Funding to let the light of innovation shine

ImageSAN FRANCISCO — When Dr. Robert Thornton passed in late 2011, he had developed the most advanced industrial lasers by operating a lab out of his kitchen, using his own resources.

In the previous quarter-century he had averaged two patents in optoelectronics per year, twice winning the Eagle Award from Xerox for most patents by a company innovator.

However, the year he passed, SBA loans to African-Americans had fallen 75 percent from the high water mark, just four years earlier.   In 2011, perhaps $300 million of the $30 billion demand for business capital among African-American companies was made available.

In Year of Jubilee: State of Black Business, 10th edition, we document for the first time the actual credit and investment needs by state.  It is part of our plan to create one million new jobs over the next four years by re-industrializing African-American neighborhoods.

The starting place is the already-prevalent body of industrial innovation which Thornton and other great thinkers like the late Gerald A. Lawson have already developed.

In this year’s 14th annual 50  Most Important African-Americans in Technology, we identify a group of TechSwag companies because they execute science on the same level as championship athletes — they play to win and to seize dominance of the markets they create.

We”re also rolling out a new online community Where Money Finds You that allows  customers, investors and lenders to connect with the firms which are headed for massive growth.

Nurturing innovation companies like the TechSwag ventures is the best way to reverse the deterioration of cities and rural areas.   Michael Hurst, CEO of ChloroFill, has brought hope to Nodaway County, MO with the plant to create building materials from plant waste using his patents.

Sylvester Flowers created Ramsell Corp. from a single pharmacy in San Francisco in 1962.   Under the leadership of his son, Eric, the company is poised to provide pharmacy management and its own proprietary software to help achieve the goals of health care reform, more than 50 years later.

Policy changes are needed.  The proliferation of cash being poured into Wall Street by the Federal Reserve, without any guidance towards the communities which were hit hardest by the economic downtown,  must be redirected in part towards intermediaries which can deliver economic development through innovation.

Year of Jubilee lists those public/private entities in the rating for each state.  The only thing that is missing is the scale to meet the need.   If we can dramatically increase black prison inmates n less than 15 years, we can definitely create a good environment for job creators.



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