Interest: During the first three months of the year, Massachusetts saw its slowest quarter for venture capital activity since late 2010, industry tracker CB Insights reported Wednesday.
The dip came as VC dollars invested in the U.S. dropped to the lowest quarterly level since the third quarter of 2010, CB Insights said.
Interest: Eric Migicovsky failed to attract interest in his invention from potential investors, but he certainly captured the imagination of the public.
The $3.7-million – as of press time, and counting – that backers have pledged for his Pebble watch on Kickstarter.com in the six days since it was listed has set a record for the crowdfunding site designed to back startups.
Interest: The recently-passed JOBS Act will increase both deal pace and valuation in mergers and acquisitions for software and related technology companies. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, passed by large, bipartisan majorities and signed into law by President Obama on April 5, was described by the president "a potential game changer" for start-ups and small businesses.
Interest: In sue and counter-sue games, the biggest loser is innovation, says entrepreneur.
The Internet Age is becoming as known for patent litigation as it is for online innovation, but some tech entrepreneurs believe patent spats are damaging the industry.
From the makers of computer chips to creators of smartphones and designers of videogames, rivalries have spread from marketplaces to courtrooms with combatants warring over rights to use technology.
Interest: TI Silicon Valley Labs to join with universities and customers in game-changing analog research. The labs' charter is to conduct advanced research and development in analog and mixed signal circuits and technologies through recruitment of top talent and close collaboration with universities and customers.
Interest: "A lackluster investment in science and innovation is driving fears among Americans about our world dominance in the years ahead," said Research!America Chair and former Illinois Congressman John E. Porter. "These concerns will likely increase unless policy makers take action to avoid serious consequences, such as a major loss of U.S. jobs, business, medical breakthroughs and output in innovation."
Interest: Nonprofits, businesses and government agencies are flocking to provide cash incentives for major breakthroughs on the theory that traditional funding approaches, like venture capital, are too risk averse. These groups—which range from organizations such as the X Prize Foundation to start-ups that allow companies to run their own competitions like Kaggle Inc. and TopCoder Inc.—say the prize model catalyzes innovation by allowing companies to tap talent beyond their employees or immediate network.
Interest: Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Schapiro warned senators that a House-passed package of bills to ease capital formation by startup businesses could remove vital investor protections.
"Companies seeking to access capital should not be hindered by unnecessary or overly burdensome regulations. At the same time, we must balance our responsibility to facilitate capital formation with our obligation to protect investors and our markets," Schapiro said.
Interest: When the Senate moves to vote on the House version of the JOBS bill in upcoming days, it will include a highly anticipated crowdfunding provision, the origins of which, appropriately, came from "the crowd."
Ultimately if the senate votes to approve its version of the Jobs bill, this group of influencers would have helped to push through a big rule change that many entrepreneurs hope could unlock that first stage of seed financing that evaporated with the onset of the recession.
Interest: Gov. Brian Sandoval's recently released economic development plan for Nevada touched on the need to provide assistance in the technology transfer process, since this is one of the key ways that higher education can engage the business community and contribute to economic development.
The plan seeks to promote innovation and technology commercialization in partnership with the Nevada System of Higher Education.
Interest: The city of Austin, Texas was originally known for government and university jobs, but when the oil prices dropped, local and state leaders decided to make technology the centerpiece of its economy.
Add government efforts (incentives, no income tax), education (The University of Texas, St. Edward's University, Austin Community College) and the strength of the technology market in the 1990s and 2000s, among other factors. Stir vigorously, and you have the modern Austin.
Interest: The Senate is moving toward prompt passage of a measure that overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives last week.
The bill aims to encourage job creation by making it easier for small firms to raise capital. But it is not expected to make a major dent in the high U.S. unemployment rate. The House-passed bill would make it easier for firms to solicit private investors and relax filing requirements associated with initial public offerings.
Interest: Massachusetts continued to occupy the top ranks of key innovation economy indicators such as attracting funding and research and development dollars, and it reversed a two-year decline in technology licensing in the 2011 Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy released today.
Interest: Arizona State University’s Venture Catalyst is launching a new startup accelerator which is aimed at individuals starting companies based on the University’s intellectual property. The plan for Furnace entails showcasing the many discoveries that ASU has developed in its research laboratories, with the intent that these technologies will form the basis for new high-potential startups.
Interest: Several bills pending in Congress would make it easier for biopharma and other tech startups looking for financing other than the traditional—and increasingly hard to secure—venture capital.
The bills would encourage an alternative that has met with success in other fields, namely crowdfunding—the practice of soliciting small amounts of capital from numerous funders rather than a large lump sum by one or more investors.
Interest: The University of North Carolina Wilmington plans to spin off its Entrepreneurship Center so the center can expand and help support economic development in the area, Chancellor Gary L. Miller said Tuesday. The center, which was created in 2010, helps connect start-up companies and small businesses to sources of expertise and funding.
Interest: The University of Michigan’s tech transfer office will lead a new two-year, $2.4 million initiative to help state universities take advantage of local entrepreneurs and innovators in an effort to commercialize university technology.