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.


Recent Research: Broadband Availability and Rural Entrepreneurship

September 29, 2016

Because existing evidence points to the presence of broadband as having a positive connection to the economic health in rural areas, numerous states and the federal government have made increasing broadband in these places a top priority. In particular, many rural areas view broadband as an important tool in attracting entrepreneurs and other creative-class employees. Although this tactic is well intentioned, new research suggests that the association between expanded rural broadband availability and the proliferation of entrepreneurship and creative-class employees may not be as strong as one might think, and that the relationship may actually be negative.

Innovative Funding at the Edges

September 29, 2016

Venture development organizations are reaching into new territory for funding partners and finding success in innovative models. Two new funds, the San Diego Tech & Life Science Investor Syndicate and Rev1 Fund I in Columbus, OH, have recently opened with less traditional funding sources, testing the waters of crowdfunding and heavy corporate backing, respectively. The San Diego fund, launched by CONNECT, allows anyone wanting to invest $1,000 the opportunity to participate alongside more experienced lead investors.

Startup Exits, Valuations Decline in First Half 2016, Reports Find

September 29, 2016

After an extremely strong venture capital market in 2015, the industry seems to show the signs of a decline driven by both cautious and fatigued investors. Three recent studies from Pitchbook and CB Insights indicate that there are several reasons why venture capital firms and other investors have been more cautious so far in 2016 including: mixed economic growth numbers; a volatile political climate; and, more security in private markets.

California College Students Promised New Graduation Incentives

September 29, 2016

Students at several California community colleges as well as California State University (CSU) campuses have access to a new incentive to graduate in four years through new state “promise” programs.  Gov. Jerry Brown Jr. signed SB 412 and AB 1741 creating “promise” programs that act in conjunction with a new 2025 Graduation Initiative, aiming to boost the number of students graduating from those institutions in four years to 40 percent. Success in the programs is intended to help address future workforce needs of California and improve achievement gaps.

Millennials Take on Economy

September 29, 2016

Millennials internalized the effects of the most recent recession and revealed their beliefs about the economy and jobs future in a recent poll conducted by EY, a professional services company, and the Economic Innovation Group. Nearly one-third believe their community is still in a recession and 78 percent are worried about having good-paying job opportunities, according to the poll.

EDA Seeks Comments on Regional Innovation Program

September 29, 2016

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) requests public comment on the overarching regulatory framework for the Regional Innovation Program. Comments should focus on the structure and implementation of the Regional Innovation Program, including Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) grants.

EDA Announces Funding for Entrepreneurial, Workforce Development in OK, PA SC, WY

September 22, 2016

Over the last several months, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has announced millions of dollars in grants to support tech-based economic development efforts in communities across the country (see recent Digest articles from August 18 and September 8).

NSF InfoBrief: US R&D Increased $21.1B in 2014

September 22, 2016

U.S. research and development (R&D) performance rose to $477.7 billion in 2014 – an increase of $21.1 billion over 2013, according to a recent National Science Foundation (NSF) InfoBrief. When adjusted for inflation, growth in U.S. total R&D performance (1.2 percent annually between 2008 and 2014) matched the average pace of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

New Report Highlights Local Strategies for Developing Equitable Innovation Economies

September 22, 2016

As U.S. cities increasingly focus economic development strategies on technology and innovation to spur economic growth, they should be cognizant that growing these businesses and jobs can also exacerbate local inequities and should, therefore, develop plans to address this issue, according to a newly released report from the Equitable Innovation Economies Initiative (EIE).

Commerce Announces Appointments to National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

September 22, 2016

The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced that 30 individuals will serve in the third membership cycle of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). NACIE, which was established in 2010, advises the secretary of Commerce on transformational policies to help communities, businesses and the American workforce become more globally competitive.

Venture Capital Returns Challenged by Recent Evaluations

September 22, 2016

A spate of recent news challenges many common perceptions of venture capital. Academic researchers have identified critical shortcomings with widely used industry data. Major investors have revealed smaller than anticipated returns. An analysis of thousands of investments indicates fund success requires superstar deals of well more than 10x. These articles should drive new evaluations of public policy and programs to support early stage capital.

Celebrate Manufacturing – National Manufacturing Day October 7

September 22, 2016

Occurring on the first Friday of October, Manufacturing (MFG) Day is October 7 this year. MFG Day is an annual event that showcases the strength of American manufacturing, as well as those who produce its goods and services, and which continues to advance the new technologies that grow the U.S. economy, create jobs, and keeps the nation competitive globally.  It empowers manufacturers across the nation to come together to address their collective challenges, highlight their successes, and illustrate how they can help their communities thrive.

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