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News for Innovators, Investors and Developers
There Would Be No Iranian Nuclear Talks If Not for Fracking
“I think it’s pretty clear that without the U.S. shale revolution, it never would have been possible to put this kind of embargo on Iran,” says Julius Walker, a global energy market strategist with UBS Securities
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Entrepreneurship Week Shows More Ways to Launch a Start-up
Swing hard. Fail fast. And don't spend too much time pursuing that idea -- even if it's a great one. That's the kind of advice that came fast and furious, leavened by laughter and applause, at an event that displayed much of the spirit of Cleveland Entrepreneurship Week.
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Illinois Pension Crisis Fix Pushed Back Again
Illinois lawmakers left the Capitol on Thursday without a resolution to the state's $100 billion public worker pension debt and without a clear time frame for reaching an agreement to rein in the costs of the nation's worst-funded retirement system.
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Cities Turn to Streetcars to Spur Economic Development
It is a common theme among city planners from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Seattle, as younger workers flock to areas where cars are not needed for daily living. Cities as big as Los Angeles and as small as Norfolk, Va., are turning to streetcars and light rail lines to tie together neighborhoods, attract businesses and lure residents.
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Startup Jobs and Innovation Act Could Mean Big Break for Life Sciences Industry
Could a new bill in the U.S. Senate jumpstart healthcare startups? Sen. Robert Menendez and Sen. Pat Toomey introduced the Startup Jobs and Innovation Act today. If turned into law, the legislation would modify the tax code to allow innovative startups to partner with investors through “R&D Partnership Structures.” This could mean a break for the expensive life sciences industry
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Changing Course: Business Schools Cut Programs
Business schools are learning that, sometimes, less is more. After spending years adding new programs in an attempt to boost enrollment and capitalize on untapped revenue streams, deans say the efforts often confused prospective students or distracted administrators.
Read More U.S. Private Colleges Face Enrollment Decline
Chevron and Ukraine Set Shale Gas Deal
Western oil companies trying to find shale gas in Europe are discovering that Ukraine, eager to reduce its dependence on Russian energy imports, is one of their most willing partners.On Tuesday, Chevron signed a 50-year agreement with the Ukrainian government to develop oil and gas in western Ukraine. The government said that Chevron would spend $350 million on the exploratory phase of the project and that the total investment could reach $10 billion.
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Supreme Court to Decide Who Has Right to Sue JobsOhio
Both sides in Ohio Supreme Court arguments today agreed with the senior justice’s characterization of a barrier that keeps people from suing JobsOhio, but the dispute centered on who is allowed to penetrate that barrier. The issue of who has the right to sue state government was the central issue in an hour-long hearing on a lawsuit involving JobsOhio.
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ACA to SEC - Startups Need Supportive Regs (Please Withdraw Proposed General Solicitation Rules)
Serving as the voice of the North American angel community, the Angel Capital Association is pleased to bring you our new Insights Blog, featuring commentary on startup investment trends, the latest on public policy affecting entrepreneurial investment, and other topics top of mind to active accredited investors.
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Elite Grads in Business Flock to Tech
A record number of business school graduates from top schools are choosing jobs in the technology sector, as interest in finance continues to show marked declines. Seduced by the culture and mission at places such as Google and Linked-In business-school graduates are even accepting somewhat lower pay for what they perceive as more meaningful work—once unthinkable among a group known for chasing profits.
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Why Now Is the Time to Seek Startup Funding
We are entering a golden age of small-business and entrepreneurial finance. Between the crowdfunding boom (both donations and soon-to-be investment-based) and the surging growth of peer-to-peer lending sites like Lending Club and Prosper.com, never before have there been so many places for those seeking and those providing capital to connect and transact. For entrepreneurs, this means faster and cheaper access to more capital, especially in smaller amounts.
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U.S. Private Colleges Face Enrollment Decline
From 2010 through 2012, freshman enrollment at more than a quarter of U.S. private four-year schools declined 10% or more. The trajectory reflects demographic and technological changes, along with questions about a college degree's value that are challenging centuries-old business models. Schools on the losing end are responding with closures, layoffs, cutbacks, mergers and new recruitment strategies. Many see these as the first signs of a shakeout that will reorder the industry.
