving innovation in the United States. They offer a vast research base (a total of $50 billion nationwide), the ability to teach and develop a fresh new workforce (3 million graduates each year), goodwill of successful alumni, the ability to convene disparate expertise, and a deep commitment to local communities.
From Center for American Progress:
“The United States is known for its innovativeness and entrepreneurial spirit. Between half and three-quarters, or even more, of all economic growth in the last half-century can be tied to technological innovation, depending on which study you use. Yet in the last few decades, measures increasingly demonstrate that the United States is falling perilously behind in innovation.
When we think of technological innovation, we think of inventors, entrepreneurs, and corporations joining novel ideas with financial capital and market opportunities. Efforts to increase innovation should help support circumstances for the private sector to bring new products and services to market. The spark of technological innovation, however, often begins well before the opportunity is obvious or attractive to private sector. As a result, the partnership between the U.S. government’s funding of research in the nation’s public and private universities plays a larger role than most observers recognize.
Universities play a vital and extensive role in driving innovation in the United States. They offer a vast research base (a total of $50 billion nationwide), the ability to teach and develop a fresh new workforce (3 million graduates each year), goodwill of successful alumni, the ability to convene disparate expertise, and a deep commitment to local communities. Universities have been important players to date, and we have an opportunity to further nurture these vibrant ecologies to sustainably generate greater innovation and economic growth…”
NYC plays catch-up to create centers, attract venture capital.
From Crain’s NY Business:
“In recent years, the Bloomberg administration and its partners in academia and business have worked to overcome barriers to commercial biotech, from lack of space to lack of funding. The focus is now turning to what some consider the most difficult obstacle: a scarcity of entrepreneurial instinct in a medical-science community that widely thinks “going commercial” means to succumb to the dark side. From networking and pitching events to mentoring, advocates are trying to build the kind of startup ecosystem that has helped make the city’s Internet industry the fastest growing in the country.
“Innovation is a mindset; it’s a culture,” said Jonathan Lewis, a former Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center surgeon, and founder and CEO of Manhattan-based cancer-drug developer Ziopharm Oncology Inc. “It’s been applied to high-tech, and now it has to be applied to biotech.”
It remains to be seen whether such efforts can replicate here what developed organically in biotech hot spots like Boston and San Francisco. Venture capitalists expect that it will take years, along with a string of successful companies and a coterie of seasoned biotech entrepreneurs who can invest in and mentor the next generation of startups…”
The idea is to remove the wall between discovery at universities and implementation in the economy.
From Cincinnati News:
“Dean Carlo Montemagno believes that some of the best teachers at the University of Cincinnati are dreaming up products that could change the world.
They’re partnering with corporations like GE Aviation, Procter & Gamble and Ethicon Endo-Surgery to apply that research or start their own companies. And they’re providing students with real-world experience that readies them for careers.
Montemagno, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, is an entrepreneurial pioneer for UC. This month, he raised $50 million in funding from the state of Ohio and GE Aviation to start a new research institute at the university…”