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Universities in Innovation Networks

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

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…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web
READ THE REPORT [web]
Report’s Author, Krisztina Holly @KrisztinaHolly [twitter]

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Growing a New York Biotech Culture

November 7, 2011 Leave a comment

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…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
NYU’s Venture Fund Announcement [web]
Aisling Capital [web]
Alexandria Center for LifeScience – NYC [web]
BioBAT [web]
NYC Tech Connect [web]
Columbia Tech Ventures [web]

The Varick Street NYU-Poly Incubator: Best In NYC?

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

The incubator has one single goal. To help create great companies that will call NYC home.

From the Business Insider:

“It’s very rare that a joint effort between the public, private, and education sector comes together to produce meaningful results. However, The Varick Street Incubator may be a shining example and roadmap for other cities to follow on how to foster tech innovation.

After spending time at various incubators in the city, it very well may be that the Varick Street incubator is the top place in NYC for new entrepreneurs to call home. If you get the opportunity to be at Varick Steet, you enjoy a lot of benefits. The incubator does not ask for any equity in your company. The rent is really affordable and includes a lot of amenities that are not free at other incubators. Best of all, you get access to high quality interns / employees from NYU, potential seed investors, NYU faculty advisors, and assistance from dozens of other private partners involved with the incubator. Probably one of the best benefits is that several serial entrepreneurs call the incubator home and serve as mentors and motivation for first time founders…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
Inside view of the Incubator [web]
Varick Street Incubator [web]
NYC Seed [web]
NYC Venture Connect [web]

Stanford unveils ambitious proposal for opening a campus in New York City

October 15, 2011 Leave a comment

“Silicon Valley has been terrific, but if the country wants to maintain its leadership in science and technology, it needs more than Silicon Valley.”

From Mercury News:

“It’s already got palm trees, sunshine and some of the sharpest minds in Silicon Valley. What else could Stanford possibly want?

A big, enthusiastic bite out of the Big Apple.

Seeking greater access to an urban world rich in art, finance, drama, music, high-end media, deep-pocketed philanthropy, tweedy East Coast faculty and diverse students, Stanford is putting the finishing touches on a 500-page application for a second campus in New York City, due to land on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s desk in two weeks.

At Thursday’s meeting of Stanford’s academic senate, the university unveiled its most detailed-yet description of the proposed “Stanford NYC” campus that by 2045 could be home to as many as 350 professors and more than 2,000 graduate students studying science, engineering and entrepreneurship.

Three decades of construction at an estimated price of $1 billion to $2 billion, the project is so breathtaking in its scope that the application process alone could cost $1 million…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]
Opportunities and Challenges of StanfordNYC [web]
Stanford@CCNY [web]

Related:
Cornell Gains Partner in Graduate School Bid [web]

Patent satellite offices sought by politicians

October 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Lawmakers from Silicon Valley, Colorado and Texas are jockeying to win one of three satellite branches of the Patent and Trademark Office authorized in the law, seeing the projects as magnets for jobs, business and bragging rights.

From Politico:

“While the America Invents Act revamps the patent system for the first time in six decades, it also includes provisions to set up patent offices outside the Washington area for the first time. Those new offices are to be funded by patent fees — not direct government expenditures — providing fiscal conservatives a little cover.

Politics, however, is front and center in the lobbying under way. Even though the law calls for three new offices, one location has already been decided.

Under the law, one of the offices is slated for Detroit and already has a name: The Elijah J. McCoy United States Patent and Trademark Office. McCoy was a prominent African-American inventor. While Michigan certainly fits the criteria as a region with economic need, it also can claim 105,502 patents since 1977. And the state is home to thousands of engineers, some displaced from the auto industry and now looking for work…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]

Startup Weekend Launches Startup Foundation Initiative in Partnership with Kauffman Foundation

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

The Startup Foundation currently has eight pilot member cities: Boston; Des Moines; Detroit; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; New York City; Seattle; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Foundation co-founders in each city are mapping their local entrepreneurial ecosystem and interviewing community leaders.

From the Kauffman Foundation:

“Startup Weekend, a global grassroots network of entrepreneurs and leaders, today announced an initiative in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that will lead to the creation of vibrant startup communities in cities across the nation. Called the Startup Foundation, the program is a grassroots initiative that helps cities build and establish ecosystems that will support more high-growth entrepreneurs, startups, and ultimately, jobs.

“We know from our experiences with local Startup Weekends that entrepreneurship is best supported at the grassroots level,” said Marc Nager, CEO of Startup Weekend. “The Startup Foundation will ensure that community leaders across the country have a sustainable platform for which to effect real change within their local communities.”

Startup Weekends are events in cities around the world where aspiring founders and startup supporters meet to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch companies. With funding from the Kauffman Foundation, the Startup Foundation will focus on researching and mapping the ecosystems of participating cities to identify influential leaders, programs and gaps in community resources; supporting local initiatives that drive the creation of more entrepreneurs, startups, and jobs; and raising funds for local entrepreneurship support initiatives…”

READ FULL PRESS RELEASE [web]
Startup Foundation [web]
About Startup Foundation on YouTube [web]
Startup Weekend [web]

Will Stanford Take the F Train to Silicon Island? Tensions Rise as Deadline for Tech Campus Approaches

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

As the Oct. 28 deadline for proposals approaches, both neighborhood advocates and the institutions bidding have intensified their campaigns. Scuttlebutt has Stanford as the frontrunner and Roosevelt Island as the likely site, agitating folks like Ms. Dolan and institutions like N.Y.U.

From BetaBeat:

“If replicating the talent engine that fuels Silicon Valley sounds ambitious, City Hall’s underlying vision is even more enterprising. New York City’s Economic Development Corporation has offered universities around the world a chance to compete for city-owned land in the hopes of besting the Valley, wresting the title of innovation capital from global competitors and remaking New York’s industrial landscape. So long Goldman Sachs, hello start-ups—if it comes to that, of course. Estimates are that the project will generate $6 billion in economic activity over the next few decades and add 8,000 construction jobs and spin out 400 companies in the coming years.

The E.D.C.’s application makes no bones about its goal: “Increase the probability that the next high growth company—a Google, Amazon, or Facebook—will emerge in New York City and not in Shanghai, Mumbai, or Sao Paolo…”

READ FULL ARTICLE [web]