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Does Iowa Have the Right Code to Clog Brain Drain?
The problem of Iowa’s technology students fleeing for more traditional technology hubs after college has a simple solution, if you ask Brett Neese: Build some bridges. The problem, he said, is that the programs operate independently of each other and few connections link them. “A lot of these things are operating in silos,” says Neese,
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Wisconsin Governor OKs Legislation to Raise Funds Through Crowd-sourcing
Wisconsin businesses in search of investment could tap into the crowd-sourcing approach popularized by websites such as Kickstarter, under a bipartisan bill signed Thursday by Gov. Scott Walker. With the bill's signing, Wisconsin joins a small number of states that have rewritten their laws on stock sales to allow small investments through Internet sites similar to those already widely used by groups seeking donations.
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US 'Report Card' for 2013: Student Achievement Creeps Upward
America's students made incremental improvements in math and reading since 2011, according to the national 'report card' for 2013. But the pace of gains has slowed, critics note, and a sizable – and stubborn – gap persists between achievement of white and nonwhite students.
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The Hidden Technology That Makes Twitter Huge
Consider the tweet. It’s short—140 characters and done—but hardly simple. If you open one up and look inside, you’ll see a remarkable clockwork, with 31 publicly documented data fields. Why do these tweets, typically born of a stray impulse, need to carry all this data with them? While a tweet thrives in its timeline, among the other tweets, it’s also designed to stand on its own, forever.
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A Serious Examination of the Promise and Perils of Equity Crowdfunding
A disruptive new way for small companies to raise capital is putting a spotlight on the readiness of a tightly regulated securities market to adopt the openness of the Internet — and has sparked debate about whether the change will spur economic growth or become another vehicle for fraud. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is proposing a set of rules to let start-ups and other small companies sell securities for the first time through crowdfunding. Checking the perils and promise---.
Read More Seriously Ridiculous: Rethinking the SEC's Proposed Crowdfunding RulesACA to SEC - Startups Need Supportive Regs (Please Withdraw Proposed General Solicitation Rules)
Idaho Town Struggles After Pinning Hopes on a Failed Factory
With great fanfare, a Chinese polysilicon factory broke ground on 67 acres here in 2007. Then, as the rest of the nation tumbled into recession, the plant rose up in shimmering promise. So what if the company wanted breaks and concessions? The decision by the city to buy the land and lease it back almost free seemed like a bargain at $1.4 million, given the potential payoff. Now, 18 months after shutting completely, the factory stands ghostly and silent. It never went into full operation, and in the global collapse of silica prices, it probably never will, solar industry experts said.
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Super Angel Fund Invests in Two Wisconsin Start-ups
The Super Angel fund began making investments earlier this year when it reached $7 million in assets, Tom Schuster said. The fund expects to finish raising capital by the end of the year, he said.Wisconsin Super Angel Fund which launched in March with more than $5million to put into early-stage companies, said it has invested in two Wisconsin-based start-ups.
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Plug and Play Offers San Diego Startups a Bridge to Silicon Valley
They departed. They saw. And then they came back. The inaugural class of startups from San Diego to be admitted to a 10-week “startup camp” established by the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, CA, has returned home. Five of the eight companies chosen to participate in the first Plug and Play San Diego Startup Camp program made it through the entire process, including a quick pitch business presentation to scores of investors.
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Trade Groups Urge Congress to Tackle Patent-Demand Letters
Trade groups from across the economy are asking members of Congress to take up the issue of patent demand letters. Demand letters are those sent by patent-holding entities to companies and individuals, accusing the recipient of patent infringement. The letters typically demand payment for the use of that patented technology and threaten litigation.
