Krista Tuomi

Krista Tuomi is an assistant professor at American University, Washington DC. She has worked for many years as a policy analyst in the areas of investment and innovation, with a special focus on the start-up investment climate.

How Innovative Is Your State?

A robust and innovative start-up sector is key to sustainable economic growth. For innovation to occur, however, enterprises must have both the incentive and the capacity to invest. Incentives are multi-faceted and heavily reliant on the overall investment climate. Capacity depends on the education level of employees and management, their experience in rapid adaptation of products and processes, and their access to funds for R&D and commercialization.
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Puff the Magic Dragon? China Equity Group’s Incubator Purchase and What It Means for the US

China Equity Group and Hanxin Capital recently announced a $713 million fund (Cocoon Networks) to invest in European start-ups. In addition, they will be partnering with the University of London to establish an incubator to help start-ups expand into the Chinese market. According to the CEO of Cocoon, Jack Zai, the Europe shift is due in part to disillusionment with some aspects of stateside investment, including competitive rounds and high valuations.

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Patent Reform for Startups: Where are we now?

The 2011 SBA report on reducing startup barriers listed some useful ideas regarding patent reform. (The report was the product of nationwide roundtables held with more than 1,000 entrepreneurs and investors). The first notable suggestion was an extension of the Department of Energy’s “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator” to other federal agencies. This program made it cheap and easy for startups to purchase and commercialize the Department of Energy’s thousands of unlicensed patents. Also suggested was a central database of federally funded research and IP available for licensing (and a few challenge contests on such research). Lastly, it was recommended that the application process be improved by shortening the time to patent denials.

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