Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Biotech Firm Shows San How New Products Draw Investment

San Diego’s has added another successful business to its budding biotech hub. Start-up firm aTyr Pharma, Inc. drew over $76 million investment capital from Sofinnova Ventures and another undisclosed entity to develop its drug called Resolaris that helps treat muscular dystrophy (Fikes, 2015). Biotech firms like aTyr help encourage greater investment and employment in the San Diego economy.

Every investment opportunity comes with risk and rewards. Venture capitalists diligently assess whether the risks and rewards are worth investing their hard earned capital.  Risk tolerant investors are more likely to get involved in highly innovative startups (Tian & Wang, 2014). In this case, a single patentable and profitable drug can make or break the firm’s long-term future.  

The ability to have exclusive rights to manufacture an important drug can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Approval of Resolaris for use and testing in the E.U., U.S. and other markets will add significantly to its value. The risks are lower and potential profit higher for companies that already have approvals.

Cities like San Diego have growing biotech hubs that produce more pharmaceutical start-ups than cities with less developed networks. The knowledge needed to invent and produce new drugs come from clusters of like-minded individuals who work within the local pharmaceutical industry. As they act and interact they innovate new drugs, models, and products.

When new start-ups develop they will draw more investors to the area seeking better opportunities to expand their investment portfolios. Successful start ups rely on existing local knowledge learned from communities that encourage an entrepreneurial spirit. As start ups make their way out of the incubation periods and product tangible products investors flock in maximize profits both helping local businesses as well as expanding employment opportunities.

Fickes, B. (April 1st, 2015). San Diego biotech raises $76 million. UT San Diego. Retrieved

Tian, X. & Wang, T. (2014). Tolerance for failure and corporate innovation. Review of Financial Studies, 27 (1).

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Experts Predict Economic Expansion for 2015 and 2016

Experts predict a few more strong laps around this race track we call our economy. Fifty forecasting experts with the National Association of Business Economics (NABE) believe the U.S. economy will grow at a rapid pace over the next two years. They suspect Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will increase on average 3.1% in 2015 and 2.9% in 2016.  
Few can complain about the potential win-win situation brewing that will reward businesses with higher sales and better employment opportunities for job seekers. Experts believe the economy will improve to a point where unemployment dips under 5% by the end of 2016.
The advantages of polling experts can help gauge the overall likelihood of success for the nation. These economic gurus have become successful in their fields and have opinions on economic growth and development. Funneling their opinions into useful metrics helps see that the average opinion is positive.
Each expert sifts the questionnaire information through their personal experiences, judgments and opinions to come to a conclusion about each question. These conclusions are averaged to get the statistics seen above. The more people involved in the forecast the greater the validity of the results.
Positive news and accurate information often draws investment from interested stakeholders that desire to improve their profit margins.  For example, if you own a business that is likely to benefit from a growing economy and are holding onto cash the positive news may prompt additional investment. This can in turn generate more employment; 250,000 per month worth.
Growing economies, lower unemployment, higher investment, and sustainable spending are positive news for any government that seeks to place in the finals of racing nations.  That doesn’t mean any of this will come to pass but that industry experts believe it is possible and perhaps even likely. If you are a business investor or a person seeking to gain from employment opportunities these numbers should be refreshing.

Poem and Painting: Solitude at the Beach- Work and Life Balance

Dr. Murad Abel
The sands of summer,
subtle breeze of daylight hours. 

Whips of grass,
rustling in sway.

Salty sea of ocean blue,
A place to sit for a while.

On the shoreline grass,
Where noise is a soft hum.

The waves never stop rolling,
Always keeping the line of land and sea.

A few minutes of walking,
Life's problems step away.

A few hours a week,
Your focus will be at its peak.

The poem discusses the idea that each person needs to find balance in their lives, work life, and goals. At times that balance comes from spending time alone while other times it could be spending time with family or engaging in fitness activities. Each person should discover that which keeps them motivated about life.