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Silicon Valley's Canadian Feeder School: University of Waterloo
Waterloo is a sleepy, postindustrial city of 100,000, a little less than 200 miles northeast of Detroit. BlackBerry’s co-founder, Mike Lazaridis, dropped out of the electrical engineering program, but over the years he’s provided the school with regular access to his company’s research labs—and with more than $120 million to fund projects, including the construction of quantum computing facilities
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Rising Seas Haven't Hurt Property Values - Yet
The Atlantic Ocean is rising, but the South Florida real estate market doesn't care. A panel of real estate, finance and insurance professionals discussed the practical implications of rising sea levels Friday. Their conclusion: The risks of higher sea levels have not yet made an impression on the market. But this could change.
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From Stem Cells to Patients: CIRM's Progress
Nine years ago this month, California voters approved a $3 billion program to accelerate stem cell research and bring cures for everything from paralysis to Parkinson’s disease. The promise was that stem cells could be used to treat incurable diseases by regrowing tissues, organs and even body parts. Now, as the agency begins to run low on funds, it’s clear that treatments haven’t come as fast as optimists had hoped. No therapies funded by the agency have been approved.
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Program to Target Rules for Funding Pittsburgh Startups
During Alpha Lab's most recent Demo Day and Technology Preview, sales pitches made by the class of startups lacked an essential element: the sale.
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Billionaires Abduct U.S. Farm Subsidies
The federal government paid $11.3 million in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies from 1995 to 2012 to 50 billionaires or businesses in which they have some form of ownership, according to a report by the Environmental Working Group. Billionaires who received the subsidies or owned companies that did include Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen; investment titan Charles Schwab; and S. Truett Cathy, owner of Chick-fil-A.
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Student Team to Scour Campuses for Promising Startups
One of Boston's two student-run seed investing collectives, Rough Draft Ventures, is announcing the team of students that will make investment decisions this year. Rough Draft puts anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 into student-founded tech startups; the money is supplied by Cambridge-based General Catalyst Partners.
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Vets in Tech Helps Veterans Find Jobs in Tech Industry
Katherine Webster is a Bay Area technology veteran with a career that includes 16 years at Sun Microsystems. But when she looked around her industry, she didn't see anyone throwing out the welcome mat for military veterans. She's working to change that as founder of Vets in Tech, a grass-roots project with the goal of demystifying the high-tech world for veterans interested in getting their boots in the door of Silicon Valley, and beyond.
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States Launch Programs to Help Veterans Find Jobs
The overall unemployment rate for veterans is steadily declining, but veterans are having better luck landing work in Virginia and Texas than they are in California and New Jersey. The jobless rate for the youngest veterans remains stubbornly high. Amid a national campaign to hire veterans the overall unemployment rate for veterans stands at 6.5 percent, compared to a rate of 7.2 percent for the country as a whole.
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West Virginia Creates Investment Fund to Help New Entrepreneurs
West Virginia now has a new tool in its toolbox to encourage new business ideas in the state. At a press conference last week in downtown Charleston Governor Earl Ray Tomblin along with those with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) unveiled the creation of the first Angel Fund in the state.
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In Public Education, Edge Still Goes to Rich
There aren’t many things that are more important to that idea of economic mobility — the idea that you can make it if you try — than a good education,” President Obama told students. Yet in Illinois and Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina, school districts with a poverty rate of 30 percent receive at least 20 percent less money per pupil than districts with a 10 percent poverty rate. Can anything be done to close these gaps?
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Military’s Huge Impact in North Carolina May Shrink
The military supports roughly 540,000 jobs in North Carolina, but its presence may shrink over the next few years. That’s according to a report the N.C. Commerce Department released. That impact is massive. North Carolina has the third-largest military population in the country
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Las Vegas’ Tech Sector Has Some Maturing to Do
A year ago, Las Vegas’ tech sector was creating a lot of buzz but not many results. Ideas were flying all over the place. Techies would concoct a business plan and work nonstop for a weekend building a website or software, then lose interest and let the concept fizzle. There was only one big pot of tech-focused investment cash, and out-of-state startups typically moved here only if they received money from it. Today, Las Vegas’ geek scene is maturing, moving past its raw beginnings and gaining footing as a real industry.
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