SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Kauffman Foundation Index Suggests Entrepreneurial Businesses Seeing Growth

May 26, 2016

Although the growth of young entrepreneurial businesses has increased it has not yet returned to pre-Recession levels, according to new research from the Kauffman Foundation. The Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship measures the growth of entrepreneurial businesses in the United States. In 2016, the index experienced the largest year-over-year increase in the last decade, according to its authors, Kauffman researchers Arnobio Morelix, E.J. Reedy, and Joshua Russell. Despite this uptick, however, entrepreneurial growth is still down compared to the levels experienced in the 1980s and 1990s.

NIST to Fund National Cybersecurity Network; Other Nations Invest in Cybersecurity R&D

May 26, 2016

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a federal funding opportunity (FFO) to establish and sustain up to eight Regional Alliances and Multistakeholder Partnerships to Stimulate (RAMPS) Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development.

NSF Unveils Nine-Point R&D Agenda; Strategic Plans for Big Data, Advanced Computing Infrastructure

May 26, 2016

As the National Science Foundation (NSF) celebrates its 66th birthday, NSF’s Director France Córdova unveiled a nine-point research agenda to shape the federal agency’s future for the next several decades. These nine big ideas are intended to “illustrate how increased support for the type of basic research that NSF funds could help answer pressing societal problems,” according to an article from sciencemag.org. NSF’s leadership also hopes to build public and subsequent federal government support for significant federal investments in its agenda as well as spark the interest of industry and foundations to invest alongside the federal government. In addition to NSF’s release of a proposed long-term research agenda, two reports focused on Big Data and advanced computing infrastructures were also released by the federal government in May.

DOE Announces Intent to Fund New NNMI, Clean Tech Manufacturing Pilot Program

May 26, 2016

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) released a notice of intent to establish and sustain a Clean Energy
Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) in materials manufacturing. The $70 million funding opportunity
will be released in June to enable the development and widespread deployment of key industrial platform technologies that will dramatically reduce life-cycle

After Over Four Years of ‘Anxious Waiting’, Equity Crowdfunding Goes Live

May 26, 2016

After over four years of “anxious waiting,” equity crowdfunding is now legal across the U.S. allowing non-accredited investors to make equity investment in startups through a registered online portal. With the adoption of the final rules for Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, the U.S.

Making High-Tech Incubators, Accelerators More Inclusive

May 26, 2016

Although many leaders of high-tech incubator and accelerator programs do not currently offer targeted programs to ensure inclusivity of all populations, they have conveyed they would like to do so, according to new research from the Initiative for the Competitive Inner City (ICIC), with financial support from JP Morgan Chase. The research brief, which was unveiled this week as part of Detroit’s Startup Week, draws on interviews with more than 75 entrepreneurship, incubator and accelerator program managers to identify barriers to inclusivity and present potential strategies that could increase the participation rates of women and minority entrepreneurs.

Recent Research: Does Feedback on Business Plans Help Entrepreneurs?

May 26, 2016

One of the recurring characteristics of entrepreneurs, based on numerous biographies and case studies, is a driven self-confidence that may border, in some circles, as excessive or even narcissistic. Closer scrutiny, of course, shows there is no such thing as the “self-made” person, but entrepreneurship still is described often as a heroic, lone-wolf quest. Is it paradoxical to advocate for and even expect mentoring and “how to” entrepreneurship training to work? Wouldn’t “real” entrepreneurs leading promising startups succeed without the advice? A recent working paper describes an experiment that attempted to address this issue.

‘Moneyball’ Meets TBED: Sports Look for Advantage Through Innovation

May 11, 2016

In Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game — a New York Times bestseller by Michael Lewis from 2003 – the author focuses on the successful approach of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics and its general manager Billy Beane’s use of an analytical, evidence-based, sabermetric approach to assemble a competitive baseball team. Conventional wisdom of the time focused on traditional scouting and non-advanced statistics.

Early Stage Capital Measures Pass in KS, TN, and WV, In Limbo for AZ and ND

May 11, 2016

A mixture of success and trepidation accompanied 2016 legislation introduced in  several states to create, extend, or recapitalize angel tax credit programs. While legislation in Arizona’s legislature failed due to a lack of support, angel tax credit bills in Kansas and Tennessee passed easily with broad support from their governors, lawmakers, and the public. In North Dakota, the state’s angel tax credit program faces an unclear future due to concerns about transparency and oversight. To stimulate investments in West Virginia’s startup community, Gov.

Recent Research: What Happens to High-Growth Firms?

May 11, 2016

Because they focus on attracting mature firms through relocation incentives, job creation strategies at the state level are often misguided, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Despite this, many metropolitan regions are increasingly focusing their efforts on attracting and retaining the high-growth firms responsible for an oversized share of job growth and economic output. While considerable research has focused on the important role that startups and high-growth firms play in the national economy, relatively little has been done to apply a regional lens to this phenomenon. New research, tracks high-growth firms over a multiple-year period to assess how their changing operations can inform regional economic development.

Angel Investing: Patience and a Portfolio Required

May 11, 2016

The latest Angel Resource Institute (ARI) survey of returns for nearly 250 angel investments reveals the number of projects failing to breakeven during their liquidity events is up sharply since before the Great Recession – nearly 35 percent more are losing money for their angels than ARI found in a 2007 survey.  In 2007, 52 percent of liquidity events failed to reach 1x, while that figure has grown to 70 percent in 2016. Add to that, angel investors are holding companies in their portfolios 12 months longer on average, 4.5 years in 2016, than they did in the first study.

Expanding Veterans' Opportunities to Become Entrepreneurs

May 11, 2016

Todd Connor, CEO of Bunker Labs, begins his pitch in front of a Startup Week event in Columbus, Ohio with a compelling statistic. In the six years following WWII, 50 percent of returning veterans started their own businesses. Today, only 6 percent of post-9/11 vets do the same, despite surveys showing four times that number would like to do so.  What has changed to lead to such a contrast and entrepreneurship gap?

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