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Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles of Entrepreneurship

Thom Ruhe on April 11, 2014 Source: e360 Blog

To think that what used to be used primarily to create boxes, action figures and King Kong heads is now being used to create prosthetic limbs, lungs and hearts both excites and scares me a bit. Several weeks ago, Mark Marich highlighted an article on its amazing abilities on our Policy Forum blog. 3D printing has been around for nearly 30 years, but just in the past couple years has caught the mainstream media's attention as its capabilities and accessibility grow.

The article Mark referenced listed a few things you probably wouldn’t expect a 3D printer to produce, things like pizzas and cars. But the subhead that captured my attention was body parts. 3D printers are capable of producing artificial ears, hearts, kidneys, blood vessels, skin, and bones. As I read that, I remembered hearing about a partial skull produced with a 3D printer having been cleared by the U.S. FDA and subsequently used in a surgical procedure last year. The surgery replaced 75 percent of a man’s skull with the 3D printed skull.

Fast forward less than two months and here I am reading more about 3D printing’s medical applications and their impact on the healthcare field. I came across the article below about neurosurgeons in the Netherlands having successfully implanted a fully 3D printed skull to treat a 22-year-old woman who was suffering from a bone disorder. The operation was chronicled as a success, having taken place three months ago with the woman’s body not rejecting the implant.

It’s all pretty captivating and such a powerful testament to the ingenuity of the human race. And what I find so refreshing about its emergence is its dynamic nature and availability. In one instance, our world’s top neurosurgeons are using its output to enhance life-altering surgeries. And another, your average entrepreneur or student can walk into a lab and create a vase for his mom for Mother’s Day.

That’s the kind of democratization of innovation that I and others here at the Kauffman Foundation want to see. Only by giving everyone access to powerful tools like 3D printing will such a technology reach its full potential.

Gender GEDI Index                                        

The women’s entrepreneurship index measures the development of potential female entrepreneurship worldwide. This index launched in Istanbul, Turkey in June. This index also pairs together individual-level and institutional-level variables into divisions. These comprise three sub-indices measuring the quality of 1) entrepreneurial environment 2) the entrepreneurial ecosystem 3) women’s entrepreneurial aspirations. This index measures 17 countries. The US came in as the most favorable condition for women’s entrepreneurship. Following the US was Australia, Germany and France. 

In latest 3D printer implants breakthrough, surgeons replace skull

Neurosurgeons in the Netherlands successfully implanted a 3D printed skull to treat a 22-year-old woman who was suffering from a bone disorder. The operation lasted a total of 23 hours.

Congress looks to angels to revive economy

Lawmakers from both parties are crafting up legislation on how angel investors can be encouraged to pour more capital into startups. Every year angel investors pool more than $1 billion into thousands of companies. Angel investors are not always in large urban areas and these investors have the ability to ensure that these great ideas get traction. Therefore, lawmakers are looking to make startup investing easier and more financially attractive.

A Bold Plan to Create a Massive Tech-Biz Campus Near the Center of Cairo’s Uprisings                   

The GrEEK Campus in Cairo, Egypt is one of the first hubs for startups and tech companies. This 269,000-square foot building will eventually hold 2,000 employees. This project is risky due to its proximity to the Tahrir Square and the tension that it has represented. This country needs economic innovation. The unemployment among youth is very high.

Industry-Leading Companies Announce New Partnership for American Innovation

Apple, DuPont, Ford, GE, IBM, Microsoft and Pfizer have launched the Partnership for American Innovation. PAI is meant to protect America’s position as a leader in global innovation. These companies involved invest more than $40 billion every year in R&D and depend on the patent system to protect those investments. PAI wants to protect intellectual property.


Tags:  Top of Mind, Thom Ruhe, 5 Must-Reads, Entrepreneurship Articles, 3D Printing, lungs, skulls, hearts, 3D Printing organs, Policy Forum, Mark Marich, women entrepreneurs, angel investors,

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