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Take a look at this video care of Ideas Project

“I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface yet of understanding how to leverage the power of these social dynamics, but I think a key to unlocking the potential is going to be through developing better tools to visualize our human capital, which would be a combination of our strengths, our skills, and our social connections.”


Investment in start-ups relies more on mentoring and marketing than concerns about Intellectual property and patents.

That was the message of Jon Bradford,Part-time VC, and technology evangelist who was speaking at the Christmas Northern Start up event held in Manchester last night.

After a journey that has taken from Arthur Anderson’s in London to Newcastle via Melbourne and Silicon Valley,Bradford has launched The Difference Engine.

The idea came from his initial look into investing in technology start ups.He couldn’t see businesses that he wanted to invest in,whereas it used to cost loads of money to build soft ware business,it now cost little

He then asked the question,how do you cope with that and how do you tackle micro investment?

The result is the difference engine,an acceleration programme for early stage digital businesses.It is a is a full-time 16 week acceleration programme which combines investment capital of £20,000 (for 8% of the business) with mentoring, support and office accommodation with various other services provided by partners.

For the first four weeks of the course,the entrants are subjected to what Jon described as a “being given a good kicking ” where their plans and ideas are put under intense scrutiny from every single angle.Only after those initial four weeks are they allowed to start building their programme.

At the end of the course they are ready to pitch and present for venture capital.

What’s Jon looking for? His answer- the entrepreneur who will work on their ideas not matter what and see it as a life style decision.

If you’re interest get applying.Applications close on the 4th January and the the first 16 week course begins 10th Feb

What are the eight things that you need to know about collaboration?

Well Dale Arseneault believes that these are the important ones

1. Collaboration is over used and mis-used and is becoming a buzzword for business people and technologists alike

2. Collaboration isn’t the same as cooperation or coordination – each have different processes, practices and depth of engagement

3. Collaboration is a human process – throwing technology at people won’t magically/automatically create collaboration

4. Meaningful, productive collaboration won’t happen without mutuality of desired outcomes, shared values of transparency and information sharing, compassion, compromise

5. Collaboration implies that “the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few or the needs of the one” and sometimes people aren’t really interested in living by that principle

6. Collaboration isn’t always the best process

7. Collaboration is not equal to Web 2.0

8. Collaboration can be a source of real value in the face of complex environments and situations where no single person has the right answer

Havard Business school and Insead and Brigham Young University have just completed a six-year study of more than 3,000 executives and 500 innovative entrepreneurs and have identified five skills that drive innovation.

The five skills that are seen as separating the blue-sky innovators from the rest associating, questioning, observing, experimenting and discovering.

1.Associating: The ability to connect seemingly unrelated questions, problems or ideas from different fields.

2.Questioning: Innovators constantly ask questions that challenge the common wisdom. They ask “why?”, “why not?” and “what if?”

3.Observing: Discovery-driven executives scrutinize common phenomena, particularly the behavior of potential customers.

4,Experimenting: Innovative entrepreneurs actively try out new ideas by creating prototypes and launching pilots.

5.Networking: innovators go out of their way to meet people with different ideas and perspectives.

What do you think?

In an interview with America’s CNN,one of the researchers,Hal Gregersen said

“The way they act is to observe actively, like an anthropologist, and they talk to incredibly diverse people with different world views, who can challenge their assumptions, adding

“For them, everything is to be experimented upon — for example, if they walk into a bookstore and they’re used to reading history they might try psychology. All these behaviors are powerfully enhanced by a capacity to ask provocative, challenging questions of the world around them.”


The full study can be seen in December’s Harvard Business Review

I have just come across this cartoon thanks to Stefan Lindegaard’s Continous Innovation Group.

As he says,”Internal forces are often the worst enemies of innovation.”

Innovation Cartoon

Innovation Cartoon

The UK’s economic success will depend upon its ability to commercialise and profit from research and ideas and to innovate in the service sector and creative.

Innovation was responsible for nearly 2/3 of private sector productivity growth in the UK between 2000-2007

That’s the conclusion of NESTA who earlier today launched its innovation index.

According to the research,UK businesses invested £133bn in innovation in 2007,representing 14 per cent  of private sector output. More than three-quarters of this came from “hidden innovation”, in areas other than research and development.

The index showed that a significant part of  innovative performance came not from the tradition area of R&D but areas such as design,organisational innovation and the development of innovative skills.

There was also a firm link between innovation and growth.

The study surveyed 1500 firms in the UK across nine sectors.

You can download a PDF of the full survey HERE

Time magazine has just produced its list of what it regards as the top 50 inventions of 2009.

Ares rocket off to the stars

Ares rocket off to the stars

No doubt the first of many top list for the year and for the decade,its top of the hit parade is NASA’s Ares rocket which the magazine describes as

The best and smartest and coolest thing built in 2009 — a machine that can launch human beings to cosmic destinations we’d never considered before — is the fruit of a very old family tree, one with branches grand, historic and even wicked.

Innovation Manchester

Innovation Manchester is a dynamic and diverse network of innovators and entrepreneurs, working together to make Manchester a better place to do business. We’re making Manchester a global innovation leader by creating: - new connections - new business opportunities - radical city-wide solutions Be part of the innovation conversation - all you need is enthusiasm and original thinking.

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