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.


CB Insights: VCs Pivot to More Realistic Valuations

October 20, 2016

Despite Brexit and political uncertainty in the U.S., stability is returning to the global VC market as investors shift from new unicorn chasing and a renewed interest in global initial private offerings (IPOs) by late-stage startups, according to a new report from CB InsightsVenture Pulse Q3 2016.

USDA Announces Launch of $100M Rural Business Investment Company

October 20, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the launch of the McLarty Capital Partners’ Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) – a new private investment fund with the potential to inject $100 million into growth-oriented, small businesses across rural America. As the fifth RBIC to launch since 2014, McLarty Capital Partners’ RBIC is part of the Made in Rural America initiative, an ongoing effort by the Obama administration to attract private sector capital to investment opportunities in rural America and drive more economic growth in rural communities.

Pew Research Highlights State of American Jobs, Skills

October 20, 2016

The majority of Americans say new skills and training are critical to their future job success and to remain competitive in changing workplaces, according to a new report issued by the Pew Research Center in association with the Markle Foundation. This was particularly true for individuals working in STEM occupations, where roughly two-thirds of employed adults responded that ongoing training and skills development would be essential to their development.

Reframing Language of Tech-Based Economic Development

October 13, 2016

Practitioners in the technology-based economic development field often face questions about what they do, or what the field entails. The answer can be a challenge. Is it attracting high-quality jobs and businesses to an area, finding capital to finance science and tech startups, STEM education support, educating a new workforce, bringing research ideas to the marketplace, partnering with other organizations to achieve all those goals? It can be a mouthful, and it can be difficult to convey all those ideas in simple terms.

NSF Announces New Funding for Smart & Connected Communities

October 13, 2016

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking preliminary proposals for $18.5 million in funding to support the Smart & Connected Communities (S&CC) program. The NSF expects to make 18–29 awards in the following four categories:

FTC Report Calls for Reform of Patent Trolls

October 13, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report calling for reforms aimed at patent “trolls” to help lower the number of frivolous lawsuits filed by shell companies, a move welcomed by the tech industry that has pushed for reform because of the cost of lawsuits that result from the activity and its negative effect on innovation, research and development.

Report Contends Angel Investing is Neglected Segment of Entrepreneurial Finance

October 13, 2016

While academics and policymakers have rushed to embrace venture capital (VC) investors, they have had a tendency to neglect other entrepreneurial financiers (specifically angel investors) who critically affect the success and growth of new ventures, according to a new study from Josh Lerner of the Harvard Business School and Antoinette Schoar of the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Companies Receiving VC Funding Declined for 5th Straight Quarter, Report Finds

October 13, 2016

While the number of companies receiving venture capital (VC) backing continues to decline, the amount of money invested remains near record levels. As of Q3, the annual investment total for 2016 is approximately $56 billion invested across 6,000 companies.

Useful Stats: Gross Metropolitan Product Per Capita, 2010-2015

October 13, 2016

Between 2010 and 2015, the vast majority of metro areas experienced growth in gross metropolitan product (GMP), led by energy-intensive regions such as Odessa, TX, and Bismarck, ND, according to an SSTI analysis of recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The Elkhart, IN, and San Jose, CA, metropolitan areas experienced the largest increase in GMP per capita over the same period.

Welcoming America Toolkit Describes Tactics to Support Immigrant Entrepreneurs

October 06, 2016

Although much has been written on the value of immigrant entrepreneurship, relatively little research to date focuses on strategies for supporting these individuals. Welcoming America, a national nonprofit and non-partisan organization focused on immigrant inclusion, has addressed this gap by releasing a how-to-guide for those interested in supporting immigrant entrepreneurship in their cities. Produced with Global Detroit, an initiative focused on southeast Michigan’s international community, Seeds of Growth describes practical ways for regions across the nation to leverage opportunities associated with including immigrant entrepreneurs in local economic development strategies and programs.

Vote to Get Innovation in Presidential Debates!

October 06, 2016

Critical issues for the innovation economy seemed to play a prominent role early in this presidential campaign cycle. Bernie Sanders pushed to make college debt free, Republicans incorporated H-1B visas into their immigration stances and Hillary Clinton proposed a platform to support innovation. After one presidential and the vice-presidential debate, however, innovation, technology and education have received very limited attention. However, moderators for Sunday’s debate will be looking at the top 30 questions voted on by the public for possible inclusion in the next debate. The current top 30 suggestions indicate the public wants to hear answers to real policy questions, including a few on the economy and education. There is still time for you (and colleagues, friends, etc.) to help ensure that some of the more relevant items are selected.

EDA Grants Support Regional Innovation

October 06, 2016

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced a number of grants last week to aid regional innovation and entrepreneurship efforts through infrastructure improvements, the creation of new spaces, and business improvements in regions across the country. The grants fund projects in AR, AZ, CA, ME, MI, and OH.

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