Innovate Delaware will shine light on new ideas

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Delaware’s economy has historically grown by attracting smart people who have the courage to lead with their ideas.

And those ideas often turn into innovative new products that create jobs — particularly if they’re nurtured with capital, brainpower and a business environment receptive to creative thinking.

The News Journal has long told the stories of these enterprising pioneers, including the legendary leaders at DuPont and W.L. Gore who thought big and created international brands.

With today’s launch of Innovate Delaware, we apply more focus to the entrepreneurial spirit that powers the First State.

The personal finance content that anchored the Monday Business pages has moved to the Sunday Business section, along with our deep series on financial literacy that runs through the new year.

Our intent with Innovate Delaware is to help you see the challenges, heartbreaks and triumphs of those pursuing promising new ideas. We will explain the science and new developments that pushed these notions into production.

There’s already a strong foundation to support these fledgling endeavors:

» The Delaware Biotechnology Institute, a partnership of government, academia and industry working to boost biotechnology and the life sciences in Newark at the University of Delaware.

» UD’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnership, which works to turn research discoveries into inventions.

» The Delaware Technology Park, a nonprofit research facility catering to development stage life science, information technology, advanced materials and renewable energy companies, which also resides at UD.

» First State Innovation, a privately led effort to spur entrepreneurial activity in Delaware.

» The Small Business Development Center and the Center for Enterprise Development at Delaware State University, which provides training, workshops and counseling for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

» The Delaware Department of Economic Development (DEDO), a state agency charged with fostering a productive business climate.

In a hyper-competitive global economy, startup firms with high growth potential may be Delaware’s best chance of creating well-paying jobs.

Stories published today by staff writer Jonathan Starkey speak to the kind of local content you can expect from Innovate Delaware.

The weekly section also will regularly feature advice from USA Today columnists — including author and consultant Rhonda Abrams, who writes about issues and trends, and Steve Strauss, a lawyer, author and speaker who answers questions from small business owners. will feature more columnists, helpful tools and links, videos and stories of interest to small business owners and aspirants.

We want to hear the ideas of readers. You can submit suggestions, essays or business tips to the business staff at

And feel free to contact me if you care to comment on Innovate Delaware. Thanks for reading.

Contact David Ledford at