Work is a process that is aesthetically pleasing for a great many high performance players. Yet life isn't only about work. It includes other things such as family, friends, goals, and hobbies. Professionals should round out their interests in life to include both work but also non-work activities.

In my experience I have met individuals whose only goal is to progress at work with little regard for the other needs in their life. They may eventually achieve their goal but must give up other things that also have importance. Too narrow of a focus takes away from the flavor of life and leads to burn out.

Find activities and hobbies that help you balance and round out your life. For example, if you like cars but never had a chance to put your effort into one go and find a classic junker to fix up on the few hours you own every weekend. Maybe you want to coach baseball, engage in art, or find something else of interest. The choice is yours!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Solar Powered San Diego Encourages Ecological Advancement

San Diego is well on its way to becoming a city destined for environmental salvation. According to the non-profit Environment California Research & Policy Center San Diego Ranks second in the nation in terms of solar power usage. We are doing well in protecting our environment and ensuring a sustainable future. That doesn't mean we can't do more.

Creating streamlined processes for solar power installation approval as well as encouraging higher levels of solar power reliance is beneficial for setting the framework for sustainable cities. If there are any unnecessary restrictions on installing solar panels it will raise the overall customer costs and slow the pace of solar integration.

There are advantages to developing solar panels that include less reliance on outside sources of energy, lowering long-term costs, and reducing environmental costs. As more renewable sources are developed the city will lower its overall carbon footprint and slow its contribution to environmental problems.

Finding the right policies, awareness processes, and incentives helps to ensure people make a equitable choice to use renewable sources. With solar panels there is often a higher initial investment but much lower costs spread out over the duration of the panels. Making sure people understand where they can get panels and their true costs can tip the scales in consumer choice.

Solar panels and ecologically designed cities are the way of the future. Those cities in the process of transformation and building new infrastructure should consider the benefits of developing ecologically sound practices. San Diego is in a strong position to foster ecological hubs that spur new industries in environmental and blue economic development.

Why Industry Experts Won't Turn Their Back on Online Education?

Professionals wont turn their back on online doctorates because it provides them one of the only feasible ways to obtain a terminal degree. People with decades of experience don’t often go back to get a doctorate because of the years of time and investment that would pull them away from their business duties. Online doctoral education can marry professional experience and theory in ways that would be difficult for traditional schools to fulfill.
Online doctoral education has four purposes (Radda & Mandernach, 2013).:
1.      Prepare the doctoral community to develop knowledge and skills for the 21st century.
2.      Capture the collective intelligences and knowledge of individuals.
3.      Deepen scholarship and practical application of that scholarship.
4.      To further the interests of scholar-practitioners.

Online education has come a long way over the past 20 years and research has shown that the modality is growing in terms of benefits and effectiveness. One of the reasons why traditional colleges are adopting the model is because of cost and reach. With online education they can draw in additional learners that would previously been unable to go back to school.

We should think about all the experience out there hidden in the boardrooms and office. Many of these people would offer valuable knowledge to both academic and fellow industry stakeholders. Getting them into a doctoral program not only helps to grow their businesses but also ensure that their knowledge can be applied by others.

One of the main purposes of higher education is to grow and expand knowledge in a way that furthers the interest of societal stakeholders. Sometimes theory is developed that is difficult to implement for practical use in business. People with knowledge from industry have a better shot at developing theory that has immediate application to industry stakeholders that furthers economic growth.

Developing useful theory has a wider benefit to the business community and society. As better theory is produced and more quickly implemented into business practices the economic fundamentals of society strengthen leading to higher levels of adaptation and development. Seasoned business executives won’t turn their back on online education because they understand that quality of learning and usefulness of solutions are more important than the name of the school.

Radda, H. & Mandernach, B. (2013). Doctoral education online: challenging the paradigm. Journal of Education Technology, 9 (3).